Search This Blog

Loading...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 23, 2016.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 23, 2016.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "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.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
20 under $20
=========
R-Atalaya Laya 2014 Almansa  Spain, +132605, $15.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR:  90.
R-Bod Piqueras Castillo de Almansa Old Vines Seleccion 2010 Almasa, +586719, $16.95, 14.5%ABV.
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Gonzalez Byass Finca Constancia Seleccion 2013 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, +376384, $16.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 92.
W-Maetierra Atlantis Albarino 2015 Rias Baixas, +452078, $16.95, 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Gil Family Entresuelos Tempranillo 2013 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, +462440, $16.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 VQA Niagara, +367797, $19.95, 13% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2012 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +381251, $19.20, 9.5%ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Watchdog Rock Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Columbia Valley, +461178, $17.95, 13.5%ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Zuccardi Q Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 La Consulta/Tupungato Valleys Mendoza, +140855, $19.95, 14%ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2014 Uco Valley Mendoza, +167619, $16.95, 14%ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Indomita Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Maipo, +434191, $15.95, 14%ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Maipo, +461202, $16.95, 14%ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Rockbare Mojo Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley, +327767, $18.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Domaine Autrand Cotes du Rhone 2014, +380675, $13.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-M.Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone 2014, +328831, $16.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Pala I Fiori Vermentino di Sardegna 2015, +52068, $15.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Abad dom Bueno Mencia 2008 Bierzo, +291989, $15.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Garces Dilva Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Leyda Valley, +389726, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Santa Rita Medalla Real Syrah 2012 Limari, +443523,  $17.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-St.Hallett Gamekeeper's Shiraz 2014 Baross, +166991, $17.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
 
 
20 over $20
=========
W-Markham Chardonnay 2014 Napa, +418277, $23.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Yacochuya 2006 Cafayate Calchaqui Valley Salta, +35964, $57.95, 16.3% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough, +324228, $21.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Roger & Didier Raimbault Sancerre 2014, +82255, $26.95, 12.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Bachelder Hautes Cotes Cotes de Beaune 2013, +445247, $27.95, 13%ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Beni di Batasiolo Riserva Barolo 2006, +330704,  $39.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Le Arche Amarone della Valipolicella 2012, +95836, $34.95, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Flowers Chardonnay 2014 Sonoma Coast, +215210, $68.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Emmolo Merlot 2013 Napa, +96024, $69.95, 15.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Creation Pinot Noir 2014 WO Walker Bay So. Africa, +455279, $26.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Anselmi Capitel Croce 2014 IGT Veneto, +966655, $26.95,  13%ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-16 Mile Cellar Rebel Pinot Noir 2011 VQA Niagara, +461731, $22.95, 13.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chareau des Charmes St.David's Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA St David's Bench NOTL, +434415, $27.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Silver Oak Twomey Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Napa/Sonoma, +458695, $44.95, 13.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Kim Crawford Small Parcels Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough, +38240, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau Blaignan 2010 Cru Bourgeois Medoc, +416727, $25.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Caiarossa Pergolaia 2009 IGT Toscana, +460097, $31.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Querciabella Chianti Classico 2013, +728816, $37.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 VQA Niagara, +33894, $30, MVC/QPR: 87.
W-William Fevre Champs Royaux Chablis 2014, +461640, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! * Chickpea Flour does it All (The Experiment)

CHICKPEA FLOUR DOES IT ALL (The Experiment, 2016, 226 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-304-2, $19.95 USD softbound) is by Lindsey S. Love, a food photographer and blogger/recipe developer in Brooklyn doing free-lance work for food mags. Here she has about 100 seasonal recipes that are gluten-free and dairy-free, very useful for vegans. Chickpea flour is also a soy-free alternative to tofu. There is a bonus in that the flour is high in protein, versatile and inexpensive. There are a lot of sweet and savoury dishes here.
Chickpea flour can be used to thicken and flavour hearty dishes, give the dish a protein boost, adds creamy texture to dairy-free dishes, and forms an alternative to wheat-based pizza and pancakes/crepes. Love comes with eight log rollers. Her arrangement is by season, beginning with winter. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois and some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. The typeface is a bit small and the ink seems to have been screened to a gray tone. It would be more easily viewed by millennials than by seniors.
Audience and level of use: chickpea lovers, vegans, gluten-free adherents.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: grilled harissa cauliflower with quinoa toss;  mung bean pancakes with carrots and scallions; chipotle queso dip; strawberry s'mores; fig and hazelnut clafoutis; spiced chickpea pancakes with charred corn and radish salsa.
The downside to this book: there is just the one basic socca prep labeled "socca".
The upside to this book: excellent photography by a food specialist.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 17, 2016

