Tag: Review

Anita Kuhnel Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2015

Anita Kuhnel Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2015

Today’s selection is a Beaujolais. As you can see, it was good enough to rate three stars but, given the price, and my expectations, it was actually a bit disappointing…

By way of a brief primer, the Beaujolais wine region of south-eastern France is sometimes lumped in with the much larger Burgundy region. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, however, as the reds of Burgundy are almost exclusively Pinot Noirs, while the Beaujolais reds are produced using the varietal known as Gamay, or Gamay Noir. Under the French name-control regime (AOC), the basic level grouping for this region is the plain Beaujolais AOC. Above this, both in terms of price and (usually) quality, are the wines produced in certain villages, and which are entitled to carry the ‘Beaujolais-Villages AOC’ designation on their labels (there are 39 such villages at last count). Beyond these, again in terms of price and quality, are the wines from 10 specific communes, all of which rate their own individual AOC, and which are collectively referred to as the ‘Crus de Beaujolais’.  Moulin-à-Vent is one of these…

This particular Moulin-à-Vent cost me $26.40 Canadian from the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ). It has an alcohol content of 13% and the sugar quotient rates in at 1.8 g/L. Thus far, the best Beaujolais I have tasted was from the Moulin-à-Vent AOC but, sadly, this one did not measure up.

The color of this particular Beaujolais is a very dark, slightly purplish red. The nose was quite muted and the aroma of dark, ripe berries is overshadowed by an earthy, somewhat vegetal quality that is reminiscent of dried mushroom. I also got a slight hint of jam but this was ephemeral and fleeting.

It is medium to light bodied and fairly dry, with low moderate acidity and tannins to match except for a slight astringency at the end. As with the nose, the fruitiness is very understated and there is the same earthiness, but with a few herbaceous highlights and a touch or pepper. On my second glass, I also detected a note of cherry that was a bit medicinal and not very pleasant.The finish was very short and, on the whole, the effect was not well-rounded. For one of the Crus de Beaujolais, it wasn’t especially good and I won’t purchase this particular vintage again.

Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Gato Negro

Well folks, this is the very first wine review I have attempted here at Sybaritica. I am going to be tweaking the format a little as I go, so I would appreciate any suggestions you might have to offer.

Anyway, today’s selection is a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, and the pertinent details are as follows:

  • Winery: Vina San Pedro Tarapaca SA
  • Region: Valle Central,  (Valle del Maule Subregion)
  • Price: $9.45 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Sugar: 5.0 g/L

As you can see, I have given this wine a 5 star rating. I don’t expect this to be a common rating in my reviews and, as we shall see anon, this particular rating is somewhat qualified… Now, on to the review:

The color of the wine is a very dark, purple red, and it is fairly full bodied with a smooth, but not quite velvety texture. The nose immediately strikes you with a generic red berry fruitiness that quickly develops a deep blackcurrant quality, and there are some floral highlights and a background  vegetal quality that expresses itself most with a slightly sharp hint of stinging nettles.

The overall effect is off-dry, with moderate acidity, and tannins that are largely smooth throughout, but which produce a mild astringent effect near the end. On the palate, blackcurrant definitely dominates, but what I liked best about this wine was a fruity tang near the end that was very reminiscent of the wine-gum candies I used to love as a kid. There is a little spice component, that complements the candied wine-gum quality, and also, lurking in the mix, a very faint touch of licorice.

It is not a classically ‘great’ wine, by any means… the finish is a bit short and a rustic roughness makes it difficult to qualify it as well-rounded, but it is eminently drinkable, and, when you factor in the very low price, I would raise it from a four to a (qualified) five star rating. as being something I would buy to have on hand.

 

Review: New Mitzie’s Restaurant

179 East Pender Street, Vancouver

New Mitzi 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

New Mitzie’s is almost dead-center in the middle of Chinatown. It has a large menu that is pretty well equally divided between Chinese and Western cuisine and the Chinese selections are largely the sort you find in any westernized Chinese restaurant across the country. While perusing restaurants online, I saw that they have General Tao’s chicken listed and, having still never had this popular favorite yet, I gave the place a try… Continue reading “Review: New Mitzie’s Restaurant”

Review: Kent’s Kitchen – Vancouver

232 Keefer Street – Chinatown

Kent's Kitchen 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I passed by Kent’s several times while wandering around Chinatown and wanted to give it a try but it always seemed to be packed. One morning, just after 11am I happened to catch it when there were only a few patrons present. It was a little earlier than I had intended for my lunch but I didn’t want to lose the opportunity and so I stopped in for a quick bite… Continue reading “Review: Kent’s Kitchen – Vancouver”

Review: Juniper – Vancouver

185 Keefer St, Vancouver – Website

Juniper 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I happened to stop by at Juniper for a beer after traipsing around Chinatown on a hot afternoon. The place has a huge list of unique cocktails, a pretty decent wine list, and also a handful of craft beers. I ended up having two beers and, after perusing the menu, I decided to come back for a meal… Continue reading “Review: Juniper – Vancouver”

Review: Goldstone Bakery and Restaurant

139 Keefer Street, Vancouver (604) 688-9328

Goldstone 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I failed to notice this place in several walks around Vancouver’s Chinatown, rather, I came across it while doing a Google search for places to have breakfast within walking distance of my hotel. What I liked about this place is that it opened at 7:30am, which suited me down to the ground… Continue reading “Review: Goldstone Bakery and Restaurant”

Review: Gain Wah Restaurant

218 Keefer Street, Vancouver

Gain Wah 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I probably walked past Gain Wah three or four times before I noticed it. In fact, I was planning to eat at a restaurant next door on this particular but it was full when I arrived and I just happened to spy this place instead. It was a happy accident as I had a very nice meal… Continue reading “Review: Gain Wah Restaurant”

Review: Sai Woo – Vancouver

158 East Pender Street, Vancouver

Sai Woo 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I was first tempted by Sai Woo because of their interesting menu. It is clearly Asian inspired, and features some traditional fare such as Cantonese Dried Shrimp Fried Rice, but the majority of the dishes are fusions of ingredients and techniques from both east and west. The place has had some good reviews but, after my visit, I was left a little underwhelmed… Continue reading “Review: Sai Woo – Vancouver”

Review: Floata Seafood Restaurant

400-180 Keefer St., Vancouver – Website

Floata 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

Floata has quite a presence on the web and I made a point of noting it as somewhere I wanted to try on my recent trip to Vancouver. It is situated in Chinatown, had a pretty good set of reviews, and sounded great. Unfortunately, my visit not only left me unimpressed but a little disgruntled… Continue reading “Review: Floata Seafood Restaurant”

Review: Oyster Express – Vancouver

296 Keefer Street – Website

Oyster Express 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

Oyster Express sits on the corner of Gore and Keefer in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It is very small and easy to miss given the minimal signage. It has seats for about 30 but, maximum capacity, it would be rather close. It is quite plain and understated in décor, but is functional and comfortable. The staff is very enthusiastic and friendly and the whole atmosphere is welcoming. The menu matches the size of the place and, aside from the raw oysters, which are listed separately according to availability, there are only 12 items. You can get steamed or fried oysters, mussels, two types of clam chowder and, should you wish it, a grilled cheese sandwich, along with a good variety of cocktails and some 23 wines. On this occasion, I came just for the oysters… [ Continue reading “Review: Oyster Express – Vancouver”