Thursday, October 24, 2019

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.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

 Charcuterie Boards
What beats visiting a winery and enjoy a tasting. The answer is relaxing on their patio with a cheese plate or Charcuterie Board along with a glass of wine or two.

Charcuterie is a branch of cooking involving prepared meats, such as ham, sausage, bacon, confit, or other pork products. The word originated in France, and it translates to "pork-butcher shop." While the original French translation refers to pork, modern Charcuterie boards can include other types of food, such as duck, goose, chicken, cheese, toast, fruit, or other options.

In French, the person that prepares the meat is called a Charcuterie. Additionally, the English pronunciation of Charcuterie varies slightly from the original French. The correct French pronunciation of Charcuterie is "shar-coo-tree."

Although the pure definition of a Charcuterie Board is enhanced by many wineries providing a board combining meat, cheese and other delightful items. Crackers or bread is often the main addition to the board, Olives and fruit are often added as well.

The Key to me is the wine. What is the best wine to have with the Charcuterie Board? I suggest you simply order your favourite wine. Another suggest would be (if offered by the winery) try a flight. A wine flight is a group of wines for you to taste.

Some of the best Charcuterie Board that I have experienced last summer would be Backyard Vineyards, Seaside Pear Farmgate Winery and Blackwood lane. Recommended vinAmite in Oliver. Okanagan Crush Pad in Peachland, Cedar Creek, Kelowna and Upper Bench, Naramata.

In Ontario, Ravine Vineyard Estate comes highly recommended. Between the Lines and Hidden Bench also have excellent boards.

In Nova Scotia, you must stop in at Jost Vineyards and Domaine de Grand Pre. In NS try the Tidal Bay wines.

Of course, you can always have your own wine party.

See our visit to Seaside Pearl and 40 Knots

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Who drinks Champagne!

In my world as small as it may be very few people drink Champagne. In fact, most people do not realize we have an international agreement with France that only sparkling wines produced in the champagne application region of France are entitled to label their product Champagne.

So perhaps the question is who drinks Sparkling wine. Once again in my world very few do.  Champagne is known around the world as an indulgence and expensive luxury.  You can buy cheap sparkling wines but if you want really good Champagne you have to pay for it.

In my world, I am more often served a Mimosa. Mimosa is a mixture of sparkling wine ( Champagne if you have it)  and Orange juice. It is best to use a dry wine.

In Canada, we have a number of wineries that specialize in Sparkling wines. Nova Scotia seems to be perfect for producing the right grapes. Benjamin Bridge has distinguished itself as one of Canada's top producers of sparkling wine and built a national following for its critically-acclaimed Nova 7, which has helped raise the profile of Nova Scotia's wine industry within Canada and abroad.

L'Acadie  Winery owned by Bruce and Pauline Ewert is another top producer of sparkling wines in Nova Scotia. Bruce and Pauline grow primarily L’Acadie Blanc grapes and craft them into a premium, traditionally bottle-fermented sparkling wines and still wines.

The award for Best Sparkling wine at the All Canadians went to Two Sisters Vineyards of Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario for their Blanc de Franc.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, BC is a well known and respect producer of Sparkling wines.

Canada has come along way in its product of Sparkling. Devote winemakers are producing wines that are considered to be just as good or perhaps even better than those coming from France.

The Bubbles in sparkling wine ( and soft drinks) comes from  Carbon Dioxide gas. It is this effervescence that I do not enjoy.  I even let my ginger ale fizzle out before drinking it.

Just one more note here when you watch the World Series and see the winning team celebrate in the locker room chances are its a cheap sparkling wine that gets spread around the room.

Remember Sparkling wine can be opened safely without sending a cork fly across the room. You may have noticed today that championship winners celebrate their Champagne ritual by first wearing safety glasses.  Thus another reason I do not care for sparkling wines I hate opening the bottle. So many of our friends say to me your the wine guy please open.... Thankfully most do not drink Champagne.