Wine Recap – September 2019

wine recap (16)

Welcome to the next Wine Recap! This time its all wines to share! Summer passing does seem to make a different to our alcohol consumption. Summer is more of the light fruity drinks where as some places start having a work reason to be around.

Dr. Loosen Bros  Riesling 2018

Dr. Loosen Bros

Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
Alcohol Content: 8.5%
Location: Mosel, Germany
Taste Tag: Fruity & Sweet

Dr. Loosen Bros Riesling is nice and freshing white wine. We’re usually pretty happy with Rieslings and the this one fit the taste tag pretty well. It was smooth and not too acidic or dry. It had the fruity element pretty good and went down pretty well also. Very enjoyable!

Wayne Gretzky Estates No.99 Riesling 2018 VQA

Wayne Gretsky Riesling 2018

Producer: No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates
Alcohol Content: 11%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Off-dry & Fruity

We’ve bought the Wayne Gretzky Estates wine before these wine recaps started. I can’t remember if it was the Riesling but it might have been because the memory of it was positive enough that I still remembered it when I saw this one on the store shelf. I can’t remember what year that one was but this second time trying it out, 2018 is a lot drier than what I remembered and while it still had those fruity notes, it did lean on the more acidic bit. Its borderline acceptable for our preferences in white wines.

Coeur Vagabond

Coeur Vagabond

Producer: Terre Siciliane IGT
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Italy
Taste Tag: N/A

Call it a cheaper and more accessible wine if you must as this is sold in convenience stores and such. Coeur Vagabond is surprisingly good. Its not fantastic but it actually has a pretty nice balance in the taste. It still angles on the more dry and acidic type of taste but its quite smooth at the back of the throat.

Francis Coppola Diamond Chardonnay 2017

Francis Coppola Diamond Chardonnay 2017

Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Monterey, California, USA
Taste Tag: Aromatic & Mellow

The new taste tag category we are trying out lately is ‘Aromatic & Mellow’ as we’ve had some nice wins. As Movies and Tea Podcast (which I co-host, if you are new here or just didn’t know) has been looking at Sofia Coppola’s works as this season’s focus, I wanted to get into the mood and try out something in the same family. My husband had tried the Francis Coppola red wine before and loved it so we decided to give the white wine a whirl and definitely a win here.

Les Vents d’Ange Cuvée Catherine 2018

Les Vents D'Ange Catherine 2018

Producer: Vignoble Les Vents D’Ange
Alcohol Content: 13%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

For personal friends, they may know why this wine stood out for me. Either way, this one was an earlier purchase that we hadn’t gotten around to trying out. It also is the only wine from Quebec. While I can’t vouch for this being really in the fruity and sweet area as it does angle in the off-dry area a little more, it does taste rather smooth. Its those really subtle wines that actually really settle in as its had time to breath.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
Its definitely an international mix this time around!

Have you tried any new wines lately? Any you’d like to recommend?

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Restaurant: Ichigo Ichie Izakaya (Montreal, Quebec)

Its been a while since I’ve shared any restaurant visits. I actually had quite a few to share but haven’t gotten around to it. We will do those if the time presents itself, however, this past weekend, I went out for a Bachelorette Party dinner at Ichigo Ichie Izakaya, which is the restaurant portion linked to Yokato Yokabai where I had previously talked about in a Weekly Adventures HERE.

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Located in Plateau Mont Royal, the best way probably is to take the Metro to Mont-Royal station and take  few minutes walk over. Ichigo Ichie Izakaya is a Japanese pub so we had reservations for the 10 people and gave us a big table on the side. I can’t say that there’s a lot of good stuff to say about the group seating there as the cushioned seats were too low (maybe I’m too short) and then the ventilation wasn’t quite good so it was very hot as its also quite near the kitchen. They need to add some kind of vents around that spot probably.

Putting all that stuff aside, we’re there for food and drinks and of course, spending time to celebrate our friend’s upcoming marriage so let’s talk food.

Cocktails

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Cocktail: Nashi

I can’t remember exactly what was in this drink called Nashi but it tasted a lot like those Lychee jelly that used to come in those little plastic cups which was pretty delicious. There were quite a few very interesting cocktail blends here that I’d definitely want to go back and check out if given the chance.

Main Meals
(shared among 3 people)

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Garlic Fried Raisu – Soy and garlic fried rice, shiso, sesame seeds

Garlic Fried Rice was my choice. Its always more substance to have some kind of rice or noodles so its why I chose this one, plus, it fit with what I could potentially eat, which was good because the other carbs choice was one that I couldn’t eat. This one was pretty decent. Simple, for sure but the rice and the garlic and how it was fried had really good texture. There was a lot of garlic and yet wasn’t too overpowering either.

