Stop and Smell the Aromas
Though white wines sometimes take a backseat to reds during the winter months, with a change of season comes the opportunity to explore whites with unique aromatics that spring from the glass. Get your nose close to France’s Les Jamelles Viognier ($14.99), Germany’s Winzerkeller Baden Gewürztraminer ($13.49) and Ontario’s Pelee Island Lighthouse Riesling VQA ($14.99) and ponder the perfume.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is the bartending term of 2016. Easy-to-make cocktails with basic ingredients are on trend with my favourite springtime sipper – Pimm’s No. 1 Cup ($27.98) — catching on with both professional and home bartenders. The Brits have been enjoying a shot over ice with lemonade since it was invented in England in 1823. You can jazz up your glass by stirring in some mint, a slice or two of orange and a few strawberries, along with a slice of cucumber to garnish. Entertaining a group? Try serving it by the pitcher.
While it doesn’t take a degree in engineering to build a Bloody Caesar, having all the non-alcoholic ingredients in one bottle does make mixology a lot less complicated. Uncle Dougie’s Hail Yeah! Bloody Caesar Mix is available at most grocery stores and is a refreshing alternative to the mainstream clamato juice producers. Super thick, it comes in two styles — Rich N’ Juicy and Rich N’ Spicy. Just add your favourite vodka.
Vino on Video
While some wine-themed documentaries can be as dull as a cheap corkscrew, both newbies and experts will ﬁnd these ﬁve ﬂicks as entertaining as they are informative.
A Year in Burgundy (2013) – Taking on the monumental task of trying to explain France’s Burgundy region, this doc does a great job humanizing its complexity.
A Year in Champagne (2014) – This second installment in the “Year of” franchise heads to the home of the world’s best bubblies.
Blood into Wine (2010) – When not pumping out prog-metal as the leader of Tool, singer Maynard James Keenan makes wine in Arizona. Yes, Arizona.
Red Obsession (2013) – Russel Crowe narrates this fascinating story of how China saved France’s Bordeaux region (well, sort of).
Somm: Into the Bottle (2016) – Happily this sequel to 2013’s Somm has the sommeliers talking more about wine and less about themselves.
Peter Rockwell is a Wine Category Manager at the NSLC. In each issue he will be serving up entertaining ideas and tips that are ‘freshly pressed.‘