Archive for November, 2015

Chambolle-Musigny AC – Domaine Georges Roumier

November 30th, 2015

Chambolle-Musigny AC - Domaine Georges Roumier
Photo credit: www.roumier.com

The Domaine of Georges Roumier in Chambolle-Musigny masterly run by Christophe Roumier is one of Burgundies true treasures. Their cherished parcels include structured magnificent consistent Bonnes-Mares, outstanding but more variable Musigny, fragrant complex Les Amoureuses, and unique Clos de la Bussiere (monopole) among others. The high price of these wines clearly indicate not only their amazing quality but the world demand for them. However if you drop down to the level of Chambolle-Musigny village AC there are still some wonderful values to be found from this top Domaine – particularly from the best years. This point was brought forcefully home to me again last week when I enjoyed 7 of them all showing their terroir and the vintage distinct differences. Some of my short observations:

2004 Chambolle-Musigny G. Roumier: Lean more difficult year shows with robust greener weedy earthy herbal notes in a simpler style.

2002 Chambolle-Musigny G. Roumier: Stylish, classy, vibrant, still hard though some elegance underneath, deep fruit is very promising but needs at least another 5 years to open up and sing.

2000 Chambolle-Musigny G.Roumier: Fantastic fragrant bouquet a beautiful surprise for current drinking even though lighter, forwardly and with less weight it shows well the delicacy of the commune.

1999 Chambolle-Musigny G. Roumier: Outstanding black fruits combining power with finesse but no rush as just reaching a plateau of long enjoyment. Structure & depth. The older vines with lower yields around 40hl/ha are usual for this AC wine and impress. Would think this is a premier cru Chambolle for sure!

1998 Chambolle-Musigny G.Roumier: Open & quite rich but a bit eccentric because of the vintage though drinking well now with some tannins left.

1997: Chambolle-Musigny G.Roumier: Though from a smaller crop it is simpler, herbal, and rustic similar to 2004 but with even less harmony & drier so needs drinking up presently.

1985 Chambolle-Musigny G. Roumier: Fortunate to have tried this wine frequently over the years and it never disappoints even now at 30 years old. The joy of maturity from ripe delicious charming balanced fruit is awesome. Shows the ethereal magic of the Chambolle fragrance and the elegant complexity of best Burgundy! Looking forward to the 2002 & 1999 with a few more years of bottle age. Who says you must buy 1er cru or Grand cru to have this earth moving experience?

Encourage you to look out for the tremendous value of G. Roumier Chambolle-Musigny AC & even their Bourgogne Rouge from top vintages like 2009 & 2010 or their more recent currently available releases. Enjoy.


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A look at 10 Ukrainian dishes

November 27th, 2015

A look at 10 Ukrainian dishes

By Joseph Temple

With the temperature dropping and winter looming, are you looking for something tasty to keep you warm?  If so, you might want to have a look at some delightful dishes from our friends in Ukraine.  While many of us associate this Eastern European country with cabbage rolls and perogies, there is so much more to this nation’s proud culinary history.  So, have some bread with salt (representing hospitality and friendship) and try cooking some of these Ukrainian dishes that are richly steeped in tradition and culture.

Smachnoho!


Borscht
1. Borscht

No list of Ukrainian foods is complete without mentioning Borscht – a staple of every traditional kitchen.  Originally made from cow parsnip, this soup is extremely popular across Eastern Europe, made mostly of beets and rich meat stock.  However, during Christmas, it is served meatless with rye bread.

 

Deruny ukrainian dish
2. Deruny

Deruny are pancakes made of grated potatoes and onions.  Fried in oil until they’re golden brown, sour cream or apple sauce is usually served with this comforting dish.  The Ukrainian version is often thinner than what most Westerners are used to, but still quite filling and delicious.

 

Pyrizhky
Evilmonkey0013 at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Pyrizhky

Sold in train stations and public squares across Ukraine, buns like pyrizhky are stuffed with meat, cabbage or potatoes and either baked or fried before serving.  Like other Ukrainian dishes, sour cream and dill is usually added to this delicious street food.

 

Mizeria
By Mariuszjbie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Mizeria

A simple salad consisting of cucumbers in a sour cream dill dressing, mizeria was first invented in Poland where cucumbers were introduced by Queen Bona Sforza.  Its literal translation is misery.  This peasant dish may have been named to reflect the hard times associated with the poverty of the depressed region.