SOME NEW BEVERAGES TASTED THIS MONTH --

SOME NEW BEVERAGES TASTED THE MONTH OF JUNE --
 
 
1.Chateau des Charmes Rose Cuvee d'Andree 2015 Estate Grown VQA NOTL, $15.95 Vintages +333260: this fresh and vibrant rose continues to please year over year as I have said before. It is still 100% pinot noir, dry "old style" as in Europe, but loaded with Ontario cranberry, red fruit strawberry, and some discreet black cherry tones from the hot summer, coming in at 12.7% ABV. Stainless steel fermentation of course, and twist top. Refreshing, just bottled. Ontario Wine Awards Gold Winner for 2016. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay 2012 St. David's Bench Vineyard VQA St David's Bench, +430991, $19.95 Vintages: one of several chardonnays at different price points from Chateau des Charmes. My last vintage tasted was the 2010. Barrel fermented and barrel aged in French oak for almost a year, with lees stirring. Expect soft balance with nuances of minerality and some muted tropicality, served up with orchard fruit. Cork closure. Long finish. One of my fave chards, but do not serve overchilled. 483 cases. 13.2% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
3.Ciderie St-Nicolas Brut Crackling Strong Cider PQ, ~$16: This "brut" of a cider can put hair on your chest, coming in at 8.5% ABV. It has been a gold medal winner in the past. This strong cider is useful as an aperitif or as a first course wine. Certainly, it is dry enough to take on many grape sparkling wines. A good choice in the cider sweepstakes. Once available through Vintages, now a private order from exquisitaste@sympatico.ca. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
4.Ciderie St-Nicolas Rose Cider PQ, ~$20: 7% ABV. It is a gold medal winner. The apples are crushed cold pressed with raspberries and strawberries for added complexity and, of course, colour. A terrific social drink or with dessert, even brunch. Carries enough weight and follows through with apple cider tones. Once available through Vintages, now a private order from exquisitaste@sympatico.ca. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Le Pere Jules Cidre Brut [2014 apples] Normandy, +456145, $13.60 LCBO General List: Lovely orange colour tones, but has that Norman/Breton funk of baked apples and barrels from the region. Bone dry, long finish, 5% ABV. Not only delightful but also affordable. Please remember that the LCBO only orders French cider once in a while, so load up for sure. Quality/Price rating is 94 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
6.Alberto Quacquarini Vernaccia Di Serrapetrona Vino Spumante Secco NV, $31.02 licensee; $34.95 retail; cases of 6 from www.appellationwines.ca. Made from the
Vernaccia Nera grape (located only in the Serrapetrona area in the Marche by the Adriatic) although there can also be small amounts of Montepulciano and Sangiovese. 12.5% ABV. Dry style (secco) for a sparkling red wine -- the result of THREE fermentations: the first uses half of the grapes hand-picked in October; the rest are dried on straw mats and added to the wine in January for a second fermentation; the third occurs after the wine has rested for a few months, and is then put into autoclaves where the Charmat method is used. It's a very unexpectedly aromatic wine, with red fruits including a cranberry sharpness and a strawberry sweetness (almost like cab franc). Typically tannic at first but then broadens on the palate and in the mouthfeel. It is best with sausages and salamis, or anything made with fatty pork.
Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
7.Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2014 Speck Family Reserve VQA Ontario, +461699, $24.95 Vintages Sept 17 but at winery now: Low yielding grapes come from Short Hills Bench area which was planted in 1984. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $25. Aged in premium American Oak for more than 18 months. It's still young, needing another two years or so for proper aging, but with multiple decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13.5% ABV. One of the top bacos at the LCBO. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork, lamb, farmed or wild game – all either braised or grilled. And spicy foods. Speck Family Reserves are the top tier by HOP. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.Henry of Pelham Chardonnay Speck Family Reserve 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench, +616466, $29.95 Vintages: from some of their oldest vines, starting in 1988, this chardonnay has been barrel fermented in French oak (40% new Allier, 60% in one year barrels) before barrel aging. It's smooth and clean, showing ripe oak expressions and some creaminess, long finish. Also, it is underpriced, if I may add....Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
9.Miguel Torres La Mulas Merlot 2015 Reserva Central Valley Chile, +454868, $12.95 LCBO: a lined price series treat from Chile, now on the shelves with its siblings cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, all at $12.95. Good value cheer from this soft, medium-bodied, velvety MVC merlot grown in organic vineyards. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
10.Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2012 WO Stellenbosch, +284588 $19.95 Vintages: a blended white (every region seems to have a few), this time it is South Africa with content of sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, and some semillon added later. Of value is the co-fermentation of the two "blancs", almost a field blend, as these wines are made together and not blended later. Aged a year before release for more complexity. It's a naturally made wine, with sustainability a cornerstone. Expect citrus, cream, and melons. Tasty. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, July 16, 2016

