Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Top 10 Ask Sid questions of 2019!

January 1st, 2020
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There were some fun food questions raised during 2019 but most were focused on wine which filled all Top 10 positions. Two were pure facts like #2 “SCOTUS decision regarding alcohol deregulation” & #6 “State producing the most wine” but the remaining eight were subjective opinions given by your scribe mainly about rating vintages including your #1 “Best and worst years this decade for Burgundy.” It has been both a delight and a challenge to consider your questions raised and pondering over the answers. Hope by following these postings you have picked up a few gems of wine & food knowledge along the way. Keep up your good work with the interesting questions!



1. Best & Worst Years this Decade for Burgundy?
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2. US Supreme Court Recent Decision on Alcohol Regulation?
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3. Best wine made in Spain?
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4. Where to visit for best wine experience?
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5. Ask Sid: Best vintages to buy for Champagne, White Burgundy & Red Burgundy?
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6. USA State producing the most wine?
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7. What is the Best Winery of a Celebrity?
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8. Do you prefer Syrah or Shiraz?
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9. best one or two vintages in the last 6 decades for Red Burgundy?
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10. Vintages ending in 9?
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Top 10 Posts of 2019!

December 31st, 2019

Always interesting for your scribe to see which of my 52 Monday postings on your IWFS Blog makes the Top Ten of the Year. Top postings for 2018 were pretty focused on wine with a write-up on a fantastic Paulee of many white Chassagne-Montrachets hitting #1. However the remainder of the Top 5 last year were all Bordeaux intensive including separate 20 year verticals of both the Right & Left Bank from the 1998 vintage. This year the interest seems to be firmly on wine & food destinations. Though again Bordeaux with their current release of 2016 wines proved topical coming in at # 4, the Top 3 of 2019 supports a desire to learn more about Las Vegas, Bologna, and Portugal – especially dining. The IWFS member does like to travel and is keen on getting insights and recommendations on interesting experiences. Will have to keep this result in mind for 2020. Also it emphasizes a growing interest for member’s to comment on these Blogs and to post their own tips on wine, food, local restaurants, & ideas from their own touring. My personal Top 10 would have included “Perfect 100 Point Wine Scores Should Be Taken With A Grain of Salt”, “Barbaresco: An Exquisite Wine Region”, and  “Chateau Haut-Brion Remarkable Proven At Two Verticals”. Thanks for all your support. Happy New Year and welcome to the decade of the twenties!   



1. Three Dining Recommendations for Las Vegas
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2. Bologna: Underrated Food Adventures
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3. Portugal Increasing Top Table Wines Available in the Export Market
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4. BORDEAUX 2016 RELEASE
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5. Many Valuable Insights Learned At 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival
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6. NAPA VALLEY CULTIVATING EXCELLENCE ESPECIALLY WITH CABERNET SAUVIGNON
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7. Top older Bordeaux vintages relative bargains drinking well at maturity
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8. Fifth Growth Pauillacs Still Solid Relative Bargains
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9. Top California Chardonnay Impress
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10. Robert M Parker Delightful in Baltimore!
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Ask Sid: Why Are Cranberries Served With Turkey?

December 24th, 2019
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Question: Why are cranberries popular to be served with the turkey?

Answer: Partly historic tradition going back beyond the US Civil War when cranberries were served with turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner for the soldiers. Now it a combination of factors including the splash of eye-catching red colour on the plate and the refreshing contrast of tart cranberries (or some sugar sweet relishes) with the heavier meat, stuffing & gravy of the turkey.


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The Week Of The Turkey – Especially Soup!

December 23rd, 2019

This is the week where all the turkey farmers celebrate their good marketing work. Did you know that a group of turkeys is called a “rafter”? The USA produces about half the world’s turkeys with Minnesota leading the way (estimated 44+ million) followed by North Carolina plus major contributions from Arkansas, California, Indiana, Missouri and Virginia. Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and USA lead about 65 countries producing some turkey meat. The Thanksgiving Day (November 28) dinner in America also prominently features turkey (perhaps even more than this holiday season) but not so much in Canada with their Thanksgiving October 14 (USA’s Columbus Day) while it is Canada’s key protein on December 25. In any event it is an expanding year-end market. The low price of frozen birds in supermarkets is a big attraction but favourite portions are becoming increasingly popular year round with breasts, thighs, legs, deli slices and even ground turkey all in demand. The web is full of recipes for how best to prepare and cook your whole turkey – and tips for the varied stuffing or dressing. We prefer the Julia Child deconstructed method for best cooking results and then re-assembled for the table. Do you have one version to share? What about your cranberry accompaniment? Boxing Day and following are the leftovers time to shine with some actually preferring turkey sandwiches to the warm cooked bird itself. Trendy is to make a hearty tasty homemade soup with the whole carcass, leftover stuffing, cranberries, vegetables and everything else plus water or stock all dumped into one big pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for at least an hour (longer tastes even more intense). Take the turkey meat easily away from the bones for adding back to the soup later on and then strain everything left discarding the now well cooked bones, skin, vegetables (maybe those now overcooked Brussels sprouts), stuffing etc. Enjoy!


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Ask Sid: Suggested Wine Treat Or Tradition For the Holiday Season?

December 18th, 2019
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Question: What about a special wine treat for the holidays?

Answer: So many choices. Not going to give you a limited product list. A special treat is to create or continue your own holiday wine traditions. Some personal ideas we use include starting main holiday meals with some festive bubbles. We go for one of our favourite Champagnes which really works well (including the celebration for the arrival of the New Year) but there are now lots of less expensive sparkling alternatives. More of an issue is what glass are you going to use? Consider the possibilities of using as an aperitif throughout this time an alternate choice from among those sweeter wines that have been gathering dust in your storage space – Riesling, Sauternes, Aussie “stickies”, Icewine from Canada, Vin Santo, South Africa Chenin Blanc late harvest and many more. We usually stick to Burgundy serving both white (chardonnay) and red (pinot noir) with the big bird and diverse meal accoutrements but make your own choice. We also like to open a bottle to salute the progress of our local BC wine industry – usually opting for a top pinot noir. Consider doing the same toasting one of your local wine hero producers. Where there is often more time available for family and close friends to spend together it is appropriate to look forward to a traditional digestif. We open and decant a bottle of vintage port (fortunate to have old bottles of fantastic 1966 from both Fonseca & Graham) and provide a small pour of it in a bigger glass to savour and linger over. If there is any left we pour it into a smaller bottle that should keep OK in the frig over the next few days. A safer probably better choice might be a tawny port – say 20 year, older Madeira or the like. Some might prefer a stronger Brandy (Cognac or Armagnac) or fruit styled Eaux de vie. Find what you enjoy. Have fun and cherish your own holiday tradition wine treats!


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