Search This Blog

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Event: a re-tasting of the important Bod Altanza Spanish sherries from the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada press tasting.

The Date and Time: Monday November 27, 2017  7PM to 10PM
The Event: a re-tasting of the important Spanish sherries from the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada press tasting.
The Venue: Gothic epicures
The Target Audience: me
The Availability/Catalogue: products are available by private order through Profile Wine Group.
The Quote/Background: Roberto Amillo is a major collector of Spanish wines and sherries and bottles/paper etc. He has almost 20,000 items and has opened a museum-gallery-shop in Jerez. In 2011, Amillo started Espíritus de Jerez, making his own selection from older, exceptional soleras and bottling them under the Colección Robert Amillo label. The series contains four sherries and two brandies. Everything he has done with this collection has garnered great scores in the mid-nineties (points). The packaging deserves a mention: the half-litre bottles are square, squat, and made of thick heavy glass, with colourful accents inspired by mosaic tilework. After consumption, the bottles can be used as decanters or perfume/cologne bottles. The sherries have a good track record, but are convoluted in each one's marketing. Bodegas Altanza presents them after Robert Amillo has sourced the materials (from Jerez producers) for his Espiritus de Jerez brand, which are then marketed in Ontario by Profile Wine Group who repps Altanza.
The Wines: The Roberto Amillo sherry range was tasted (four bottles) and scored –
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bodegas Altanza Colección Roberto Amillo Palo Cortado Palomino Jerez $74.95 half-litre Espíritus de Jerez: 20.5%ABV, from a solera at Bodegas Williams & Humbert. Extremely aromatic, loaded with toasted oak, walnuts (some rancio), dried fruit, leather, the usual suspects of citrus, toffee and mocha, spices of cloves. Some aging, such as an older flor nose and complexity with minerality. Nice long length in the finish for the complex of sweet spices and pastries. Good structure. My fave of the four...and actually, palo cortado is my fave sherry of all that I taste. Possibly 95 points.
 
-Bodegas Altanza Colección Roberto Amillo Oloroso Palomino Jerez $74.95 half-litre Espíritus de Jerez: 21.5%ABV, from a 30-year old 24 butt solera at Bodegas Williams & Humbert. Fragrant nose, complex dried fruit (again, dried orange peel, rancio nuts with some varnish, cedar, cinnamon. With age, higher alcohol is useful here to carry through the solera notes and a more oily feel in the mouth. As with all of these wines, there is (from aging) a tannic bitterness in the undertones that collectors will revel in. Long spicy finish. Possibly 94 points.
 
-Bodegas Altanza Coleccion Roberto Amillo Pedro Ximenez Jerez $74.95 half-litre Espiritus de Jerez: 15%ABV, sourced from Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla. Much as I love this drink for its sweetness, I feel compelled to say that my tasting palate is not as well adapted to sweet beverages. I enjoy all of them, but a little goes a long way with me. Here we have intense richness of raisins, dates, figs, mocha, anise with lots of toasted toffee. The low alcohol keeps this one in range. Persistent finish.
Suitable for chocolate fondue, pastries, foie gras, blue cheese. Possibly 91 points.
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bodegas Altanza Colección Roberto Amillo Amontillado Palomino Jerez $74.95 half-litre Espíritus de Jerez: 20%ABV, from a single barrel at Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana in Sanlucar. It is actually a Manzanilla Amontillada, especially on the nose with its brininess and some volatile acidity showing. Otherwise, dried fruit and peel of apricot and oranges mixed with some rancio of toffee and nuts. Dried oxidized aromas dominate, with tones of mushrooms, herbs, forest floor, not for the faint of heart. Slightly bitter/tannic finish. A real wine for a real collector looking to sample an older dry sherry. Possibly 89 - 90 points.
The Contact Person:  aprodhon@profilewinegroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade):  94.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Event: A tasting of Fortified Wines as developed by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada (16th annual tasting)