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 –
 
 
11.JUICE GURU (Robert Rose, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0529-8, $19.95 CAN softbound) is by Steve and Julie Prussack. He's the founder of Juice Guru Academy, dedicated to juicing and health education courses. He's a broadcast radio host and publishing founder of VegWorld Magazine. His lawyer wife is also a head writer for VegWorld Magazine. It is a basic juicing book with a 21-day plan, 100 or so fruit and veggie juices, and some lifestyle changes. They got juices with power greens, for cleansing, roots, tonics and elixirs, juices for children, quick and easy, and smoothies. Juicing has been promoted as boosting vitality, increasing longevity, and staying slim. Since most of us don't get the RDA of fruits and veggies, a glass of juice a day keeps the naysayers at bay. And besides, fresh-pressed juice contains about twice the nutritional content of a green smoothie. All good stuff. They've got lots of tips and techniques for proper juicing and extraction of value, plus a concluding section on resources. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
12.THE HUNGRY GIRL DIET COOKBOOK (St. Martin's Griffin, 2015, 363 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-08041-7, $17.99 USD paperbound) is by celebrity Lisa Lillien, author and TV personality of a series of Hungry Girl books going back ten years – over 2 million were sold. She's got hungry-girl.com (with a free companion app to create shopping lists and track one's food) and shows on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. Here (in this paperback reprint of a 2015 book) she follows up on her a diet of big portions, big results, and dropping 10 pounds in four weeks. There are 200 all-new easy recipes, including Hungry Girl classics such as oatmeal bowls, egg mugs, salads, and foil packs. And the usual tips, tricks, hints, strategies, how-tos, and food swaps or substitutions. The emphasis, as always, is on lean protein, fat-free and reduced dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and huge portions for volume. Ideal for mix-n-match meals and snacks. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
13.HUNGRY GIRL CLEAN & HUNGRY (St. Martin's Griffin, 2016, 363 pages, ISBN 978-0-312-67677-3, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by celebrity Lisa Lillien, author and TV personality and founder of the Hungry Girl "empire". Here, in this original book, she's covering  easy all-natural recipes for healthy eating in the real world. Each prep has little to no added sugar, is low in calories and starchy carbs, and is high in protein and fibre. Each prep has fewer than 375 calories per serving. Typical are BBQ meatloaf (196 calories), shrimp fried rice with pineapple (229 calories) and flourless chocolate cake (100 calories). 43 recipes have 5 or fewer ingredients, 56 recipes can be done in under 30 minutes, 91 are vegetarian preps, and there are 108 gluten-free recipes. Overall, there are more than 150 recipes scattered among breakfasts (oats, bowls, eggs, burritos, pancakes/waffles, smoothies), soups and stews, casseroles, pasta, cauliflower, stir fry and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
14.FLOYD CARDOZ: FLAVORWALLA (Artisan Books, 2016, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-621-8, $29.95 USD hardbound) is by Floyd Cardoz, a Top Chef Masters-winning NYC chef (Tabla, North End Grill, Paowalla). It comes with some heavy-duty log rollers like Samuelsson, Colicchio, and Stone. He's got 100 or so recipes which are big on flavours, not spicy heat. For example, there is grilled asparagus with mustard seed and lemon, or salmon with fennel and coriander, or grilled lamb shanks with salsa verde, or roasted cauliflower with candied ginger and pine nuts and raisins. Chapters are about meal times: there are sections for weeknight meals, dinner for two, family style, breakfast, summer cooking, special dinners and parties, and food for the Big Game. There is a list of sources. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents on the last page. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Event: Dinner with Marco Bonfonte, new style Piemontese winemaker.

The Date and Time:  Monday, June 20, 2016  7PM to 10PM
The Event: Dinner with Marco Bonfonte, new style Piemontese winemaker.
The Venue: Grano
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: all are through Cipelli as private orders, one is consignment.
The Quote/Background: Marco described his family, going back 8 generations, and the importance of adapting to the growing wine industry. From the region he produces DOC and DOCG Gavi, Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo and others. But also, he's created Albarone, using the albarossa grape in the appassimento style, produced and aged similar to Amarone. His 2011 vintage was scored 96 recently, and judged the second best red wine in Italy.
The Wines: We had four wines, all with food. He is represented in Ontario by Cipelli wines.
 
The Menu – Antipasto (salumi, insalata, calamari), with Roero Arneis Perste 2015, an iconic white at $24.95es (Cipelli PO), herby and rosemary, my rating 4 stars (91+).
Primo (fettuccine al ragu di cervo [deer]), with Nebbiolo Langhe Imma 2013, $29.95est (Cipelli PO), 3.5 stars (88-90).
-Secondo (brasato di manzo [short ribs] al barolo), with Barolo 2011, $59.95est (Cipelli PO), rated 4 stars (91+).
Formaggio (Italian and Ontario cheeses), with Albarone Piemonte Albarone 2012, $71.95est (Cipelli Consignment), rated 4 stars (91+).
There was an olive oil cake for the dolce.
The Contact Person: dpancer.cipelli@bellnet.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 10, 2016

MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS

 
3.150 BEST MEALS IN A JAR (Robert Rose, 2016, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0528-1 $19.95 CAN softbound) is by Tanya Linton, once a writer and producer for Home & Garden TV but now a partner in a TV production company that specializes in lifestyle programming. There have been other Mason jar cookbooks but they tended to be dessert or baking oriented, utilizing the 250 mL size. Here Linton goes on to extend the category to include all forms of food courses: salads, soups, rice bowls. For example, with salads, you layer in the dressing first, followed by heavier/harder foods, and then top with leafy greens. Provided that you keep the jar upright at all times, then you just dump it into a salad bowl (presumably at your desk or at a picnic). It works, but I would prefer using just the wide-mouthed jars for standardizing and ease of access for eating or dumping. I've wrestled with too many jars with small openings such as the Mason jars for  two or one litres. The vessels are convenient: glass is healthy, assembly is efficient with wide-mouthed, food is fresh, cleanup is quick using a dishwasher, and portion control. Bonne Maman jam jars (from France, 250 and 500 or so mL) are used for drinking and can be used for non-preservation food, but they have no twist on lids as Mason jars do. So best to keep them upright. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: those needing lunches or portability
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: breakfast burrito in a jar; Santa Fe rice bowl; pulled-apart chicken parmesan; bulgur wheat Greek salad; pizza soup; BLT salad; tuna, white bean and arugula salad; fried egg rice bowl.
The downside to this book: more emphasis could have been made on wide-mouthed jars.
The upside to this book: a good variety of preps, especially the "hearty meals".
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
4.A New Allergen-Free Cookbook, by guest reviewer Ann Tudor
 