 

nalysnyky ukrainian food
Kagor at the Ukrainian language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Nalysnyky

A thin crepe filled with meat, mushrooms or sauerkraut, many Ukrainians favor putting sweetened cottage cheese in their nalysnyky.  They also can be made into a thin, multi-layered cake using a savory filling or a simple sweet jam like plum butter for a special treat.

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Ukrainian foraged mushrooms

6. Foraged Mushrooms

In Ukraine, mushroom picking is a national pastime with the country’s vast forests providing an excellent selection for those who love to forage.  Once dried (historically to last the winter), these mushrooms are used in countless dishes such as rich gravies, mouth-watering soups or in tiny perogies called yshka which are served with clear borscht on Christmas Eve.

 

Kasha roasted buckwheat
By Candrichuk (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

7. Kasha

With potatoes and bread being a bedrock for the nation’s collective diet, it should come as no surprise that Ukrainians have been harvesting wheat from the same land for nearly 7,000 years.  Used in a variety of dishes, a popular grain known as Kasha (or buckwheat) has a number of different applications.  Whether as a meal topped with fried bacon, onions or gravy, it can also be used in cabbage rolls and in liver sausage called a kyshka.

 

 

Pickled herring ukrainian dish
By MOs810 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

8. Pickled Herring

Often served with sour cream, sliced onions and rye bread, pickled herring works as an appetizer or as part of a salad mixed with potatoes, beets, pickles or chopped apples.  Also, since most Ukrainians strictly observe religious traditions, pickled herring is served on Christmas Eve as one of twelve meatless dishes that symbolize each Apostle.

 

Babka
By Silar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

9. Babka

Baked in tall tins, Babka is a dessert of rich yeast bread and lots of eggs.  During Easter, it is often crowned with many decorations such as little dough rosettes, designs of wheat stalks or a symbolic cross.  Sometimes, for a special sweet treat, Babka is flavored with raisins, dried fruit such as citron peel, chocolate or cinnamon and drizzled with fondant.  Don’t tell Baba, but you can even add some colored sprinkles for the kids.

 

Rugelach pastry dish ukraine
By Yair rand (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

10. Rugelach

Another decadent dessert is rugelach, which is very delicious but quite labor intensive.  These bite sized pastries are filled with either ground walnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, apricots or prune jam.
 

Sources:

Dalton, Meredith. Culture Shock!: Ukraine. Portland: Graphic Arts Center Publishing, 2000.
Hardaway, Ashley. Ukraine (Other Places Travel Guide). Other Places Publishing, 2011.
Kopka, Deborah. Welcome to Ukraine: Passport to Eastern Europe & Russia. Dayton: Milliken Publishing Company, 2011.
Kraig, Bruce & Sen, Colleen Taylor. Street Food Around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2013.
Nichol, Christina. Essential Spices and Herbs: Discover Them, Understand Them, Enjoy Them. Berkeley: Callisto Media Inc., 2015.
Stechishin, Savella. Traditional Ukrainian Cookery. Winnipeg: Trident Press, 1973.


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Ask Sid: Noble Rot?

November 25th, 2015
Ask your question here The International Wine & Food Society

Ask Sid: Noble rot grapes wine

Question: How can rot ever be noble?

Answer: Good point! Rot in grapes is generally not noble but a bad thing resulting in decomposition of unhealthy grapes. Grey rot is often still an issue and we remember well the widespread sour rot problems in the Okanagan especially during the 2013 & 2004 vintages. However, healthy ripe grapes in hot misty conditions may be attacked by the fungus botrytis cinerea (particularly in Sauternes, Tokaj, Germany and other unique regions) miraculously turning the individual berries into raisins and concentrating their juice – a noble rot indeed!


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Ocean Wise

November 23rd, 2015

Ocean Wise Seafood Sustainable

Vancouver Aquarium have a wonderful conservation program called Ocean Wise (www.oceanwise.ca) created “to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood.” Overfishing is a growing threat to our oceans and your seafood choice does make a difference. Encourage you to go to their website and download their exciting new app that contains an outstanding Seafood Guide for reference. It is continually being updated giving you seasonal ocean-friendly options across Canada from Victoria to Halifax.

