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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the FEBRUARY 4, 2023 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the FEBRUARY 4, 2023 release.

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 good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on for some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past While ---
NEWLY RELEASED KACABA VQA NIAGARA WINES...
KACABA Vineyards & Winery Premium Series Cabernet/Syrah 2020 VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.95 518 cases now available at winery and online at kacaba.com: this is a blend of cabernet franc (60%) with syrah (40%), the latter being the oldest planting in Ontario. Sustainably grown. At one time it was a blend of cabernet/merlot/syrah, but this changes every year depending on the grapes available and the harvest conditions. Matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 months or so. You'll get a whiff of anise and red fruit, and with the franc it is a bit savoury. Definitely a red meat wine. What I usually do is make a double-decant, taste, and then leave it in a re-sealed bottle for a week or so, with daily tastings. The wine itself will be at its peak in a few more years. Expect dark fruit such as cassis and some red fruit like Ontario cherries. 3g/L residual sugar. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

KACABA Vineyards & Winery Premium Series Cabernet Franc 2019 VQA Niagara Escarpment $33.15 525 cases available at winery and online at kacaba.com in January 2023: this is one of Kacaba's new Premium Series, an upscale label line of wine. Very reminiscent of Right Bank (St Emilion) cabs but without the stuffing of, say, Cheval Blanc. It is just as durable at this young age. Currently it is mute until tasted later after aeration. What I usually do is a double-decant, taste, and then leave it in a sealed bottle for a week or so, with daily tastings. If you don't do this, then the wine will be ready in six to ten years. Complex aromas begin to ascend and descend as the week rolls on. First some cherries -- mostly red with Ontario cranberry, but later also black. Some vanilla smoke, savoury herby spiciness, even coffee and chocolate (that'll please the millennials). Again, strong (aged or gamey) red meat is called for food pairing. 3g/L residual sugar.  13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 - 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday February 26...
 
[red] +168716    Les Vignes De Bila-Haut (Chapoutier) $16.95, save $3.00, now $13.95
[red] +322586 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon $20.95, save $3.00, now $17.95
[white] +286278 Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay $19.95, save $2.00, now    $17.95
[splurge] +314575 Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $49.95, save, $5.00 now $44.95
[sweetie] +388306 Vidal Icewine VQA (Inniskillin) 375ml. $49.95, save    $5.00, now $44.95
 
MAJOR THEME:  Southern Hemisphere

Wines Under $20
=========
Fizz+16836    GRAN BARÓN BRUT RESERVA CAVA    Vegan, traditional method, DO, Spain    $18.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
W+14037    DOMAINE LA DÉCELLE RESERVE VALRÉAS CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES BLANC 2021    AC  $17.90  MVC/QPR: 89.
W+31651    PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD RIESLING 2019 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
W+119099    VIÑA COBOS FELINO CHARDONNAY    2021    Unfined and unfiltered, Mendoza    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+231282    KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC WO  Stellenbosch    $18.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+391847    THIERRY DELAUNAY TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 AP    $16.95    
MVC/QPR: 90.
R+516765    JEAN-PIERRE MOUEIX BORDEAUX    2018    AC    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
R+25237    VINELAND CABERNET FRANC/CABERNET SAUVIGNON    2017    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $19.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
R+28079    LUI RESERVA CABERNET FRANC    2020    Singe vineyard, Mendoza    $19.95
MVC/QPR: 89.
R+132365    VIÑA COBOS FELINO CABERNET SAUVIGNON    2020    Unfined, Mendoza    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89.
R+371112    MORANDÉ GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE    2020    Sustainable, single vineyard, DO Valle del Maipo    $18.95    MVC/QPR: 89.

Wines Over $20

Fizz+113035    PELLER ESTATES SIGNATURE SERIES ICE CUVÉE SPARKLING ROSÉ        Traditional method, Icewine dosage, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $36.95 MVC/QPR: 91.
Fizz+20945    HENRI CHAMPLIAU BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE        Traditional method, AC, Burgundy, France    $24.95    MVC/QPR: 89.
W+31650    MARYNISSEN HERITAGE COLLECTION RIESLING    2020    VQA Niagara Peninsula $22.95 MVC/QPR: 89.

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Monday, January 30, 2023

The Event: Mediterranean Aperitivo

The Event: Mediterranean Aperitivo
The Venue: EATALY Bloor and Bay
The Target Audience: wine and food writers
The Availability/Catalogue: in this context, only the specific Vermouth di Torino was available in Ontario. Dan Rabinovitch of Azureau Wines spoke on behalf of the vermouths.
The Quote/Background: MAP (Mediterranean Aperitivo) is an information campaign on PGI and PDO, EU terms for protecting names and geographic origins. Here the seminar was on Vermouth di Torino (PGI), Pecorino Toscano (PDO), Amalfi Lemons (PGI), and Greek olives. The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is a higher standard than PGI(Protected Geographic Indication).
The Wines:

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cocchi Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry Ricetta Piemontese 500mL 17%ABV $40 consignment Azureau

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino Ricetta Originale 16%ABV $30 consignment Azureau
[moscato & botanicals] off-dry
-Bordiga Storica Ricetta 15%ABV +14771076 [nebbiolo]
-Berto Antico Opificio Rosso Vermouth di Torino 17%ABV [traditional style with white wine, spices, sugar and added alcohol]

The Food: pecorino toscano, amalfi lemon peel, olives
The Downside: there was a zoom connection of simultaneous tasting with NYC, but it eventually degraded and we cut out.
The Upside: Dan filled in with tasting notes on the vermouths.
The Contact Person: www.mediterraneanaperitivo.com  dan@azureau.com <eventi-map@promogate.info>
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 80




Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

** Some Proseccos I Tasted Over the Past few months ---


ONE --  The Date and Time: Tuesday October 11, 2022  10:30AM - 4PM
The Event: Milano Wine Week International Masterclass Program
The Venue: Aria Ristorante, 25 York Street
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine agents, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: There were two wineries involved, one with an Ontario agent – VALDO (Wine Online) and  MASSOTINA.
The Quote/Background: The first seminar was a web show presentation seminar from Italy, "From Veneto to Friuli: exploring different terroirs and wine styles" by VALDO winery (a Bolla company) with various speakers such as their chief winemaker Gianfranco Zanon and Matteo Bolla. The second seminar was a blind tasting of six MASOTTINA wines, in "Exploring Prosecco styles and terroir". It too was a web show, but with participation in Milan, London, New York and Toronto. Both seminars had simultaneous translations when needed. Cristina Mercuri with Filippo Bartolotta spoke on the wines, with emphasis on: Brut/Extra Dry is just a question of dosage and taste?
The Wines: The six Masottina Proseccos were two different samples (Brut and Extra Dry) of three wine levels: Rive di Ogliano, Contrada Granda, and Calmaggiore, all Glera. But with different terroirs

