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.
This is not the black cab i am talking about
The one i’m referring to is distinctly Canadian.
As far as i’m concerned the Black Cab is an iconic Ontario wine . A blend of around 40% Baco Noir and equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, i’ve argued that it is one of the best blends of Ontario grown grapes. All these grapes are good cold climate grapes and when used well make a great wine. I’m a cheerleader for Ontario Cabernet Franc and i think Baco Noir, when blended like this, makes for a great BBQ wine or a winter sipper. Black berries and cherries with an earthy undertone – sorry wine descriptor police, that’s about as much “wine code” as i use.
On sale now at the lcbo for $3 off! That’s almost as big a deal as the Crown Royal Northern Harvest [which i’ve yet to find a bottle of]!
$10.95 at an lcbo near you this week.
Eastdell Black Cab VQA —LCBO#: 609875
I love it when Facebook does “On This Day”. 4 years ago i wrote “it’s good to know my Cleveland Browns are only 15-20 players away from being a good football team”. Still too soon to be funny.
I just went back to see what i posted in my blog “On This Day” and discovered that 4 years ago i used Instagram for the first time! I felt so clever in 2012. What’s actually surprising is that Instagram is still around 4 years later.
Today Instagram and i took this photo of the wine that my wife was drinking tonight. A lovely blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 25% Carmenere, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile for under $10.
and turned it into this photo
My French copper pots look cooler and the dribble on the label looks cooler. Heck, even the wine tasted better. Okay, maybe i was drinking Irish whiskey … but my wife assures me it tasted better in the second photo.
Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc Carmenère Cabernet Sauvignon
—LCBO#: 308247 | $9.95
This winter i’ve committed to trying new wines at the LCBO and i think i’ve found the best aisle in the store – Argentina to the right of me and Chile to the left. I’m no historian but it seems like these countries even get along. They coexistence peacefully in the wine store at least.
Right now my new favourite wine for under $10 is the Santa Rita 120 Cab Franc / Carmenere / Cab Sav blend. I like the fresh Cabernet Franc taste and i love the price.
Hey, turns out that “120” refers to 120 Chilean freedom fighters who took on the Spanish Independence war of 1814 and hid in the Santa Rita cellars. Doesn’t sound very peaceful anymore.
Ontario makes great Cabernet Franc wines because Cabernet Franc is Ontario’s best red wine varietal. That’s my Hemingway-esque declarative statement for the day. I also could have used “It was a good wine because it was an honest wine” – but that seemed dangerously close to plagiarism.
It’s what we drank this weekend with an enormous rack of pork. Cab Franc has a bit of a vegetal / grassy taste to it that reminds me of new green grass or capers. This one was also slightly sour or tangy, but the tannins were perfect.
|ROSEHALL RUN COLD CREEK CABERNET FRANC 2008
VINTAGES 149039 | Price: $ 18.95
Drank another great local wine this weekend. Eastdell’s Black Cab is a blend of Baco Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon – arguably (and I am willing to argue with anyone on this) 3 of the best red wine varietals that grow in Ontario.
42% Baco Noir, 27% Cab Franc, and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon – dark fruits from the Baco, a green grass acidity from the Franc, depth and tannins from the Cab Sav. This is a great wine!
EASTDELL BLACK CAB VQA
LCBO 609875 | Price: $ 12.95
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
Black Cab™ is crafted from varieties that grow well in Niagara’s cool climate: Baco Noir and Cabernet. Crimson in colour showing aromas of dark berry fruits, vanilla, raspberry, cranberry and spice on the nose. Deep brooding dark fruit characters typical of Baco Noir are present on the palate with black cherry and blackberry flavours, bright tannins and great balance. Drink now or cellar for 3-4 years.