Tag Archives: umlaut

Today I am a Berliner

Ich bin ein Berliner (Weisse) at the Wellington Brewery.

I am almost certain that the real reason JFK went to Berlin was to sample the various Weisse flavoring shots.

For those who aren’t aware, those crazy Germans have some cultural oddities  – in addition to their gratuitous use of the ümlaut. They brew a low ABV, clean weisse [wheat] beer that they put flavoring shots in. My new bff at Wellington hit me with a watermelon and a raspberry Berliner Weisse. Not sure if you’ll like that ? Go drink a Doug Ford buck-a-beer and stop wasting the internet’s time reading my drink blog.


Ü is for Ümlaut

The full title of this blog post is, Ü is for Ümlaut. My quest for Funk, Oud Bruin, and Church – how Science became relevant again.

This past weekend i decided to tour three of my favourite breweries for the first time.  My pilgrimage began at the Funk Lab of Nickel Brook Brewing Co. where Science is being made relevant again by these clever people in Burlington.  Funk and sour and fruit make for delicious science.  I’ve been a fan all summer of the Ceres and the Raspberry Über where vegetables, fruit,  bacteria and yeast excite both the palate and the imagination. It’s the miracle of science. Also, any brewery that celebrates the Ümlaut is my kind of place.   Oh yeah, the sommelier glass i got was also worth the trip. Ü is for Ümlaut.

At the Exchange Brewery in Niagara-on-the-Lake [the town with more hyphens than your town], my goal was to nab bottles of their heavenly nectar – Oud Bruin. What i found was a tasting flight with a bonus sample [because the bar “messed up” – heh]. I particularly loved the Peppercorn Rye Saison, the White IPA, and the award winning Foreign Exchange Stout.  Also, they made my Instagram account look instantly better [@travisoke].


So, yes, I went to a couple of breweries and to church this weekend.  Silversmith Brewing Company is situated in a renovated church building in Niagara-on-the-Lake where i became one of the congregation.  I loved the Bavarian Breakfast Wheat and the Golden Ale, but the Rosewater Kellerbier led the worship for me that day.


Because I’m over 40 – I barely understand half the stuff going on in Twitter even though I’m as tech savvy as the next guy (who’s over 40 and Tweets). I still don’t know how Al Gore ever found the time to invent both Facebook and Twitter.

mzl.hdhcuhwc.175x175-75However, I do know that BC wines sent me 6 bottles to drink, review, and tweet about this Thursday night.  The hashtag is #ONtastesBC  and I am the ON side of the hashtag. The whole thing is self-explanatory after that I think.

Here’s what I discovered while tasting the wines sent to me.

  1. If you spend $45 you get a GREAT bottle of wine.  Both the Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin and the Mission Hill Quatrain were way better than most things I drink.  
  2. A $25 dollar Organic Pinot Noir helps make a very tasty beef gravy.  During our tasting dinner I made my version of a  Primanti sandwich (Pittsburghers know what I’m talking about). I recently discovered that I am gifted in the art of making gravy and borrowing a half-cup of Eau Vivre Pinot Noir to lend to gravy was a good thing. Smooth wine makes a smooth gravy.
  3. White wine is a good choice to pair with a charcuterie board.  Both the Gray Monk Gewürztraminer and the Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay were delicate but acidic enough to cut through the fattiness of the excellent cheese that “J&A” brought for the dinner.

They were released in Ontario this past Saturday – get  to an LCBO store and check out what our cousins on the other side of the country sent to us.

Confessions of a wine snob (and my defense of the umlaut)

I have a confession. The main (but not the only) reason that I enjoy a good Gewürztraminer is that whenever I say the word I think of Steve Carrell and Dana Carvey portraying Germans in this video.

Also, I like the information that Wikipedia  provides for me. “Gewürztraminer [ɡəˈvʏɐtstʁaˈmiːnɐ] is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut)”. 

Firstly, and I know I’ve said it before,  [ɡəˈvʏɐtstʁaˈmiːnɐ] is not helpful. Secondly, somebody tell me why the French have to be like that?  There is no reason NOT to use the unlaut. The umlaut is fantastic.  Use it!

Hey Dana Carvey, do you think I can pair Taco Bell with a nice local Gewürztraminer?