The Date and Time:  Monday,  November 27, 2017  3PM to 7PM
The Event: A tasting of Fortified Wines as developed by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada (16th annual tasting)
The Venue: Wine Writers' Circle of Canada's clubhouse.
The Target Audience: WWCC members exclusive. Nine members had signed up.
The Availability/Catalogue: All these fortified wines are at the LCBO or by consignment. They include ports, sherries, vermouths, and other beverages.
The Quote/Background: This was not a competition, but a tasting for writing purposes. There were some remarkable sherries here as well.
The Wines: My ratings do NOT include a ranking beyond GOOD, BETTER, and BEST.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gonzalez Byass    Tio Pepe Extra Dry Fino    $17.95 +231829 Xeres    Palomino    15%ABV   
-Bodegas Altanza    Coleccion Roberto Amillo Palo Cortado 500 mL $74.95 Jerez    Palomino    20.50%    Profile Wine Group
-Bodegas Altanza    Coleccion Roberto Amillo Oloroso    500mL     $74.95    DO Jerez    Palomino    21.50%    Profile Wine Group
-Bodegas Alvear    Pedro Ximenez de Anada    375ml 2014    $24.95 +499152    Montilla Moriles    PX    19%ABV
-Bodegas Altanza    Coleccion Roberto Amillo Pedro Ximenez    500mL     $74.95     DO Jerez    Pedro Ximénez (PX) 15% Profile Wine Group
-Bodegas Alvear    Cream  $16.95    +515791    Montilla-Morilles    PX    18%ABV
-Lustau     East India Solera Cream    500 mL    $20.25    342931    Jerez        20%
-Taylor Fladgate    325th Anniversary Tawny    $46.95    +517730    Douro        20%
-Taylor Fladgate    20 Year Old Tawny    $69.95 +149047    Douro        20%
-Sandeman    20 year old Tawny        $64.95    +116178    Douro        20%
-Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro 500mL $16.95 +642173 Penedes    Moscatel Oro    15%
-Fratelli Branca    Antica Formula Vermouth    1000mL    $51.95    Consignment    Emiglia-Romania        16%   Majestic Wines and Spirits   
-Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino    NV $27.95    +461913    Piemonte    Moscato    16%
-Bodegas Altanza    Amillo Vermouth Reserva    750mL     $27.95  DO Jerez    Palomino, Pedro Ximenez (PX) 15% Profile Wine Group
-Frazzitta    Zibibbo Vino Liquoroso    NV    $16.75 +361120 Terre Siciliane IGT    16%
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Frazzitta    Malvasia Vino Liquoroso    NV    $19.80  +361088 Terre Siciliane IGT    16%
-Frazzitta    Crema alla Mandoria NV     $15.70  +361096 Marsala Fine DOP    16%
-Frazzitta    Malvasia Vino Liquoroso    NV    $19.80  +361104 Marsala Fine DOP 16%
-Karlo Estates    Gewurztraminer Fortified 500 mL 2016 $65    Prince Ed County    17%   
-Lustau     Amontillado Los Arcos    Dry    $15.55    +375097    Jerez        18.5%   
-Bodegas Altanza    Coleccion Roberto Amillo Amontillado 500mL  $74.95 DO Jerez    Palomino    20%    Profile Wine Group
-Gonzalez Byass    Alfonso Sherry Oloroso Secco    N/A    Private Order        Jerez -Vinicola Hidalgo S.A.    Hidalgo Faraon Oloroso Sherry    500 mL     $21.95 +471078    Jerez    Palomino    18%
-Sandeman    Late Bottled Vintage Port    2011    $17.15     +195974 Douro 55% Touriga Franca, 25% Tinta Roriz, 20% Touriga Nacional     20.50%ABV
-Taylor Fladgate    Late Bottled Vintage    2013    $18.15 +46946    Douro        20%
-Calem    10 Year Old Tawny        $25.25    +248542    Douro        20%   
-Taylor Fladgate    10 Year Old Tawny    $35.95    +121749    Douro        20%
-Fonseca    Vintage Port 2009        $59.95    +256875    Douro    20.5%
-Southbrook Vineyards    Whimsy: The Anniversary        $29.95 Niagara on the Lake Chardonnay 15.9%
-Fratelli Branca    Carpano Classico Rosso    1000mL $23.95    Consignment    Emiglia-Romania        16% Majestic Wines and Spirits
-Fratelli Branca    Punt E Mes    1000mL    $24.95 Consignment Emiglia-Romania    16%   
Majestic Wines and Spirits
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Fonseca    White Port    N/V    $16.95    +276816 Douro    20%
-Karlo Estates Van Alstine White 500 mL 2016 $45 Prince Ed County    Frontenac white 17.5%   
-Fonseca    Bin 27    N/V    $16.95    +325506 Douro    20%
-Sandeman    Ruby Port    $15.95     +23366    Douro    Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amareta, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão    19.50%
-Karlo Estates Van Alstine Red 500mL 2016    $39     Prince Ed County    Frontenac    18%
 
The Food: bread,  unsalted almonds and hazelnuts, olives, water
The Contact Person:  deantudor@yahoo.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 94

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for December 9, 2017.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for December 9, 2017.
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
W+527630    LA FORTESSA TABURNO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO    DOC        2016    $16.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 93
R+452136    MONTGÓ OLD VINES MONASTRELL    DOP Jumilla    Hammeken Cellars    2015    $14.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+511568    URBINA RESERVA ESPECIAL    DOCa Rioja    Bodegas Benito Urbina    2001    $36.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 94
R+356220    TOMMASI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOCG        2013    $49.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
W+26682    BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley        2015    $59.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
W+677450    DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2016    $26.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
W+511485    CANTINA GALLURA PIRAS VERMENTINO DI GALLURA    DOCG        2015    $15.95           13 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+300004    AMASTUOLA PRIMITIVO    IGP Puglia 2014 $16.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+394288    GÉRARD BERTRAND GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CORBIÈRES    AP        2014    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+281147    DOMAINE LES GRANDS BOIS CUVÉE LES TROIS SOEURS CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AP    Farjon Besnardeau, vigns.-récolts.    2015    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+410704    GRAN PASSIONE ROSSO    IGT Veneto    Botter    2016    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+314930    ANETO RED    DOC Douro        2011    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+523589    DAC TINTO    DO Dão    Quinta da Pellada    2014    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+273748    BORSAO TRES PICOS GARNACHA    DO Campo de Borja        2015    $19.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+336719    LUIS CAÑAS CRIANZA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $18.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+276162    SOLANERA VIÑAS VIEJAS    DO Yecla    Castaño    2015    $18.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+80234    FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $16.95    10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+86363    WILDASS RED    VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake    Stratus Vineyards    2014    $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+166298    LA POSTA PIZZELLA MALBEC    Mendoza    Laura Catena    2016    $15.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+37937    MONTES LIMITED SELECTION PINOT NOIR    Casablanca Valley    2015    $14.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+222018    SISTER'S RUN CALVARY HILL SHIRAZ  Lyndoch, Barossa, South Australia    2015    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R+66738    THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER    McLaren Vale/Padthaway, South Australia 2016 $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
 
20 over $20
=========
R+206409    CONVENTO SAN FRANCISCO    DO Ribera del Duero        2010    $20.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  91
W+522185    MAISON AMBROISE SAINT-ROMAIN    AC 2013 $44.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+299867    MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE VIEILLES VIGNES BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY    AC        2015    $22.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+518019    VALTEA ALBARIÑO DO Rías Baixas 2016    $22.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+524199    CHÂTEAU DE LANDIRAS    AC Graves 2014 $22.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+973453    FAMILLE PERRIN LES CHRISTINS VACQUEYRAS    AC        2014    $24.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+496851    ASCHERI BAROLO    DOCG        2012    $49.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+713602    GIANNI GAGLIARDO BAROLO    DOCG        2012    $54.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+418897    CASTELLO DI AMA SAN LORENZO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2013    $50.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+512384    MARCHESE ANTINORI TENUTA TIGNANELLO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2014    $42.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+3962    RICASOLI BROLIO CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG  2015 $23.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+72439    TENUTA SAN GUIDO GUIDALBERTO    IGT Toscana        2015    $59.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+672931    ALLEGRINI PALAZZO DELLA TORRE    IGT Veronese        2014    $24.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+92007    IZADI SELECCIÓN RESERVA DOCa Rioja 2012    $24.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+377770    QUAILS' GATE CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2015    $23.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+520247    VIENI PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula        2012    $29.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+962886    LA CREMA SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY    Sonoma Coast        2015    $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+343038    BURROWING OWL MERITAGE    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2014    $58.95 14.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+427500    WESTCOTT ESTATE PINOT NOIR    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment        2013    $29.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+458240    SONVIDA MALBEC    Mendoza    2013    $29.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

