February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
Craft Distilling is growing faster than blossoms are blooming on Victoria’s Cherry Trees so we thought we might bring in our Spirits Correspondent and all round Encyclopedia of all things distilled, Shawn Soole.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, you must put Ca Va Bistro Moderne on your list of places to dine in Victoria. Intimate, delicious, relaxed and all round fantastic. I raise a glass to Fauna Martin and the team at Ca Va Bistro Moderne.
I raise a second glass to Spring in Victoria. While the rest of the country continues to shovel out their driveways, we are blessed with watching the blossoms come out.
For the last shout out this week, I raise a pint to Ken Beattie, Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. As we all know Craft Brewing has grown at an amazing pace and is now an integral part of the Liquor industry in BC. Managing to aggregate new, rapidly expanding and established breweries is no small feat, but Ken has done a masterful job and we are all better for it.
“What about the Legs of a Wine?”
For years taking careful attention to notice the ‘legs’ of a wine was a part of every sommelier’s training. The legs are the glycerine droplets that run down the side of the glass after swirling a wine. They are also known Church Windows.
The idea was that the legs would tell you about the texture, body and mouthfeel of the wine. The bigger and slower the legs the heavier the wine. I no longer include a review of the legs as it seems redundant and is dependent on the quality of the detergent used to clean the glasses. To get a sense of the body, texture and mouthfeel of a wine I rely on my palate and that seems to do the trick.
Thanks for the emails and questions, please keep them coming.
Segment 2 ~ Craft Distilled Whisky
The Craft Distilling industry is growing by leaps and bounds and that means locally made whisky’s.
The challenge is finding them as it takes time and patience to create a quality whisky, they need a minimum of 3 years ageing, and to that end there are very few that are available, and most can only be gotten through the distilleries mailing list.
Here is a list of a few of the island distilleries making whisky:
In order to get some of the Whisky’s mentioned on the show follow the links below to get on the mailing list or lottery.
Segment 3 ~ Brandy & Eau de Vie
There was a lot covered in this segment so I highly recommend downloading the podcast. Here are a couple of links to producers of brandy here in BC.
Segment 4 ~ Liqueur
Liqueur made here in BC is still hard to find, but there are some stunning examples that are harbingers of what the future will bring. Below are links to some of these products.
Best Buy of the Week – Santa Cristina Campogrande Orvieto ($17)
Classic Italian white wine that is fruit forward and delicious. Brilliant with shellfish, light pastas.
the Dork UnCorked
Stay tuned as next week we get into what it means to be a Craft Distillery, Craft Vodka and the wonderful and exploding world of Craft Gin.
December 15, 2015 § Leave a comment
Dropped by to see Bruce Williams on Cafe Victoria today and we talked about gift ideas and some wine recommendations for Christmas Dinner. I have also thrown in a few bonuses that I should have mentioned on the show.
Wine Gifts By Personality
You know the feeling. Your standing in front of the wine shelf in your local liquor store, and there is too much choice. How do you decide which wine is right. Well it may sound cheesy but the label often gives you an insight as to the personality of the wine. Here are some wines that work capture certain personalities.
Lake Breeze Ehrenfelser – $18-$20 Private Stores only.
Ideal for the whimsical, optimistic ray of sunshine on the list.
Honourable Mentions: Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser – $16.99, Gehringer Brothers Ehrenfelser – $12
Wolf Blass Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz – $30
Ideal for tall dark and somewhat pensive and thoughtful.
Borsao Garnacha – $11.99
You the outgoing always engaging person, this is their wine.
Catena Malbec – $22
Perfect for the pensive yet authoritative person on your list.
Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay – $18-$20
This is for the classic beauty with gentle side.
I will be doing a complete post on this in the coming days.
If you are looking for a huge bang for the buck then look to single batch rum or brandy. Both are often overlooked but deliver huge value.
