Posted in Wine

Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2014

Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2014

The Shiraz varietal is the most widely used in the Australian wine industry, for reds at least… Shiraz is generally regarded as being the same as Syrah (by which name it is known in France) while some say that the grape, especially in Australia, has evolved it’s own characteristics such as to merit it being treated as a new varietal. However you look at it, Australia has done wonders with this particular grape type and the wine featured today is a very decent representative of the class…

  • Winery: Wyndham Estate Winery
  • Price: $16.65 CDN
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Sugar: 6 g/L

The color is a very pretty dark cherry red with a very slight purplish tint. The nose is quite aromatic with red fruit, particularly cherry dominating, and there are some very faint notes of dusty, dried grass and flowers in the background. It is moderately full bodied with a smooth texture and surprisingly both dry and tart for the sugar quotient. The acidity is moderate to high and the tannins very robust but smooth. It is nicely fruity with dark plum and cherry, and there is a just a hint of peach, banana, and even tangerine. A vegetal quality surfaces ever so slightly in the middle and then is rounded out with a bit of pepper and spice in the decently long  finish. This particular Shiraz is very reasonably priced and worth buying to have on hand.

Posted in Wine

Niagara Estate Iniskillin 2014

Niagara Estate Iniskillin 2014

My database of wine tasting notes includes almost no entries with a 1 star rating… that particular score is pretty much reserved for wines that are undrinkable. Two stars, in contrast, means that a wine is capable of being imbibed without too much agony, but which is not generally worth the money. I don’t give that rating very often either, as it happens, but, unfortunately, that is how I felt about today’s selection. Your mileage may vary…

  • Winery: Iniskillin Wines Inc.
  • Price: $16.60 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Sugar: 3.7 g/L

The color is a medium light ruby and the nose is a muted, but still aromatic, red berry with a little oak and a faint vegetal quality underneath. It is quite light bodied, with moderate to low acidity and little in the way of tannins. The aromatic berries on the nose really don’t come through much in the mouth and there is a forest-floor effect along with a distant hint of dried flowers. The overall effect is a bit flat, except for a tease of spice at the very end, and there is a vague ‘over-cooked’ quality here and there. This would be fine for cooking but I wouldn’t buy it for drinking again.

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General, Restaurants

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”

Posted in General

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”