Wine Recap – October 2019

wine recap (17)

Welcome to the Wine Recap for October 2019. With all the festivals and overtime going on, it was an obvious progression of events that drinking anything alcoholic was not going to as abundant seeing as everything needs a clear mind to write or work. With that said, this month’s recap is much shorter than usual and actually probably is more average as well. Nothing amazing but nothing that we hated either.

Let’s check it out!

La Vieille Ferme Rosé Recolte 2018

La Vieille Ferme Recolte 2018

Producer: Perrin et Fils SA
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Vallee du Rhone, France
Taste Tag: Fruity and Medium-bodied

A very rare taste tag that we usually choose from for this one. While that usually doesn’t say too much to us, this one was rather fruity in the more acidic range and definitely was drier than our usual wines. However, La Vieille Ferme for its taste tag actually was fairly mild. It had a nice smooth taste especially as its end notes. However, its first sips are rather in the dry range and a little more than what we are accustomed to. For those who do like drier wines, this one is a pretty decent option especially as it is the Recolte 2018 which is a little more special than the normal.

Kim Crawford Chardonnay 2018

Kim Crawford Chardonnay 2018

Producer: Kim Crawford Wines
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

We’ve seen the Kim Crawford wines around quite a bit and never actually tried it before. While Chardonnay is not exactly our go-to white wine variety, we wanted to give this one a go as it fell into some other wine taste tags that we’ve tried before that had a lot of depth in its beginning sips to its end notes. Kim Crawford is pretty good as well. Its well-balanced and not too dry. There was a slightly more acidic finish to this one.

Petit et Fils Rose Sparkling Cider

Petit et Fils Cider Rose

Producer: Verger Petit et Fils
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

A nice sparkling rose cider which is lighter than our normal wines and deliberately so as this was in the middle of the huge rush and more meant as a fun little cider to just relax. Petit  & Fils is rather good and we had bought it a few years back (if I remember correctly) and it didn’t disappoint so we were excited to give it a try again. As expected, it was not quite as refined to our palette as we had remembered it but as a sparkling rose cider, it still was rather fruity and sweet but leaned a little closer to the medium-bodied.

That’s it for this round of Wine Recap!
Short and sweet for October with some decent choices!

What have you been drinking lately?

After Hours #10 – Donnie Darko

Its the last episode of Season 3 as we come to a close with the last After Hours episode. This time it’s Elwood’s pick and he decided to choose a movie from his favorite director, Richard Kelly which is Donnie Darko.

Head over to Movies and Tea to listen to the discussion on the film and remember to share your thoughts in the comments over there about this film!

Season 4 is right around the corner and you can also look at the updated banner to see who our next director is.

Movies and Tea

Bringing our after hours epsiode to a close is the cult favourite Donnie Darko from Elwood’s favourite director Richard Kelly in which the time traveling demonic bunny Frank warns Donnie that the world is going to end in 28 Days, Six Hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds while putting him on the path to finding out how.

A film which blend together elements of teen comedy, science fiction, family drama, horror, and cultural satire into one truly unique experience

Further Viewing

Time Crimes
Detention
Source Code
Time Lapse
Triangle
Memento
Nightcrawler
Velvet Buzzsaw

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

Listen to the Show

Anchor
Itunes
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Stitcher

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MTL a Table: Rose Ross

The Battle of Ingredients is taking a break in November as normal to check out the MTL a Table. We’re definitely back on track as this time, we kick off the eating earlier in this restaurant event. The first we’re hitting up is Rose Ross.

Rose Ross is a cozy little restaurant. Its actually just one strip of restaurant that was easily missed when we were first looking for it until we crossed the street and saw the sign. Its rather nicely ambient and while its fairly close quarters, the decor is very comfortable. Right off the bat, the service here was fantastic. They made an effort to make sure that allergies and intolerances were addressed and confirmed before ordering and was patiently answering all our questions and then when the meal came, they made sure to assure that anything that might look like it could trigger food allergies were confirmed to not be the case.

MTL a Table menu was rather good with a good few choices for each course and they also offered the Exclusive Aeroplan privileges for Aeroplan members.

Exclusive Aeroplan Privilege: Glass of Suriol Cava

Suriol Cava

They offered everyone with the Aeroplan card on hand a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, Suriol Cava as a starter. I’ll talk more about it in the wine recap for November. I can say that I’m not usually a huge fan of sparkling wine but this one was pretty good and matched well with the meal.

