Author Archives: Travis Oke

About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant

Misinformed 

I really have lived my life under the assumption had I could drive a Jeep to South America – our only friendly neighbour to the south.

I’m wrong – according to google. Look here!
Google maps tells me it’s not possible.  And those google people are presumably smarter than me.

Tonight I’m drinking a lovely wine from Argentina, and I sadly am finding out that I can’t drive there to get more.  Nevermind the fact that I may be 189 hrs of driving – an estimation I made, but honestly I’m so thrown off by google right now that I’m unquestionably questioning anything that i thought i knew.

I can’t even be certain that I purchased this lovely Trapiche Syrah at the LCBO for under $9 because that seems as crazy as a Spanish speaking border guard telling me i can’t get to Argentina from here [or an ‘merican speaking border guard for that matter].

 

 

 


Matchmaker

My Linkedin bio recently changed from “self-amusing wine blogger” to  “matchmaker”.

Specifically hooking up Toronto’s Muddy York Brewing Co. with Guelph’s finest gastro pub, Baker Street Station. It’s a classic tale … blogger turned matchmaker meets microbrewer Jeff, drinks stout … blogger sees gastropub guy Dave at the gym and says “you know what you should do, blah, blah” – next thing i know there’s something there that wasn’t there before [yes, that’s a Beauty and the Beast reference – ah romance].

And I think I done good. So good that the beer menu at Baker Street Stn looks like this now. Tasting notes are hardly necessary – it’s love.

Okay, maybe the board looks like this …

Would you believe that one of more of these photos was photoshopped by my mischievous daughter little m?

Guelph’s first keg from Toronto’s Muddy York. I got to touch it!

 

Muddy York Brewing Company’s Stork Derby Stout – Now on tap in Guelph thanks to my matchmaking skills. You’re welcome Guelph.

Jonathon’s historic pouring of the first pint of Muddy York’s Stork Derby Stout in Guelph

 

 


How the Irish Saved Civilization

St Patrick’s Day is upon us and i thought it an appropriate time to educate readers on just how the Irish “make the moonshine”.  Heh, that’s a line from our new favourite family show – Moonshiners [and please, if the show is fake, i don’t wanna hear tell about it].  And yes, the title of this blog borders on being unethically misleading – or is it ethically misleading? Did you say ethically misleading?

In all simplicity, whiskey/whisky is moonshine aged in barrels.

In Canada we normally make our moonshine from rye. In Kentucky they use corn, or at least some combination of rye and corn. In Ireland and Scotland the best are usually made from malted barley.  In Scotland peat is sometimes used to dry the barley, resulting in the distinctive peat nose and taste.  In Ireland they don’t peat [except for Connemara] and they ….

You know what – I’m just complicating things.  I find it fascinating, but i don’t want to start sounding like one of those people for whom the minutia of their dream is far more interesting to them than the listener.

So suffice it to say that i added this to my whiskey cellar just in time for March 17th. Also, I’m gonna read some of Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization today.

 


The Oud Couple – heh

I found two beautiful creations this week – “oud”ly enough at the same place [heh]. Revel Cider’s Revelation Oud Blanc and Exchange Brewery’s Oud Bruin at The Only in Toronto. The Oud Bruin i have had before, and raved and raved about it to anyone that would listen. My daughter M subsequently drank her weight in Bruin [heh].

An “Oud” is a complex sour – Belgian style – usually aged in barrels.  Just like many red wines that i like, there are pronounced tannins [pr. tan-in, heh] in a sour. This is my new favourite discovery in the beer world. I’ve even devoted part of my wine cellar to sours.

Here are the two beauties side by side – the Oud couple [heh].

Further research uncovered that the Revel cider [located in my home town of Guelph – or G-town as the kids call it] was barrel aged for 8 months and partially soured with wild pears – if i understand brewer’s talk at all – and there’s really a good chance that i don’t.  However, what i do understand is delicious.

Further, further research uncovered that Exchange brewery used a lactic fermentation and aging in oak barrels with a “mixed cocktail” [their words] of wild yeast and bacteria.

Speaking of research – i’m working on my own authoritative guide to all things sour and yeasty and bacterial [actually only the ones pertaining to beer – heh]. Sneak preview below.

Thanks C for promoting the liberal use of “heh”.  Heh.

 


SuperBowl thoughts

Wow!

Also, I saved this since my trip to the US of A this summer. Cracked it open on the kickoff.

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But man [or humans as I call them] cannot live on watery beer alone – at least in the winter.

So I went into the whiskey cellar to choose between bourbon and Tennessee whiskey – wait, this is sounding like a George Thorogood and the Destroyers song. Wait again – that couldn’t really have been the name of that band. Wait – Tom Brady did what ?

So in a very real way Bourbon won the SuperBowl.  But good season Yeungling.


Subscriber

Are you a subscriber?  I used to have a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I also used to photocopy photos of athletes, sign autographs to myself, and post them in my locker. “Keep dunking Travis – Patrick Ewing”.

Muskoka Brewery has a subscription worth investigating. “Do you want a 6-pack of Moonlight Kettle delivered to your door each month?”.  Why yes, maybe i do.

Here’s what i found out …

BEER CLUB

Venture off the Beaten Path and join us on a journey through great beer. Each month, Muskoka staff volunteer to join our Brewers to create and brew their very own beer.  We love consistently developing new, limited edition beers for our drinkers, available at our Brewery in Bracebridge and on tap– and now available delivered straight to you.

These brews are too delicious to keep to ourselves, so we’ve created the Moonlight Kettle Beer Club: subscribe to get a 6 pack delivered to your door each month.

Beer club! – sounds more delicious than Sports Illustrated.

Here’s the lineup

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Dear Muskoka Brewery – keep on slam dunking your beer stuff – Patrick Ewing

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Time

Time makes things better.  I know maybe a little self-serving from a man over 50 with more white in his beard than red. But it’s hard to wait isn’t it? I can’t wait to use “Come on man, it’s 2017” [truthfully i’ve been using it all year].

Sometimes when i’m impatient i feel like Futurama’s Fry, from Futurama, on the tour of the Slurm factory…

Fry: Can we have some Slurm now?

Glurmo: No food or drink on the boat. You’ll have plenty of Slurm at the end of the tour, where you will party with Slurms McKenzie.

Fry: When will that be?

Glurmo: Soon enough.

Fry: That’s not soon enough!

“That’s not soon enough” indeed! This is what i’m waiting for now – For Royal City Brewery’s Sour with red currant. It taunts me every time i visit. Sitting there smugly at the front door in its large barrels,with the patience of Job [bible Job] souring in its own sweet time. Doesn’t it know that i love it and can’t wait to meet it?

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Speaking of 1964, look what i discovered this week. I don’t know where to order it from yet but i want it. Actually i’m not sure how to pay for it either. I wish i had thought of that earlier. In 1964 this nectar was filled into ex-sherry casks [6 weeks after i was born]. When this cask was bottled in 1993 and released as a 29 yr old the price of a bottle was 100 British pounds. In 2007, as a 42-year-old the price was 4, 000.  This last barrel, the bottles, if there are any left, go for almost 20,000 pounds.  I hope i get to meet it someday.  Hey, maybe i’m not getting older, i’m getting more expensive. Or something.

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