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Ebi Mayo (I think) – Jumbo shrimp tempura, crushed almonds & sweet chili mayonnaise

Tempura is the sure fire at any Japanese restaurant. If you can’t get this right, then you can forget about it. This one had 2 jumbo shrimp tempura which was cut into pieces on the bed of crunchy noodles or something. I don’t remember why you call it. Everything worked really well even the spicy mayo that actually gave it a nice kick.

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Butabara – Grilled Pork Belly skewer, Japanese curry seasoning

Pork belly is something that I like getting when I go out and seeing as Yokato Yokabai has the option to choose pork belly in their ramen, I figured it would also be a good choice for this section. We spent a little time cutting up the pieces so everyone could share. The Japanese curry seasoning was quite powerful and rather spicy however, it was pretty delicious also.

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Carbonara Udon – Stir fried udon noodles, bacon, onsen egg, mushroom, spring onions, creamy sauce

Finally, Carbonara Udon was my friend’s choice which I completely forgot had creamy sauce so I had to skip it. My friends however did enjoy this one. They said that the sauce wasn’t too heavy and it was pretty delicious as well.

Dessert

Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Matcha Tiramisu

Suffice to say that, I had to skip out on dessert as well, even though there was an option for Yuzu sorbet (but I was pretty full at that point) so my friends got the Matcha Tiramisu to share. It felt like it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting and from what they said the matcha layers were fairly bland but then the matcha layer on the top was too thick.

OVERALL…

I’ve never been to a Japanese pub as Ichigo Ichie is categorized at. The cocktails are really cool and they have a nice selection of drinks. Everyone at our table, who took other drinks also seemed to enjoy it. The service was also pretty good. Our waitress was very helpful and friendly and answered a lot of our questions whenever and happily went to seek out answers when she didn’t know the answer to it. The food itself was pretty decent as well. Its a tad overpriced in my opinion but its meant to be tapas style so meant to share and it all came out to an alright bill at the end. With that said, paying for food is always more enjoyable when you enjoyed the meal and I was pretty happy with the food presented. There’s a lot of interesting dishes on the menu which could merit a second visit.

Wine Recap – August 2019

wine recap (15)

Welcome to the next wine recap! A month sure flies by as we look at what we’ve tried out in August. We had a little trip away and we also were at the tail end of festival coverage so it was not too much about drinking a ton as work needed to be done.

Petalo Il Vino Dell Amore Moscato

20190803_181625.jpg

Producer: Bottega SPA
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Veneto, Italy
Taste Tag: Fruity and sweet

I was first introduced to this wine at one of my friend’s gathering. Its a wine that is fairly popular during Valentine’s however, nowadays, its a lot more accessible, which is great because while it has a rather romantic name, its also a very good sparkling wine. Its both light, fruity and sweet. I do have to say that this one tasted a little different from the first time I had it before.

Domaine St-Jacques Riesling 2017

Domaine St-Jacques Riesling

Producer: Domaine St-Jacques
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

Domaine St-Jacques is a dry wine. Maybe in the semi-dry area so it had a lot of acidity in its taste as well. We’re not a huge fan of this variety of wine to say the least. Its exactly fit in our palate. Sadly not what we had expected of a Riesling.

Laura Secord S’Mores/Salted Caramel Liqueur

Laura Secord Liqueurs

Producer: Laura Secord
Alcohol Content: 5.4%

All kinds of companies want to diversify their products a little and Laura Secord was obviously no different as they had a cocktail edition which included two flavors: S’mores and salted caramel. Both of which we first saw at the grocery stores. In theory, it sure does seem like a great concept except, in our opinion, these two drinks are not great. Salted Caramel tastes a bit like a cough syrup and I’m exactly sure how to describe the S’Mores one because they sure didn’t taste like these two flavors.

Reif Estate Riesling VQA 2017

reif Estates Riesling

Producer: Reif Winery
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Light and Crisp

Reif Winery Estates’ Riesling is in the extra dry category and it sure lives up to the name. Its probably one of the most acidic ones that we’ve had. It does have a nice smoothness to it after taking a few more sips but its definitely a lot drier than would suit ourselves. However, if you do like some extra-dry wines, this one might be a pretty decent choice.

Thornbury Village Craft Apple Cider

thornbury village apple cider

Producer: Thornbury Village Cidery
Alcohol Content: 5.3%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Crisp

While I can’t say that Thornbury Village Apple Cider is a whole lot different from other ciders, this one still is pretty good. Its not overly sweet and still has that nice apple cider taste. There’s also a special taste to it that I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.

Overall, the first one which was a revisit and the last one was definitely more in my palate in terms of apple ciders and wines. A lot of dry wines in this time’s selection which probably would appeal to some of you.

That’s it for this wine recap!
Have you tried any new wines/alcoholic beverages?