"Today's post is another in my occasional series of cookbook reviews. This one is Pure Delicious, by Heather Christo (Pam Kraus Books, Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2016).
 
"Heather Christo is a long-time foodblogger whose daughters' health crises forced her to change her mind about food allergens. A lot of cookbooks these days cover gluten-free or dairy-free cooking, and there are a lot of vegan cookbooks. But Heather Christo's book offers recipes without gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, or cane sugar.
 
"The book is a beauty, well bound and generously illustrated. In addition to telling Heather's own familial journey, the first fifty pages offer great information and encouragement for anyone who suspects that food allergies might be causing problems. How do you set up your kitchen for this new way of cooking? How do you bring your children on-side (although, in her case at least, the elimination of severe stomach pain was very persuasive). How do you eat out? This introductory material is essential and nicely presented, given how overwhelming a task it can be to implement wide-ranging dietary changes.
 
"The heart of the book is the 250-odd pages of recipes, divided into: Soups and Chilis; Salads; Appetizers; Sides; Baked Goods; Pizza and Burgers; Pasta; Mains; Desserts; Breakfast. Anyone struggling with preparing family meals while avoiding eggs, dairy, etc., will embrace this book. Every recipe is safe. Every recipe is do-able. Just open the book and choose a page.
 
"As the author points out, you won't need to apologize for any of these dishes. This is "straight-up good-tasting food that is packed with naturally wholesome ingredients and nutrients" (p. 56).
 
"An excellent book. Anyone who cooks for people with food allergies should have it."
 
 
 
 
5.COMFORT AND JOY: cooking for two (Countryman Press, 2015, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-58157-342-8, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Christina Lane, who also wrote Dessert for Two. She has been specializing in small batch meals for every occasion. Here she concentrates on comfort food, southern US classics, and family favourites, with another section on desserts for two (15 more recipes). She does a good job of scaling down, always a difficult task (as is scaling upwards). Still, overall, the collection is on the sweet side with a large chapter on brunch (over 70 pages) with pancakes, muffins, oats, and the like. Lunch has 13 preps, mainly chicken and/or cheese. Dinner has 10, mostly poultry and shrimp. Then there is a range of small stuff such as pastas, casseroles, finger foods – useful for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: empty nesters, singles, couples.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Thanksgiving dinner for two; apple cider-glazed chicken breasts; sheet pan supper; shrimp 'n' grits.
The downside to this book: needs more recipes, especially savoury ones.
The upside to this book: great looking photography.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
 