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Valdo Cuvee 1926 Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry  16g/L RS, 90Glera/10Chardonnay
-Valdo Elevantum Rose Prosecco DOC Brut 11.5g/L RS, 90Glera/10PinotNoir   [MY FAVE]
-Masottina Collezione RDO Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano DOCG Levante Extra Dry Millesimato. 13.5g/L all Glera  [ANOTHER MY FAVE]
-Masottina Collezione Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 10g/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry 14g/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Calmaggiore Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut 10g/L all Glera

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Valdo Amor Soli Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG Bio Brut 2021 10g/L RS, all Glera
-Valdo Tenuta La Maredana Prosecco DOC Brut  9g/L RS, 85Glera/15PinotNoir $21.99
-Valdo Prosecco Cuvee I Magredi Extra Dry DOC Extra Dry 15g/L RS, all Glera $18.99
-Masottina Collezione RDO Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano DOCG Ponente Brut Millesimato. 6G/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Calmaggiore Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry 14g/L all Glera

The Contact Person: Benedetta Marassi b.marassi@ice.it

TWO -- The Date and Time: Monday November 21, 2022   10:30A to noon
The Event: A tasting of Conegliano Valdobbiadene: the heart of Prosecco Superiore DOCG
The Venue: SIPS, Maud Street
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers (over two dozen in all)
The Availability/Catalogue: this was a masterclass of higher-end Prosecco wines. These wines were generally not yet available for sale in Ontario, except as specified.
The Quote/Background: Jennifer Huether, MS, was our speaker today, and she ran over the basics of what this Italian region was all about. The hills of CV are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All of the wine made in this DOCG is white; 93% of the wine made here is sparkling. Two sub-regions produce the best Prosecco – Rive and Cartizze. The Martinotti Method (a variation of Charmat) is prescibed. While not every farmed area is organic, glyphosate has been totally banned and growers are moving toward a green sustainability. The overall top quality Proseccos come from these two regions of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, both located between Venice and the Dolomites...and these are at the DOCG level. 105 million bottles are produced every year. Each bottle should have wine that is 85% Glera grape at a minimum, with 15% maximum allowable for other grapes such as pinot nero, chardonnay, and any of some four local varieties.
Pronunciation was basically straightforward:  val-doh-bee-ahhh-deh-ne
The Wines: There were 9 wines, and in general I really enjoyed the dryer ones. Each wine had about 11.5% ABV.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-L'Antica Quercia Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Nature Sui Lieviti "A" 2020  [organic wine, on lees, bone dry at 0g/L residual sugar]
-Frassinelli Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Brut Rive di Santa Maria di Feletto 2021 [1.5g/L residual sugar, modest finish]
-Canevel Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Biologico Campofalco Monfalcon Vineyard 2021 [90% glera, 10% verdiso, extended Charmat storage]
-Bottega Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry "Il Vino dei Poeti" [16-18 g/L RS, Noble Estates agency]
-Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry [16g/L RS, finishes drier, savoury]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sommariva Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut [9g/L RS, jes peachy with some lemon peel]
-Ruggeri Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Quartese [9g/L RS]
-Perlage Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Col di Manza [16g/L RS]
-Marsuret Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Il Soller [16g/L RS]

The Contact Person:  lisa@androscom.com
Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JANUARY 21, 2023 release.


WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JANUARY 21,  2023 release.

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 good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on for some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
** Some Proseccos I Tasted Over the Past While  ---

ONE --  The Date and Time: Tuesday October 11, 2022  10:30AM - 4PM
The Event: Milano Wine Week International Masterclass Program
The Venue: Aria Ristorante, 25 York Street
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine agents, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: There were two wineries involved, one with an Ontario agent – VALDO (Wine Online) and  MASSOTINA.
The Quote/Background: The first seminar was a web show presentation seminar from Italy, "From Veneto to Friuli: exploring different terroirs and wine styles" by VALDO winery (a Bolla company) with various speakers such as their chief winemaker Gianfranco Zanon and Matteo Bolla. The second seminar was a blind tasting of six MASOTTINA wines, in "Exploring Prosecco styles and terroir". It too was a web show, but with participation in Milan, London, New York and Toronto. Both seminars had simultaneous translations when needed. Cristina Mercuri with Filippo Bartolotta spoke on the wines, with emphasis on: Brut/Extra Dry is just a question of dosage and taste?
The Wines: The six Masottina Proseccos were two different samples (Brut and Extra Dry) of three wine levels: Rive di Ogliano, Contrada Granda, and Calmaggiore, all Glera. But with different terroirs

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Valdo Cuvee 1926 Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry  16g/L RS, 90Glera/10Chardonnay
-Valdo Elevantum Rose Prosecco DOC Brut 11.5g/L RS, 90Glera/10PinotNoir   [MY FAVE]
-Masottina Collezione RDO Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano DOCG Levante Extra Dry Millesimato. 13.5g/L all Glera  [ANOTHER MY FAVE]
-Masottina Collezione Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 10g/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry 14g/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Calmaggiore Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut 10g/L all Glera

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Valdo Amor Soli Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG Bio Brut 2021 10g/L RS, all Glera
-Valdo Tenuta La Maredana Prosecco DOC Brut  9g/L RS, 85Glera/15PinotNoir $21.99
-Valdo Prosecco Cuvee I Magredi Extra Dry DOC Extra Dry 15g/L RS, all Glera $18.99
-Masottina Collezione RDO Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano DOCG Ponente Brut Millesimato. 6G/L all Glera
-Masottina Collezione Calmaggiore Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry 14g/L all Glera

