Ask Sid: Value Piedmont for cellaring?

July 18th, 2018
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piedmont wines for your wine collection

Question: Starting a wine cellar and want to add some bottles of a quality Piedmont wine at good value. Would appreciate your wise tip on what I should buy.

Answer: Good idea. Big fan of the nebbiolo grape from the Langhe and especially Barolo & Barbaresco for long aging. So many quality producers to study and collect some of their wine to get to know better the complex Piedmont terroir. One top choice is the Produttori Del Barbaresco co-op where managing director Aldo Vacca has some 50 growers producing 9 specific crus as special Riservas in only the best vintages. Right now they have released them from the classic 2013 year and all their 9 crus are most worthy of cellaring. Most of them are available at the BC LDB for $64 plus 15% tax (like the structured Montestefano) but my favourite is the fresh vibrant Paje as the best value at $59. Just bought some. Check your own local market. Highly recommend adding some bottles of the 2013 for your exciting new wine cellar.


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Salmon More Delicious Cooked on the Bone

July 16th, 2018

salmon steak bone

Fresh wild Pacific salmon has arrived here on the West Coast. Even though controversial farmed or wild frozen (preferable at sea) can sometimes serve a purpose they are not the same in overall taste and enjoyment as using fresh wild salmon. The variety of salmon makes a big difference too and your scribe has a leaning towards the complex unique special oils of the one called King, Spring or Chinook. However the one most often available in the marketplace is Sockeye. It has the best red colour but tends to be firm and drier in texture so requires careful monitored cooking. Here several chain stores including IGA Marketplace, Thrifty Foods, and Canada Safeway are supporting the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise sustainable program with early season promotion prices the lowest being at Safeway at $20/kg for steaks and more for fillets. These past two weeks has been a wonderful indulgence in trying different methods of cooking but most important comparing Sockeye boneless fillets to Sockeye Steaks on the bone. In my humble opinion the results are clear. The salmon steaks cooked on the bone always show a better more flavourful result. Highly recommend them. Have you noticed this difference?


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10 quick and easy summer dishes

July 15th, 2018

easy dishes to make for summertime

By Joseph Temple

Sun and surf! Summer is great, but some days it’s just too hot to cook. And besides, there are a lot more fun things to get back to outside! Here are some quick and easy summer dishes to help fuel those hot hot days.



1. Simple boiled egg, tomatoes, basil, and fresh cheese.
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2. Watermelon juice is refreshing and made even better with a splash of sparkling wine.
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3. Kumquat slushy pops are a great way to cool off by the pool.
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4. Raspberry quinoa yogurt smoothie is an energizing start for any day.
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5. BBQ anything outside is always better than slaving away in a hot kitchen on any summer day.
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6. A seasonal berry and Chantilly tart is the prefect end to a summer picnic.
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7. Hot, but need a hearty breakfast? Pair a fried egg with avocado and whole grain toast – serve with a light salad.
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8. For a quick and casual lunch, BBQ tomatoes and toss with boccaccini and pesto.
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9. Add some extra veggies to any antipasto skewer for an instant lunchbox favourite and quick appetizer.
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10. Looking for something more than just a regular BBQ? Try a traditional crawfish or crab boil, complete with lots of melted butter!


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Ask Sid: What is the social media for IWFS Monograph “The Essential Guide to English Wine”?

July 11th, 2018
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Ask Sid: What is the social media for IWFS Monograph "The Essential Guide to English Wine"?

Question: Sid what is happening on social media for the release of the new IWFS Monograph – The Essential Guide to English Wine?

Answer: Very topical question. Andrea Warren of the International Secretariat in London came up with the clever idea for members to post on Twitter when they receive their individual copy by post. She is hoping IWFS members around the world will start a tweeting buzz for our wonderful Society and this latest Monograph. I received my copy yesterday and indeed it is an interesting “snapshot of a fast-moving young industry” very well done by this married couple of Susie Barrie MW & Peter Richards MW. Many thanks and it does “invite you to explore” even more. Help get the word out yourself on Twitter by using @IWFSGlobal #EssentialEnglishWine and #EGEL


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Dr. Loosen: Quality Mosel Dry Riesling From Old Vines & Long Barrel Aging

July 9th, 2018

Ernst Loosen is an outgoing exciting personality in the German wine trade. His fascinating story of “not being clever enough to go to college but instead inheriting the farm” is an endearing one. You have to give him credit though for taking inspiration from his grandfather’s old winemaking methods for only making dry wines and sticking with those very low yielding old un-grafted on their own roots vines. Most consumers only know his popular big selling Dr. L line of Riesling from non-estate fruit in a refreshing style of dry, off-dry, or Sparkling wine at good value. However he does make some higher priced truly outstanding wines under the Dr. Loosen label as well. Remember drinking and enjoying over the years some special wines he brought in for our Vancouver International Wine Festival back in 2006. Especially 2004 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese from those red volcanic and slate soils resulting in exotic spicy earthy with some tropical fruit flavours all at 7.5 alcohol that has aged so well. Also his more forwardly Villa Wolf Estate in the Pfalz acquired in 1996 on chalky soils with rounder textures showing in 2003 Wachenheimer Belz Riesling Spatlese at 11 alcohol.

Therefore it was a pleasure to see Ernst back to Vancouver last month on June 15 for a sommelier tasting of some of his better wines. It was nostalgic to raise with him that memorable bottle tasted of his 1981 Wehlener Sonnenuhr that he left in barrel for 27 years before bottling in 2008 and according to Ernst mysteriously just keeps getting fresher and fresher with age. Surely that steep rocky purest blue slate soil in the Mosel from very old vines has something to do with it along with that long barrel aging. Their new release of outstanding balanced vintage 2016 Grosses Gewachs (“great growth”) always dry from Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) vineyards also are impressive and most age worthy. Like those larger bottles available in magnum size!  Check these out for a special treat.


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