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Tag Archives: Riesling

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!


Gastropost Mission: Peaches

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I recently joined the National Post‘s Gastropost, a weekly foodie mission.  Everyone posts to the Gastropost tumblr their submissions, and the Post publishes selected ones each week.  This week I was one of them! Check it out here.  Because I joined late, I have only completed three missions (frozen treats, rhubarb, and last week’s peaches).  You can see my Gastropost submissions as I also have tumblr for  An Up Town Gal just for Gastroposting.

I decided to share this week’s mission because, even though I am currently packing for my move this week, I really wanted to make more jam.  I had lots of cherries and limes, and thought that the flavours would play nicely together.  Add in some vanilla bean, peaches and use some Riesling and you have jam!

I based my version off of this one from The Purple Foodie.  I did find that it took longer than the 40-50 minutes to cook and that it was still pretty runny when it went into the jars (it made 2 1/2 pints with a small dish left over). It also did not thicken as the recipe said as it cooled, maybe because of the Riesling?  No problem! It will be great as an ice cream topping instead.  I did try it on some bread and it was so flavourful.  All the flavours but the lime really came through, and the fruit had absorbed the Riesling nicely.


**I substituted 1/2 of the cup of water with Riesling.  I also thought of macerating the fruit with Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or Bourbon.

Next week’s Gastopost is “Summer Flavours Revisted”.  Tough!


LLL Secret: Lailey Winemaker

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Joel and Trish’s second installment of Living Loving Local happened on Sunday, May  15th at Swirl Wine bar.  WineGuyTo and I love Lailey Vineyard, so we were definitely attending!  The event was listed as  “an intimate evening with a winemaker. The first of the series will feature the wines of Lailey Vineyards, and we will spend some time with winemaker Derek Barnett, and our hostess for the evening Jeanan Currie. Derek will take us through a tasting of 6 of his wines, and we will learn and snack while taking in the beautiful space that is Swirl Winebar in Leslieville. Food pairings will be provided, courtesy of Swirls chef Joan Olsen.” Well weren’t we surprised when Derek laughed and said he had brought 10 wines!

Some of the wines we sampled, on the bar.

But first, Swirl Winebar.  Tucked away on the second floor in the Queen East and Carlaw part of Leslieville, Swirl is almost missable.  But once inside, the antique and quirky decoration, along with the family style tables make it homey and appealing.  They have themed nights for the whole week, with drink specials.  A copy of their events can be found here, I think we might be down for some game nights or Mad Men Wednesdays this summer.  The owner explained the concept of the bar to us and then introduced their Chef Joan.  All the food is ‘container food’, meaning that without a full kitchen, everything can be assembled/made from brought in containers.  Items are sourced from area shops, such as the Leslieville Cheese market, so very local! We had 3 plates presented to us and they were great! The Saint Honore triple cream cheese was almost liquid, we dipped our fingers in!  It was presented with Niagara Gold, rhubarb and ginger chutney, cherry chutney with mustard seeds and chicken liver pâté.

Charcuterie plate

Charcuterie plate

Cheese, bread and chutney plate

Bread plate







Derek, Lailey’s Winemaker, took us through the history of the vineyard and its owners as we sipped on some lovely whites.  It was a very relaxed evening with him taking questions throughout.


2010 Riesling


2008 and 2009 Chardonnay







So about these whites: I found the Vidal to be not overly sweet, much less than an icewine.  It was smooth with a silky taste, with tart acidity at the end with crisp flavours. The 2010 Riesling had (to me) a wet laundry smell.  Someone else at the table said stinky feet.  It wasn’t sweet at all, but art, floral and light. The Sauvignon Blanc (not pictured) had intense sweet fruit on the nose, was sharp in the mouth and crisp but not that sweet.  The 2 chardonnays were very different.  The 2008 was barrel fermented with the 2009 is from old vines (1978).  We were told to warm it in our hands and not serve it too cold.  Both were more aromatic when warmed.  The first was more mineral on the nose and acidic in the mouth.  The second smelled more mature, much more refined.  It had a smoother taster with a sharp middle.

Pinots: Brickyard and Old Vines

On to the reds!  Two Pinot Noirs: Brickyard 2008 and Old Vines 2009.  The 08 had a candy smell faintly on the nose, with earthy, typical pinot nose.  Gorgeous raspberry colour with a sharp, (almost vinegar sharp) taste, with big acidity right off the start, but drops off in the mouth.  It was much softer that the 09 which had a smoky nose and was much sharper and tarter. I found it much cleaner and dry taste.  The Syrah 2008 had an immediate campfire smoky smell, topped with lots of pepper.  An almost smoked meat flavour in the mouth, also spice, ripeness and somewhat sharp on the finish.  Best quote of the night came from this wine “This is just sexy!”.  Next was the 07 Meritage, a Bordeaux blend.  It had a clean smell, like after the rain.  Much shaper when drank after the chocolate disks.  I found it tart but light.  Our last wine of the evening was the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It too was light yet sharp, but in a different way.  It also matched well with the chocolate (what red wine doesn’t? 🙂 )


Thanks to Joel and Trish for organizing the event, Swirl for hosting and Derek for the wonderful tasting.  A great evening!

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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