The Contact Person: Benedetta Marassi b.marassi@ice.it

TWO -- The Date and Time: Monday November 21, 2022   10:30A to noon
The Event: A tasting of Conegliano Valdobbiadene: the heart of Prosecco Superiore DOCG
The Venue: SIPS, Maud Street
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers (over two dozen in all)
The Availability/Catalogue: this was a masterclass of higher-end Prosecco wines. These wines were generally not yet available for sale in Ontario, except as specified.
The Quote/Background: Jennifer Huether, MS, was our speaker today, and she ran over the basics of what this Italian region was all about. The hills of CV are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All of the wine made in this DOCG is white; 93% of the wine made here is sparkling. Two sub-regions produce the best Prosecco – Rive and Cartizze. The Martinotti Method (a variation of Charmat) is prescibed. While not every farmed area is organic, glyphosate has been totally banned and growers are moving toward a green sustainability. The overall top quality Proseccos come from these two regions of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, both located between Venice and the Dolomites...and these are at the DOCG level. 105 million bottles are produced every year. Each bottle should have wine that is 85% Glera grape at a minimum, with 15% maximum allowable for other grapes such as pinot nero, chardonnay, and any of some four local varieties.
Pronunciation was basically straightforward:  val-doh-bee-ahhh-deh-ne
The Wines: There were 9 wines, and in general I really enjoyed the dryer ones. Each wine had about 11.5% ABV.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-L'Antica Quercia Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Nature Sui Lieviti "A" 2020  [organic wine, on lees, bone dry at 0g/L residual sugar]
-Frassinelli Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Brut Rive di Santa Maria di Feletto 2021 [1.5g/L residual sugar, modest finish]
-Canevel Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Biologico Campofalco Monfalcon Vineyard 2021 [90% glera, 10% verdiso, extended Charmat storage]
-Bottega Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry "Il Vino dei Poeti" [16-18 g/L RS, Noble Estates agency]
-Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry [16g/L RS, finishes drier, savoury]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sommariva Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut [9g/L RS, jes peachy with some lemon peel]
-Ruggeri Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Quartese [9g/L RS]
-Perlage Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Col di Manza [16g/L RS]
-Marsuret Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry Il Soller [16g/L RS]

The Contact Person:  lisa@androscom.com

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale now through Sunday January 29...

W+258681    G. Marquis Chardonnay VQA The Silver Line $18.95 now $17.20 – save $1.75
W+462846    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay Wash. State $18.95 now $16.95 -- save $2
R+30957    Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere Chile $19.95 now $16.95 -- save $3
R+360222    Ste Michelle Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon Wash. State    $23.95     now $20.95-- save $3
R+258673    G. Marquis Pinot Noir VQA The Silver Line  $19.95 now    $17.95 – save $2
R+328567    Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa    $18.95    now $16.95 -- save $2
 

MAJOR THEME:  California's Key Regions

Wines Under $20
=========
W+492462    PELEE ISLAND WINERY VINEDRESSERS CHARDONNAY    2017    Ontario    Vegan, sustainable, VQA South Islands, Lake Erie North Shore    $17.95  MVC/QPR:  92.
W+27626    FONTANAFREDDA CHARDONNAY    2021    Piedmont    Vegan, sustainable, DOC Langhe    $18.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
R+273672    STORIA ANTICA SUPERIORE VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO    2020    Veneto    DOC    $18.95   MVC/QPR: 89.
R+488015    QUINTA DO ESPÍRITO SANTO    2018    Lisboa    Vinho Regional Lisboa    $14.95
MVC/QPR:  89.

Wines Over $20
=========
R+213132    LA PIEVE BAROLO    2018    Piedmont    DOCG    $39.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
R+328385    COLCHESTER RIDGE CREW CABERNET SAUVIGNON    2019    Ontario    VQA Lake Erie North Shore    $24.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
R+26094    DELHEIM GRAND RESERVE    2017    Stellenbosch    WO Stellenbosch    $29.95    
MVC/QPR: 89.
Fizz+294181    ROEDERER ESTATE BRUT SPARKLING Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California    $44.95      MVC/QPR: 90
Sherry+28617    LUSTAU RIO VIEJO OLOROSO    Jerez    DO, Spain    $25.70     MVC/QPR: 90


Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Monday, January 16, 2023

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR FALL 2022

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR FALL 2022 [published mostly monthly since 2000]
======================================

By Dean Tudor, Gothic Epicures Writing, deantudor@deantudor.com
Creator of Canada's leading wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.ca

Reviewer Timeline: Cookbook Reviewer, Library Journal, 1969-1974; Cookbook Columnist and Lead Reviewer, The Booklist (American Library Association), 1974-1985; CBRA Cookbook Reviewer, 1975-1985; Freelance Cookbook Reviewer, 1985-1999; Gothic Epicures Writing Lead Cookbook Reviewer, 2000+

These food and wine book reviews are always available at www.deantudor.com and http://gothicepicures.blogspot.ca

Prices listed below are in US or CAN currency as printed on the cover. I do this because many of my readers are American. CAN prices are inserted for Canadian produced books. In times of US-Canadian currency fluctuations, parity, and online bookstore discounts (plus the addition of GST or HST) prices will vary upwards or downwards every day.


* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *
  ++++++++++++++++++++++

1.3 INGREDIENT COCKTAILS; 60 drinks made in minutes (Hardie Grant Books, 2021, 160 pages, $21  hardbound) is by Kate Calder who believes that the secret of a classic cocktail is simplicity. The fewer the flavours, the better. Everything is arranged by spirit, beginning with vodka, followed by gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and "sparkling". Each has a series of snacks (about a half dozen each) to go with the drinks. Thus, gin needs sweet potato bites, chorizo, spicy mayo, baked ricotta with honey, rosemary-parmesan walnuts, et al. Typical gin includes gimplet, pink lady, negroni, dirty martini, gin rickey, et al. Great fun, especially the snacks, and a boon to the beginning cocktail drinker. Good value book too.  Quality/Price Rating:91

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! *
  ++++++++++++++++++++++

2.NOMA 2.0: Vegetable, Forest, Ocean (Artisan, 2022, 352 pages, $95 hardbound) is by René Redzepi, Mette Søberg, and Junichi Takahashi. René Redzepi is the chef and co-owner of Noma in Copenhagen, five times recognized as the world's best restaurant. In 2021, Noma got its third Michelin star. His first book, Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine, was an IACP and James Beard Award winner. All three authors are the top culinary team at Noma, developing recipes in the kitchen lab.  Indeed, Noma is possibly the world's most influential restaurant. The cookbook is laid out with  narrative descriptions for the recipes. Dishes are organized seasonally:  there is vegetable (May through August), forest (September through December), and ocean (January through April). Everything here is extremely inventive and extremely creative, and can be replicated with the right ingredients and the right equipment. It's all about stimulating the palate and the eye, with trompe l'oeil and unusual ingredients (e.g. reindeer brain).  As the New York Times' Pete Wells wrote in praising Noma's flavours, "Sauces are administered so subtly that you don't notice anything weird going on; you just think you've never tasted anything so extraordinary in your life."  There are 200 preps, with gorgeous photography for each plate. It's a very challenging and admirable book, but also a terrific coffee table gift book (it weighs about two kilos) for the armchair chef and traveller.  The gift book of the season! Quality/price rating: 95.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


* MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

3.GOOD ENOUGH; a cookbook embracing the joys of imperfection & practicing self-care in the kitchen (Workman, 2022, 298 pages, $24.95 paperbound) is by Leanne Brown, author of GOOD AND CHEAP, a bestseller cookbook. It's a mix of personal essays, stories, and about 100 recipes: "this book is about the joys of imperfection". She believes that cooking can be a healing process, acknowledging fears and anxieties as well as letting them go, slowing down, and the sensory experience of creating meals to feed yourself and family. She stresses the importance of self-care and self-nourishment by proposing a gateway to calm cooking, beginning with the pantry and the mise-en-place in the "good enough preparation". Chapters deal with mornings, midday, weeknights, fun, and "good enough for others". Her end notes deal with leftovers, with an invitation to observe what happens to food the next day. Typical preps for weeknights involve weeknight farro casserole; fast white bean, chorizo, and hearty greens stew; leek and squash risotto with goat cheese and honey; bacon and kale risotto with fried eggs; saucy spiced chicken; and summer burgers. Try also spicy ginger-honey blondies or baklava granola or banana and date and cashew muffins. Ingredients are listed in American avoirdupois units, but there are two pages of conversions tables for the metric-inclined. One of her best concepts is the TL;DR ("too long; didn't read") which is useful for those longer recipes. In her case, she summarizes many of them by using a TL;DR headnote and 25 words or so. Cooking does not need to be depressing. Quality/price rating: 90.


4.ASHIA'S TABLE; family recipes from India and beyond (Interlink Books, 2022, 224 pages, $45 hardbound) is by Ashia Ismail Singer, who pays tribute to her heritage with themes on her family's classics and modern spins on today's cuisine. She's got some memoirish material from childhood and multiple food experiences. Her collection emphasizes the culture: sharing platters with family and friends (kebab pastry twists, spinach squares, onion and potato bhajias); light lunches of easy dishes (masala omelet, chili sweetcorn, potato curry); dinner dishes from an everyday meal to an elaborate dinner (chili-crusted baked salmon, chicken biryani, lamb curry, machi fry); side dishes (naan, chutneys, rices, breads); and desserts (carrot halva, sticky date cake, chocolate and cardamom puddings). Well worth looking into. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Great food photos.  Quality/price rating:88.


5.BAGELS, SCHMEARS, AND A NICE PIECE OF FISH; a whole brunch of recipes to make at home (Chronicle Books, 2022, 208 pages, $36  hardbound) is by Cathy Barrow, an award-winning creator of many other cookbooks and food article writer.  Here, in about 90 pages, she runs through the home bagel-making process. This is followed by 50 pages of schmears, both savoury and sweet, and concludes with a variety of fish. Other faves include her takes on salads, pickles and ferments, bagel sandwiches with salads, and a bunch of menus. Her homemade bagels mostly replicate the New York City style, but she also does cover the Montreal bagel, the Pumpernickel bagel, and a variety of others such as the Jerusalem bagel, the Turkish simit, the Flagel (flattened bagel), the Pletzel, the Bialy, plus a lot of sweet bagels. The highlight of the book is actually the 18 or so schmears plus variations, and this is very easy to do at home. In fact, you can, of course, buy your own bagels and fish, but make your own schmears for an innovative brunch. Eggs, chickens, and vegan options can easily replace fish. A good, single purpose book. The book could have been improved if it had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.



6.FOOT TRODDEN; Portugal and the Wines That Time Forgot (Interlink Books, 2021, 257 pages, $45 CAD hardbound) is by Simon J Woolf and Ryan Opaz, and was originally published in the Netherlands. It's a very comprehensive book on the current day Portuguese wines, as told through the personal histories of its winemakers and growers. Covered are materials dealing with both old and new winemaking techniques. There are a ton of indigenous grape varieties that seldom make it out of Portugal. There is a lot of detail and depth here. Foot treading is still popular, in a traditional sense, as the winemakers deal with varying harvests and vintages of some 250 local grape varieties. The most popular varieties appear to be the whites Encruzado, Arinto dos Acores, Alvarinho and Fernao Pires, and the reds Ramisco, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Baga. Nominated for many wine book awards (Andre Simon, James Beard Awards) and also chosen as the NEW YORK TIMES BEST WINE BOOK OF 2021. Quality/Price Rating: 90


7.THE MODERN TABLE; kosher recipes for everyday gatherings (Figure.1 Publishing, 2022, 192 pages, $40 hardbound) is by Kim Kushner who gives us 75 simple but delicious everyday preps, entertaining ideas, menus – all within the range of kosher cuisine. It's her third kosher cookbook. She re-emphasizes both the seasonal nature of food and the healthy requirement for busy lifestyles. She's got table settings, menus (both formal and informal), floral decorations, and culinary gifts. An all-in-one package. It's all arranged by course: starters, soups, salads, fish, meats, poultry, veggies and other sides, ending with sweets and a metric conversion chart! Some good dishes to try include sesame-scallion salmon cake, sea bass with turmeric and chickpeas, veal milanese with arugula, beef bibimbap, za'tar cauliflower steaks, charred broccoli and garlic, berry frose, and Israeli-style cheesecake. Along the way there are some memoirish materials and matters dealing with the tablescape design of logistics for people. Quality/price rating: 90.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

* 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 –



8.GENNARO'S LIMONI; vibrant Italian recipes for celebrating the lemon (Interlink Books, 2021, 192 pages, $45 hardbound) is by Gennaro Contaldo, best known as Jamie Oliver`s teacher in Italian cooking. He has  been chef at many London restaurants before opening his own, Passione. He has written four major books on Italian food, appeared everywhere with his TV series, teaching masterclases, and writing magazine articles. Here he promotes the multi-purpose lemon which can refresh, brighten, cut through a rich dish, preserve, and even cook (through acidifying). Contaldo grew up with lemons in his native Amalfi Coast. Lemons are used everywhere, in virtually every dish. The flesh, pith and skin are chopped into salads. The zest can, well, add zest to any dish. Its leaves (if you have them) are used to wrap fish, meat, and cheese. But I did not see any references to seeds, nor to special types of  lemons such as Meyer or Menton. There are about 100 preps, all arranged by ingredient, but starting with small plates, moving on to veggies, fish, meat, and desserts. The last thirty pages deal with drinks, preserves, sauces and dressings. There's a short history of the lemon , followed by uses for lemons outside the kitchen. He starts off with the absolutely brilliant but simple fennel and apple salad with a warm citrus ragu, followed by a pizza al limone with sausage, mozzarella and arugula.  There's also rabbit baked in lemon leaves and a "marmellata di limoni" that is simple to prepare. There are some pasta dishes such as farfalle with capers and lemon or linguine with lemon and eggplant pesto. In addition to avoirdupois and metric weights there are avoirdupois volume measurements. But the book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. There is excellent complementary photography by David Loftus.  Quality/price rating: 90.


