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Tag Archives: Pinot noir

Pinot goes with everything DDTC

When you sit in traffic for double your normal commute, you look forward to Wine Wednesday.  Tonight was about leftovers (schnitzel) so we were not looking to pair anything specific.  Strangely we did not have any riesling in the wine fridge, so I went down to the cellar to find a Pinot Noir and pulled out Flat Rock’s Gravity 2009.

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At first impression, from the nose there is a slight barnyard earthiness with cherries in the background.  The colour is brick red with good clarity.  The flavours are full of ripe red fruits, a hint of tannins and good balancing acidity.  The finish is medium with the cherries and a hint of spice at the end.  And it goes well with Cadbury Mini Eggs 😉


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 😉

Must Kitchen and Wine Bar- An Ottawa Find

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@WineGuyTO and I had a wedding over the Canada Day weekend in Ottawa, so we decided to turn it into a trip.  Off we went Thursday night on an epically long (ok only around 6.5 hrs but felt longer) trek to our Nation’s Capital.  We stayed in the Market for ease of, sightseeing, ;).  Canada Day  we weren’t going to line up at dawn to catch a glimpse of the Royal Couple (though I will admit to being a Monarchist), so we went in search of brunch.  Highlander Pub right on Rideau was our first stop because it wasn’t packed yet.  It boasts of having the largest single malt collection in Ottawa, but I’ll let @ScotchGuyTO be the judge of that.  Off to meet a friend and we did end up seeing the motorcade before sitting in The Brig for the afternoon drinking beer/cider.  Dinner our first night was unspectacular, maybe because it was Canada Day, but an old haunt from University days was a disappointment.

Saturday was the wedding and it was great! Congrats Al and Nadia!

Sunday we were adventurous.  We met the sorority over brunch and then we went to National Art Gallery to check out the Caravaggio exhibit.  Our first choice for dinner, Play Food and Wine Bar, seemed to be more of a lunch place.  Our second choice, Social, was pricey (IMHO), so we went with Must Kitchen and Wine Bar, and I am glad we did.

Must is a small space on 2 floors right in the heart of the Byward Market.  Because the space is designated heritage, the kitchen was awkwardly on the first floor and dinner service on the second, but our waiter (we also think owner) was quick, attentive and knowledgable.  A tapas bar, both the wine and the food menu were diverse.    We both decided on flights of red, an appetizer, a cheese board and two mains.

The Wine Flights available

Mine was the ‘Big and Bold’ wine flight, $14 consisting of a Black River Malbec (Argentina 2010), a Kingston Estates Shiraz (Australia 2000) and a Benzinger Merlot (Sonoma 2006).

  • Malbec- lots of flavour in the smell, spice on the palate. Smooth. Described as blackberry and chocolate with red fruits, cherries and vanilla. Definitely get the cherry. I like!
  • Shiraz-cherry tomato/fresh pasta on the nose, very smooth with no after tannins. Notes: packed with plum and cracked pepper
  • Merlot- fresh nose, a little spice, apples? Get the blackberry. Notes: aromas of sweet black cherry and clove  with blackberry and chocolate.

WineGuy drank ‘Enomatics’: Château St. Jean Pinot Noir 08, Abadia Rutuerta – Tempranillo /Cab Sauv/ Merlot 08, Farmers Leap Shiraz 04 ($18).  We both loved our flights, and I will be looking for the Malbec and Shiraz in the LCBO!

Our flights

For dinner we started with the cheese board.  You could choose either 2 cheese/1 meat or 2 meat/1 cheese and up.  We went with 2 cheese/ 1 meat and got:  unripened goat cheese with herbs, old cheddar and Niagara prosciutto ($15). Next up was the chorizo meatballs -bocconcini stuffed tomato coulis ($8).  They were nice and spicy, held together well, in a tomato compote with grated cheese.

Cheese and meat board

Mussels in a tomato/bacon sauce

I then had mussels in a tomato/bacon sauce with frites, aioli and crustini, while WineGuy went for a cheese burger ($16) with doubled smoked bacon and aged cheese with fries. I wanted to slurp down the bacon tomato sauce! Nice herb, bacon and mashed tomatoes but definitely could have used 2 pieces of bread.  The fries are tempura crispy and probably the only not so great thing for me.

chorizo meatballs

Cheese and bacon burger

Verdict? Definitely will go again the next time we are in Ottawa.  Well priced, good food and a great wine list.

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.

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