OUR LOCAL EXPERTS: LOCAL SIPS & BITES

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A BITE OF WHAT’S TO COME IN 2017

BY LIA RINALDO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEVOUR! THE FOOD FILM FEST

We’re wrapping up another stellar year and dreaming of an even more delicious 2017. Looking at food trends globally, we’re still a few light years away from having our food delivered by drones, reproducing it with 3D printers or replacing the animal proteins on our plates with bugs, thankfully. I felt it best to highlight a few things that are happening on a more localized level.

Vegetable as king. Root-to-stem dining will continue apace, as opposed to nose-to-tail. An example of this is the power veggie bowls from Potions and Provisions. You can find them at both the Seaport and Alderney Farmers Markets. Markets are a great place to look out for new food businesses — when they start to take off due to popularity it usually means there’s a bricks-and-mortar reality in their future.

Fusion offerings and increased international flair on menus. Halifax had a number of exciting tiny restaurant openings in 2016 — check out El Chino Snack Bar for Mexican and Chinese dishes. That’s tacos and dumplings together at last under one roof! Or Kitsune Food Co. with their Izakaya fare including Kara-aghe chicken, AKA the best fried chicken that holds a candle to the equally delicious Backoo Korean Foods To Go (order the Green Onion!). And from the owners of Agricola Street Brasserie, Little Oak, a new wine bar featuring small plates like Poke, Hawaii’s tasty answer to ceviche or tartare.

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A LITTLE JINGLE TO THE EVENING WITH LOCAL WINES

BY AMY SAVOURY, SOMMELIER, INSTRUCTOR AT NSCC

To quote Andy Williams “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” There’ll be occasions to host, which, let’s face it, can be stressful. The planning, the shopping, the prep, the getting the house fit for guests to enjoy, is enough to throw you over the edge. Then there is the task of pairing just the right wine that will make every guest’s palate happy. It is a complicated situation with so many flavours and so many different expectations from your guests. Well, no worries, these local wines have you covered.

For the holiday gathering that is planned around conversation and small bites, the perfect wine to sip on is Lightfoot & Wolfville Tidal Bay. It will add a little jingle to your gathering. Its soft, elegance balance makes it easy to drink on its own but also complements a range of dishes. The iconic Gaspereau Vineyards Riesling is not only an incredible wine, it absolutely shines with food. Bright and merry, bursting with zest, it has the complexity to withstand everything from a roasted turkey dinner with all the fixings to the simplicity of a cheese plate. This is a go-to wine for all of your holiday hosting.

And if red is more for you and your guests, your hearts will be glowing sipping on Blomidon Estate Baco Noir. It is a wonderfully approachable wine with dark fruit, subtle smokiness and a vanilla spice edge. It is a sure crowd pleaser that happily accompanies food and is equally enjoyed cozied up next to the fire.

When friends come to call, make this holiday entertaining season the hap-happiest of all and delight yourself and your guests with local, food-friendly wines.

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WINTER BEERS AND CIDERS

BY CHRIS MCDONALD,ATLANTIC CANADA BEER BLOG

With the cooler temperatures upon us, gathering together with family and friends becomes more of an indoor affair, and having a range of beverages on hand is the key to hosting. Why not mix up the offerings with a variety of ciders?

Bulwark ciders are made from 100 per cent Nova Scotia-grown apples and are available in more than a half-dozen brands. The Bulwark Variety Pack features four of their most popular blends: their Original, Gold (made with local honey), Blush (with locally-grown blueberries, cranberries and raspberries), and Hopped (with Cascade and Comet hops).

Also available from Bulwark — and ideal for the season — is its Winter Cider, infused with cinnamon and nutmeg for a savoury note on top of the semi-sweet base blend. To get the full effect, try warming it gently on the stove to enhance the aroma.

Switching to beer, the bold character of Propeller’s Revolution Russian Imperial Stout is another perfect complement to the season. With its intense roast flavour, strong bitterness and warming notes thanks to an ABV of eight per cent, sharing a bottle of this brew in front of the fireplace is the quintessential end to a day spent sledding, skiing or shovelling the white stuff.

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