9.AEGEAN (Interlink Books, 2020, 2022, 224 pages, $35.95 paperbound) is by Marianna Leivaditaki, who was raised on Crete and now is a London UK chef at Morito. It's a paperbound reprint. Her paean to the Aegean is centred largely on Crete as just one of the many islands that belong to Greece. Other major islands include Rhodes, Karpathos, and Kasos. As the largest and most populous island, Crete has an original cuisine that Leivaditaki delves into. She conveniently divides the book into three: the sea, the land, the mountains, with recipes and personal stories for each. And there are lots of great photos here of prawns with ouzo, orzo and zucchini, tomato and oregano fritters with feta, and the kakavia one-pot fish stew. This is the Mediterranean diet in all of its full-blown glory, with olive oils, fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish. A delight. Quality/price rating: 88.

----------------------------------------------------

GHETTO GASTRO PRESENTS BLACK POWER KITCHEN (Artisan Books, 2022, 304 pages, $50 hardbound) is by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, and Lester Walker, assisted by Osayi Endolyn. All are chefs, cooks and food writers. In conjunction with the Bronx Ghetto Gastro (a culinary collective think tank with intensive experiences), they merge food, fashion, music, art, and design. They use food to create immersive culinary experiences incorporating storytelling and product design to advance health sovereignty in the Bronx by feeding the local community. Endolyn is a Beard-award writer whose work explores food and identity; she co-authored with Marcus Samuelsson, The Rise: black cooks and the soul of American food. The stylish, gorgeous large form photographic images are by Nayquan Shuler and Joshua Woods. It is all a mix of 75 recipes that stress crunch, heat, and umami; with interviews, photography and art re: the nature of Black food, the Black experience, and Black food inequality. Some may call this a part cookbook and a part manifesto, with material on a unique viewpoint that even resulted in newly-designed cookware offered through both Williams-Sonoma and Target. Most of the food preps come directly from family roots and cultural heritage, many with modern updating to accompdate a plant-based diet. In the opening pages, they produce "the makings of a Ghetto Gastro dish", that being in this case, Triple Cs -- seared cornbread, crab salad, and caviar. Instruction are given (in both imperial and in metric measurements), and it is all doable, although types of caviar are not discussed. This is followed by Chopped Stease (their version of a chopped cheese sandwich), Green Juice (juiced assorted greens with black cumin seed oil), Coco Loco (coconut ice), and Seafood City (smoked paprika romesco, frito misto), Strong Back Stew, Banana Leaf Fish,Tres Leches,  and others. Quality/price rating: 92.


THE FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS BIBLE; more than 8,000 substitutions for ingredients, equipment & techniques. 3rd ed. rev. and exp. (Robert Rose, 2022, 687 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0706-3, $59.95 Canadian, hard covers) has been compiled by David Joachim who has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 50 cookbooks. It was originally published in 2005, with 5,000 substitutions and again in 2011 with 6,500. This new 3rd edition has hundreds of new substitutions for existing entries and brand-new entries, e.g. bacon fat, chia, chicken salt, coquito, crab roe, date sugar, fregula, mirepoix, sorghum flour, et al. The continual globalization of ethnic foods and the COVID-19 pandemic have shown how badly home cooks all need substitutions in their cooking. Supply chains be damned! You won't have to visit a lot of specialist grocery stores. You won't have to buy a whole container just for 2 tablespoons of the required ingredient -- just substitute for something comparable, as noted in the "Bible". Joachim also has new ingredient guides and measuring tables in the appendix to cover Asiatic noodles, can and package size equivalents, and alcohol retention in cooking plus new recipes for plant-based sauces and meringues and mayonnaise. It's also physically heavier, with watercolour illustrations by Emily Isabella and heavier paper in a hardbound format meant to last longer. This is a solid reference book emphasizing, through over 1,500 complete entries, more than 8,000 reasonably approximate substitutions – all of it cross-referenced and arranged alphabetically. The ingredients are listed with both avoirdupois and metric measurements. There are more than 188 recipes for larder type items and emergency substitutions for creating vegan or kosher foods such as sauces, stocks, spice mixes, herb blends, syrups, flavoured butters, cheese and vegan cheese, dips, spreads, relishes, and beverages. There are handy reference charts for metric equivalents, high altitude cooking, stages of cooked sugar, pan sizes. There are ingredient tables for edible flowers, types of salts and vinegars, oil substitutions, picking apples and pears, dried beans and lentils, olives, mushrooms, potatoes, chilies, flours, and rice. He has useful website listings and a bibliography. This is an important food resource and reference book. Quality/Price Rating: 94.




ZERO PROOF DRINKS & MORE; 100 recipes for mocktails & low-alcohol cocktails (Robert Rose, 2021, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0675-2, $29.95 soft covers) is by Maureen Petrosky, an entertainment and lifestyle writer currently living in Pennsylvania. These are mindful concoctions devoted to socially-distanced happy hours at home. While Spring is the official season of the mocktail, it reminds us of better times. Lo-al (low-ABV) drinks are the obvious choices for the hotter climate of summer and the harshness of winter. As she says, "Today's zero-proof cocktails are complex and nuanced, worlds away from their sugar-saturated predeccors such as the Shirley Temple. She's got the basic preps for syrups, shrubs, aperitifs, and spritzers. No real extra set-ups are needed since most kitchens/bars have the basics anyway to handle alcohol. Mocktails are best as a day drink followed by lo-al happy hours. She's also got thirty pages of punches and pitcher drinks for that high volume party -- fourteen great recipes including spicy margaritas by the pitcher, sparkling peach punch, strawberry cucumber tonic, and jalapeno and honeydew sangria. Anything that reduces our alcohol consumption is a good necessity, such as the Michelada from Mexico. Most drinks can be tweaked upwards or downwards in quantities of add-ons. And every mocktail can have as much alcohol (if you need it) as you can pour into it – simply by topping up with a bland white wine. Key bottles of lo-al include Campari, Aperol, elderflower, Pimm's No.1, Amaretto, vermouth, and sherry. This is an infinitely expandable book once you have assimilated the basics. She's got easy ways to mix up flavours. Trendy titles include Bloody M, Rosemary Pear Bellini, Grilled Pineapple Mint Mojito, Lemongrass Cilantro Highball, and Grapefruit Radler. Certainly much better than a premixed non-al pretender bottle such as a gin clone, a bourbon clone, a tequila clone, which retail for $40 or more. Just use stuff like juniper berries and rum flavouring at home. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Apart from the punches and pitchers, drinks are for one person. Quality/price rating by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing: 91.
 




Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Limited Time Offers at the LCBO, good through Jan 29 2023

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale now through Sunday January 29...

W+258681    G. Marquis Chardonnay VQA The Silver Line $18.95 now $17.20 – save $1.75
W+462846    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay Wash. State $18.95 now $16.95 -- save $2
R+30957    Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere Chile $19.95 now $16.95 -- save $3
R+360222    Ste Michelle Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon Wash. State    $23.95     now $20.95-- save $3
R+258673    G. Marquis Pinot Noir VQA The Silver Line  $19.95 now    $17.95 – save $2
R+328567    Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa    $18.95    now $16.95 -- save $2



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

NEWLY RELEASED KACABA VQA NIAGARA WINES...

KACABA Vineyards & Winery Premium Series Cabernet/Syrah 2020 VQA Niagara Escarpment $24.95 518 cases now available at winery and online at kacaba.com: this is a blend of cabernet franc (60%) with syrah (40%), the latter being the oldest planting in Ontario. Sustainably grown. At one time it was a blend of cabernet/merlot/syrah, but this changes every year depending on the grapes available and the harvest conditions. Matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 months or so. You'll get a whiff of anise and red fruit, and with the franc it is a bit savoury. Definitely a red meat wine. What I usually do is make a double-decant, taste, and then leave it in a re-sealed bottle for a week or so, with daily tastings. The wine itself will be at its peak in a few more years. Expect dark fruit such as cassis and some red fruit like Ontario cherries. 3g/L residual sugar. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

 
 
KACABA Vineyards & Winery Premium Series Cabernet Franc 2019 VQA Niagara Escarpment $33.15 525 cases available at winery and online at kacaba.com in January 2023: this is one of Kacaba's new Premium Series, an upscale label line of wine. Very reminiscent of Right Bank (St Emilion) cabs but without the stuffing of, say, Cheval Blanc. It is just as durable at this young age. Currently it is mute until tasted later after aeration. What I usually do is a double-decant, taste, and then leave it in a sealed bottle for a week or so, with daily tastings. If you don't do this, then the wine will be ready in six to ten years. Complex aromas begin to ascend and descend as the week rolls on. First some cherries -- mostly red with Ontario cranberry, but later also black. Some vanilla smoke, savoury herby spiciness, even coffee and chocolate (that'll please the millennials). Again, strong (aged or gamey) red meat is called for food pairing. 3g/L residual sugar.  13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 - 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Monday, January 9, 2023

Re: Three Quality Robert Rose Cookbooks reviewed ...

Thanks Dean.

 

-- 

Robert J. Dees
President 
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario    M4P 1E2
Phone (416) 322-6552 ext. 3131
Fax (416) 322-6936 
rdees@robertrose.ca

 

 

From: "deantudor@yahoo.com" <deantudor@yahoo.com>
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 9:22 PM
To: blog1 <dtudor2.epicures@blogger.com>
Subject: Three Quality Robert Rose Cookbooks reviewed ...

 

  • THE ESSENTIAL HOME-GROUND FLOUR BOOK (Robert Rose, 2016, 288

pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0534-2, $27.95 CAD paperbound) is by Sue Becker,

owner of The Bread Beckers and The Real Bread Company. She's a nutrition

counsellor in Georgia USA who has been teaching whole-grain flours for over 25

years. This is a reissue/reprint of the 2016 book. Real whole grains are both

nutritious and delicious, and can be incorporated into any lifestyle and culture.

Those grains with gluten (wheat, barley, rye) unfortunately cannot be assimilated

by some people, but there are plenty of other grains and grasses to go around:

rice, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, teff, sorghum, legumes. She covers

them all in her determination to get you to bake and eat freshly home-ground

flours; there is nutrition, lower cost, and better taste. The first half of the book

details equipment for home-milling and the basics of baking. The second half has

100 recipes for yeast breads, quick breads, loaf breads, biscuits, cornbread,

cookies, bars and cakes. As always there is the terrific Robert Rose layout of

notes, ingredients, metric and avoirdupois measurements used in each recipe,

and tips. Quality/price rating: 90.

  •  
  • 200 EASY HOMEMADE CHEESE RECIPES. 2d ed rev and expanded

(Robert Rose, 2009, 2013, 2020, 408 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0465-9,

$27.95 CAD paperbound) is by Debra Amrein-Boyes, head cheese

maker and owner of The Farm House Natural Cheeses in BC. It was

originally published in 2009 at 385 pages. There's a primer on basic

cheese-making techniques, plus equipment and

tools, and sanitation. Chapters include fresh cheeses, ;lata stretched

cheeses, mold-ripening, blue-veined, washed-rind, washed-curd, semi-

soft, semi-;rm, and hard cheeses. Other chapters deal with ethnic and

regional cheeses, yogurt and ke;r, butter, buttermilk and crème

fraiche. There is also a trouble-shooting section and a glossary. New

changes indicated include an all-new 32-page troubleshooting section,

new step-step-photos, and new inclusion of prep times with each

recipe.

Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and

avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.

Quality/price rating: 90.

  •  
  • SERIOUSLY GOOD FREEZER MEALS: 150 easy recipe to save your time.

Money & sanity (Robert Rose, 2018, 368 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0591-5

$29.95 CAD paperbound) is by Karrie Truman, a blogger

(happymoneysaver.com} who can actually make 50 freezer meals in a day. Her

blog appeals to those on a budget who cook from scratch. And of course, storage

in a freezer is the best thing. We've had a freezer at home for 45 years now

(actually, the first one lasted 25 years and we are now onto another one) and it is

full of single items and prepared meals such as ragu or pot pies. So this is

another Robert Rose single equipment book, chock full (150 preps) of freezer

meals. She's got preps for the whole family: dietary needs, small and large

families, time constraints. Freezer bags are the main containers: they can be reused. Of course, all freezer meals will lose their taste after awhile, so they need to be used up by rotation. There's a lot of primer material here on the hows and whys of freezing, followed by the preps. Most recipes have a bulk batch guide so you can increase or decrease the serving size (the servings are mainly for 6). Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupoismeasurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Interesting recipes include smoky pulled pork sandwiches; pad thai; tikka masala; sun-dried tomato and bacon chicken; chili; coconut cashew basil curry soup.

  • The book is over-sized and heavy in weight, but I guess if you can prep many dishes a day for the freezer, then you can lug around the book. One upside to this book: there's an international scope. Quality/Price Rating: 90
  • CHIMO!!  Dean Tudor, Gothic Eipcures Writing...

