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Really reaching into the cellar this week and last

As we were going to our secure off-site storage last weekend (aka my parents’ house) I held off posting as I knew that @WineGuyTO would be picking something good to drink.  So this post is last week and this week’s bottles in one.

Last week we opened two bottles: a 2005 Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Shiraz,  and a 2000 Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois from Château Soudars.


I love the McLaren Shiraz, its one of my favourites and I’m glad there are still three more in the cellar.  It has a dark ruby colour, with a nose of peppers and dark fruits that kept developing as it opened.  The palate contained plum, pepper, chocolate and tart cherries, which balanced well with soft tannins and slight acidity.


The Haut-Médoc was something we picked up at a SAQ dépot in Hull about three years ago.  There they have discounts if you buy multiple bottles, which helped convinced @WineGuyTO to buy a case!  The colour was a deep red with almost a purple tinge.  Initials flavours were leather, chocolate and black currants.  The tannins were nicely mellowed with a balanced finish, and there was lots of sediment in the bottle.  We drank this with roast beef.

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This week we also delved deep into the cellar and opened a 1997 Pilliteri Süssreserve Vidal.  I had made chicken enchiladas which had a little spice to them, and the Vidal nicely complimented them.  There was some cork issues, it had disintegrated on the top half, but maintained integrity for the bottom half.  We did have to filter out the pieces that fell into the bottle.  The wine was a deep honey yellow with a peach tinge.  The nose was intriguing with melons being very present.  I found that the sweetness mellowed out as it opened up.



And back to red for DDTC

I know, we had two bottles of red wine last week but until it gets warmer, I am not sure how much white we will be drinking.

This week was a pairing for steak so @WineGuyTO chose a Castello Sansano Chianti Classico from 2005.  Because it had not been opened beforehand, it got poured through our Vinturi aerator.  The colour was a deep garnet red and the initial nose gave thoughts of raisins and red fruits, very pleasant. The Sangiovese grapes produced good tannins and some acidity to balance the fruits nicely.  The finish was medium and fairly pleasant.  And it seems that we still have more in the cellar!

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Making dumplings for Chinese New Year

I enjoy challenging myself and frequently will make something based off an idea or a recipe I have seen having never made it before.  This week is Chinese New Year and I thought, why not try making dumplings?  Our friends @munchkinkaty and @scotchguyto also joined in the fun, taking us into Chinatown T&T to get our ingredients (the bad driving due to snow derailed our plans somewhat).

We made four different dumplings: shrimp and scallion, pork, sweet potato and blackberry, and duck and cherry.  All dumplings were adapted from recipes found online (and listed at the end).  The great thing about dumplings is that we could freeze them to eat when we want.

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It took a while for Katy and I to (kind of) master the folding technique, it became more or less whatever we felt like in the end.  We did manage to fold each type of dumpling differently, which made them easier to identify later when cooking.


Top L-R: Pork, sweet potato with blackberry Bottom L-R: Duck with cherry, shrimp and scallion


We opened a bottle of Rosewood Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 to complement the flavours, and I think they went well together.  A favourite wine and winery of ours, the Pinot nose teases you with cherries and strawberries that are then evident on the palate.  After an hour being open, additional berries became evident, such as raspberries and black currants.  The colour shows signs of a little bit of age, as the edge is not as red as the centre.  The overall colour is more brick red than the usual pigeon blood red.




Duck – –> the green onion to duck ratio was large.  ‘Small’ bunch of green onions really should be 2-3 onions.

Pork – –> The recipe is not divided up well between the dipping sauce and the filling; this is where prepping ingredients is key.

Shrimp –

Sweet Potato – –> we doubled this and added a half pint of blackberries.  It made close to 85 dumplings.

A double bottle week for DDTC!

It helps when you have friends over, because then you can open more wine!  This week @WineGuyTO and I opened a bottle of 2007 Crianza Rioja Tempranillo from Bodegas Montecillo as our wine of the week.  We did not really pair it with anything deliberately, though it went very nicely with our Fermin Chorizo Iberico that we received in our Carnivore Club box last month.


It had a good colour, with soft fruits and raisins on the nose.  The palate also showed plum notes and had some decent tannin to balance the fruit.  There was quite a nice finish of a medium length.  We are never disappointed with this winery which is probably why we may have a few more bottles in the cellar 🙂

Our second bottle was pulled to go with our dumpling making on Saturday.  We chose a Rosewood Pinot Noir Reserve 2009.  But you will have to read about our dumpling making for more info 😉

Valentine’s means Sparkling for DDTC

This week we went out for dinner on Wine Wednesday, so our DDTC bottle had to be moved. And with Valentine’s Day this coming weekend, I thought why not drink some sparkling wine?  It was also pointed out by wordpress that my last post was my 100th! Another reason for champagne, thanks for the suggestion @munchinkinkaty!

Also with it being Valentine’s Day, I took the opportunity to bake for our work colleagues.  Pay Chen inspired me to make the cupcake below.  She demoed it on CityLine Monday and wrote it up on her blog  but I saw it on her instagram Sunday and immediately knew that was what I wanted to make.  For me, Valentine’s is equated with those hard cinnamon hearts, so I wanted to incorporate them somewhere.

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Lemon cupcakes with a raspberry middle and cream cheese icing, and cinnamon heart marshmallows with Paul Zinck Crément d’Alsace.

Tasting notes: The Crément has a wonderful sparkle and effervescent bubbles.  The palate is rewarded by the flavour of peaches and apples.  The grapes in this tasty glass of bubbles are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Cupcake recipe adapted from with the addition of the zest of one lemon and 1 tbsp of lemon juice, for the heart about 8 raspberries were incorportated.

Finally a white! Week 5 of DDTC

After a month of red wine, it was time for a change.  Also with the cold weather (22 cms of snow in one 24 hour period), I find that riesling makes me think summer, and I really wanted to pretend it is warm out.

This week, @WineGuyTO and I were also trying out a new cookbook to keep us on our healthy eating goal, The Best of Clean Eating 2 (because book 1 was not at the Chapters I went to).  We decided to make the beef stir fry, something quick and that we both enjoy.  It was fun both of us prepping together to make dinner.  The only drawback was that we found that the stir fry lacked some heat/spices that we will add the next time, and that the riesling would have complemented, but we were overall happy with the dish.

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@WineGuyTO choose a Good Earth 2009 Medium Dry Riesling to pair.  His notes are: As we love the rieslings from Good Earth, this one did not disappoint.  The initial nose gives hints of what is to come, petrol and fruits.  The colour is a pale lime yellow and the flavour just keeps going.  The sweetness is nicely balanced with sharp acidity to truly reward your mouth.  The finish is quite long and brings memories of wine country in the spring.

Is there a wine type you want us to open? Let me know!

Pizza and Pinot Night for week 4

I have a lovely person that I follow on Twitter and Instagram (@WaterLilyTO), who introduced me to pizza and pinot night. Though I love making pizza, busy nights do have us calling for delivery, though I am jealous of her drool worthy homemade pizzas.  So now because of her, when we have pizza, we automatically open a bottle of pinot.

IMG_0298Château des Charmes Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir from 2007 was chosen to compliment a jalapeño/chorizo pizza. @WineGuyTO had the following observations: The initial impressions on removing the cord were a wonderful, earthy nose, great colour already moving to a brick red.  The first sip was full of complexity, earth and dark fruits.  As it opened up (considerably), it had softened to notes of dark cherry and had a relatively long finish.  There was a surprising amount of tannins for a 7+ year old Pinot.  The second day, the tannins were much softer. As we always buy bottles in pairs, I can’t wait to revisit this wine again in another five years.


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