Wine Recap – July 2019

wine recap (1)

It’s time for the next wine recap for the past month. Due to the whole coverage thing with Comiccon and Fantasia Film Festival, the drinking was mostly lowered. Looking back, it was still the lighter stuff for the most part with ciders and such. Everything this time is from Quebec which is always nice. Either way, to say with a clear mind to write and such, I drank everything in little doses.

Let’s check it out.

La Halte des Pelerins Le Voyageur 2017

la halte des pelerins le voyageur

Producer: La Halte des Pelerins
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste tag: Fruity and Sweet

La Halte des Pelerins is a nice and sweet white wine. This is a good wine and very light which is how I like my white wine for the most part. This one is specifically the La Voyageur which is their name for this wine. However, there should be other varieties to check out which will probably be nice to look into for later.

Lonetree Cider

Lonetree Cider

Producer: Lonetree Cider Co.
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
Location: Canada
Taste Tag: N/

Lonetree Cider comes also in a peach flavor. For this one, I picked it up at the supermarket. Its not a bad cider but its definitely not my favorite. There’s something about the type of apples they use probably that changes how I feel about it because there was a peculiar taste to this one compared to other apple ciders that I’ve had before. It leans more on the drier ciders and not too sweet either.

Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles Frontenac Gris 2017

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Producer: Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

The experimental wine here is this one from Domaine Le Grand Saint-Charles. I’ve tried a few of their varieties from the ice cider to the Vidal White Wine. The first was one that I liked a lot and the second was really dry and not exactly my go to wine. The description for this Frontenac Gris is pretty interesting because it has more tropical taste profiles to it which actually does come through really well. Frontenac Gris is a pretty smooth white wine. Its a little dry but still has a decent sweetness to it. I’d definitely recommend this one.

Cidrerie Beaupre Rose

Cidrerie Beaupre Rose

Producer: Cidrerie Beaupre
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

I tried the normal Cidrerie Beaupre before and it was fairly decent. For the price and convenience of being able to pick it up at the supermarket, its a good choice. Plus, its a strawberry flavored apple cider which somehow works really well. Its fruity and fun to drink and keeps it light so a nice little relaxing drink for a decent price.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
Quebec made Ciders and White Wines was the main focus!
Everything was pretty good which is rare but very hopeful. 

Wine Recap – June 2019

Half a year has gone by and we’re going to look back at June’s drinks that I’ve tried out! With long weekends and Battles of Ingredients as well as the summer weather, we usually like to have a little something with our meals.

Check it out!

Lost Craft Apple Cider

Lost Canoe Cider

Producer: Lost Craft
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: N/A

Lost Craft is very similar to most apple ciders. Its a tad more on the dry side especially in comparison to the two that I try out below. Its less in my palette range since I am more a fan of sweet than dry.

L’Orpailleur Ice Wine 2016

L'Orpailleur

Producer: Vignoble de l’Orpailleur
Alcohol Content: 10%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Fruity and Extra Sweet

I’m not sure if we had written about this before but we definitely did buy an L’Orpailleur ice cider before from the Festival des Vendanges. You can see the event we visited a few years ago HERE. L’Orpailleur was great the first time we tasted it and this time (probably a different year) also is very good. Its fruitiness and sweetness has this really smooth balance.

D’ont Poke the Bear Cider

Don't Poke the Bear

Producer: Generations Wine Company
Alcohol Content: 5.6%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Fruity

Add this one onto not only a great cider name but also a delicious one as well. I am finding a lot of Ontario ciders. D’ont Poke The Bear is a really good one. Its the first time I have tried Medium-Sweet taste tag for ciders and with the alcohol content not even a percent higher than the usual, it really isn’t too apparent. It doesn’t feel so much like drinking apple juice because it isn’t as sweet but still has a little tartness and a little dryness that still balances out the sweetness pretty good.

Farmed & Dangerous Cider

Farmed and Dangerous

Producer: North American Craft Agency
Alcohol Content: 6.5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Dry & Fruity

Completely awesome name for a cider plus the can looks great! Farmed and Dangerous is actually less dry than it categorizes itself as. For me, I actually thought it was alright. Something that took a few sips to really get into but I think, it has to do with the fact that its more in the higher alcohol content in terms of ciders than usual so the drier feeling came with that. To be honest, it really did grow on me afterwards.

That’s it for this Wine recap (which is more a cider recap…)!
Some new discoveries here!
Next time, we should get back into some more Quebec wines!

Battle of Ingredients #14 BBQ in the Thunderstorm

The summer is officially here and the weather has been beautiful with a heat wave of sort, more like humidity that swept through this past week as the thunderstorm just refused to roll in. Of course, Phoebe and I ended up choosing the day for the Battle of Ingredients on the day that the thunderstorm did hit. The thunderstorm did give us the perk of having a nice cool breeze. The husband was a champ and toughed out the rain under our car port to be the grill master. Summer BBQ is always a theme with us and we did try to keep things a little different and give some variety.