SOME NEW BEVERAGES RECEIVED FOR A REVIEWED TASTING NOVEMBER 2017 –

SOME NEW BEVERAGES RECEIVED FOR A REVIEWED TASTING NOVEMBER 2017  –
 
1.Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2016 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $15.95, +57349 LCBO: medium-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais [same grape variety]. Easy drinking of (sour) cherry-berry flavours with occasional nuances of spices. Carbonic maceration used for 1/3 of the wine; rest is fermented in normal classic style. Aged 8 months in older neutral oak. Best for patios or mulled wine, parties, BBQ. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. 13.4% ABV, higher than before, cork closure. A very popular wine, with 3010 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
2.Chateau des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2016 Estate VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, +413732 Vintages, $46.95 for 375 mL; +565861 Vintages, $26.95 for 200 mL: an aromatic unoaked Icewine with apricot as the defining aroma and flavour, followed by honeyed tones. Ready now, but could be aged – but then it will taste different but, in my opinion, taste better with some marmalade tones. 9.5% ABV. Perfect for gifting (the 200 mL comes in a handsome box) at that sweet point for under $30 or $50. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
3.WineryON Bodegas Demuerte 2014 Yecla Spain $23.95 Consignment Majestic Wines & Spirits:  a compelling blend of monastrell and syrah old vines, put up in some French oak for a period of time, showing value in the red fruit exposed and the oak overtones. 14.5%ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
4.WineryON Bodegas Demuerte Gold 2015 Yecla Spain $26.95 Consignment Majestic Wines & Spirits: a step up from the regular Demuerte, with old vines from monastrell and syrah grapes plus some garnacha tintorera. Put up in French oak for 14 months, and with the addition of the garnacha, has a more cherry-berry taste profile. Well worth the extra dollars. 14.5%ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
5.Cantina Valpantena Valpolicella Ripasso Torre del Falasco 2015 Veneto +642421 $17.95: the LCBO continues to release one Valpolicella Ripasso wine ever other week, just about all at the same price point of $17.95. A comparative tasting could be in order if some one were to organize it. Here one would expect fresh ripe fruit with body and structure from the ripasso technique. 13.5%ABV. Food or sip. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
6.Le Ville Di Antane Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Storia Antica 2015 Veneto $17.95 +373672: another equally good ripasso, at the same price point, but with more stuffing from the increase in alcohol (Superiore range) to 14%ABV. Body and structure dominate, perhaps the better choice with food. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
7.Amastuola Primitivo Organic 2014 Puglia +300004 $16.95: this is a preferred choice from among the basic primitivos at the LCBO simply because it is made with organic grapes. Expect that dense, over-the-top zinfandel-type flavour at an affordable price. 14%ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
8.Torres Altos Ibericos 2014 Rioja Crianza, +527291, $14.95 Vintages: Typical "wild berries and spices" of tempranillo grapes. Fermented over 16 days and then aged a year in French and US oak, some new. 13.5% ABV. Some jamminess should integrate well with the spices and tannins to eventually produce a well-developed bottle of food wine. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
9.Miguel Torres Cordillera de Los Andes Special Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo Valley, +541169 Vintages January 20 $19.95: a warmer climate wine, with 14% ABV reflected in the cherry-berry flavours with spices (including leatherish aromas). Longer finish. Aged a year in French oak (30% new). Still needs time. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
10.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Fitou 2014 $16.95 +403683 Vintages January 6: Bertrand continues to advance the Terroir series (and the Grand Terroir series) with more localized vineyards. Here it is Fitou, with its grenache and carignan grapes, vinified separately. The carignan has carbonic maceration for two weeks; the grenache is done in traditional style. Some of the wine is barrel aged for a year. Everything here seems to be concentrated in aromas and flavours, red fruit and undergrowth dominating. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
11.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Corbieres 2014 $18.95 +394288 Vintages: In this Terroir Corbieres, Bertrand uses carbonic maceration for the syrah and traditional fermentation for the grenache and mourvedre. It is an appealing Rhonish G-S-M, with the blended wine aging in wood for eight months before bottling. Very firm with some fruit on the full finish. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
12.Ferraton Pere et Fils Calendes Crozes-Hermitage 2015 $29.95 Vintages January 6: with grapes from all three of Mercurol, Beaumont-Monteux, and Larnage, this wine is very typical of modern day Crozes-Hermitage with its dark fruit blackberry-plum tones and body, opaque, some garrigue and long tannic finish. Needs time or a double decant. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
13.SonVida Malbec 2013 Mendoza $29.95 Vintages +458240: 5% cabernet sauvignon added in, plus aging in 15% new French oak for 14 months (with some US oak). Mocha tones with mild but upfront black fruit riffing off the full-body. Produced by Sonia and David, former journalists making malbec wine since 2007. Double decanting is needed to bring out the proper fruit expression. But of course the wine can be aged a decade. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
14.Eastdell Wines Cuvee Brut 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +485615 Vintages: a difficult growing season but just right for making acidic grapes comprising the blend for sparkling wines. Here, it was 55% pinot noir, 45% chardonnay, done up in traditional method style of secondary fermentation in the bottle. 11% ABV. Expect orchard fruit on the nose and palate (peach, pear, apple) and effervescent flavours emphasizing typical "Ontario" grapefruit, with some lemon and melons. Good on its own, but best with food such as aged cheese or terrines. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
15.Lakeview Cellars Vidal Icewine 2016 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +522672 $19.95 for 200 mL to Dec 31, 2017 ($2 off): 2016 was an early harvest when temps dropped to -10 and -13 Celsius. The results here are typically classic, with tonalities of orchard fruit, apricots, honeyed citrus peel, and some acidic structure for a spine. 11.5% ABV, 152 g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
16.Frazzitta Vigna Alta Grillo 2016 IGP Terre Siciliane, +361146 $18.95 LCBO online or Store 624 in Woodbridge: grillo was once exclusively used in Marsala but recently its production as a white table wine has expanded, with the aid of cryomaceration (crushed grapes held at low temps for several days before fermentation to allow flavours to develop). With stainless steel and 12.5% ABV, the rich wine shows herby complexity with citric notes and tanginess. Because of its spine and body structure, it is a good food wine, primarily seafood. Not really for just sipping. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wine and Drink Books for the Holidays!!!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Event: Tutored tasting with Stephane Vedeau, owner and winemaker of La Ferme du Mont (Cotes du Rhone). Nov 24/17