STARTERS

Rose Ross

Honeynut squash, pumpkin seeds and herbs, pesto, mozzarella di bufala Maciocia

Rose Ross

Mushroom cream, fried shallots, chive, curry oil and crispy chicken skin

Rose Ross

Brussel sprouts a la vietsesame oil and coriander

A big group is always nice as we get to at least see everything on the menu. With the starters, we got the 3 out of 4 choices. My husband having the first one with the honeynut squash where his general comment about his meals throughout the evening was that they had a lot of depth in the food with the different textures combined and the flavors and such.

I had the last one (which was the one that I had my eyes on) with the brussel sprouts. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cook and eat brussel sprouts. While this one was a tad powerful in the vinaigrette, it was really delicious for the majority of it and we all had a debate on how to fry or roast the brussel sprouts to be like that. Very lovely dish and it says a lot about it as I’m not a huge fan of coriander to begin with but the vietssesame oil and coriander was great with the brussel sprouts.

MAIN COURSES

Rose Ross

Gnocchis, pecorino romano, chanterelles, fried cauliflower, chard, tarragon and cream

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Blood pudding from Cochonnailles, squash puree, embeurre of cabbage with lovage and bacon, glace de viande moutardee

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Coregone, carrot mousseline, beluga lentilles, fennel and basil

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Onglet de boeuf IPE, cognac sauce, fries and mayonnaise (+$10)

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Kid’s meal: Penne with tomato sauce

The husband’s choice was the Gnocchi, Phoebe’s choice was the Onglet de boeuf and mine was the Coregone fish option with the carrot mousseline. Everyone liked their main course. Mine was very unique as I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this type of fish before. The fish was cooked nicely and then the carrot mousseline was heavenly then it was paired with the sides that gave it a lot of depth and the flavors blended really well together.

Worth noting here is that they gave the option for kids menu where they had various types of pasta and two types of sauce to choose from which is always nice to see it having a certain level of accommodation on that level.

DESSERTS

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Hazelnut cream puff with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel and goglu cookie crumble

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Carrot cake and miel d’Anicet

In terms of dessert, they also landed quite well. The group enjoyed the hazelnut cream puff while I had the carrot cake which was a change in the original MTL a table menu which was some almond milk rice pudding. This one was also lactose-free option and tasted really  nice. It was very aromatic and not too sweet and the cake texture was moist as well.

Overall, Rose Ross is definitely a restaurant that we’d go back to. For MTL a Table, it was in the 2nd tier pricing at $33 a meal with a lot of options in each course to choose from. The service was impressive and very friendly. The restaurant atmosphere was really efficient and very comfortable. The food also delivered really well especially since it has a mix of French and North American food which sometimes is rather sensitive on the possible allergies but they were all very knowledgeable about their menu so had options for the basic allergies. It was an awesome first impression and first experience that we’d gladly go back a second time, even during a non-MTL a Table event for their regular menu if the opportunity presents itself. If you’re in Montreal, this one is a definitely one to consider.

Murder in Montague Falls by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas

MURDER IN MONTAGUE FALLS
By: Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas

Murder in Montague Falls

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

Murder in Montague Falls are three stories set in the same place relating to different characters and also giving them a different element of noir-inspired stories whether its about Satanism or witnessing a murder to bring involved in a murder. All the stories are executed fairly well and have their own little levels of twist. As with most batch of separate stories put together, it each has their pros and cons and some work better than others. It seems natural to review each of the stories separately as they are individual stories.

The first story, Red Ink by Russ Colchamiro, and the only author in the three that I’ve previously read a novel of, is through and through a story, somewhat in the veins of movies like Disturbia where a paperboy witnesses a murder and suspects who does it but ends up being denied and tries to take actions into his own hands to find out the truth. Its the best of the three stories which is great as it starts off the book in a very good pace. The story itself and the main character has a good level of depth and the murder and investigation all are pretty clever with how everything unfolds. It borders a little on whether the murderer he suspects is actually it while also have two sides of the spectrums in play with the paperboy as well as the detective on the case also have parts with his suspicions.

The second story is The Devil’s Delinquents which is very well-written as well. It drags a little longer than it should at some points, however, the trio here are written very well. The whole Satanism concept mixed with the endgame of the entire story is one that I rarely read so it feels like a breath of fresh air to break through the norm. At the same time, what is excellent here is mostly in the descriptions whether its the more blood and gory bits or even in how the group dresses or what they do are all described in such detail that its easy to visualize the scenes as they happen which brings immersion. Its not an easy thing to do and yet, Sawney Hatton does a great job at it.

