Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Buying Wines in a Grocery Store

When it comes to buying wines in British Columbia where I live my wife and I never think about buying our wines at the Grocery store. It has happened but its a rare occasion.

I do like the idea. We have done it quite often in the USA. In fact that when we "think " about buying wines in us we look at Costco or Fred Meyers.

Back home we are more likely to buy our wines directly from the winery. I love visiting our local wineries. Great hospitality great wines.

In British Columbia, only a handful of grocery stores have obtained a license. Most obtained their licence by buying one from the now-defunct VQA stores. The store is restricted to selling only wines produced in BC and VQA certified.  Not all provincial wineries are willing to pay the fees required to get VQA certification, but that is another story

When it comes to our local grocery stores I am more of the observer than a buyer.   Although it is not a grocery store I often browse through the wines at various independent liquor stores such as Everything Wine. Here the number one observation is that most people are buying the lower priced wines from Europe. New Zealand or Chile.  Very few people venture into the BC wine section.

I also wander through the grocery store wine shelves, sometimes doing a tasting. Here too I like to observe what people are purchasing.

On a recent visit, a woman went up to a display sign pushed it aside and reached down to the very bottom corner to obtain two bottles of her desired wine. She knew exactly where the wine she wanted was stored. Funny the wine was a major producer  Inniskillin. My first thought was how did such a major brand get such a poor shelf location.

My observations told me that most people know what wine they want and where it is located.  Although you can find two to three people working the wine section they seldom offer assistance or even acknowledge the customer.

I also observed the wine tasting table often has no one there to pour the wine.   What!! Why!!

As for the staffs' knowledge of wine and ability to help  I give the grocery stores a D

What the grocery story offers is convenience. You're there to buy groceries first wine second.
My wife belongs to the Red Hats,  this club requires you bring flowers for the birthday events So if we are short wine at home my wife buys the flowers and purchases wine for the event at the grocery store.

Here where I some times it annoyed. They have to call someone to wrap the flowers and may have to call some someone who is illegal able to ring in the wine.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pizza and Wine

One of the many joys of visiting a winery is the opportunity to sit and relax on the patio enjoying a magnificent view. To enhance this experience many wineries are adding pizza to menu for your enjoyment. In fact, it may be the only food item they provide. To enhance once again the experience many wineries have built a wood burning pizza oven.

To be honest, if I was in a Pizza restaurant I would not have wine. Rather a simple glass of water or milk does the trick for me.

There are numerous options for your wine selection. There are so many various topping available. Sarah is a great choice for cheese lovers. Cabernet Franc for pepperoni. However, let us remember the wineries usual produce more fancier complex toppings.

Margherita is a popular pizza. A dry Rose works for me as does Bacchus.  Hawaiian is my favourite and with it, I like an Ortega or Bacchus. A riesling also satisfies.  For those who like wines  a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Merlot to handle the meat.

By offering the patio experience along with Pizza the winery is now a family destination!

No matter what pizza you choose and what wine you select just relax and  enjoy

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Wine made from the White Birch Tree

There are those that challenge nature and produce exciting new products for us to drink or eat. One such product is wine made from the sap of the White Birch Tree.

Betula papyrifera paper birch also known as canoe birch is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named for the tree's thin white bark, which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes and is an important species for browsing. The wood is often used for pulpwood and firewood.
You can drink the sap! Especially if it is served as an alcoholic beverage, wine.

David Hassan, a Scotsman in the region of Härjedalen in northern Sweden had an idea that he would make the world’s most ecological alcoholic beverage. The result is an aperitif called Björk, which is Swedish for birch (Sweden is filled with these white trees). David has about 400 of them on his land.

To produce Björk, he collects the sap and heats it over an open fire using logs from his own forest. He adds yeast and the fermentation takes a few weeks. The product ages in demijohns in a root cellar for one year before it is bottled. The alcoholic content is 22%.

It smells of sweet apricots and the taste is definitely exciting and different. It is slightly sweet, a bit perfumed and floral. The aftertaste is quite dry with a small but distinctive tone of forest (if one can say so, it is certainly something that makes it feel different from a “regular” wine). Björk is already served in many Swedish restaurants.

In Newfoundland, Craig Lewis has started a Birch Sap winery called SapWorld. Located in Fleur de Lys on the islands northern edge. The small community has a population of about 250. Craig named his wine "Lady of the Woods"