6.EAT BETTER, LIVE BETTER, FEEL BETTER (Appetite by Random House, 2015, 298 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-752976-3, $27 CAD paperbound) is by Julie Cove, certified holistic nutritionist. Here she advocates an alkalize lifestyle (which cured her of debilitating back pain, see www.alkalinesister.com). It is a four-step program to re-do your diet, detox your body, and focus on long-term health issues. Healthy bodies have a pH of 7.365. Eating too much acidic food leads to a lower pH level, and, coupled with stress, promotes poor health. So, as she says, we need to "alkalize your life". There's a food chart, ranging from highly alkaline (broccoli, kale, spinach) through mildly alkaline (grapefruit, almonds) and neutral (flax, walnuts, dates, hummus) and highly acidic (alcohol, coffee, beef, eggs, pork, deli meats, mushrooms: all the gout foods!). Basically – 75% of your meal should be alkaline, hydrate, exercise, and reduce stress. 150 recipes cover all courses. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those looking for diet changes or feel they have too much acid in their lives.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: coconut avocado; breakfast salad (blood orange, kale, golden berries); vegan crunch Thai green salad; hummus and veggies wrapped in chard leaves; red quinoa bites with oregano and sun-dried tomato marinara sauce.
The downside to this book: some superfluous photography.
The upside to this book: lots of tips and advice, and the resources listing.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
7.THE POWER GREENS COOKBOOK (Ballantine Books, 2015, 282 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-39484-9, $22 USD paperbound) is by Dana Jacobi, author of over 15 cookbooks (including Williams-Sonoma books). She also blogs and freelances cooking and food articles. Here she gives us 140 healthy preps for dark leafy greens, covering the range of soups, salads, mains, small plates, sides and condiments. The 15 power greens range from arugula to watercress – these are basically what writers mean when they talk about plant-based foods. They protect against diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, eye and muscle fatigue, and sagging lustre-less skin. Aha – that latter gets some people! Recipes are coded for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and/or 30 minutes or less in prep time. At the back are the basics – separate sections on the greens, with an index to each one's recipes, The master index is at the far back. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those looking to improve their health or want plant-based recipes.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: popcorn trail mix; carrots with wild arugula pesto; avocado and watercress tartine; collard greens cacciatore; broccoli leaf, edamame, and corn succotash; roasted red peppers stuffed with kale; avgolemono soup with arugula.
The downside to this book: I have no idea why the basics are at the back; most books have it upfront.
The upside to this book: she makes use of romaine, parsley, beet greens, Brussels sprouts.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
8.CHICKEN (Ebury Press, 2015, 256 pages, ISBN 978-00-91959-72-2, $49.99 CAD hardbound) is by Catherine Phiipps, a food columnist for the Guardian in the UK. It is a British- oriented cookbook, with references to local butchers, etc. As the subtitle indicates, "over two hundred recipes devoted to one glorious bird". And of course, it is a USEFUL bird, for flesh that is fried, flambeed, roasted, BBQ, smoked, stewed, grilled, poached, put in a sandwich or salad, made into soup and stock. There is a variety here: the question is whether a reader would pay fifty bucks for what used to be commonplace in Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset, Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, et al. It is a different time now, with a need for photos and spices and some updating of the classics. Brining is relatively new for home use, as is sous-vide. So are international flavours such as butter chicken. But offal seems to be just liver and hearts – what happened to gizzards (e.g. salade landaise)? You'll also need organic offal: nothing else will ever do. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric for weights and avoirdupois for volume measurements, but there is no overall table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: millennials, those looking for just a chicken book.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: chicken with red peppers and green olives; chicken tagine; chicken and onion suet pudding; chicken with coriander, garlic and sour orange; red mole chicken; chicken broth with rice, mint and lemon juice; confit legs.
The downside to this book: pricey
The upside to this book: good photos and spicing.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
9.EATING IN THE MIDDLE (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7704-3327-7, $27.99 USD hardbound) is by Andie Mitchell, a Yahoo Health columnist and author of It Was Me All Along (which chronicled her weight loss). Now in her debut cookbook she presents those dishes that helped her lose weight: healthy meals packed with flavours. The seven log rollers come from other cookbooks and blogs and magazines. Over the course of 13 months she lost 135 pounds. This is how she did it. It's arranged by meal, breakfast to desserts, and promotes "mostly wholesome" food. A lot comes from the Mediterranean and South-East Asia. She gives lifestyle tips and many variations in the memoirish portions, but it is mainly about making the mouth and tummy feel satiated with spicing. Each prep comes with headnotes on some aspect of eating food. Nutritional information is given, as well as use of low-sodium broths. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use:  those looking to lose weight.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: sweet potato hash; jerk shrimp salad with mango and avocado; lemon cream risotto; white pizza with roasted garlic and eggplant; Asian chicken salad; ribollita; petite turkey lasagnas.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
10.SWEETER OFF THE VINE (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 249 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-858-8, $24 USD hardbound) is by Yossy Arefi, a food photographer and blogger. It is arranged by season, with subheads for type of plant. So for Spring, there are sections on herbs, rhubarb, strawberries, and cherries. For summer, it's apricots, berries, melons and more. For fall, it is grapes, apples, pears and more (including squash). And in winter we'll need cranberries, citrus, and dates. Good divisions. She's got a larder of preserved accented fruit such as preserved lemons or unsweetened cranberry juice. And some year-round essentials of chocolate, vanilla, pastry, creme fraiche. As a true baker, Arefi has just about everything scaled. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there are some tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those desiring baked goods and desserts.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts:
The downside to this book: nothing really, it is a first class effort.
The upside to this book: good photography and ingredient scaling.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, July 7, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 9, 2016.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 9, 2016.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "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.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
FAVE UNDER $20 – Olarra Laztana Reserva 2010 Rioja, 14% ABV, +433649, $19.95, MVC/QPR:92
 
20 under $20
=========
W-Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc, +147975, $14.95,  MVC/QPR:  88
W-Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench, 11% ABV, +557165, $17.96, MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Barahonda Sin Madera Monastrell 2014 Yecla, 14.5% ABV, +366823, $14.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Coppi Peucetico Primitivo 2010 Giola del Colle Puglia, 13.5% ABV, +724674, $14.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Viewpoint Estate Fine Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Lake Erie North Shore, 13% ABV, +443812, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Chateau des Charmes St. David's Bench Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 VQA St.David's Bench, +430991, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, 14% ABV, +378489, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Stratus Kabang Gewurztraminer 2013 VQA NOTL, 13.4$ ABV, +442012, $17.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Tilimuqui Single Vineyard Torrontes 2015 Famatina Valley La Rioja Argentina, +450486, $13.95, MVC/QPR: 91 [organic AND Fair Trade cert.]
R-Finca El Origen Reserva Estate Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, 14.1%, +65664, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Kaiken Terroir Series Corte Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Mendoza, 14% ABV, +384305, $15.95,
MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Casablanca Valley, 14% ABV, +974717, $14.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Petit Verdot 2013 Rapel, 14.5% ABV, +7484, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Waimea Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Nelson South Island, +694737, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Toi Toi Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, 13% ABV, +454785, $17.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Brampton Old Vine Red Blend 2013 WO Western Cape South Africa, 14% ABV, +455303, $15.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Domaine de la Chaise Touraine Sauvignon 2014, 13% ABV, +452540, $14.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Senorio de Los Baldios Crianza 2009 Ribera del Duero, 14%, +366393, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Vicchiomaggio Ripa Delle Mandorle 2014 IGT Toscana, 13% ABV, +677930, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 90
R-Lafage Tessellae Vieilles Vignes Carignan 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes, 14.5% ABV, +343509, $17.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
 