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Three Quality Robert Rose Cookbooks reviewed ...

  • THE ESSENTIAL HOME-GROUND FLOUR BOOK (Robert Rose, 2016, 288
    pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0534-2, $27.95 CAD paperbound) is by Sue Becker,
    owner of The Bread Beckers and The Real Bread Company. She's a nutrition
    counsellor in Georgia USA who has been teaching whole-grain flours for over 25
    years. This is a reissue/reprint of the 2016 book. Real whole grains are both
    nutritious and delicious, and can be incorporated into any lifestyle and culture.
    Those grains with gluten (wheat, barley, rye) unfortunately cannot be assimilated
    by some people, but there are plenty of other grains and grasses to go around:
    rice, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, teff, sorghum, legumes. She covers
    them all in her determination to get you to bake and eat freshly home-ground
    flours; there is nutrition, lower cost, and better taste. The first half of the book
    details equipment for home-milling and the basics of baking. The second half has
    100 recipes for yeast breads, quick breads, loaf breads, biscuits, cornbread,
    cookies, bars and cakes. As always there is the terrific Robert Rose layout of
    notes, ingredients, metric and avoirdupois measurements used in each recipe,
    and tips. Quality/price rating: 90.

  • 200 EASY HOMEMADE CHEESE RECIPES. 2d ed rev and expanded
    (Robert Rose, 2009, 2013, 2020, 408 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0465-9,
    $27.95 CAD paperbound) is by Debra Amrein-Boyes, head cheese
    maker and owner of The Farm House Natural Cheeses in BC. It was
    originally published in 2009 at 385 pages. There's a primer on basic
    cheese-making techniques, plus equipment and
    tools, and sanitation. Chapters include fresh cheeses, ;lata stretched
    cheeses, mold-ripening, blue-veined, washed-rind, washed-curd, semi-
    soft, semi-;rm, and hard cheeses. Other chapters deal with ethnic and
    regional cheeses, yogurt and ke;r, butter, buttermilk and crème
    fraiche. There is also a trouble-shooting section and a glossary. New
    changes indicated include an all-new 32-page troubleshooting section,
    new step-step-photos, and new inclusion of prep times with each
    recipe.
    Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
    avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
    Quality/price rating: 90.

  • SERIOUSLY GOOD FREEZER MEALS: 150 easy recipe to save your time.
    Money & sanity (Robert Rose, 2018, 368 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0591-5
    $29.95 CAD paperbound) is by Karrie Truman, a blogger
    (happymoneysaver.com} who can actually make 50 freezer meals in a day. Her
    blog appeals to those on a budget who cook from scratch. And of course, storage
    in a freezer is the best thing. We've had a freezer at home for 45 years now
    (actually, the first one lasted 25 years and we are now onto another one) and it is
    full of single items and prepared meals such as ragu or pot pies. So this is
    another Robert Rose single equipment book, chock full (150 preps) of freezer
    meals. She's got preps for the whole family: dietary needs, small and large
    families, time constraints. Freezer bags are the main containers: they can be reused. Of course, all freezer meals will lose their taste after awhile, so they need to be used up by rotation. There's a lot of primer material here on the hows and whys of freezing, followed by the preps. Most recipes have a bulk batch guide so you can increase or decrease the serving size (the servings are mainly for 6). Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupoismeasurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Interesting recipes include smoky pulled pork sandwiches; pad thai; tikka masala; sun-dried tomato and bacon chicken; chili; coconut cashew basil curry soup.
  • The book is over-sized and heavy in weight, but I guess if you can prep many dishes a day for the freezer, then you can lug around the book. One upside to this book: there's an international scope. Quality/Price Rating: 90
  • CHIMO!!  Dean Tudor, Gothic Eipcures Writing...

Monday, January 2, 2023

Fw: WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JAN 7, 2023 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JAN 7,  2023 release.

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 good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on for some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past  Season  ---

RECENT AND DECENT TASTING NOTES FOR SOME PAYS D'OC IGP WINES...

1.Gerard Bertrand Perles de Grenache Rose 2021 Pays D'Oc IGP Vintages 556209 $18.95: fresh, very fragrant with fruity elegance. The pale salmon colour was phenomenal, and very typical of South of France roses. All grenache grapes. Scored highly by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada (over 90 points). Very dry, with residual sugar at 2 g/L. On the palate, strawberries dominate. A very good quaffer for parties, or for a wine pairing with fish and broiled foods. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

2.Domaine de La Baume Elisabeth Viognier 2021 Pays D'Oc IGP Vintages 438796 $18.95:
fresh stone fruit tones abound with peaches and apricots leading to a citric long finish. Cold fermentation done up in steel, with peachy aromas. We had it with squash soup and a roast (both poultry and pork). Dee-licious. But also good as an aperitif.
2g/L residual sugar. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3.Gabriel Meffre Le Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2021 Pays D'Oc IGP LCBO 563130 $15: a very satisfying and easy-breezy quaff on the LCBO's general wine list. Nutty butters on palate, some pear decadence, nuances of vanilla bean from a partial oak aging. No malolactic fermentation. Elegant balanced finish with good food depth. 2g/L residual sugar. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

4.Fortant Terroir d'Altitude Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Pays D'Oc IGP LCBO 17535 $15.45: made from hillside grapevines (250 – 600 metres). Complex cassis and pumpkin spices, along with forest floor mushrooms and some garrigue. Black fruit and long finish dominates. Aged four months in French oak. Perhaps best with grilled or broiled foods.
2g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

5.Sarl Le Loup Blanc Soif du Loup Rouge 2019 Pays D'Oc IGP Vintages 20955 $19.95: a combo of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, but extra-dry (unlike the Oz combo of cabernet and shiraz). "Soif du Loup" in English means "thirst of the wolf". Here there are 35-year old vines, and red fruit with spices and minerality dominates. This is an organic wine, great as an all-purpose food red. 2 g/L residual sugar. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

SOME NEW WINES FROM THE LOIRE VALLEY IN FRANCE.....

