Category Archives: Wine writing

French Fiction

A friend asked me this week if I’ve heard any tasting notes on this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Released in two weeks time for those of you keeping track.

The truth is that the French have no idea what the Nouveau tastes like because they’re exporting it all and keeping the good stuff for themselves.  I honestly believe they hire a fiction writer to do tasting notes.  They have to – nobody French has touched “le stuff”.

Or maybe they’re programming AI machines to come up with a series of words that have to do with wine that they can pass off as tasting notes and then laugh their French derrières off at us.

Here’s the truth – I don’t even care. I love Nouveau and my Nouveau party and I absolutely embrace the idea of being scammed by the French.

Vive la Nouveau.  In fact, I nominate Beaujolais Nouveau for the Albertine Prize – “best contemporary French Fiction in English translation”.

Here’s some other French fiction for your consideration. IDK, “the Mitterand Years” made me giggle.


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Combating Water

In the beginning there was Spring. Or maybe Summer. But definitely not Winter!

Spring is here. That means it’s time for my annual water rant. I promise you this one is not unjustified or unfounded and it may be even Biblical.

I’m so sick and tired of “water people”. Honestly, last week i mentioned that i might have a slight sinus infection and somebody says to me “maybe you’re not drinking enough water”. Then my stomach growled in a meeting, “maybe you’re not drinking enough…” – Hey jerk! Maybe you’re not drinking enough water!

If I’ve learned anything from the weather network [and i haven’t] it’s that the Springtime is no time to drink water. It’s raining enough as it is! Seriously, i haven’t watched a high school rugby game yet this year without getting soaked to the butt [thx for the expression uncle Harold].

So enough of this water stupidity. Let’s combat water. Get yourself a large umbrella, a fabulous rain jacket, and a bottle of Muga – the people’s rosé. Muga is the finest of rosé that you can find at the LCBO and it reminds you that warmer weather is on the way, while being delicious at the same time. That’s a win, win, win [at least]. May 13 the LCBO released this year’s vintage of Muga rosé, which is technically a rosado [that’s the way they roll in Spain]. It’s a perfectly delightful rosé and you cannot go wrong serving it, bringing it to a party, or sipping it in secret in your backyard or basement.  Better yet, stay inside and watch something on Netflix.

I have it on good authority that the Spanish don’t waste their time drinking water. Why should i?

Combating water indoors with a cozy scarf

Combating water with Netflix and time travel

Combating water with a daughter drinking grapefruit juice – heh

Previous water rants

2010 Drink More Water? 

2011 Still Drinking Water?

2012 Water – I’m not convinced

2013 Water. Again?

2015 Hyperbole

2016 Water Research


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].

 

 

 


Blue Jays Bubbly [why the French don’t watch baseball]

Looking for some insight on the champagne celebration in the Jays clubhouse?

As the only wine blogger with a Physed degree I want to know what they’re drinking and how much money are guys who earned a million dollars in salary this month paying for champagne.  The talking heads at Sportsnet keep referring to the expensive champagne in the clubhouse. What I found may shock you!

Firstly, why does Josh Donaldson get eye protection and Hazel Mae doesn’t?  Also, who pays for her dry cleaning?

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So it turns out the Jays aren’t pouring and spraying and possibly drinking champagne at all.  Super slow motion on my PVR shows me that they’re drinking American sparkling wine from California [ask anyone from France and watch them be outraged at this being called Champagne even though we mean no harm – WE MEAN NO HARM!] .

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And how much does it cost?  Less than $15!
img_7443These players earn obscene amounts of money – the team is owned by Rogers Communications – who i pay a thousand dollars a month for my cell phone – and they drink $15 bubbly.  Awesome! And they also drank Korbel, which is also less than $15 a bottle.
img_7444So my point here?  I think we could all afford $15 per bottle to shake up and spray all over each other if the Jays in the ALCS!  Do it, nobody from France is watching baseball anyway.


3 Things I Learned in America

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.

  1. 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.img_6940
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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”.img_6927

Swirling, swirling, swirling

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.

Watch here

The only thing more fun? Convincing your wife to swirl her wine too.

Weeeeeeeeee

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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.


Canada Day in photos 

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.

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Crêpe and Calvados for dessert.

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Dinner BBQ at home with Muskoka 20th Anniversary Cream Ale aged in Oak.

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Happy Canada Day