The Date and Time:  Friday, November 24, 2017  1 – 3 PM
The Event: Tutored tasting with Stephane Vedeau, owner and winemaker of La Ferme du Mont (Cotes du Rhone).
The Venue: George Brown College Tasting Lab, King Street
The Target Audience: wine writers, bloggers and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: only two current CdR vintages are available November, and the others are TBD from the LCBO. Eurovintage Int. is the Ontario agent.
The Quote/Background: Stephane Vedeau showed his knowledge of pH and controlled acidity which he believes are key to winemaking in the Cotes du Rhone. His wines are also organic, with natural/wild yeasts. No SO2 or filtering are used. No citric or tartaric acids are added. 50 hectares of old vines are cultivated. And the Grenache grape is his great passion...
The Wines: we tasted 13 wines in all, many from older vintages and last year.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Ferme du Mont Premiere Cote 2015 Cotes du Rhone +251645 $17.95
-La Ferme du Mont Premiere Cote 2011 Cotes du Rhone N/A
-La Ferme du Mont Premiere Cote 2013 Cotes du Rhone N/A
-La Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant 2010 Cotes du Rhone Villages N/A
-La Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant 2014 Cotes du Rhone Villages N/A
-La Ferme du Mont Gigondas Cotes Jugunda 2015 +354118 $32.95
-La Ferme du Mont Chateauneuf du Pape 2011 N/A
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Ferme du Mont La Truffiere 2016 $16.95 Under consideration, P/O for now
-La Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant 2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages +171371 $20.95
-La Ferme du Mont Chateauneuf du Pape Cotes Capelan 2013 +78857 $82.95
-La Ferme du Mont Chateauneuf du Pape 2015 $48.95 Under consideration
-La Ferme du Mont Premiere Cote 2014 Cotes du Rhone N/A
-La Ferme du Mont Premiere Cote 2016 Cotes du Rhone N/A
 
The Food: charcuterie platter, cheeses, dried fruit, breads, biscuits.
The Downside: I had just come on time from a heavy New World Vintages tasting at the LCBO, and then we (at GBC) started a half hour late.
The Upside: a rare opportunity to taste older basic Cotes du Rhone wines.
The Contact Person: Daniela Lopera evmarketing@eurovintage.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Event: Tasting wines with Fabian Reis, winemaker and viticulturist of Ferox wines November 22/17

The Date and Time: Wednesday November 22, 2017  5:30 - 7PM
The Event: Tasting wines with Fabian Reis, winemaker and viticulturist of Ferox wines.
The Venue: Belsize Drive
The Target Audience: wine writers and bloggers. Event set up by Andre Proulx, President-Elect of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Availability/Catalogue: we tasted three wines. Only the two whites are still available; the red is sold out.
The Quote/Background: www.ferox.ca is an Ontario virtual winery owned and operated by Fabian Reis and his sommelier wife Stephanie. He's a grandson of Herbert Konzelmann (Konzelmann Winery) but makes his wine at Reif Estates, setting up his virtual label. In the past he has made Icewine for Donald Ziraldo. He has 2100 cases now.
 
The Wines: Currently he has made three wines, but there are others still in tank and barrel (including a single barrel Chardonnay for 36 months, and Icewine). Magnums are also available but for special occasions, and he is setting aside wines for a cellar library collection. In Spring 2018, he plans to release Riesling 2017, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, and Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ferox Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 VQA Niagara $55 [80% merlot] – 75 cases, sold out quickly, very Euro in style, 70% new French oak, first vintage.
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ferox Riesling 2016 VQA Niagara, $38 – off-dry, Kabinett level, long length, needs more bottle age. 25 year old vines. Half put up in acacia barrels for eight months; the other half in stainless, then blended together. 85 cases.
-Ferox Sauvignon Blanc 2016 VQA Four Mile Creek, $46 – fruity style, developing nicely but with a modest finish. Put up in acacia barrels for eight months; the other half in stainless, then blended together.
 
The Contact Person: info@ferox.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, November 30, 2017

THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
9.LIDIA'S CELEBRATE LIKE AN ITALIAN (Appetite by Random House, 2017, 386 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-752977-0 $45 CAD hardcovers) is by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (restaurateur, Emmy-award winning TV show, cookbook author) and her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali. The celebration, one of the few cookbooks today wrapped in a dust jacket, is explored in 220 recipes, suitable for a formal event, a picnic, or a family dinner. It is sort-of a greatest hits book; she's written over 14 other books on Italian food. Is there a need for another Italian cookbook on the market? Well, yes there is always room for one more, especially if the author is the irrepressible Lidia. Of value are the passages dealing with BBQs, party planning, doing a cheese platter, setting a table, choosing wine or constructing a salumi board. It begins with 22 alcohol aperitifs, followed by the apps, salads, soups, veggies and sides, polenta, risotto, pasta, fish and seafood, poultry and meat, and then dessert. "I chose these particular recipes because they are delicious and easy to make, and they serve and fit any celebration." The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart – there's a whole blankety-blank blank page just before the index! Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
10.LOLA'S;  a cake journey around the world (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-809-3 $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Julia Head, a UK-based caterer who once worked for Lola's Cupcakes in London. It has since expanded to cover regular cakes. Here Head gives us 70 global recipes for cakes: classic sponge cakes, traybakes, layer cakes, pastries and gateaux of all sorts. Rare in cookbooks these days are her icons for levels of difficulty, from easy through intermediate and advanced. There are some gluten-free and dairy-free cakes as well. It is all arranged by region, beginning with Northern Europe (the home of the cake), Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Americas, and Australasia. All cakes are featured at Lola's: stollen, strudel, tiramisu, olive oil cake, baklava cake, peanut and banana loaf cake, sesame seed cake, mango cake, et al. All of them are colourfully illustrated with a combo of finished plated product and tourist-type photos. Preps are scaled, which is the way it should be with ratios. Conversion charts could also have been useful. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
11.FOR THE LOVE OF PIE (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 200 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-4769-0 $27.99 USD hardbound) is by Cheryl Perry and Felipa Lopez. Both are co-owners of Pie Corps in NYC. It is a guide to both sweet and savoury pies, staring off with a primer, moving through to the crust, and then to the sweet (fruit, custard and cream, mousse and pudding, nut) and then to the savoury (chicken, meats, fish, veggie). Finally, there are some interesting hybrids in the sugar-salt-bitter continuum, such as apple crumb pie with rosemary-caramel sauce, lavender honey and peach hand pies, pear galette with mascarpone and salted sage brown butter, and fresh fig with blue cheese and walnut mini galettes.
The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, but it at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
12.MYERS+CHANG AT HOME (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-83647-1 $32 USD hardbound) is by Joanne Chang, a Beard award winner and owner of Flour in Boston/Cambridge. She also co-owns, with her husband, Myers+Chang, since 2007 in Boston. This is her forth cookbook, emphasizing the reconstruction of many of her preps for home use. Karen Akunowicz helped her; she's executive chef and partner in Myers+Chang. There's also a lot of log rolling, with six endorsements (including the ubiquitous Ottolenghi who must be tied with Batali by now). This is Asian food (some of it South Asian street food), beyond the Taiwanese cooking that Chang also does. There are stories and photos from the restaurant. It's arranged by major ingredient or format, such as dim sum, dumplings, wok, noodles, rice, sauces, with chapters on salads, grains, sides, family meals and desserts. Typical are dan dan noodles, dragon sauce, tamarind-glazed cod with Vietnamese mint & jicama, chocolate tofu mousse, and kung pao chickpeas. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88
 