20 over $20
=========
W-Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench, +616466, $29.95,   MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +1552, $24.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Artesa Chardonnay 2013 Carneros, +657585, $29.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Bachelder Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2013 Burgundy,  13% ABV, +416602, $28.95, MVC/QPR:94.
R-Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Meritage 2012 VQA Niagara, 13.5% ABV, +594002, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Delicato Irony Small Lot Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Napa Valley, 14.5% ABV, +27409, $21.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-La Crema Chardonnay 2014 Monterey, 13.5% ABV, +158683, $26.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Mahi Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough, 13.5% ABV, +447532, $20.95,  MVC/QPR: 92.
R-Chateau Haut Rocher 2008 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 13.5% ABV, +446252, $34.95,  MVC/QPR:89
R-Chateau Haut-Bellvue 2010 Haut-Medoc, 13.5%, +444307, $26.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Sivas-Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Sonoma County, +451377, $24.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Xavier Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011, 14.5% ABV, +244814, $39.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Castello di Gabbiano Gran Selezione Bellezza Chianti Classico 2012, 14.5% ABV, +652438, $39.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino 2010, 14.5% ABV, +642561, $63.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Piazzano Blend 2 2013 IGT Toscana, 14% ABV, +455493, $24.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Lone Birch Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Yakima Valley, 13.9% ABV, +446971, $20.95,  MVC/QPR:88
W-Chatelain Les Charmes Pouilly-Fume 2013, 12.5% ABV, +727990, $21.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2013 IGT Toscana, 13.5% ABV, +727636, $29.95,  MVC/QPR: 87.
R-Georges Duboeuf Domaine Mont Chavy Morgon 2013, 12.5% ABV, +276477, $21.95,  MVC/QPR:87.
R-Chateau Bernadotte 2012 Haut-Medoc, 13.5% ABV, +970178, $22.95,  MVC/QPR: 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! * Waldorf Astoria Bar Book (Penguin)

 
1.THE WALDORF ASTORIA BAR BOOK (Penguin Books, 2016, 406 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-312480-1, $25 USD hard covers) is by Frank Caiafa, who became bar manager of Peacock Alley in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria in 2005. It is a significant book for both home-use and professional bar use, with huge chapters on creating bitters, syrups, juices and sours.
It is based on two books by Albert Stevens Crockett (Old Waldorf Bar Days from 1931, and The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book from 1934), with of course other preps from other books of that era. He has added the recipe's origin next to the title of each entry that did not originate from either of Crockett's books. So in general there is acknowledgment of origins. Lots has been modernized, and many contemporary cocktails have been added. The original 1934 book had 625 preps. The index shows that most of the recipes seem to be gin-based. Apart from the garnishes/setups, punches and hot drinks, the cocktail preps are arranged alphabetically by name, A – Z. Use the index for type of spirit. At the very end there is a chapter on cocktails very rarely seen anymore: is it time to bring them back?  Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those looking for authenticity in the cocktail business, a history of cocktails and cocktail books.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: some drinks from Peacock Alley itself include  Arrivederci, Au Pear, Autumn Solstice, Cinful, Pie on the Sill (lovely name), Cole Porter, and Islands in the Stream.
The downside to this book: nothing really.
The upside to this book: just a handful of illustrations (keeps the book's price down).
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
19.MICROGREENS; how to grow nature's own superfood (Firefly, 2010, 2016, 120 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-714-1, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Fionna Hill, a gardener-floral designer who also writes books and magazine articles. It's a revised edition of a 2010 book. Hill's definition is that they are larger than sprouts but smaller than baby salad greens. They are useful to grow in a limited amount of space such as an apartment balcony or a window sill. Most varieties are ready in a week, and they contain a large amount of nutritional material. Hill gives us data on 30 (up from 20 in the older edition) popular varieties (arugula, beet, kale, peas, broccoli, basil, et al), as well as 16 (up from 12) recipes. Flavours range from mild to hot, nutty or spicy, but microgreens are also interchangeable to some extent. A recipe may call for only as handful of microgreens: what they are will be up to what you grow. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and  there is a table of equivalents. There's a glossary and resources listing. As she says, "Flavours change as the plant grows. As the leaves open, they begin to manufacture energy from light. That gives them a change in flavour. The most intense flavour comes when
that first leaf opens." No price change since the first edition. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
20.THE COMPLETE ROOT CELLAR BOOK; building plans, uses, and 100 recipes (Robert Rose, 2010, 264 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0243-3, $27.95 Canadian, paper covers) is by Steve Maxwell, a home improvement author with his own root cellar, and Jennifer MacKenzie, a professional home economist, author and editor. Together they present 30 easy-to-follow illustrated
plans for all kinds of storage, plus 100 recipes to use the "roots". The book was originally published in 2010, and this is a reissue. The variety of storage includes cold rooms, storage containers, basement cellars, stand-alone cellars, outdoor structures, cellars for condos and townhouses, and cellars for a warmer climate. They have a huge list of fruits and veggies, and for each there are notes on optimal storage conditions for both outdoor and indoor storage, storage life in a cellar, plus what to do when the food starts to deteriorate. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The book concludes with a resources list and a bibliography. Did you know that beets that have gone soft during storage are still good to eat after they are boiled? Try sauerkraut, vegetable pot pie, sage butter parsnip soufflé, or roasted onion and potato soup. Even a rumtopf. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
21.RAW FOOD DETOX (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-728-7, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Anya Ladra, founder of Raw Fairies, a raw food delivery company in the UK. As the publisher notes, "revitalize and rejuvenate with these delicious low-calorie recipes to help you lose weight and improve your energy levels." The current book is a revision of her earlier book from 2012. It's got 70 recipes.  She uses plant-based organic ingredients and methods such as soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating. A raw food detox is supposed to promote clear glowing skin and give you better energy. It is also touted as painless. She begins with a five-day cleansing detox. Then there are chapters devoted to juices and smoothies, salads and dressings, mains, snacks, sweets and desserts. Carrot and lemon juice with omega-3 oils is a good start to the day, followed by a sprouted buckwheat salad or tomato quiche with almond pastry. For snacks, we could all enjoy spicy almonds or Italian flaxseed crackers. For the meat eaters, there's a mushroom pate and a range of desserts. The diet is easy; the dishes may take a little insight to prepare. Recipes have their ingredients listed mainly in avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. There's a list of suppliers in the UK and the US. Quality/price
rating: 87.
 
