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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sawdust? really...

I picked up a different whiskey today. I bought a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon. I like to read up on what some reviewers say about the whiskey and then compare it with my own tastes. I always like a smooth whiskey, but the "tasting notes" on one website told me to expect some interesting flavours. Things like caramel, honey, vanilla... even a touch of cinnamon. There might even be the faintest whiff of nutmeg. Okay, fine, I can close my eyes and almost taste those flavours. By the way, Wild Turkey smells very nice ... like opening the wrapper on a Kraft caramel candy. But the thing that really confused me and threw me off was what one taster suggested ... Sawdust! Nope, sorry I just can't figure that taste. But for the record, this is a very nice bourbon ... as they say in Kentucky, it's a sippin' whiskey.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy solstice

Warm weather is here for awhile in Timmins. I like it... well, not always. I find it hard to sleep when the temp is higher than 22. Today is summer solstice and national Aboriginal Day. It has been a good day. I was out at a sunrise ceremony with the local Aboriginals at 5:00 a.m. and it was nice, but I had very little idea of what was going on... but it appeared quite spiritual. It got me thinking about my own upbringing with the nuns and how they would teach us there were two types of people in the world, Catholics and non-Catholics. I bet if those Catholic nuns had acted more like Christians, we wouldn't have had all those abuses in residential schools. Anyway, it was a good day in another way. Ontario's new premier Kathleen Wynne dropped in to visit Timmins. I met her and she impressed me. I don't agree with all her politics, but personally, I like her style. Today was also Day Two for a little change for myself. I purchased a new bike yesterday... and I am enjoying it. I went to a hard ride last night, one hour, and I sure felt the pain this morning. I went for a ride tonight and it was easier. I went to the liquor store, so I think I was more motivated. Anyway, what I like so far is the style of the bike... It's an Opus Urbanista, sort of a retro European look. It sure is not a mountain bike. I am more for cruising the local streets and parks. I am not going to fling myself through the local bush trails. But I like the fact that I am now more motivated to exercise. Also, it has a lifetime warranty and lifetime maintenance. I was inspired by the fact that Jenn bought a bike for Scott for Father's Day. Also, this was Bike To Work week in Timmins. I was downtown this week snapping photos of the mayor riding to work. A local bike shop had a nice display set up, and I liked the look of this book, so I bought it. I already have my new helmet and tomorrow I am gonna get a little ringy-dingy bell!Here is a link to a YouTube video of a guy talking about the bike.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I stole this!