 
 
13.SATURDAY PIZZAS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-882-6, $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Philip Dennhardt (Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork Ireland) and Kristin Jensen, freelance food writer. He started as a pop-up restaurant with gourmet pizzas, and then became more involved with butchery and sausages at the Ballymaloe. Here are 90 preps of dazzling pizzas, best made with a wood-fired oven but here adapted for home use: just turn the oven up to as hot as it gets and preheat for one hour. If there is a fan, use it. There are lots of memoir material here as well as a primer for high heat pizza-making.  And a great trouble-shooting section. A basic pizza is dough and sauces: there are almost no real rules, just techniques. His primer is about 50 pages, and is followed by pizza recipes divided by solid toppings – sausage pizzas, cured meat ones, roast meat, seafood, and veggie. Then come the calzones and panzerotti, ending with fruit and dessert pizzas. From the latter, you could try banoffee pizza (biscuit/cookie base with bananas, whipped cream and toffee) or pear pizza with feta/walnuts/arugula, or even caramelized apple with blue cheese and candied walnuts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
14.NIGHT+MARKET (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN-0-451-49787-1 $35 USD hardbound) is by Kris Yenbamroong, chef of Night+Market in LA. It comes with log rolling by Gwyneth Paltrow, David Chang, and Wolfgang Puck. Kris has re-imagined classic Thai cooking for the modern tastes, food that can be enjoyed with alcoholic beverages. He comes from a Thai restaurant background via his family's place, but he has also explored the rural cooking of Northern Thailand. According to the blurb to the part-memoir, part-cookbook, "he came to question what authenticity really means and how his passion for grilled meats, fried chicken, tacos, sushi and wine" influenced the style of good living at his restaurant. The major wine of choice is Chenin Blanc from anywhere, which I approve of. The emphasis is on having fun, which you can do at home with friends, but there are too many non-food photos for my tastes. The arrangement is by themes in his life: a chapter on "grandma" to cover the basics and classics, followed by "tourist in Thailand" for the rural materials, a chapter on dips and sauces, some leftover foods, and party night (TGIF, which used to mean Thank God It's Friday, but now means Thank God It's Fun – so any night will do). Dishes include Thai puffy omelet, scallop tostada, Thai-style Korean short ribs, salmon poke, stir-fried greens with garlic and chiles, and kung pao eggplant tacos. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
 
15.MY RICE BOWL (Sasquatch Books, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-63217-078-1 $35 USD hardbound) is by Rachel Yang, who, with her husband, owns/operates/chefs at four Pacific Northwest restaurants in Seattle and Portland. They've had three Beard Award nominations for their Asian-flavoured food. Jess Thomson is a co-author; she's a freelance food and travel writer with seven cookbooks and many articles. The preps are mainly Korean fusion with a global twist applied to noodles, dumplings, pickles and pancakes. The book is arranged thus, beginning with a chapter on banchan, then kimchi, BBQ, rices. Hot pots and stews, with four desserts. The first one hundred pages deal with memoirish material on her style of cooking and their restaurants, plus a primer on stocks, sauces, pastes, and the basics of dumplings and noodles (but there doesn't seem to be any indication of gluten-free dough, although there is a chapter on rice and another on pancake batter with mung bean batter). Try arugula and corned lamb, or mung bean pancake batter, broiled mackerel, and a smoky pad Thai (with purchased rice noodles). The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, but at least it had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
16.THE MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT TABLE (St. Martin's Griffen, 2017, 402 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-07433-1 $35 USD hardbound) is by the Moosewood Collective of 19 members who do all the jobs necessary to run the Ithaca NY restaurant. Some have worked there since the place opened in 1973. Their latest cookbook – the 14th – has 250 brand-new recipes never published before. But it is no longer hand-lettered. Instead, it has a larger typeface with good leading and a in index that is readable. The restaurant is still a vegetarian operation, stressing plant-based foods but also using tofu/tempeh as a protein replacement, eggs, and honey. Chapter topics include breakfast and brunch , apps, spreads and dips, sandwiches, soups, side salads, main dish salads, grain bowls, entrees, stews, pasta, burgers and beans, breads and pizza, sides, sauces, and a huge selection of desserts. Typical are sunbutter bites, butternut squash latkes, Indonesian rice bowl, sugar snap peas with coconut and lime, white bean and olive sandwich, roasted beet and walnut dip, black rice and spinach salad, and fresh rhubarb cake. Everything seasonal, of course. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Nada to both. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
17.GUERRILLA TACOS (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-57863-2 $30 USD hardbound) is by Wesley Avila (professional chef who turned to running Guerrilla Tacos) with Richard Parks III (food writer). These are recipes from the streets of Los Angeles,  augmented by serious logrolling headed by Mario Batali. Avila's Guerrilla Tacos was named Best Taco Truck by LA Weekly. While these preps are Avila's personal touches, he draws on his Mexican heritage to create variations. Along with the recipes there are memoirs and photos. The book is arranged by themes, beginning with Pico Rivera (where he grew up), forklift food, the taco cart and truck, and then the pop-up style. Typical choices are the Mexican-style guacamole, green bean and egg taco, roasted pumpkin taco, razor clam tostada, pork sparerib taco, and mushroom escabeche taco. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Re: FAMILY-STYLE COOKBOOKS –

Brilliant - thanks very much for this, Dean!
I'll it share the with each author, my boss and colleagues, the book editors, designers and recipe testers, our social media gal, and our entire sales team for further sharing. Much appreciated!