The third story is A Many Splendid Thing which is probably the weaker of the three stories. It touches onto something of a flipped side of an erotic thriller kind of deal while also having some fairly familiar and obvious outcomes of the story itself. Its predictability takes away from it while the characters are designed to be rather unpleasant to read about making it hard to root for the main character. At the same time, what does work in this one is the final twist, while still easy to figure out, still manages to use the little details to piece together something that works out especially as the ending page or two definitely speaks a rather raw level of truth as a result of what the character went through that seems a given but yet a lot of stories of this variety never say it straight forward like that which has a certain level of satisfaction to read.

TV Binge: Queer Eye: We’re in Japan (Season 1, 2019)

Queer Eye: We’re in Japan! (Season 1, 2019)

queer eye we're in japan

Hosts: Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Kiko Mizuhara

Guest: Naomi Watanabe

In this short and sweet 4 episodes Queer Eye season, something of a spin-off, the Fab 5 head out to Japan to makeover four heroes as we’ve come to call the people nominated. Heading to Japan is a big deal as they tackle cultural differences but also share the niche slices of Japan from lesbian and gay bars to manga-themed restaurants and the general cultural family dynamic and the whole closed communication structure in relationships both families and romantic ones plus the general perception of how the community values become one’s own identity and how to break from it. Heading to Japan is a huge deal because it shows the reach that Fab 5 can give to those who need it and truly emphasize on how differences in gender, ethnicity are not so much hurdles as we all just need to find our self-confidence and learn to love ourselves and communicate.

qe1

Each episode in this season shows a very different story. The first is one about a woman who gave up her own personal space and life for the community as well as a hospice so others get the best care in their final days. Being in the older demographic and having the “hero” element with her selflessness, its a hurdle about the importance for loving herself and the perfect step to understand the Japanese values. The second story dives into the LGBTQ views in Japan and self-identity in a place that limits someone from being themselves completely. The third story also turns it around and looks at the family dynamic, parent and child communication, the tough love element in a household and especially the ideal woman of how a girl sees herself. The final story goes into the whole communication in marriage and it takes a rather emotional turn as they look at the “sexless” marriage which goes unspoken as well as opening communication to better relationships and facing the issues rather than ignoring them.

Queer Eye I'm in Japan

Looking at each of these stories, Queer Eye We’re in Japan emphasizes something they talked about in the first episode of the first season (at least I think it was there). While each story touches on a different element of Japanese values, views and culture which may be different to the Fab 5, they also tread carefully around it, each of these stories and how a person’s view changes and all these other elements to a certain extent are similar to everyone else. In reality, Queer Eye and the Fab 5 is about embracing our similarities rather than our differences because our stories are more similar than different when you take away the prejudices and stereotypes of gender or ethnicity, etc.

queer eye I'm in Japan

Its 4 episodes and I’ve gone on for far too long talking about not a lot in the review department. These 4 episodes are touching and well-executed. It has a lot of fun moments as well as expected with the Fab 5. Its nicely balanced and well worth a watch. Plus, they have some hosts that are big in Japan like their tour guide Kiko Mizuhara as well as a guest host from Naomi Watanabe, who are both unique icons. Just make sure to keep a Kleenex box nearby (just in case). I’m definitely hoping that they continue to do more episodes in Japan (or other places with different cultures).

What’s Up 2019: Week 44

Tranquil Dreams (2)

Taking a little week to relax while work took over as it inched towards a huge deadline, things somewhat are a bit slower and less completed than I’d have wanted. However, it did give me back the energy I need to kick things back into action. With that said, here’s what’s up the past week!

READING

legends of the exiles

Currently reading: Legends of the Exiles

Not going to lie that reading has yet again dropped down this week. Its mostly fatigue getting in the way as I just can’t find the energy to read more than a few pages without dozing off or wanting to take the reading time and do some writing. Moved forward slightly on Legends of the Exiles and its a pretty good book just still not too far ahead so hard to say much more about it.

PLAYING

cube escape birthday

  • Cube Escape: The Mill
  • Cube Escape: Birthday

As I continue to work through the Cube Escape games, or in general the Rusty Lake games. The majority which so far are all replays. Its a lot of fun to dive back into and see a little more of how each game has its place in the spectrum of the story itself. While it wasn’t deliberate, the second half of the Cube Escape is much more animated and the games so far have more depth as well.

WATCHING

divine fury

  • Summer of ’84 (2018) Review
  • The Divine Fury (2019)
  • Pushing Hands (1991)

Currently watching: The Wedding Banquet

As I try to wrap up the horror marathon and also get some other viewing obligations done, this week has been primarily those goals. With that said, all the movies this week were around the same score so with that said, The Divine Fury being a screener and upcoming release on November 19 is the one that I took the time to watch two times and saw a depth to its execution and horror elements. The review coming out around the release date will have more on that.

