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Wine Tasting: Oregon Wines

I will say again, I am fortunate that my in-laws belong to the Hunt Club here is Toronto, because they are generous enough to invite myself and WineGuyTO to the Hunt Wine Club events.  What is great about them is that PMA Canada is able to bring us wines not readily available in Canada to taste.

Two Thursdays ago, we joined them for a tasting of Oregon wines, specifically from the Sokol Blosser winery.  I couldn’t remember if I had drunk one from there before this, but I was told that they would be similar to New Zealand wines because of the climate.

Prior to dinner, we sampled a white, their Evolution and red, their Meditrina, while eating cedar plank scallops with a curry coconut sauce and duck ravioli in a cherry sauce.  The white I found to be crisp and refreshing.  The red was nothing spectacular.

Our meal began with roasted quail with an artisan brie atop organic greens and shaved apples in a cinnamon vinaigrette.  They paired it with Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Gris 2009.  The Pinot was pleasant and matched well with the salad.  We then had a duet of seared Pacific salmon with a mushroom scented risotto and maple Berkshire pork belly with caramelized sweet potato and maple reduction.  We had two reds to try, the Delinea 300 Pinot Noir 2008 and the Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2008.  We were invited to try them each with the dish matched (ie the salmon with the Delinea and the pork with the Dundee Hills) and then to switch wines and note the difference.  It was very apparent which wine was best paired with each dish.  Our table all agreed that the Dundee Hills was our favourite .  It just seemed fuller, with more body than the Delinea, which was still a very nice red.  We had a second course of rack of venison (my first time!) with local root veg in a pinot noir reduction, paired with the Estate Pinot Noir 2008.  This wine was by far the best, and it showed as it was the most expensive we were drinking that night.  A splendid end to the meal was a poached pear with folded blue cheese and white chocolate ice cream with their White Riesling Dessert wine 2009.  I am NOT a fan of ice wine; I find it overly sweet and sugary.  I found this to be true with their ice wine, though the Riesling notes were very apparent and made it more palatable.  As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the food.

The one drawback to the evening was that our host, Alex Sokol Blosser, had taken ill and was unable to join us.  His replacement found disfavour with me immediately.  She happened to be walking in a head of me and told the PMA rep to introduce her to the important people worth meeting.  Wow.  Then as she toured the room to speak to each table, she spent more time with one table of younger men (the wine dinners usually have a 50+ crowd) and when she got to our table, ignored both me and WineGuyTO to speak to his parents.  Guess she thought we didn’t know anything about wine or would enjoy talking to her.  Her mistake as  WineGuyTO has a pretty good cellar going, and we inevitably buy a minimum of a case from these dinners.  This night we bought none.


France, Kir and the crêpe

I think that I somewhat started blogging (in a very non-digital way) when I lived in France.  I was 16 and on exchange to beautiful Brittany.  In order to get my French and Spanish credits, my teachers asked me to keep a daily journal of my life in France.  This practice continues now every time I take a trip.

So as an ode to my living in France, here is a post.

I spent 3 months in Brest, Brittany and they were amazing!  My host family were great about taking me out, exploring litKir Royaletle towns and above all getting me to drink wine nightly 🙂  Now at 16 this was huge! I mean I was lucky to get a sip when my parents were being generous in front of guests, but to drink every evening and discuss it was great.  We drank mostly reds, and unfortunately I don’t remember what kinds, but most were local to Brittany and Normandy.  I also discovered my favourite drink of all: Kir Royale. *swoon*  This became the apéritif of choice when out and still is.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Batifole, a Brittany/French restaurant here in Toronto that made them! But more on this great restaurant in a different post.


Food and France are synonymous.   I indulged in cheeses I had never tasted, I ate seafood (even though I hated it previously) and daily, I ate crêpes.  With Nutella.  Daily.  Sometimes twice.  Hopefully you get that I love them 🙂yum!

What I love about crêpes is that you could buy them like bread, prepackaged in the supermarket in a multitude of varieties.  We usually had a basic variety.  My breakfast became a crêpe (or two!) prefolded in half, smeared with Nutella (and/or jam) and then rolled up.  After school, we would do the same, but heat them in the microwave to make them gooey.

Just as good was a trip to a crêperie.  I have yet to find a good crêperie here in Canada (*note there is one on Queen West that is Breton that I have yet to try).  But I must explain why.  In Brittany, a crepe is folded into a square with the ingredients inside.  In  Canada, they roll them up; not as good!  I was allowed two that evening, so I started with ham and swiss cheese and then bananas and chocolate for dessert.  H.E.A.V.E.N.

I haven’t been back to France since, but will soon!

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