PS -  Take a look at our upcoming SPRING 2018 list!


Martine Quibell, Publicity Manager
Robert Rose Inc. / www.robertrose.ca
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, ON  M4P 1E2 
416-322-6552 x 3133 / mquibell@robertrose.ca
Follow us on: Pinterest / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram






On Nov 29, 2017, at 10:32 AM, Dean Tudor <dtudor@pathcom.com> wrote:

 
 
This is a roundup of cookbooks meant for family enjoyment, whether
 
workday eating or family participation, or just plain eating together....
 
 
MASTER THE ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER (Skyhorse Publishing,
 
2017, 258 pages, $25.99 CAD hard covers) is by Marci Buttars and Cami
 
Graham, both family specialists and bloggers at TIDBITS. As the publisher
 
says, this is NOT your grandma's pressure cooker. Here are more than 100
 
preps, with tips, for grains and yogurt and tender veggies, soft meats, and
 
so forth, with a range from breakfast to dessert. My kind of tool with large
 
type (including the index) and metric conversion charts. Quality/price rating:
 
87
 
SECOND HELPINGS, PLEASE! (Whitecap, 2017, 292 pages, $29.95
 
CAD paperbound) is a fundraiser project from the Mount Sinai Chapter of
 
Act to End Violence Against Women. It was originally published in 1968;
 
this is its 17th printing with some new material on quick and easy, low-
 
calorie, microwave recipes, and new tips. The last edition was previously in
 
2008. It's a basic community cookbook touching all the bases, perfect as a
 
gift for showers, weddings, anyone moving and setting up a kitchen, or a
 
holiday like Hanukkah (Dec 12 – 20 in 2017).  Of particular value are the
 
chapters with a lot of recipes for appetizers, party treats, soups and
 
veggies, and Jewish Festivals. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
THE BEST OF AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN 2018 (America's Test Kitchen,
 
2017, 320 pages, $45 CAD hardbound) features the best recipes,
 
equipment reviews and tastings from the 2017 episodes of the popular
 
PBS television series (and some of their magazines and books too). Out of
 
1000 preps developed for their media, more than 150 are here as "best of
 
the best". It comes with the usual step-by-step photos and opinionated
 
equipment/ingredient thoughts. Newish topics for the 2017 year include
 
porchetta, panettone, sausage ragu, and frozen yogurt. Quality/price rating:
 
89
 
 
 
GRAVITY CAKES! (Robert Rose, 2017, 272 pages, $27.95 CAD
 
paperbound) is by Jakki Friedman and Francesca Librae, and utilizing
 
Jakki's business as a Manchester UK baker of gravity cakes (they create an
 
illusion of something pouring mid-air into the cake). These 45 projects can
 
be worked on by the whole family. The book has 650 step-by-step colour
 
photos to guide you. The preps are simple and the ingredients are
 
accessible. The designs  (Christmas, Valentine. Easter, Halloween, etc.)
 
are easy to construct; gluten-free preps are also available. Neat-o.
 
Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
 
BAKING CLASS (Storey Publishing, 2017, 144 pages plus stickers, $28.95
 
spiralbound) is by Deanna F. Cook who has written dozens of award-
 
winning books for kids. Here she builds on an earlier title, "Cooking Class", 
 
to present a way to get kids back into the kitchen and learn baking skills.
 
There are 50 recipes with step-by-step instructions so kids can follow on
 
their own. Classics include chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cupcakes,
 
pizza, cheese crackers: all made from scratch with wholesome ingredients.
 
At the back are stickers for colourful gift tag, labels, bake sale signs, and
 
cutout stencils for decorating cookies and cupcakes.
 
 
THE COMPLETE SOUS VIDE COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2017, 416
 
pages, $29.95 CAD paperbound) is by the world renowned chef, Chris
 
MacDonald (Avalon and Cava in Toronto). It's another in a long line of
 
"single-equipment" cookbooks (e.g.,food processor, crockpot, toaster),
 
here concentrating on using sous vide equipment and techniques to achieve
 
restaurant-quality results at home. Low temperature controlled food is
 
sealed in containers immersed in water. It works well if you have a lot to do,
 
and can be prepared in advance. But of course you do need the equipment.
 
A nicely done book that indeed can replicate restaurant food, with you
 
controlling the seasoning. The 175 recipes embrace the globe. Quality/price
 
rating: 87
 
 
 
 
A GRANDFATHER'S LESSONS (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
 
2017, 196 pages, $42 CAD hardbound) is by Jacques Pepin – and what
 
could be more family than Pepin cooking with his granddaughter Shorey.
 
He's been doing this since she was six; she is now 12 and capable of
 
cooking on her own. So here are meals that she enjoys as a young person,
 
and meals that are not always French-inspired. These are important life
 
skills, and they are illustrated with his renowned drawings. They open with
 
setting the table and good table manners – nice appreciations. Then they
 
move on to hors d'oeuvres [SIC from a Frenchman!] soups and salads,
 
eggs, sandwiches, pizza, fish, poultry, light meat, pasta, quinoa, veggies,
 
followed by 40 pages of desserts (hey, kids like to eat these things). Large
 
type in both the text and the index is a great bonus. Quality/price rating: 89
 
 
 
BUTTERCREAM BASICS (Robert Rose, 2017, 256 pages,  $27.95 CAD
 
paperbound) is by Carey Madden, whose cakes and cupcakes have been
 
featured in Vogue. She operates Violet, a custom cake bakery in
 
Philadelphia. This is buttercream decorating, and is the best gift for the
 
cake baker in your life. It's topically illustrated with step-by-step techniques
 
and loaded with tips, covering the major aspects of  cake and icing recipes,
 
borders and inscriptions, embellishment, blossoms, concluding with  a final
 
chapter on cupcakes. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
NO EXCUSES DETOX (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 208p, $25.99 CAD
 
paperbound) is by nutritionist Megan Gilmore who specializes in detox at
 
www.detoxinista.com. She's got 100 preps for a more healthy eating plan –
 
gluten-free, quick and easy, relatively inexpensive, and meant for families.
 