Drinks

Smirnoff Ice

As a change in pace, especially since I also found out that I had overtime on Sunday, my friends brought in the lighter coolers for our drinks and chose a mix pack for Smirnoff Ice which had the Classic, Wild Berry, Raspberry and Orange. These ones are always light and fun. Its been a while since I’ve had a Smirnoff Ice so it definitely brings me back to the early days when I first got introduced to the whole drinking alcohol business. Back to this choice, it was really refreshing and fruity and suitable for the general shindig.

BBQ Food

Phoebe

BBQ Mushrooms

Mushrooms, Corn & Zucchini

Coca Cola Chicken Drumsticks

Coca Cola Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

Phoebe bought over some mushrooms (mini bella & fresh shiitake) along with zucchini and corn to grill as our veggies. At the same time, she did a take 2 on last year’s coca cola chicken wings except this time she used drumsticks and had marinated them for 2 days beforehand to hopefully get the coca cola flavor more prominent. While the drumsticks still didn’t have the cola taste being exceptionally standout, it still had a really nice flavor to it.

Kim

Chicken and Veggies Skewers

Chicken and Veggie Skewers

Bacon wrapped sausages

Bacon-wrapped Sausages

My contribution went to two very basic options. The first was the bacon-wrapped sausages which I had planned for last time but didn’t end up doing so here we go. It turned out as it would to be quite good since you can’t really go wrong with sausages and bacon combo (at least to me). Chicken and Veggies skewers composed of chicken thighs, zucchini, bell peppers and Spanish onion. We also decided to try a new barbecue sauce and bought the Joe Beef one. They turned out really good as well.

Dessert

Nothing for dessert tonight and we chose the healthy route of having fruits which I obviously forgot to take a picture of. Next time, I’ll have some other plans.

That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
July is a busy month (as explained in the last Weekly Adventures post HERE), so we are working out some place to dine out instead.
Battle of Ingredients should resume in August (we are working out availability…). 

Goodfood Recap #39

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood. Its been probably about a month. This is definitely back to a monthly basis at this point. This time’s picks are fairly summery in my opinion, at least getting into the more warm weather foods that we tend to learn towards. There are some repeats and some that feel like a little twist added to something we’ve done before.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Boil
with Summer Corn, Roasted Potatoes & Green Salad

shrimp boil

As always, seafood meals kick off the Goodfood meals. This time, we start with our repeat meal. The last time we had this, I believe my husband made it so it was a new experience for myself. Other than the fact that I’d love to know how you break corn into 3 parts (my husband says the cleaver is how to do it) by hand, this meal was pretty good. The shrimp was nice and its pretty simple to put together. It has a few steps to it like boiling the corn and potato first before putting it in the oven with the shrimp. The sauce that they say to make with a butter base (which I replaced with margarine since we don’t have butter at home) was really delicious. The green salad also had a good oil-based dressing to it and was a refreshing side.

Glazed Korean Chicken Lettuce Cups
with Sticky Rice & Carrot Salad

glazed korean chicken lettuce cups

My favorite meal of this meal kit goes to this recipe. I’m always a big fan of the Asian foods here. They usually are pretty decent. Its been a while since I’ve tried some lettuce cups and such although I did end up eating it all separately in the end. However, the chicken is really good although it takes some attention. At the same time, the carrot salad is a bit like preserved style so has this sour flavor to it but it matches really well to balance out the flavors here. Plus, the sticky rice is one of the fave parts of these meals whenever it appears since I don’t buy Calrose rice but I definitely should just to be able to eat more sticky rice, not to mention the sauce the blends in with it from the chicken is just delicious.

Curried Tofu
with Coconut Rice, Roasted Vegetables & Thai Basil Salsa Verde

Curried Tofu

Tofu meals are usually hit and miss for us however we keep trying them out because its a good source of meatless protein and its always nice to add a vegetarian option every once in a while when we get a chance. While I can’t say the tofu itself was anything great (I’m not a fan of the extra firm tofu), the curried sauce was pretty good. The roasted vegetables are also pretty good and the thai basil salsa verde was also surprisingly a good addition to add some different flavors to the meal.

Beef & Shiitake Burgers
with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

beef & shiitake Burgers

Burger choices are normally for my husband because he likes trying now types of burgers. This menu feels familiar and yet also feels like a past one we have had but maybe with changes. I can’t quite remember right now. It was a pretty good one although, I have never had uncooked bok choy so was a bit skeptical and after this, learned that I prefer it cooked. It is somewhat of a messy burger so I ate it all separately. Everyrhing was alright except note to self, with miso based sauces, it already starts off quite salty.

Thats it for this Goodfood recap!
Any meals that peak your interest?