Archive for December, 2018

IWFS Christmas & Holiday Events Around the World

December 10th, 2018

It is the festive season 2018 and now only two weeks until Christmas. The family of The International Wine & Food Society comprises members from around the world organized into 3 zones of The Americas, Asia/Pacific, and Europe/Africa. The largest membership is in The Americas with over 70 branches of more than 2400 members. Also vibrant are both Asia/Pacific of 26 branches with over 900 members across 14 countries and the far reaching Europe/Africa ranging from Cape Town to Moscow and many stops in between. Many of our branches will be holding events this month to celebrate the Christmas season plus acknowledging thanks for a successful 2018 program and welcoming in 2019. Your scribe is a long time member of the Vancouver Branch and has been fortunate to attend so many such events each December. Variety has been a key but in the old days we worked specifically to present our annual Christmas dinner with a theme using the traditional food specialities from a different country including England, Holland, Norway, Denmark (delicious Cauliflower & Shrimp) etc. Remember excellent goose (weihnachtsgans) & stollen from Germany, herring from Sweden, plum pudding “pud” from England, Buche de Noel from France, panettone from Italy, gazpacho from Spain and so many more. At that time in the Vancouver group a committee planned and cooked these ethnic dishes for a sit down dinner in a private home for as many as 50 members. Well done!
Great nostalgia for older members to return to The Four Seasons Hotel where we have held so many past wonderful dinners. The Vancouver Four Seasons has a marvellous room named Chartwell which is so suitable for such an occasion with decorated trees and a warm fireplace fire burning. Marvellous décor. Our branch is fortunate to have the amazing organizational talents headed by Milena & Jim Robertson who put together another memorable menu served on December 9, 2018 as shown, that was exquisite. The singing of Christmas carols led by members who sing in a choir was another togetherness feature enjoyed by the enthusiastic group attending. It would be exciting and informative to learn from all of you what the other IWFS branches do for their holiday event at this time of year. Please share this by posting a comment on this site.


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Ask Sid: What about Château l’Arrosee in Bordeaux?

December 6th, 2018
Ask your question here

chateau l'arrosee bordeaux wine

Question: Tried an older red Bordeaux Château L’Arrosee I liked and want to know more about current ownership please.

Answer: An old favourite wine property of your scribe and have been drinking it often since they produced that brilliant 1961. It is a Grand Cru Classe on the western slopes of the village of Saint-Emilion “cotes” and was in the hands of maverick Rodhain family making powerful wines. Since 2013 now in the capable hands of Domaines Clarence Dillon of Haut-Brion and the future is bright indeed. Full and powerful style with a good mix of cab franc & cab sauv in the blend. Seek it out.

On the upswing yet again to produce another treasure like that 1961 one in a more modern style.

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EMILIA-ROMAGNA: A Culinary Tour Dream!

December 3rd, 2018

EMILIA-ROMAGNA: A Culinary Tour Dream!

A tour of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy is a always a special treat enjoyed by your scribe. Headquarter yourself in Bologna and see all the culinary sites from there. What a place for fantastic food and classic restaurants serving authentic tagliatelle Bolognese. Visit the remarkable market of Mercato di Mezzo, Mortadella Bologna IGP (protected geographical indication), and wonderful bakeries such as Paolo Atti & Figli. Might also want to check out the Carpigiani Gelato Museum in nearby Anzola Dell’Emilia and the Lamborghini Factory & Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese. More controversial is the newly opened monster-sized Fico Eataly World ( Food Park some 20 minutes transport from Bologna. Particularly recommend taking a day journey to Modena to check out their wooden barrel aged balsamic vinegars (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP) just tasted Sapore Platinum (10 year) including the Museum of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Spilamberto & perhaps the Ferrari Museum (plus their historical factory one in Maranello). Another fascinating day trip is to Parma for the most thrilling insights into outstanding ham and cheese of revered nine months aged Prosciutto di Parma DOP (protected designation of origin) tasting last month the Ermes Fontana product & of course long aged (at least 24 months) Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP.

All of these memories vividly returned on November 21, 2018 at a tasting of special food products followed by a dinner from the province of Emilia-Romagna organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Canada -West ( at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Impressed by the pasta making talents shown by Casa Artusi the very first centre of gastronomic culture to be established in Italy. Also the skills in opening a whole wheel of a Parmigiano-Reggiano. A fantastic product is Nero Di Voghiera Garlic PDO with natural fermentation (no additives, preservatives, or yeasts) for 60 days changing white to black garlic with such tasty gentler notes. Another favourite of mine are top quality fish preserve from Rizzoli operating since 1906. Particularly outstanding are anchovy fillets and especially tuna fillets both in olive oil. The dinner executed by visiting chefs was well done indeed as the menu courses show. Appropriate regional white and red wines from Nespolino featured blends of trebbiano with chardonnay plus sangiovese with some merlot. A wonderful day. In fact the day stimulated a return visit to this region for your enthusiast already booked for the Fall 2019. Recommended.


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