I visited the United States of ‘Merica this weekend. Also, i avoided talking politics with everyone! Weeeeeeee.
I learned three important things in my casual quest for knowledge. I think I learned more than that but I don’t focus very well in the summer and i wasn’t really searching for more knowledge.
- BBQ peaches and bourbon are brilliant – i macerated this perfectly ripe fruit with bourbon [america’s vodka], brown sugar, and vanilla then grilled them and served them with ice-cream.
- You can’t get a pint of high alcohol beer! Anything around 7% ABV and you get a stemmed “snifter” with less ounces than a pint. As i pointed out to the owner of the bar, “We don’t put up with stuff like that in Canada”. However, as i get older and more understanding i think i know why they do this – but you’d lose an election in Canada with laws like that.
- Mars, PA – where my wife is from [no really, that’s not a joke], population 1,699, has a fantastic tavern/gastropub. Breakneck Tavern has exceptional food and an extensive craft beer list. It’s worth the detour off I-79 and i’ve no doubt that Guy Fieri will appear there soon, so you should get there before he does.
- There’s a really good winery halfway between Cleveland and Youngstown Ohio. No that’s not a typo and i haven’t been drinking – today – yet. Uncle “Jim” [that’s his real name minus the quotation marks] had a party and his friend Rich showed up with 4 very good wines from his winery, Laleure Vineyards, in Parkman, Ohio – a white blend, two vintages of Chardonnay, and a Cabernet Franc that made me especially happy. One impromptu wine tasting later and i became a believer that at least one talented winemaker lives in “Merica’s Midwest. Good party Uncle “Jim” – well played. Great food and beautiful house Aunt “B”.
We visited Norman Hardie’s winery in PEC last week. It was lovely … but what attracted my attention was a young woman swirling her wine at the table next to me. She swirled it non-stop, or “constantly”, as we wine writers like to say [we actually don’t].
So I pondered the reasons for swirling. I know there are reasons – real “wine person” reasons. It aerates the wine in the glass and makes it taste better. Heck, it’s been locked inside a bottle for quite a while and needs to catch a fresh breath air. But i think this woman at the table beside me taught me something important. Swirling your wine is fun.
The only thing more fun? Convincing your wife to swirl her wine too.
Photo of us NOT swirling. Doesn’t look as much fun does it.
Also, the pizza was really good. We swirled and drank the Riesling and the Cab Franc. I’m going to swirl and drink them again soon.
Instead of writing about Canada Day i’ve turning this wine blog into a photo blog. It really is easier to write than using my words.
Lunch at Artisinale – French rosé and Tawse Riesling with our first course.
Crêpe and Calvados for dessert.
Dinner BBQ at home with Muskoka 20th Anniversary Cream Ale aged in Oak.
Happy Canada Day
Even though i get treated like royalty and pampered on Father’s Day it is still my responsibility to provide sweet Bacchus’ beverages to go with the food and the overall experience.
So when i pulled out a bottle of bubbly cava my daughter M asked if i was sabering. Sabrage seemed like a good idea – because it’s fun, it’s cool, and what could possibly go wrong combining alcohol and a large chef’s knife? So despite the bottle shape not being ideal for sabering i made up my mind faster than my wife could ask “do you need me to bring you the large knife?”
While it didn’t quite go as planned [photo evidence below] – almost no cava was spilled and the glass did stay primarily in 3 large chunks [yes, it should be two].
My favourite all-time party trick to impress my favourite daughter who is of drinking age. I know – it looks dangerous. This time i wish i could say that it only looks dangerous.
So while things didn’t quite go as planned i did save face by offering an evening red wine that prompted “ooohs” and “aaahs” from everyone.
My favourite American wine for my favourite American wife. It’s dangerous too – dangerously tasty!
I’m so proud. My daughter M posted on Facebook about how much she loved a wine I bought for her and sounded like me on my blog. Just pure fun. No tasting notes … other than “this wine is too good not to share”. Also, she hashtagged #pullthecork #moveoverpapa – that’s just funny.
I may leave the blogging to her soon. And I did go out and buy 2 for Casa Oke.
Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon —VINTAGES#: 210047 | WAS $19.95 $17.95 Washington, USA
Why oh why don’t we have these in Canada? I double dog dare somebody in Niagara or PEC to make these.
Cuando en España hacer como el español
When in Spain ….
My wife knows stuff about wine – mostly how to drink it. She doesn’t normally purchase wine, instead entrusting me with that task and then letting me know if she likes it or not. Between you and me [and i guess her, since she will probably eventually read this] she likes more than she doesn’t.
So this week, while on vacation without me in Florida, she was forced to take matters into her own hands and pair wine with food. The food? The finest donut in ‘Merica that isn’t made by Krispy Kreme – Entenmann’s. This is what she came up with.
Oh, i just started salivating. I am very impressed with her pairing – American Cab Sav with Entenmann’s chocolate covered cake donut. It’s so affirming that after 22 years of marriage she can instinctively pair these classic ‘Merican foods. Don’t tell me our friends south of the 49th parallel don’t understand food.
The folks at Bogle [also the name of a fascinating family favourite word game – alliteration acknowledged] make a fine cabernet sauvignon.
So find your favourite Cabernet and your favourite donut [somebody please use a boston cream] and let me know how it goes.