It's a wine list by an expert who was on CBC Radio last week. It is a list of the best wines available at the LCBO for LESS THAN TEN DOLLARS! Enjoy.
1. Aveleda Vinho Verde Fonte 2012 ($8.95, score 88+) is a blended wine from northeastern Portugal. It’s pale green-tinged straw coloured with a gentle fizz. It sports acacia flower, rich ripe tangerine, mango and peach fruit aromas and is sweetly green, very slightly off-dry, and mildly fizzy on the palate with very tasty citrus pith flavours. The rich and fresh mouthful lingers with a gently tangy long finish. It would work chilled as an aperitif, with fish, or poured over fresh melon balls.
2. Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2012, Colchagua, Chile ($9.95, score 89) is a pale straw gold wine with attractive ripe lemon pulp, apricot and peach fruit and sweet spicy and vanilla aromas. It’s is bone dry with a refreshing bitterness through creamy crisp lemon pulp through a rich lemon curd finish. It would be a yummy snappy companion to roast fowl.
3. Torrontes La Puerta Vineyard, Estate Grown and Bottled 2012 ($7.95, score 89+) demonstrates nicely what this Argentinian varietal can do. Straw coloured, the wine flaunts intensely mouthwatering sweet ripe lychee fruit aromas with elegant mineral notes. It’s creamy and ripely fruited with lemon and grapefruit, joined by snappy citrus pith on the palate. The long grapefruit-lemon pith bitter note hangs on through a long persistence. This white would stand up to sausages or grilled seafood.
4. Fonseca Periquita Original 2010, Vinho Regional Peninsula de Setubal ($7.95, score 90) is the current vintage of a perennial Portuguese favourite. A lovely black cherry-ruby colour, it’s sweetly spicy and ripe with focused cherry fruit and fills your head with vanilla/balsamic notes. Soft in the mouth with bitter grippy pillowy tannins, it’s long, mouth-watering, and refreshingly astringent. This wine would show well with barbecued red or white meat.
5. Sogrape Grao Vasco Dao 2009 ($7.95, score 88+) is a garnet wine with very attractive rich ripe focused huckleberry and loganberry fruit with earthy and volatile flavour notes. It’s elegant and deep in the mouth with bitter red cherry fruit, grippy velvet tannins and fresh acidity for good definition, and a pretty strong finish. This wine would stand up to all kinds of fare and spoil none of them.
6. Beso De Vino Seleccion Do Cariñena 2011 ($9.95, score 89+) is a Syrah/Garnacha blend from this region in northeastern Spain is a very deep and dark black cherry/ruby coloured wine with a sweet enchanting very Spanish nose. Ripe dried and sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit are framed in dusty new-sawn plank and sweet spice elements. It’s got grippy gritty ripe tannins and fresh acidity through a long fruit and tannin finish. You’ll enjoy this with roast lamb or a beef rib roast.
7. Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena 2011 ($8.95, score 90-) is another winner from the Cariñena region. Medium deep dark purple, it exudes raspberry and blackberry and blueberry pie aromas. It’s rich and ripe, very dry and built around mixed black berry pie filling fruit, fresh and buttoned down, with a long deeply tannic well-fruited finish. Think those roast quadrupeds and add your richer birds—or even a nice burger or pizza!
8. Luccarelli Primitivo Puglia IGT 2012 ($9.95, score 89+) can be seen as a poor-man’s Zin with a southern Italian accent. (It’s one of the “go to” wines in Bobby Panchu’s cellar.) Medium deep dark purple, the show starts with rich ripe mixed red berry fruit with a subtle Zinnish metallic mineral note. Fresh mouth-watering acidity and astringent fine rich ripe tannins carry the fresh and preserved fruit flavours along for a good while. This wine will elevate and enrich burgers as if it was
9. Argeato Bonarda 2012 Mendoza ($9.95, score 89). Bonarda is sometimes blended with Barbera in Piedmont. In this Argentinian incarnation it performs solo with vital focused but ultimately weird black cherry and sweet spicy aromas and flavours which become deep, rich and ripe on the palate. It’s a velvety grippy wine with fresh acidity. This would be a fine base wine for a summer sangria.
10. Caliterra Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown 2011 ($9.95, score 90) is made from fruit grown on a single estate in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. It’s an opaque red with powerful and luscious blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry fruit dressed up in intense sweet spice, vanilla, clove, nutmeg and allspice notes dancing with buttery toasty smoky notes. It makes for a grippy velvety mouthful with oak-inflected rich ripe deep mixed black berry fruit. Fresh acidity keeps it aloft through a long well-fruited smoky spicy oak finish Try this with any roasted meat or game, sausages, or even Buffalo wings. It was made to please.
11. Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec 2011 ($9.95, score 90). It made me blush to assign a 90-point score to a Fuzion, but honesty is more important than pride in the wine writing business. This “reserve” bottling from Argentina’s home-run-hitting winery originated in the Mendoza Valley and comes to us as an opaque purple wine with very vibrant mixed black berry fruits and nice earthy dusty notes. It’s soft but grippy, with balanced acidity to carry the very deep rich ripe fruit through a long grippy ripe finish.
12. Deakin Estate Shiraz 2012 ($9.95, score 90+) came from Victoria in Australia and trumpets its origin with everything from its deep dark purpleness through aromas of rich ripe blackberry and dark cherry fruit, sweet spices and wood violet notes with a hint of smoke. It’s plush on the palate with pillowy tannins and fresh acidity to structure all that black berry fruit with a buttery note emerging on the finish. This will dance divinely with anything that isn’t white, delicate or subtle.