Ocean Wise also organize a popular annual Chowder Chowdown competition held in the cities of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto with the 2015 winners posted on their site. In Vancouver on November 18 this scribe was one of the judges tasting the chowder prepared by 14 finalists and awarding the championship to Chef Roger Ma of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (www.boulevardvancouver.ca) for his delicious Lobster Miso Chowder. They presently are flying high at Boulevard as their Chef Alex Chen won the next night in Victoria at the BC Gold Medal Plates competition (which I also judged) with an amazing local heritage warm pork terrine “head to tail” with chestnuts, foie gras, fresh Oregon truffles, carrot puree. and umani jus. Alex Chen now will be competing in the Canadian Culinary Championships (www.goldmedalplates.com) in Kelowna BC February 4-6, 2016.

Also check out the Monterey Bay California Aquarium Seafood Watch for their recommendations in the USA at www.seafoodwatch.org

Support sustainable and local!


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Bond and Wine

November 20th, 2015

James Bond and wine
By Joseph Temple

Earlier this month, Spectre, the twenty-fourth installment of the James Bond series debuted in movie theaters across North America. Spanning more than fifty years, this enormously profitable franchise has raked in over six billion dollars in box office receipts ever since Sean Connery starred as 007 in 1962’s Dr. No. Featuring exotic locations, gorgeous women and death-defying stunts requiring a suspension of disbelief (see Moonraker), the James Bond character has sustained his enormous popularity with movie going audiences for over half a century. Daring yet culturally sophisticated, the British spymaster is known for many things: fine-tailored tuxedos, a Walther PPK and of course—Martinis, shaken not stirred.

A drink request that is now part of the popular lexicon, Bond has become synonymous with this legendary cocktail. But often overlooked is 007’s passion for fine wines, which is evident in both the Ian Flemming novels as well as the numerous motion pictures from Connery to Daniel Craig. With the expert knowledge of a seasoned sommelier, Bond has put his skills as an oenophile to good use, whether it’s stopping the bad guys or seducing the ladies.

A quintessential example can be seen in 1963’s From Russia With Love. Traveling by train on the Orient Express, Bond has dinner alongside a beauty named Romanova and an assassin who calls himself Nash. Posing as a friendly contact, he blows his cover by committing the ultimate faux pas for wine aficionados. Ordering a grilled sole, the double agent asks for a glass of Chianti to pair with his seafood.

Red wine with fish—that should have told me something,” shouts Bond as he later battles the armed SPECTRE agent.

And in addition to these food-pairing skills, 007 is quite fond of only the best in terms of bubbly. With the iconic Fontainebleau Hotel providing the backdrop for Bond’s bikini clad mission in 1965’s Goldfinger, even his seductive blonde companion is incapable of luring him back into bed when it is discovered that a bottle of 1953 Dom Pérignon has a temperature above 38 degrees Fahrenheit. “My dear girl, there are some things just aren’t done,” insists Sean Connery who heads toward the fridge with a not-so-subtle jab against the Fab Four. “That’s as bad as listening to The Beatles without earmuffs.”

The ’53 Dom is also referenced in Dr. No when Bond is about to use a lesser vintage as a weapon in his enemy’s underwater lair. “That’s a Dom Pérignon ’55—it would be a pity to break it,” says the evil doctor, which leads 007 to respond with “I prefer the ’53 myself.”

With product placement now a cornerstone of the franchise, many champagne houses have been featured including Veuve Clicquot, Krug and especially Bollinger, which is shown in more than a dozen of the post-Connery Bond flicks. One memorable scene from 1979’s Moonraker features the popular villain-turned-hero Jaws popping open a bottle with his infamous teeth.

Moving from bubbly to Bordeaux, Bond is able again to unmask his would-be-assassins at the dinner table with their lack of wine knowledge. In 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, after pouring a bottle of 1955 Mouton Rothschild, 007 comments that “I had rather expected a claret.” When the villain states that they have little claret on board the ship, alarm bells go off since Mouton is from Bordeaux or what the English refer to as claret. So much for posing as an undercover sommelier.

In the book James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever, the authors write, “He immerses himself in the enjoyment of the best foods, wines and women. The indulgences, which we see in the films, are even more pronounced in the novels—Bond takes such pleasure in the details of creating his own martinis and named them after women, ordering the best caviar, making wine suggestions to the sommelier … He is a true connoisseur.”

Of course, when it comes to drinking the best wines in the world, you only live once—or maybe twice!


Sources:

Held, Jacob M. & South, James B. James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever. Chicago: Open Court Publishing, 2006.
Leigh, David. The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. Raleigh: Lulu.com, 2010.
Nitins, Tanya. Selling James Bond: Product Placement in the James Bond Films. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.


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