Tag Archives: holiday

Four Calling Birds

14 Dec

I’m not a huge fan of calling birds – or any type of birds for that matter. They generally sit outside my apartment window in a tree and make lots of noise until someone throws something off a balcony at them.

What I am a fan of? Killing two birds with one stone (and no, I don’t mean literally, PETA-supporters). I’m talking the popular holiday dishes, turkey and ham. At my family dinner, we always have both. Why? Well, first of all because the gene to overfeed had to be passed down to me from somewhere and also, they’re both double-plus good. And who does one turn to, to match these yummy meats?

Welcome to the party, Gamay. Now, if you’ve read this blog ever before, you’ll know of my love affair with this particular grape. I’m going to do you a solid and present to you two potential holiday dinner bottles.

The first comes from our friends in France, DuBoeuf Beaujoulais Brouilly ($16.95, LCBO#70540).

Beaujolais is the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC (a region in France that’s important enough to be distinguished) known for its Gamay. On the labels of many French wines, you won’t see the type of grape written, they’ll have the AOC they’re from as the main identifier instead. For instance, when you’re drinking white Burgundy, that’s Chardonnay; red Burgundy, that’s Pinot Noir.

It’s a mighty confusing situation to many of us young wine drinkers who are used to having everything spelled out to us on a label (next to a sketch of an panda bear, or something equally cute and fuzzy). It gets even more confusing when the appellations divide up into sub- appellations, villages, etc. And generally, the more specific the area; the pricier the bottle.

This Beaujolais is from Brouilly. What does that mean for you and me? Well, it looks fancier to impress your girlfriend’s mom. It also has greater complexity (re: more bang for your buck). This pretty ruby red coloured wine is medium-bodied and plump full of cherry, berry and herbal notes. It’ll knock out the turkey and then turn to the ham and say “You’re next.”

If you’re looking to purchase locally, I recommended Malivorie’s 2009 Gamay (#17.95, Vintages#591313) in the Harvest issue of VINES.

“A zippy little wine that’s bursting with energy, this shows what Niagara Gamay has to offer. This scarlet coloured, organic wine is rich and fruity with spicy and earthy undertones. Medium-boded with juicy cherry, plum and a refreshing acidity especially apparent on the finish, this wine goes down easy and nly improves the next day. Pair with almost anything, from cheese and charcuterie nibbles to turkey dinner.”

Yeah, that’ll do just fine. Show up for a holiday dinner with either of these bottles and you’ll be welcomed with open arms – which is more than I can say for the calling birds at my place.

12 Days of Drinks…

8 Dec

For you, my holiday lovers, I offer up 12 deliciously bevvies to get you through all secret santa disappointments, all crazy aunts asking you when you’re having kids, all mall madness and all holiday parties where you’re wearing a snowflake on your sweater.

Today’s drink comes from our friends at 3 Olives, the fun flavoured vodka people from the UK. I introduce to you, the White Mochatini.

1 oz. Three-O triple espresso vodka (it’s be discontinued through the LCBO, but is still on shelves for the time being, $25.95, LCBO#118620)

1 oz. premium white chocolate liqueur (like Godiva’s White Chocolate Cream, $31.95, LCBO #573311)

1 oz. half & half


Shake all of the above with ice until your hand freezes and strain into a martini glass (rimmed with cocoa if you ask me). Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Say yum.