Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mac and  Cheese

Making a move towards to title of most "asked Question" What wines go best with Mac & Cheese.

Now I have to omit I love wine, but it has been a while since I have had Mac & Cheese. Nobody can make Mac & cheese the way my mother could.

Since the question has been asked numerous times I decide to find out the answer. Which means I had my wife order Mac & Cheese at a local restaurant along with the wine she orders at this restaurant. This would be a Jackson Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon. She enjoyed the dish along with the wine.

I was drinking a Riesling. I tasted her dish and found it pair extremely well with Riesling also from Jackson-Triggs.

In doing some research  Wine Spectator liked the earthy tones of the Pinot Noir to enhance a Mac & Cheese dish with mushrooms. Other wine folks have suggested Chardonnay, Ortega or Bacchus.

Next time we visit this restaurant I am going to have the  Mac & Cheese with a White Meritage

Monday, August 27, 2018

One vs Two

When it comes to serving alcohol there are a number of rules and regulations that must be followed. Some are very beneficial and worth enforcing, others well they do not make sense.

On Saturday my wife, friends and I attended the ball game at Nats Bailey Stadium. Beer sales are allowed in the ballpark with numerous locations to obtain your beer, along with vendors walking the stands.  The rule here says you can only purchase two beer at a time. Two been the keyword.

Now, yesterday visiting at a very busy restaurant there was a table wait. It was happy hours so I went to the bar to purchase a glass of wine for the two of us. I place my order one white and one red wine, please. The bartender shook his head and said I can't do that. I'll talk about his response in a moment.

Okay why at the ballpark I may purchase two beer but in a restaurant, I can't purchase two wines.  The bartender says he was only following the law. The law is different! That makes no sense.

The bartender I am sure has a Serving It Right licence  This is a mandatory self-study course that educates licensees, managers and servers about their legal responsibilities when serving alcohol in British Columbia.

Now I checked out this serving it right some people doing tastings at wine events have it some have never heard of it.

Getting back to the bartender. His approach was rather wrong he should have offered an apology saying the law prohibits him from serving two glasses to one person. Shaking his head! Even when I pointed to the entrance where my wife was waiting for a table he refused to provide the wine. Perhaps he forgot this part of the Serving it Right program:

an establishment must provide a pleasant service experience. Staff members are the strongest control point and the key to a good service experience, profitability and repeat business.
Responsible service is simply good customer service, and it results in happy guests returning to the establishment. Staff can help control the rate of service, monitor patron behaviour, sell profitable alternatives and create a friendly atmosphere by simply spending some time talking to customers.

I went and told my dear wife she had to come to the bar and show the bartender there were two of us.
We obtained our wine and moments later found ourselves seated at the table. Here we were ignored by the waitress having seen the wine on the table she thought the other girl had taken our order. Lol

Once the waitress was informed the service was wonderful as was the food.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Yes I love Canadian Wines! My wife and I have been shouting about them since 1992. It will be 26 years ago this Sept, that we became interested in Wines. It all began when by chance we found ourselves spending part of our honeymoon in Napa Valley.

We returned home to start a website and enjoy wines from around the world. The website was called Wines of the World. It was quite the task to list all the countries that actually produced wine. However, one thing was clear in all the wine books we could find not one mentioned Canada.

Ater deciding the task of looking at the entire world was maybe too huge of an undertaking and realizing no one was buying Canadian wines we changed our website to Wines of Canada. We purchased the Domain  Wines of Canada.com . (no ca. back then)

It was not too much longer after that I discovered a book on Canadian wineries written by Ontario author Tony Aspler.  Tony today is considered to be one of Canada's top wine authors with a well-respected reputation.

Shortly after that, I discovered a second book on Canada's wine industry this one written by author John Schreiner.  My original website was build upon the work of these two fine gentlemen.

In 1992 there was only one other website that focused on Canada's wines. It was more of a chat room. It was gone a few years later, leaving Winesofcanada.com as the only site focusing on Canada.

In 1992 and the years that followed no one else paid attention to the industry, that I was aware of. A few regional websites popped up but quickly went by the wayside. In later years bloggers came along hundreds of them. Wine columns began appearing in Newspapers.  They either focus on regional wines or imported wines. These bloggers and newspaper writers cover old world wines more than Canadian wines.

Today besides Mr Aspler and Mt Schreiner, I am perhaps the leading promoter of the Canadian wine industry. A very daunting task considering it is only a hobby to me.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The correct etiquette for serving wines 

After ordering, the waiter/sommelier will retrieve your selection and then present it, label forward, to the person who selected the wine.. This is merely to verify it is the correct wine. The cork is removed and placed on the table. Unless it is clearly tainted, (the waiter/sommelier should notice if it is) do not touch or smell it, as it means nothing.

A small amount will then be poured for the host. Swirl the wine in the glass, smell, then taste. This is to make sure the wine is not spoiled and is not an opportunity to send back a sound wine that you are not crazy about. After approval, the wine will be poured clockwise to the right, ladies first. The selector's glass will be topped last.

If the waiter/sommelier is extremely good he/she will compliment you on your selection. They will also continuously check your table adding to your glass at the appropriate moment. In higher class restaurants it's the server's responsibility to refill your glass.

Wine tasting Manners

Wine tastings are events designed to give enthusiasts the opportunity to sample a range of wines. The events can be very much like classes (seated, seminar-like events), or they can be more like parties (tasters milling around informally). Compared to a wine class, the participants at a wine tasting are more likely to have various levels of knowledge. Tastings don't come in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels — one size fits all.

Wine tastings are popular because they override the limitations of sampling wine alone, at home. How many wines can you taste on your own (unless you don't mind throwing away nine-tenths of every bottle)? How many wines are you willing to buy on your own? And how much can you learn by tasting wine in isolation — or with a friend whose expertise is no greater than yours?

At wine tastings, you can learn from your fellow tasters, as well as make new friends who share your interest in wine. Most importantly, you can taste wine in the company of some individuals who are more experienced than you, which is a real boon in training your palate.

When attending a wine tasting always be polite. Tastings can be packed with people, and if the lay out of the room is not the best, you will, without doubt, be feeling a bit like a sardine. Sharpen your elbows, taste the wine and move on. Don't linger around in front of the table unless you are deep in conversation with someone behind the table, make the conversation brief as others are waiting.

Once receiving your wine step back. I hate it when people start conversations with each other in front of the table with no regard for anyone who is behind them waiting to taste.

It is a good idea to turn your cell phone off. If you are expecting an important call them move away from the tasting area to chat. Do not monopolize the time of the people pouring if you wish to discuss business with them make an appointment.

The people doing the pouring have a difficult task of handling a number of people crowded around a small pouring table or bar. They should always greet the taster and make a suggestion on how the tasting should begin. They too must be careful not to let one person take their entire attention.

Spitting is allowed but do some in the container provided. It is also a good idea to practice at home. Swallowing isn't really necessary in order to taste the wine fully. If you leave the wine in your mouth for eight to ten seconds, you'll be able to taste it thoroughly — without having to worry about the effects of the alcohol.

Allow other tasters the chance to form their own opinions. Wait until everyone has had a chance to taste a wine before making any comments. Don't interfere with other taster's sense of smell. This means no smoking or use of highly scented products such as after-shave, perfume or scented lotions.

When attending wine tastings at a winery be prepared to purchase at least one bottle of wine.