March 30th, 2020

These are tough unprecedented circumstances for everyone around the world seeming only to get worse every day. This Covid-19 pandemic is affecting everyone but some much worse than others – look at remarkable health care workers and the suffering hospitality industry! Difficult to think a wine and food Blog is of any importance in times like these. However perhaps you can appreciate some small comforts in being home bound. Hopefully you now have time to be with other present family members to actually sit down and have a meal together. Try some of those old favourite recipes that you all have enjoyed in safer times or experiment with an enticing new one. Shop carefully or help the restaurants in your area by getting some meals delivered to your home. This is an excellent time to take advantage of those special food items stored away in your freezer. Your scribe is using up some frozen duck breasts. Over 4 nights last week we tried our last bottles of unheralded vintages of 1986 & 1987 Mazis-Chambertin & Corton Clos des Cortons all from Faiveley. Remember visiting Burgundy in September 1986 (before that memorable IWFS Festival in Alsace with bread master Poilane) and the vineyards below the road were flooded from the rains. The higher vineyards of Mazis and Corton survived those bad weather conditions somewhat better. All drinking rather well really and the 1987 Corton showing best balance and more depth. Though they do not have the intense fruit complexity of 1985 or 1990 (or even higher acidity 1988 finally coming around) for 30+ years aged red Burgundy they paired successfully with food courses (duck) but more importantly brought us some moments of needed joy and a more positive uplift to our day of news overload. We certainly toasted our life with thanks and gratitude for the foresight of having a wine cellar to draw on presently. Hope you have some special bottles for family use now.

Similarly it has been fun to put to use some of the wine knowledge about Champagne gained at the 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival. Then was a wonderful opportunity to taste the different styles of bubbles available from Piper-Heidsieck & Charles Heidsieck (with Ludovic Panciera V-P The Americas), Laurent-Perrier (Marine Roupsy Area Export Manager), Taittinger (Clovis Taittinger), and Alfred Gratien (Gianmaria Bottos Area Manager Canada) at several trade and consumer tastings. The crisp fresh lively Cuvee Brut of Piper (and creamy Rare 2006) so dramatically different from the rich toasty 40% old Reserves in Charles. Many choices from L-P from Brut, Ultra Brut, blended vintages of Grand Siecle, to outstanding balance of Millesime 2008. Gratien had value Classiques of both Brut (3 grapes blend) and strawberries floral Rose. Taittinger presented Brut Reserve, Prestige Rose, Prelude of Grand Crus equal chard and pinot noir, and sweeter dosage of sugar cane Nocturne Sec City Lights. Shining especially bright in the spotlight were two 2007 vintage treasures of Comtes of Blanc De Blancs and Grands Crus Rose. What an amazing selection including these that were on sale at BCLDB in December so luckily put a few bottles away. Also now know that the Charles Heidsieck style would be a perfect match with a home cooked fish course wrapped in potato chips. Delicious pairing. Hoping to make the most of life and trying to enjoy some moments every day the best we can. Suggest you do the same. Keep safe!

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March 30th, 2020

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