Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013

This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (actually a blend) is classified as a ‘Gran Reserva’ from the Maipo DO in the Valle Central wine region. The Gran Reserva classification is meant to denote a wine of superior quality, and, for the price, this particular product and vintage certainly merits the distinction. I purchased it at our local beer and wine store and was told, when I placed my order, that it was a very good wine. I am happy to say that the recommendation was more than just sales pitch… Continue reading “Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013”

Foodstuff: Turmeric Puree

Turmeric Puree 1

Generally, the Turmeric in my kitchen pantry is the dried ground variety.  I have had the whole dried root before, but it is a pain to grind, and the fresh root, which I have used a few times, is quite hard to come by. I just saw this commercially pureed version the other day and I snagged a jar to test it out… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Turmeric Puree”

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz 2015

I like Shiraz based wines from Australia generally. This one is drinkable, to be sure but it is a bit blunt as far as complexity goes, and a little too sweet for my taste.

  • Winery: Rosemount Estate
  • Price: $15.85 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Sugar: 5.5 g/L
  • Blend: Gamay 90% – Pinot Noir 10%

The color is a dark cherry and the body thick and quite silky. The nose is moderately aromatic and rich with red fruits and berries, notably raspberry and red-currant. There is also a pleasant highlight of straw along with touches of wood. The primary flavor is a mix of dark fruit and red-berries but the highlights are limited  to some woody notes. All in all, the effect is rather flat. This wine is pleasantly drinkable, if a bit sweetish, but not overly complex overall.

Taiwanese Pickle

Taiwanese Pickle 1

This little appetizer is my take on a dish I had a while ago at a Dim Sum restaurant in Ottawa. It was described on the menu as ‘Taiwan Pickled Vegetable’ and was chiefly cucumber with just a little red bell pepper and slivered ginger. I am not sure about the ‘dressing’… these were obviously salt-macerated ‘quick pickles’ and they were quite sweet, only a little sour, and had just a faint touch of chili heat… Continue reading “Taiwanese Pickle”

Dim Sum- Mushroom Dumpling (素粉果)

Mushroom Dumpling 1

These little dumpling preparations are ‘Fun Gor’ (or  fěnguǒ  in Mandarin) as is indicated by the last two characters in the Chinese name. This type of dumpling is characterized by the semi-translucent wrapper that is made using a combination of starches like cornstarch, or tapioca starch, and non-glutinous Wheat flour. The English name on the menu just calls them ‘mushroom dumplings’, but the first character does not translate as ‘mushroom’ but rather, in this context, as ‘vegetarian’.

One of the classic Fun Gor is the Teochew Fun Gor, which contains ground pork and peanuts. These, however, appear to have been called ‘vegetarian’ as the filling rather mimics the Teochow variety by replacing the ground pork with mushrooms, chopped to leave a texture like ground meat, plus water chestnut in place of peanuts. There was also some celery in the mix along with, I am fairly sure, just a little bit of cilantro.

The size of the dumplings could have been a little smaller as these were a little unwieldy with chopsticks, but the taste and texture were excellent. I am still not very proficient at making the dough for this type of dumpling (as opposed to the basic wheat flour type), but I should very much like to give these a try at home…

Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz 2015

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2015

Today’s selection is a table wine from Australia’s South Eastern wine-making region. I happened to try the 2014 vintage a year or so ago and gave it a three star rating. This vintage is a bit better in my opinion, and, having regard to the very decent price, I awarded it another star…

  • Winery: Lindeman’s Wines
  • Price: $12 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Sugar: 8.2 g/L

This Shiraz is a dark cherry color with a slight purplish tint.  It has a somewhat muted yet aromatic nose with dark berries, some floral notes, a slight woodiness and even a very faint spicy hit of liquorice. It is quite full bodied with a creamy texture and is quite dry. Acidity is moderate to high and impacts quickly with robust tannins developing only a moment later. Sour cherry and blackcurrant dominate and the faint floral quality of the nose is much more noticeable. There is a faint earthiness and nice notes of pepper. The finish is decently long but the acidity near the end breaks the more rounded effect earlier on. It is a very decent wine for the price.

Chili Basil Squid

Chili Basil Squid 1

Not long ago, I posted about a lovely appetizer I had in an Indian restaurant called ‘Calamari Manko’, and I mentioned I wanted to try and reproduce it at home. I also said that I would be unable to employ the fresh curry leaf used in the original, but I mused that Thai Basil might work. Unfortunately no fresh Basil has been available around these parts of late but, as per another post, I thought that a little Thai Chili Paste with Holy Basil might work nicely. I gave it a try and the result was pretty darned decent … Continue reading “Chili Basil Squid”

Foodstuff: Thai Roasted Chili Paste

Thai Roasted Chili Paste 1

This little food item has been sitting in my cupboard for quite a while waiting to be used but, this past weekend, I finally got around to giving it a try. In one sense, I was a little disappointed in that, despite being called a ‘chili’ paste, there was barely any heat to it at all. That being said, though, it did have other compensating qualities that still make it quite useful… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Thai Roasted Chili Paste”

Levert Frères Coteaux Bourguignons 2015

Levert Frères Coteaux Bourguignons 2015

The Coteaux Bourguignon AOC in Burgundy produces reds, white and rose wines, and the reds can be Gamay,Pinot Noir, or a blend of the two. This one is a blend, heavy on the Gamay…

  • Winery: Compagnie Vinicole de Bourgogne
  • Price: $13.35 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Sugar: 2.1 g/L
  • Blend: Gamay 90% – Pinot Noir 10%

This Gamay-Pinot Noir is a clear, slightly pinkish garnet. The nose is quite muted with a faint candied fruit quality that is accompanied by an earthiness, some aromatic dried flowers, and  a touch of leather. It is medium bodied and quite dry with moderate acidity and tannins that don’t assert themselves at first, but which lend a bit of astringency towards the end. The floral quality is much more obvious in the mouth than the nose and nearly dominates the sour red and black fruit forming the base. There is a woodiness, with a touch of vanilla, and a few peppery notes as well. It is not a great wine, but pretty decent for the money. A little more aging might improve some of the rougher edges, perhaps.