1.Chateau de Montgueret Cremant de Loire NV AOC Brut. LCBO +217760 $20.95: this has long been one of my fave French Cremants, done up in the same traditional method as Champagne. Not only has it been a gold medalist in Europe, but it has also been rated just as highly at the annual Wine Writers' Circle of Canada Christmas tastings. It uses
chenin blanc, chardonnay and some cabernet grapes. Hand-picked, as a condition of its Cremant status. Very fine, persistent bubbles, with 1g/L residual sugar, aged 15-18 months, smooth and well-balanced. Expect to find a generous mix of green herbs, honey, citrus, with some orchard fruit on the back end before a lime finish. 12.5% ABV.
Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

2.Domaine Bouchaud Pont Caffino Chateau Thebaud Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sure Lie 2014
+24613  $25.95 Internet Order Online: a rare find – an over-the-top higher acid Muscadet that pairs with ANY style of seafood. Despite its age, it is still in that light and crisp and fresh category. Made from 80-year-old vines which emphasize citrus tones on the mid-palate. Most fruit is citric but there are also some crisp melons lurking there. Ripe, dry, clean finish. 12% ABV, 2g/L residual sugar. Top flight luxury packaging plus a cork closure. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3.Famille Bougrier Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2020 LCBO +253229 $15.55: Vouvrays can be dry or off-sweet; this one is in the latter category and serves nicely as an aperitif with food or as a first course wine with some appropriate creamy dish. Pale in colour, unoaked. It's a nicely done affordable typical Vouvray, with an off-dry complexity in the honeyed finish. The fruit bowl contains quince aromas, pear and orchard/stone fruit such as apricots and peaches. My sample went very well with salted nuts (cashews and pistachios) and smoked gorgonzola cheese. 12% ABV, 36g/L residual sugar. Screwcap twist-off closure. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

NEW WINES FROM ALSACE IN FRANCE...

1.Domaine Alliman-Laugner Cremant d'Alsace Brut NV +30593 Vintages $23.95: this is an elegant aperitif wine beginning with aromatic florals on the nose and continuing with apples and lemons on the mid-palate, and with a refreshingly tart length to the finish. For what it is worth, it costs more in the USA (nationally at retail). The grape blend is pinot blanc, pinot gris, and riesling. The lemon zest at the finish also makes it very useful as a first course wine. Under the new Alsatian rules, it is labelled "sec", or dry. 6g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

2.Wilm Riesling 2020 Reserve Alsace  +11452  Vintages Essential $19.95 [on sale until Jan 1 @ $18.45]: This is a "welcome back" wine as Alsatian wine makes a comeback from being over-the-top sweet whites due to climate change. At 5g/L residual sugar it is virtually dry, noted "sec" on the back label. Its big body is citric and floral with some juniper, even some nuances of anise. Compelling with sushi, shellfish, fish, and poultry. 12.5% ABV. Twist-off closure. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

3.Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer 2020 Grand Reserve Alsace +747600 Vintages $20.95: this wine gives a big bang for the buck: rose petals, tropicality, pear unctuousness, with "sweetness and spice on finish". Remarkable with sushi, spicy dishes, foie gras and/or terrines. With such a great body, it should be more intense and flavourful after five more years. "Grande Reserve" indeed. With 16g/L residual sugar, this wine is at the low end of "moelleux" (12 – 45 g/L). 14% ABV. Tasted chilled over several days. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale now through Sunday January 29...

W+258681    G. Marquis Chardonnay VQA The Silver Line $18.95 now $17.20 – save $1.75
W+462846    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay Wash. State $18.95 now $16.95 -- save $2
R+30957    Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere Chile $19.95 now $16.95 -- save $3
R+360222    Ste Michelle Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon Wash. State    $23.95     now $20.95-- save $3
R+258673    G. Marquis Pinot Noir VQA The Silver Line  $19.95 now    $17.95 – save $2
R+328567    Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon South Africa    $18.95    now $16.95 -- save $2
 
MAJOR THEME:  Smart Buys

=========
W+645770    VITESE GRILLO    2020    Sicily    DOC Sicilia    $14.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+25639    VIÑA SIEGEL GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE    2019    Valle de Colchagua    $15.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+471854    RIOJA VEGA CRIANZA    2019    Vegan, DOCa Rioja    $15.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+492470    VINEDRESSERS CABERNET SAUVIGNON/PETIT VERDOT    2016    Ontario    Vegan, sustainable, VQA South Islands, Lake Erie North Shore    $19.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+27207    CONO SUR ORGANIC GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    2019    Vegan, carbon neutral, DO Valle de Colchagua $18.95  MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
=========
R+496414    CASALFORTE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    2018 Veneto DOCG $39.95         
MVC/QPR: 89






Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Re: THE FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS BIBLE; more than 8,000 substitutions for ingredients....

Thanks Dean.

 

-- 

Robert J. Dees
President 
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario    M4P 1E2
Phone (416) 322-6552 ext. 3131
Fax (416) 322-6936 
rdees@robertrose.ca

 

 

From: "deantudor@yahoo.com" <deantudor@yahoo.com>
Date: Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 11:03 AM
To: blog1 <dtudor2.epicures@blogger.com>
Subject: THE FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS BIBLE; more than 8,000 substitutions for ingredients....

 

THE FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS BIBLE; more than 8,000 substitutions for ingredients, equipment & techniques. 3rd ed. rev. and exp. (Robert Rose, 2022, 687 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0706-3, $59.95 Canadian, hard covers) has been compiled by David Joachim who has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 50 cookbooks. It was originally published in 2005, with 5,000 substitutions and again in 2011 with 6,500. This new 3rd edition has hundreds of new substitutions for existing entries and brand-new entries, e.g. bacon fat, chia, chicken salt, coquito, crab roe, date sugar, fregula, mirepoix, sorghum flour, et al. The continual globalization of ethnic foods and the COVID-19 pandemic have shown how badly home cooks all need substitutions in their cooking. Supply chains be damned! You won't have to visit a lot of specialist grocery stores. You won't have to buy a whole container just for 2 tablespoons of the required ingredient -- just substitute for something comparable, as noted in the "Bible". Joachim also has new ingredient guides and measuring tables in the appendix to cover Asiatic noodles, can and package size equivalents, and alcohol retention in cooking plus new recipes for plant-based sauces and meringues and mayonnaise. It's also physically heavier, with watercolour illustrations by Emily Isabella and heavier paper in a hardbound format meant to last longer. This is a solid reference book emphasizing, through over 1,500 complete entries, more than 8,000 reasonably approximate substitutions – all of it cross-referenced and arranged alphabetically. The ingredients are listed with both avoirdupois and metric measurements. There are more than 188 recipes for larder type items and emergency substitutions for creating vegan or kosher foods such as sauces, stocks, spice mixes, herb blends, syrups, flavoured butters, cheese and vegan cheese, dips, spreads, relishes, and beverages. There are handy reference charts for metric equivalents, high altitude cooking, stages of cooked sugar, pan sizes. There are ingredient tables for edible flowers, types of salts and vinegars, oil substitutions, picking apples and pears, dried beans and lentils, olives, mushrooms, potatoes, chilies, flours, and rice. He has useful website listings and a bibliography. This is an important food resource and reference book. Quality/Price Rating: 94.

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism

Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures