Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Dinner

When I was a child we would visit my grandparents every Sunday and be treated to a wonderful roast beef dinner.  In those days, my beverage of choice was milk today, of course, it is often a Canadian red wine.

Sitting down to a Sunday dinner as elaborate as my Grandmothers is rare, even rarer is Yorkshire Pudding, but I can always hope that may change once my wife reads this blog.

A simple recipe for Yorkshire Pudding;

In a blender or bowl combine 4 large eggs, 1 ½ cups whole milk, 1 ¼ cups flour, and  ½ tsp coarse salt. Blend well and place in the refrigerator until ready to use (allow to rest for at least 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 425°F

Place 1 teaspoon of oil (or preferably beef drippings) into each section of a 12-hole muffin tray and put in the oven on the top shelf until very hot, almost smoking.

As soon as you take the tray from the oven, pour in the batter to three-quarters fill the tins (it should sizzle) and immediately put back into the oven.

Bake until the puddings are well risen, golden brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Note: DO NOT open the oven door until the end, you will end up with shrivelled puddings.

Now for the wines:

A full-bodied wine such as a Merlot goes well with roast beef, but any medium to full body red can be easily matched with the dinner. Roast beef is one of the easiest foods to match.

A Shiraz or a Cabernet Sauvignon would also work, the choice really, is what *you* like!

Our wine choice will be Blackwood Lane's Reference, a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Deep ruby in colour with a high-toned, savoury-spicy nose of black plums with vanilla oak and note of graphite. Medium to full-bodied, rich and full on the palate, with plum, dark chocolate and oak spice flavours; Creamy mouth-feel and ripe tannins. With any luck, I will also get Yorkshire Pudding!

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Os portos de Portugal

While attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival I took in a seminar on Portuguese wines, called Voyage of Discovery. It was an amazing journey featuring nine wines from nine different wineries.

Six of the featured wines high-end red wines the reminding were three unbelievably good Port Wines. Canada and Portugal reached an agreement, only wines produced in the Douro region of Portugal may be called Port. In Canada, we call similar produced wines, port style, fortified. Sumac Ridge calls their wine Pipe. Please see Fortified wines.

The name Port comes from the harbour town of Porto. The Douro valley is often called the Enchanted Valley, due to the beauty of its landscape. The valley is so magnificent it is a World Heritage Site.

The ports offered for tasting were very special indeed. The first was Real Companhia Velha's Carvalhas Vinhas Velhas Tino 2015. You have to taste it to believe it.

Next was a thirty-year-old Tawy form Sogrape Vinhos. Sandeman Porto Tawny. Simply unbelievable. If you're lucky enough to find this rare and special Port ist wholesale price $110.00.

And finally the Symington Family Estate Graham's, Graham's Tawny Port 40 plus years at $195.00. There are simply no words to describe this wine.

Thank you, Portugal for bringing all your amazing wines to Vancouver. I am honoured to have the pleasure of enjoying them