Of course there's a plan, followed by courses: shakes, salads, soups, sides,
 
snacks, stir-fries, sweets, and staples. Ah yes, the "S" word dominates.
Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
EVERYDAY DIABETES MEALS (Robert Rose, 2017, 288 pages, $27.95
 
CAD papercovers) is by  Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and Lisa
 
Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN. Together they have three decades of clinical
 
experience. The 150 preps are for meals  with 45 to 60 grams of carbos.
 
The arrangement has easy consistent carbo dietary planning by choosing
 
from breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, and then adding sweet or savoury
 
snacks within preset carb ranges. There's a 14 day meal plan. It's a lifestyle
 
change. Quality/price rating: 88
 
 
 
THE 7 WONDERS OF OLIVE OIL (Familius, 2017, 200 pages, $23.95
 
CAD paperbound) is by Alice Alech and Cecile La Galliard. It comes loaded
 
with lots of references, some quizzes, a handful of recipes, but no index.
 
Still, it is a useful read. Olive oil is discussed in a healthy sense: stronger
 
bones, some cancer prevention, higher brain function, some stroke and
 
heart attack prevention, reduction in diabetes risk, Alzheimer's disease
 
prevention, skin rejuvenation, and the Mediterranean diet. Each chapter is
 
succinctly titled. Quality/price rating: 88
 
 
 
THE LOW-FODMAP SOLUTION (Robert Rose, 2017, 268 pages, $27.95
 
CAD paperbound) is by Montrealer Cinzia Cuneo and others at
 
SOSCuisine, a group which designs specialized meal plans. Here they
 
concentrate on IBS. Research has shown that a low-FODMAP diet is
 
effective in three-quarters of IBS cases. You could be able to avoid intestinal
 
cramps, bloating, diarrhea and gas through the elimination of FODMAPs:
 
fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and
 
polyols – carbohydrates that are poorly digested in the intestine. Here she
 
has meal plans, shopping lists,  and 130 preps (many vegan). There are
 
also comprehensive lists of allowable foods and avoidable foods.
 
Quality/price rating: 89
 
 
 
THE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIABETES
 
COOKBOOK (CICO Books, 2017, 160 pages, $29.95 CAD paperbound)
 
is by Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD., who is well-versed in diabetes care. It's
 
a guidebook for those who are pre-diabetic, diabetic, and  support groups.
 
She covers the challenges of living with diabetes, eating in  and dining out,
 
living on one's own, and travelling. She's got 70 preps tailored to those with
 
diabetes, including vegan and vegetarian options. It may not be everything
 
you'll need to know but it is a good beginning. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
 
HOW TO HYGGE; the Nordic secrets to a happy life (St. Martin's Griffin,
 
2016, 2017, 208 pages, $27.99 USD hardbound) is by food writer Signe
 
Johansen; it was originally published in 2016 by Bluebird in the UK. "Hoo-
 
ga" (pronounced) usually translates as "comfort" or "coziness" implying
 
warmth, conviviality, and kinship. Nature sets the pace and provides health
 
benefits; the outdoors is better than the indoors. Try to be active at all ages;
 
try "fika" (collective restoration, eg, teas). Be minimalistic. There are more
 
principles scattered about the book. And there are more than a handful of
recipes.
Quality/price rating: 89
 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

FAMILY-STYLE COOKBOOKS –

 
 
This is a roundup of cookbooks meant for family enjoyment, whether
 
workday eating or family participation, or just plain eating together....
 
 
MASTER THE ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER (Skyhorse Publishing,
 
2017, 258 pages, $25.99 CAD hard covers) is by Marci Buttars and Cami
 
Graham, both family specialists and bloggers at TIDBITS. As the publisher
 
says, this is NOT your grandma's pressure cooker. Here are more than 100
 
preps, with tips, for grains and yogurt and tender veggies, soft meats, and
 
so forth, with a range from breakfast to dessert. My kind of tool with large
 
type (including the index) and metric conversion charts. Quality/price rating:
 
87
 
SECOND HELPINGS, PLEASE! (Whitecap, 2017, 292 pages, $29.95
 
CAD paperbound) is a fundraiser project from the Mount Sinai Chapter of
 
Act to End Violence Against Women. It was originally published in 1968;
 
this is its 17th printing with some new material on quick and easy, low-
 
calorie, microwave recipes, and new tips. The last edition was previously in
 
2008. It's a basic community cookbook touching all the bases, perfect as a
 
gift for showers, weddings, anyone moving and setting up a kitchen, or a
 
holiday like Hanukkah (Dec 12 – 20 in 2017).  Of particular value are the
 
chapters with a lot of recipes for appetizers, party treats, soups and
 
veggies, and Jewish Festivals. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
THE BEST OF AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN 2018 (America's Test Kitchen,
 
2017, 320 pages, $45 CAD hardbound) features the best recipes,
 
equipment reviews and tastings from the 2017 episodes of the popular
 
PBS television series (and some of their magazines and books too). Out of
 
1000 preps developed for their media, more than 150 are here as "best of
 
the best". It comes with the usual step-by-step photos and opinionated
 
equipment/ingredient thoughts. Newish topics for the 2017 year include
 
porchetta, panettone, sausage ragu, and frozen yogurt. Quality/price rating:
 
89
 
 
 
GRAVITY CAKES! (Robert Rose, 2017, 272 pages, $27.95 CAD
 
paperbound) is by Jakki Friedman and Francesca Librae, and utilizing
 
Jakki's business as a Manchester UK baker of gravity cakes (they create an
 
illusion of something pouring mid-air into the cake). These 45 projects can
 
be worked on by the whole family. The book has 650 step-by-step colour
 
photos to guide you. The preps are simple and the ingredients are
 
accessible. The designs  (Christmas, Valentine. Easter, Halloween, etc.)
 
are easy to construct; gluten-free preps are also available. Neat-o.
 
Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
 
BAKING CLASS (Storey Publishing, 2017, 144 pages plus stickers, $28.95
 
spiralbound) is by Deanna F. Cook who has written dozens of award-
 
winning books for kids. Here she builds on an earlier title, "Cooking Class", 
 
to present a way to get kids back into the kitchen and learn baking skills.
 
There are 50 recipes with step-by-step instructions so kids can follow on
 
their own. Classics include chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cupcakes,
 
pizza, cheese crackers: all made from scratch with wholesome ingredients.
 
At the back are stickers for colourful gift tag, labels, bake sale signs, and
 
cutout stencils for decorating cookies and cupcakes.
 
 
THE COMPLETE SOUS VIDE COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2017, 416
 
pages, $29.95 CAD paperbound) is by the world renowned chef, Chris
 
MacDonald (Avalon and Cava in Toronto). It's another in a long line of
 
"single-equipment" cookbooks (e.g.,food processor, crockpot, toaster),
 
here concentrating on using sous vide equipment and techniques to achieve
 
restaurant-quality results at home. Low temperature controlled food is
 
sealed in containers immersed in water. It works well if you have a lot to do,
 
and can be prepared in advance. But of course you do need the equipment.
 
A nicely done book that indeed can replicate restaurant food, with you
 
controlling the seasoning. The 175 recipes embrace the globe. Quality/price
 
rating: 87
 
 
 
 
A GRANDFATHER'S LESSONS (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
 
2017, 196 pages, $42 CAD hardbound) is by Jacques Pepin – and what
 
could be more family than Pepin cooking with his granddaughter Shorey.
 
He's been doing this since she was six; she is now 12 and capable of
 
cooking on her own. So here are meals that she enjoys as a young person,
 
and meals that are not always French-inspired. These are important life
 
skills, and they are illustrated with his renowned drawings. They open with
 
setting the table and good table manners – nice appreciations. Then they
 
move on to hors d'oeuvres [SIC from a Frenchman!] soups and salads,
 
eggs, sandwiches, pizza, fish, poultry, light meat, pasta, quinoa, veggies,
 
followed by 40 pages of desserts (hey, kids like to eat these things). Large
 
type in both the text and the index is a great bonus. Quality/price rating: 89
 
 
 
BUTTERCREAM BASICS (Robert Rose, 2017, 256 pages,  $27.95 CAD
 
paperbound) is by Carey Madden, whose cakes and cupcakes have been
 
featured in Vogue. She operates Violet, a custom cake bakery in
 
Philadelphia. This is buttercream decorating, and is the best gift for the
 
cake baker in your life. It's topically illustrated with step-by-step techniques
 
and loaded with tips, covering the major aspects of  cake and icing recipes,
 
borders and inscriptions, embellishment, blossoms, concluding with  a final
 
chapter on cupcakes. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
NO EXCUSES DETOX (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 208p, $25.99 CAD
 
paperbound) is by nutritionist Megan Gilmore who specializes in detox at
 
www.detoxinista.com. She's got 100 preps for a more healthy eating plan –
 
gluten-free, quick and easy, relatively inexpensive, and meant for families.
 
Of course there's a plan, followed by courses: shakes, salads, soups, sides,
 
snacks, stir-fries, sweets, and staples. Ah yes, the "S" word dominates.
Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
EVERYDAY DIABETES MEALS (Robert Rose, 2017, 288 pages, $27.95
 
CAD papercovers) is by  Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and Lisa
 
Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN. Together they have three decades of clinical
 
experience. The 150 preps are for meals  with 45 to 60 grams of carbos.
 
The arrangement has easy consistent carbo dietary planning by choosing
 
from breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, and then adding sweet or savoury
 
snacks within preset carb ranges. There's a 14 day meal plan. It's a lifestyle
 
change. Quality/price rating: 88
 
 
 
THE 7 WONDERS OF OLIVE OIL (Familius, 2017, 200 pages, $23.95
 
CAD paperbound) is by Alice Alech and Cecile La Galliard. It comes loaded
 
with lots of references, some quizzes, a handful of recipes, but no index.
 
Still, it is a useful read. Olive oil is discussed in a healthy sense: stronger
 
bones, some cancer prevention, higher brain function, some stroke and
 
heart attack prevention, reduction in diabetes risk, Alzheimer's disease
 
prevention, skin rejuvenation, and the Mediterranean diet. Each chapter is
 
succinctly titled. Quality/price rating: 88
 
 
 
THE LOW-FODMAP SOLUTION (Robert Rose, 2017, 268 pages, $27.95
 
CAD paperbound) is by Montrealer Cinzia Cuneo and others at
 
SOSCuisine, a group which designs specialized meal plans. Here they
 
concentrate on IBS. Research has shown that a low-FODMAP diet is
 
effective in three-quarters of IBS cases. You could be able to avoid intestinal
 
cramps, bloating, diarrhea and gas through the elimination of FODMAPs:
 
fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and
 
polyols – carbohydrates that are poorly digested in the intestine. Here she
 
has meal plans, shopping lists,  and 130 preps (many vegan). There are
 
also comprehensive lists of allowable foods and avoidable foods.
 
Quality/price rating: 89
 
 
 
THE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIABETES
 
COOKBOOK (CICO Books, 2017, 160 pages, $29.95 CAD paperbound)
 
is by Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD., who is well-versed in diabetes care. It's
 
a guidebook for those who are pre-diabetic, diabetic, and  support groups.
 
She covers the challenges of living with diabetes, eating in  and dining out,
 
living on one's own, and travelling. She's got 70 preps tailored to those with
 
diabetes, including vegan and vegetarian options. It may not be everything
 
you'll need to know but it is a good beginning. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
 
HOW TO HYGGE; the Nordic secrets to a happy life (St. Martin's Griffin,
 
2016, 2017, 208 pages, $27.99 USD hardbound) is by food writer Signe
 
Johansen; it was originally published in 2016 by Bluebird in the UK. "Hoo-
 
ga" (pronounced) usually translates as "comfort" or "coziness" implying
 
warmth, conviviality, and kinship. Nature sets the pace and provides health
 
benefits; the outdoors is better than the indoors. Try to be active at all ages;
 
try "fika" (collective restoration, eg, teas). Be minimalistic. There are more
 
principles scattered about the book. And there are more than a handful of
recipes.
Quality/price rating: 89
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com