 
22.A HANDFUL OF HERBS (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2001, 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-719-5, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Barbara Segall,Louise Pickford, and Rose Hammick. It was originally published in 2001. It's a listing-directory to 75 common herbs, as well as profiles of the 20 "superherbs" (basil, bay, chives, coriander, fennel, through to thyme). There is decorating advice for home-growing. Only 30 recipes, but they are versatile. Most of the book is about the herbs and how to grow; there is a directory of suppliers, including Canada. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
23.PASTA & NOODLES (Juniper Publishing, 2016; distr. Simon & Schuster, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-988002-11-8, $19.95 CDN soft covers) is from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. They've gone through all their pasta preps and re-did and tested (according to the subtitle)  "101 long and short pastas, noodles, gnocchi, ravioli, baked pastas, sauces, and more!"
The CL Test Kitchen has about 18 other "tested" books in its portfolio, so the arrangement and techniques are pretty well standard by now, and this book should be snapped up by the fans. There are some gluten-free options here, as well as noodles: egg, rice, udon, soba, Asian wheat, and even sweet potato vermicelli. There are also a variety of meatballs, sauces and pestos. The book is neatly Mediterranean and Asiatic. Something for the whole family. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric weights and avoirdupois volume measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
24.MOCKTAILS, CORDIALS, INFUSIONS, SYRUPS AND MORE (Dog 'n' Bone, 2016; distr. T. Allen, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-909313-91-0, $19.95 US hard covers) is a publisher's books with recipes credited to a variety of people who write for Dog 'n' Bone and Ryland Peters & Small: Beshlie Grimes, Ben Reed, and Louise Pickford contributed most of the 80 preps here. These are alcohol-free drinks that have flavours: if you need alcohol, just add some white wine or vodka. Preps include elderflower cordial, strawberry syrup, mint syrup, lavenger lemonade, and so forth. Perfect for the teetotaller, designated driver or detoxer. Very nice illustrations too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
25.COOKING WITH CHEESE (Ryland Peters & Small, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-718-9, $21.95 US hard covers) is also a publisher's book with recipes credited to a variety of cookbook writers; the lion's share was done by Laura Washburn, Maxine Clark, and Hannah Miles. The 80+ preps deal mostly with the classics (cheddar straws, French onion soup) and some newer innovations (Manchego & piquillo Spanish tortilla, lavender honey cheesecake). I particularly enjoyed the pear, celery, and blue cheese soup with "salt and sweet" walnuts. Lots going on there... Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
26.THE TOTAL GRILLING MANUAL (Weldon Owens, 2016; distr. Simon & Schuster, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-68188-047-1, $29 US flexibound) has been edited by Lisa Atwood (other sources say "compiled by") – but we do not know from the book where the original texts came from. Nevertheless, this is a handy guide to tools, techniques, and recipes: 264 essentials for cooking with fire. It is arranged by food, from beef through pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, sides and drinks, along with an index that refers to tip number (there are no page numbers). Lots of photos and technique drawings for the basics (pros and cons of cooking over gas or charcoal, indirect and direct-heat cooking, choosing fuel, choosing woods, the right brine ingredients details of meat cuts, flavour combos, and different levels of skills for the recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
27.COOK HEALTHY & QUICK (DK, 2016, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-4484-4, $30 US hardbound) is a publisher's title with 300 easy-to-follow recipes at a bargain price. Each has nutritional data (calorie, fat, sugar, etc.). There are options for gluten-free dishes, protein family brunches, low-sugar treats, low-calorie dinners, and lots of greens for lunches. These are step-by-step instructions for 30 minutes or less, with colour codes to show key nutritional benefits. Variations are, of course, included where possible. Typical dishes include cranberry-orange-chocolate quinoa bars, chilled pea and avocado soup shots, kiwi and pear juice, and baked tomatoes stuffed with couscous and black olives with feta. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88. 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, July 4, 2016

