Ca Va Bistro Moderne

February 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

One of the best things for a marriage is regular date nights. I must admit that we haven’t had date nights as frequently as we used to but we make a point of it when it comes to significant moments.

Recently it was the 20th anniversary or our first date and we wanted to dine at a place that was intimate, romantic but new to us. We asked around and Ca Va Bistro Moderne in Fernwood seemed to fit the bill.

We arrived for our reservations and I immediately knew we made the right choice. Directly across the piazza from the Belfry Theatre a simple door in a simple brick and stone building, greets hungry wanderers.

The room is about 25ft across and 100 ft deep, just enough for about 30-40 seats. If we didn’t know we were in Fernwood, we could easily have been in a bistro in Avignon, Greenwich Village, Notting Hill or Gastown.

Our seats were at the front window and the lighting was soft, warm and somewhat low but enough to see the menu and the food in front of us.

The cuisine is french inspired and the wine list is a blend of BC and international selections with a decent helping of French options.Duck Confit Ca Va Bistro Moderne

My bride had the duck liver paté to start and the lamb sirloin for her main. I started with the Gruyere Soufflé and then the Duck Confit as the main (a total no brainer as I love love love Duck Confit).

The food was absolutely fantastic and we loved every morsel of it. Chef Fauna Martin makes her own duck confit and it was unbelievably good (I’m salivating as I write this). She also makes her own duck liver paté that was as smooth as like butter.

Romaine Duvernay Crozes HermitageFor wine, as I know you want to know, I selected the Romaine Duvernay 2010 Crozes-Hermitage and man was it fantastic. Dark in the glass, earthy and savoury spices, dark fruit and hints of cured meats. Classic Crozes Hermitage as it has such a fresh face (bright acidity) with a brooding soul.

After a well timed meal we sank into some dessert. It is impossible for me to resist Creme Brulée so I ordered the Pedro Ximenez Creme Brulée while Ange had the Twice Baked Rhubarb Soufflé. Heavenly!!

The ambience was perfect, food was outstanding, the wine brilliant, and the company, of course routinely enriches my soul, but I know what you are asking, what about the pricing? Very reasonable. Certainly a might higher than concept restaurants but truly over delivered for the price. I would definitely go back.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked.

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Tormaresca 2013 Trentangeli

February 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Tormaresca TrentangeliI was feeling like I was on top of the world. The sun was out, the kids were happy, business was positive and I wanted something that had some depth, substance and a strong sense of destiny. As I was strolling the Italian section I saw the Tormaresca Trentangeli. I have had and enjoyed the Tormaresca Neprica ($14-$16 private stores only) on a number of occasions and loved it, so I thought I would put on my wings of exploration and take on the Trentangeli.

Price ~ $18

Score ~ 8.2/10 Way Over Delivers

The Neprica is a blend of Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Primitivo, whereas the Trentangeli is a blend of Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and the difference is striking.

Trentangeli and Neprica share a well balanced nature with a vibrant heart, but this is where any similarities end. Trentangeli is dark, deep, substantive with a well defined body. As I was filled confidence and feeling bold this was the perfect wine for me.

Black in the glass with aromas of blackberry, ripe plum, black currant/cassis, savoury spices, hints of smoked meat. The palate shows depth, structure and some muscle, the kind of muscle that suggests that any challenge is welcome.

My mood called for a meal that would stick to my ribs. Something like steak, a hearty pasta, cheesy dishes, roast Pork or pork chops. In my case we had a grilled steak and it was fantastico!

Oh and here is a bonus – the grapes for this wine are organically grown.

Grapes ~ Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah

Store Section ~ Italy

Availability ~ both private and government stores.

When you head out looking for this wine, please let the store know who sent you.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked.

Castillo de Monseran 2014 Garnacha

February 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

Castillo de Monseran GarnachaGrenache, or Garnacha, is a grape on the rise and that is good news for those seeking great wines but don’t want to sell the farm to do so.

Most famously Grenache is a key to Chateauneuf du Pape, but it is also the main grape in regions of Spain such as Calatayud and Carinena, and these are where some of the greatest buys are hailing from.

Garnacha is a late ripening grape that requires a lot of heat to reach its full potential, hence you will only find a few expressions grown in the very southern reaches of the Okanagan in BC.

Garnacha is truly a crowd pleaser grape. Dark juicy fruits of raspberry, plum and blackberry, low in tannin meaning very little pucker. The only challenge is keeping the acidity up in order to insure a balanced wine.

Crowd Pleaser is definitely the phrase I would use for the Castillo de Monseran. Dark juicy fruit, very soft and brilliant with casseroles, Mac N Cheese or Pizza.

Price ~ $8.99

Score ~ 7.3/10 Over Delivers

This wine scores high on the value meter and would have scored higher is there is a little more depth to it. Having said that as soon as I paired it with food it was brilliant.

If you haven’t added Garnacha to your repertoire of wines, this is a great one to start with and it won’t set you back an arm and a leg.