Flor de Cana 18 Year Old – $60
Comparably aged Whisky runs about $120. Obviously Rum and Whisky don’t share the same flavours, but the reason aged spirits are more valuable is that more of the spirit is given to the Angel Share the older it is. The Angel Share is the amount of the spirit that is evaporated each year. The evaporation leads to a slow maturing of the spirit, meaning and intensification of the flavour as well as the subtleties. In Scotland the Angel Share is 2-3%/year where as in rum producing nations the Angels Share is 6-8%. Imagine the refinement of an 18 year old rum.
Torres Reserva Familia Jaime – $120
Torres brandies are aged using a Solera system. A solera aging system is an ancient aging system used primarily in Spain and Portugal for Port & Sherry. Typically 5 rows of barrels are used to aged the brandy with oldest being on the bottom. When this year’s batch is to be bottled, the barrels from the bottom row are emptied and put into bottles. Then the brandies in row two barrels are used to refill row one barrels and so on until the row 5 barrels are filled with this year’s product. As you can well imagine this system of ageing produces remarkable brandies.
The Jaime is named after the founder of the Torres winery and is composed of the oldest Soleras meaning the brandy is at least 30 years old. A similarly aged Cognac, although uniquely flavoured, runs about $180/bottle.
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye – $30
Should be hitting the shelves of your local liquor store this week. But get it quickly as there is only 1500 cases for BC and demand for 5000.
The Dork UnCorked airs each Saturday between 2 and 3pm.
December 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
Episode 8 ~ Link to Podcast
Programming note: Chat about Grannies Shortbread has been postponed because of scheduling conflict with guest.
Segment 1 ~ How to become a dork & In The News
First get a degree in Political Science, then sit at a bar and be wowed with the flavour of a wine.
Dork creating wine – Black Tower Riesling ~ $10.49
New Restaurant: Fol Epi & Agrius 732 Yates Street. Second location for the artisan bakery that makes the best baguette and boule this side of Paris. Agrius is open Mon-Fri for lunch, brunch on the weekend and the only night that it is closed is Sunday. They source from local produce and meats and make their own charcuterie.
Segment 2 & 3 ~ Getting Caught Up With Shawn Soole
Iceland – Brennivin Aquavit: Aquavit is a neutral spirit infused with dill and caraway. Very common in Nordic countries, it is usually drank straight and frozen. Pair with fermented dried shark 🙂
On a flavour spectrum Brennivin Aquavit sit between Vodka and Gin.
Available in some specialty private stores.
Manchester, UK – Aperol (Italian bitters) is the sponsor of Manchester United.
Aperol Spritz is a common cocktail found in Italy. The Roman version simply mixes 1 part Aperol with 3 parts Prosecco.
Nicaragua – Flor de Cana Rum
Flor de Cana translates as Flower of the Cane.
Flor de Cana is made from hand harvested sugar cane and is aged in barrels.
Available in the market is Flor de Cana 5 Year (currently $5 off in December at $22.99)
Flor de Cana 7 Year $31.99
Flor de Cana 18 Year $59.99
Recommendation: If you are looking to give the gift of spirits this Christmas look to single batch rum as the best bang for the buck. The intensity of flavour of the 18 Year old is unmatched. Consider how much the rum has been intensified over 18 years. 18 years of Angel Share (The amount of spirit evaporated each year during aging). In Nicaragua the angel share is 6-8%, thus the spirit intensifies at a higher rate than Scotch (2-3% Angel Share). 18 Year Old Scotch is about double the price of 18 Year Old Rum.
Segment 4 ~ Brandy and Best Buy of the Week
Brandy is a favourite if mine. As for a brandy that delivers big value look for the Torres line of Brandies.
5 Year over delivers amongst entry brandies in the $20-$30 range.
Jime, top of the line at $120, is truly amazing brandy and about 1/2 the cost of a similar quality of Cognac.
Best Buy of the Week – Casa Viva Pinot Noir
Coming up next week – Pairing for Christmas fare.