September 2014

Alcohol, Sugar Levels, and the Fruit Bomb

fruit bomb

Ever since quality wine has been made in the Americas (and Australia, South Africa) certain producers have sought to carve out an identity and style for their country’s wine. While at first many took cues from famous regions in Italy and France, nowadays modern New World wine has a style all its own. (more…)

Why Are Some Wines Blends of Grapes?

wine blends grapes

For the uninitiated, or those unfamiliar with some of the thousands of grape varietals, it can be confusing when there are several of them listed on a wine bottle.

Historically, farmers had vines growing wild on their property. They did not know what different varietals they had, but they had a sense that wines turned out better and lasted longer when adding parcels of fruit in from different areas of the vineyard. Too much of one, it was too heavy and tannic. Too much of another, thin and overly acidic. But, in just the perfect proportions, the wine seemed just right. (more…)

Foie Gras and Alcohol


I have many weaknesses. I am a sucker for food and alcohol. Leave a pint of pumpkin beer in front of me, and it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Did you order the braised short ribs? I will devour the plate when you are washing your hands. Risotto for four? No, risotto for one. But, among my vices nothing is quite as strong as pâté, or king of them all foie gras. If you don’t know what this is, I’m afraid you’re on the wrong website – we can’t be friends. (more…)

Proper Wine Serving Temperature


In my experience, just about everyone that drinks wine, serves it at the wrong temperature. If you are at home, and are just looking to have a few glasses and watch a movie, that’s one thing, but if you are having a meal and want to enjoy it in the best possible way, it’s worth the time to look into serving it properly. (more…)

Fall Drinks: Calvados


Often overlooked in favour of France’s other well known spirits like Cognac, Armagnac, and Marc, Calvados is in need of a serious marketing push. Unlike its three relatives, it is made completely from apples, and is closer to other Central European fruit brandies. (more…)

Regionality: Drink and Eat From the Same Place


After covering three basic yet scientific components of food and wine pairing (weight, acid, tannin) it is time to discuss something a bit more abstract. In my book “Beyond Ramen & PBR”, there is a recipe for Prosciutto Pizza. It is a great homemade pizza recipe, and also contains several ingredients from the same area in Italy including: prosciutto, parmigiano, and balsamic vinegar. (more…)

Do Not Buy Cheap Tequila

cheap tequila

Salt shakers, limes, and a swig of juice: these are things you should never need when drinking tequila.  Years after brands like Patron and Avion have stormed the marketplace, invading shelves, pantries, and bar tops alike, many people still haven’t figured out what makes a tequila good. Thankfully, I am here to tell you what to drink and why. (more…)

Rosé Isn’t Just for Underage Girls


Rosé. Rosato. Blush. Pink wine. White Zinfandel. Sold under a number of names, rose wine continues to confuse and scare wine buyers to this very day. Armed with a little knowledge, you will be able to navigate the cotton candy coloured bottles at your liquor store and pick one that best suits you. (more…)