Grapes ~ 100% Garnacha

Store Section ~ Spain

Availability ~ available in both private and public stores.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Three Winds 2009 Grenache

February 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

Three Winds GrenacheThis is a rare find (bottom shelf Everything Wine French Section). I say this with the power of hindsight as I hadn’t noticed the vintage on the bottle until after I got home and when I went looking for where it is available, I found bubkus.

It seems that a few years back it received lots of attention from the press and broad distribution in both government and private stores. However, as far as I can tell, I may have gotten one of the last bottles available in the market. I’m counting my lucky stars.

Price ~ $14

Score ~ 7.7/10 Over Delivers

The wine opens with juicy ripe raspberry, plum and blueberry fruits on the backdrop of earthy spice and licorice. Very hedonistic. The palate is soft and without angles, but still maintaining freshness despite it being 7 years old. The finish is loaded with ripe fruits, spice and is silky.

Wines at this price point are rarely this fresh after 4 years let alone 7. Typically these wines are meant for early consumption and thus this was a rare treat. I would have scored it higher if it was more widely available.

Grapes ~ 100% Grenache

Store Section ~ France

Availability ~ Everything Wine

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Santa Cristina 2014 Pinot Grigio

February 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Santa Cristina Pinot GrigioThere was a time when I craved Pinot Grigio. I loved it citrus, mineral flavouring and the freshness with which it greeted my palate. Then came along a tsunami of Pinot Grigio’s trying capitalize on the grapes global popularity and I quickly lost interest.

A couple of week’s ago I was tasting a number of wines to pair with the cheeses that we have in the fridge. I tasted the next glass and recognized it as a classic Pinot Grigio and wouldn’t you know it, it comes from Italy.

The Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio is a true delight that over delivers for the price.

Price ~ $14.99

Score ~ 7.2/10 Over Delivers

Aromas of citrus, melon and ripe pear that are matched on the palate with some lovely minerality near and through the finish.

Chill this wine, but if it comes out of the fridge with some condensation, let if warm up a bit for best results.

I had this with some Gouda, Swiss, Parmesan and Saint André (it was on sale), and the Santa Cristina worked beautifully with the Saint André as well as the Parmesan (I’m sure there is no surprise there). I also had it with some Mac N’ Cheese, and then some chicken wings and it over delivered on both occasions.

Grapes ~ Pinot Grigio

Store Section ~ Italy

Availability ~ Both public and private stores

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Mezzomonda 2014 Negroamaro IGT

January 30, 2016 § 1 Comment

IMG_0655This is the most recent vintage of this wine, and as much as there is not a huge vintage change when it comes to the wines of Puglia, this wine shows a lot more juicy punch than did the previous vintage. For $9 you really can’t go wrong.

Price ~ $8.99

Score ~ 7.2/10 Over Delivers

I first discovered this wine after a trip to Argentina where I tasted 200+ Malbecs over a 10 day buying trip. Needless to say I was looking for something a little different but I still had the zest for the rich fruit, structure and leathery elements of Malbec. Negroamaro perfectly fit the bill. Rich and juicy like Malbec, but just different enough to be very enticing. The difference is in the spice. This wine shows black pepper and hints of rosemary instead of the leather and smoky nature of Malbec.

Grapes: 100% Negroamaro

Store Section: Italy

Availability: Both Government and Private Stores

Foods Pairing – Pasta, Burgers, Pizza, Steak

If you have had the opportunity to have tasted this wine please let me know what you thought of it.

Cheers

the Dork Uncorked

Tune in Saturday afternoons from 2 to 3pm on CFAX 1070 for the Dork Uncorked Radio Hour.

 

Grao Vasco Dao 2012

January 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

I don’t know about you but I have two realitiesGrao Vascoes in my life. One, a glass of wine with dinner is a simple enjoyment that not only makes the food taste better, but slows the day down and brings a harmony to it that just isn’t there otherwise. Second is that this is the time of year that I lament going to the mailbox. Which bill is arriving today? It is the time of the year where I come to grips with the real cost of the holiday season. To that end I revel in
the beauty of oft forgotten wines that some may call cheap,
but I call inexpensive.

The price of a wine isn’t always a good indication as to its value. Consider the impact of the plummeting Canadian dollar on the price of produce. The price of tomatoes has skyrocketed in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the tomato has increased.

One of the great shelters of world wine value is Portugal. Often over shadowed by Spain, France and Italy, this little country on the Western side of the Iberian peninsula offers some killer wines for under $10. Grao Vasco Dao 2012 is just one of those wines.

Price ~ $8.79

Score ~ 7.6/10 Over Delivers

A blend of classic Portuguese grapes (Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrochiero), this wine is easy going and is simple, but simple in the best way, like how clarity of mind makes things simple. It has good fruit, is well balance and offers decent structure making it ideal for chicken, pasta, even steak or a roast of beef.

My favourite part is the velvety texture combined with dried and fresh fruit flavours while having just a kiss of rustic reality. I know this sounds odd, but it is like leaving the city for the cabin on the lake and how the cabin on the lake has its own rustic beauty.

Store Section: Portugal

Availability: Market Wide

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

Tune into the Dork UnCorked Radio hour every Saturday afternoon at 2pm on CFAX 1070 in Victoria or streaming worldwide.

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