Event: Overview of sustainable business practices at Jackson Family Wines Collection. June 20/16

The Date and Time:  Monday, June 20, 2016.  1PM to 3PM
The Event: Overview of sustainable business practices at Jackson Family Wines Collection.
The Venue: Wine Lab at GBC's Chef House, King Street
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available by private order, consignment or at Vintages.
The Quote/Background: Julien Gervreau, Director of Sustainability at JFW in Sonoma spoke on the meaning o=f sustainability, organic and biodynamic practices, and the differences between  organic, biodynamic and sustainable farming and winemaking systems. In 2016, JFW garnered the California Green Medal Leader Award for leadership in sustainability. Gervreau said his company's strategy was to be heavily involved in water conservation, energy reuse efficiency, philanthropy, and commitment to future generations of winemakers. Jennifer Huether, MS and Prestige Account Manager Canada for JFW spoke on the wines themselves as we tasted. Gervreau had a PP presentation for each region in the tasting, along with specifics about each wine and the sustainability employed. Overall, JFW uses 30% less ground water (use rainwater), pays price premiums to growers using sustainable practices, and solar panels.
The Wines: The 11 wines came from a variety of regions, including California, Oregon, Tuscany, Australia and South Africa.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Capensis Chardonnay 2013 South Africa, $100.60  Halpern Consignment
-Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir 2014, $30.21   Halpern Consignment
-La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, $109   B & W; Vintages Sept 22
-Stonestreet Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $57.95    B & W  PO
-Lokoya Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, $630   Halpern PO
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-K-J Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2014, $19.95 Vintages Essentials
-Stonestreet Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2014, $49.95   B & W Wines; Vintages Sept 3
-La Crema Willamette Pinot Noir 2013 Oregon, $37.95  B & W; Vintages Oct 29
-Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noir 2014 Anderson Valley, $49.95  Vintages
-Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico 2013 Tuscany, $29.95    B & W Consignment
-Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2013 Australia, $34.95   B & W  PO
 
The Food: The Cheese Boutique had a tray of international cheeses, led by Roquefort.
The Downside: I arrived late due to medical procedures.
The Upside: a chance to talk with Julien Gervreau, doing Q & A
The Contact Person: susan@thesirengroup.com or ruth@thesirengroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Event: Winetario: celebrating the 22nd Annual Ontario Wine Awards. June 16/16

The Date and Time: Thursday, June 16, 2016  3PM to 5PM
The Event: Winetario: celebrating the 22nd Annual Ontario Wine Awards.
The Venue: The Atrium of George Brown College
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available. Unfortunately the catalogue only had a listing of wineries with spaces for notes, no listing of wines and prices, so I was spotty in recording exact information and prices.
The Quote/Background: 18 Wineries participated.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catherine Rose Brut
-Konzelmann Estate Gewurztraminer Late Harvest 2013, $17 winery
-Palatine Hills Estate Chardonnay 2012 Neufeld Vineyard, $23
-Palatine Hills Estate Merlot 2012 GOLD $35
-Southbrook Vineyards Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2013 Biodynamic
-Thirty Bench Wine Makers Small Lot Wood Post 2014 Riesling, $30
-Thirty Bench Wine Makers Sparkling Riesling, $35
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $15
-Creekside Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Reserve, $27
-Diamond Estates Viognier 2014, $18
-Diamond Estates McMichael Group of Seven Chardonnay 2014
-Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Riesling 2013
-Inniskillin Viognier Reserve 2015, $20
-Jackson-Triggs Meritage Red 2014, $25
-Kacaba Vineyards Terrace Syrah 2013, $29.95
-Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $24.95
-Konzelmann Estate Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2012 Family Reserve, $50
-Megalomaniac Bubblehead Rose NV Sparkling
-Niagara College Meritage 2011, $28
-Niagara College Gastronomy Chardonnay 2014, $18
-Palatine Hills Estate Riesling 2015, $13
-Peller Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014
-Pillitteri Estates Cab-Merlot Canadian Gothic 2013, $13
-Southbrook Vineyards Seriously Cool Red
-Trius RH3 Merlot 2012
-Two Sisters Riesling 2014
-Two Sisters Merlot 2012
-Vineland Estates Dry Riesling 2015
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2014, $24.95
-Megalomaniac Riesling 2015
-Niagara College Rose 2014
-Trius Rose 2015
-Pelee Island Chardonnay Reserve 2015
-Two Sisters Cabernet Franc 2012
-Vineland Estates Game Changer White 2013
 
The Food: some local cheeses via The Cheese Boutique plus breads and fruit. In the evening there were also apps.
The Downside: it was a smaller show than in previous years (last was 2014).
The Upside: more time to spend talking with pourers and winemakers.
The Contact Person: ange@iyellowwinegroup.com or tony.aspler@rogers.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com