As for Pushing Hands and The Wedding Banquet, Movies and Tea is stepping into our Season 4 soon and we are looking Ang Lee’s filmography. We are kicking off with his Father Knows Best Trilogy.

BINGING

queer eye we're in japan

  • Creepshow (Season 1, 2019)
  • Queer Eye: We’re in Japan! (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Super Nova Games 2, When I Grow Up, The Inn (Season 3), Lipstick Prince (Season 2), Soft Memory, Bromance, Relation Ship

It seems busy times means an increase in TV. I don’t even know why. Either way, we wrapped up Creepshow on Shudder and that was an okay experience. Some good, some great and some meh stories mixed together in these 12 short stories over 6 episodes. Because of that, you can’t really beat out Queer Eye: We’re in Japan which had 4 episodes that tugged on heartstrings like crazy and had me tearing up a ton especially because Asian culture and stuff is something that I can relate to even though Japanese and Chinese values are different.

As for some fun new shows to start, Lipstick Prince Season 2 is back and episode 1 was so much fun. It is going to be a fun season. I can already tell. At the same time, The Inn Season 3 started up which has a more competitive structure to it this time around but I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet but the celebrities involved are quite good. As for Soft Memory and Bromance, those two should be wrapped up in the coming week.

That’s it for this week’s What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

Battle of Ingredients: October 2019 Fall BBQ

Battle of Ingredients

Its been a long time since our last Battle of Ingredients! To be fair, we did have a dinner outing (or two) during this hiatus but it wasn’t nothing that I particularly wanted or had time to write about but the group got back together on the last weekend of October to get in a final little BBQ session. Phoebe made a few version of ribs and brought some assorted veggies while I did some drumsticks and butternut squash for the grill and brought some extra stuff to pad the menu in case there wasn’t enough food.

Drinks

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As usual, our friend provided the beverages. This time, he went for the assorted pack of Pepito’s Sangria which had three varieties: Sangria Blanca, Sangria Rosada and Bella Sangria. It had different non-alcoholic wine bases although there was still 4% of alcohol content in it so its a bit odd. Its light and fruity. I only had the Sangria Blanca and Sangria Rosada because the other one was the red wine base so while its non-alcoholic, it was more of a precaution. Sangria Rosada definitely had the berry flavors more while the Blanca was more the harvest fruits like apples and pears.

Main Dishes

Kim

Drumsticks

To kick things off, the first thing I made was Chicken Drumsticks. They are covered with the Dim Sum Dry Rub that I had bought previously and had already used before. It was a busy weekend so still working with the more familiar recipes. The last time I had used it on chicken wings and it still worked really well with the drum sticks. We had given it a little time to sit covered between tossing it on the grill.

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Butternut Squash seemed like a nice fall addition to the menu. Squashes are in abundance now so its always great to add them in. Its hard to cut but then I had done a similar recipe from Goodfood before in the oven and decided to give it a shot on the grill. This is done really simple. We just peel and then cut it into pieces, remove the seed and then sprinkle with salt and pepper and then its ready to put on the aluminium plates to grill. I forgot to add some honey to give it some sweetness at the end but that was supposed to be the plan.

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As the additional stuff in case there wasn’t enough food, I went out to M&M Food Markets and picked up the veggie burger patties (because they were on sale) and also the dinner rolls. I can’t say that I liked either of these very much. The dinner rolls turned hard really fast and the patties tasted a bit odd so still on the hunt for a good veggie burger patty.

Phoebe

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Lack of pictures on my part but Phoebe did make two types of ribs. The one above is the Korean Galbi style attempt which turned out pretty good. I eat rather bland food so I thought it was a little on the salty side however, for normal people who eat regular flavored food, this was pretty on point.

Her second style which is not here because it came off the grill after we started eating was a Honey Soy Sauce which is her little one’s favorite.

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Finally, the last dish to show itself is an assorted veggie platter to grill. It had both yellow and green zucchini, asparagus and Portobello mushrooms.

Overall…its a bit of a normal little Battle of Ingredients but as a little BBQ to get back into the routine of things, we had a lot of fun. Everything turned out pretty good and we had a nice balance of vegetables and meat. The alcohol was also very light and fruity.

Next up in the Battle of Ingredients is our normal November hiatus as we go and explore MTL a Table offerings. Right now, we have 3 booked in (and shouldn’t have more than that on our side at least). With that said, the first one has already happened as this post goes up so that’s coming up very soon.