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?

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

20191102_183615.jpg

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

20191102_183601.jpg

Coregone, carrot mousseline, beluga lentilles, fennel and basil

20191102_183627.jpg

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

20191102_183619.jpg

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

20191102_190610.jpg

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

20191102_190725.jpg

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.

My October Adventures!

Weekly Adventures (2)

Welcome to the October Adventures! Its been a crazy month full of lots of things going on. Suffice to say other than cooler weather and some really windy and rainy days where we got some of the closing gardens and other preparing the house for winter thing going on (which I won’t talk about because I’m not sure anyone wants to know about it), it was a clash for festivals. Let’s look back and see what happened!

Hiking: CIME Haut-Richelieu at Mont St-Gregoire

20191006_134457.jpg

I’m not sure how many more hikes we can get in before the season is too cold to go, but we’re taking them as we can between festivals and other commitments and getting the house ready for the winter season and whatnot. After a much debated weekend with bad weather looming over our heads, the weather finally changed and we decided to go for a hike a little closer to us and went to the nearby tourism area and found CIME Haut-Richelieu at Mont St-Gregoire which had a very reasonable 4km hike. It was steep and rather quick elevation with lots of steps and stairs and rocks to walk over. We took the panoramic trail and got a pretty nice view of the area around.

Festival Du Nouveau Cinema (October 9 to 20)

Fantasia 2019 (1)

Festival du Nouveau Cinema kicked off on October 9th with the program mostly starting the next day (since press doesn’t access to opening and closing films). With that said, this is the first day doing media to cover this festival so a little of the jitters as this festival has some rather deeper films and a lot of the films themselves are all about taking chances with the synopsis provided as well as having very limited evening timeslots to fit them all in making the scheduling very time-consuming and constantly going through changes during the festival. However, that is behind us now and things went fairly smoothly. I had wanted to do on average one review per day and overall, I managed to achieve it.

Here’s the full list of films if you missed any of them:

  • Little Joe
  • Color Out of Space
  • Family Romance LLC
  • Diner
  • Adoration
  • Sole
  • J’ai Perdu Mon Corps
  • Mickey and the Bear
  • A White, White Day
  • Dirty God
  • Carte Blanches Shorts : Aujourd’hui ou je meurs; Pluie sui tole volée

Highlighted are my top 5 in no specific order. If you want to know my top movie, its Diner. Hands down, no competition because while the other films were great, this one has rewatchability in its favor.

Sherbrooke Met La Table & Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Like previous years, we take a day out to the Eastern Townships to go check out a restaurant part of Sherbrooke Met la Table. This time, we decided to go back to one of the first ones we tried called OMG Resto which is actually located in a what used to be a church. We went for the lunch menu but ended up getting the normal.

After that, we headed for a little hike at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. We had previously gone at night for Foresta Lumina. Its a nice little family trail although has a lot of steep stairs and slopes.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival (October 17 to 25)

Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Overlapping the last few days of Festival du Nouveau Cinema was receiving the approval for remote coverage for Toronto After Dark Film Festival for its short films, which was a lot of them. About 95% of the films were available and I managed to review almost all of those available. All the movies are above and I’m not going to list them all separately but just in how I batched them in the posts and then share my top 5 (which will be hard).

I don’t review a lot of short films over here but this festival’s shorts definitely opened my eyes to some very creative premises and some outstanding stories. With that said, these are my top picks:

  • Turbo Killer
  • Hearth
  • Barbara-Anne
  • La Noria
  • Moment
  • The Haunted Swordsman

Lambcast: Evil Dead Franchise

Nothing like a little last minute podcast call-up to add into festival season. However, it did help binge watch the Evil Dead Franchise to prepare for the Evil Dead discussion over at The Lambcast with a bunch of people with rather interesting opinions about this one. Its always a fun time at Lambcast recording so head over to check out the episode HERE.

Battle of Ingredients

20191026_192608.jpg

With the summer and warm weather going away and festivals slowly fading in the background with events and such, we’re back on track with Battle of Ingredients. October Battle of Ingredients is the Fall BBQ. The post is a bit delayed but its currently in the works. Expect it up next week some time.

Other than that, November Battle of Ingredients is always hiatus due to our checking out the MTL a Table event. We will be checking out three restaurants this year if all goes to plan so I’ll be talking about it as it happens!

Game Warp Podcast is Back!

We’ve been on a huge podcast hiatus for Game Warp. While we have been getting back on the blogging side of things, which is always a great start and will continue to be focused on the blog. The podcast is back in our recording schedule. After some changes a few months ago and the festival coverages and such, we have moved ourselves onto Anchor and be an audio podcast from now on. I’m sure I mentioned it before. The episodes will be audio format only available on Youtube as well.

To kick things back into action, and to show our diversity on this whole rebranding thing we’re doing, we start off with something a little different and that is a discussion on Essential Horror Games!

You can check out the episode over on Game Warp HERE.

Halloween Marathon Wrap-up

With all the crazy stuff going on in the final 2 weeks of October, suffice to say that the marathon somewhat didn’t quite happen although Toronto After Dark did work in my favor on that level. I still have one double feature to come out for the marathon and it will be done ASAP. However, in general, things are wrapped up here! Its been a fun month and I actually got quite a bit done in the first half of the month.

Upcoming November Events: MTL a Table, MEGA MTL, Blood in the Snow Festival

Cute Kitty Pic

20191019_202540.jpg

That’s it for the October Adventures!
What have you been up to?

TV Binge: A Discovery of Witches (Season 1, 2018)

A Discovery of Witches (Season 1, 2018)

A Discovery of Witches

Cast: Matthew Goode, Teresa Palmer, Valarie Pettiford, Malin Buska, Owen Teale, Alex Kingston, Aiysha Hart, Edward Bluemel, Gregg Chillin, Trevor Eve, Louise Brealey, Elarica Johnson

Diana Bishop, historian and witch, accesses Ashmole 782 and knows she must solve its mysteries. She is offered help by the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, but he’s a vampire and witches should never trust vampires. – IMDB

A Discovery of Witches is a fun little gem. Season 1 is neatly packed at 8 episodes and stars the talented but rather underrated (in my opinion) Matthew Goode (I mean, have you seen him in Stoker?) and the very charming Teresa Palmer as they are paired up as two magical individuals, vampire and witch who unexpectedly and much against the magical order’s rules, fall in love with each other, except maybe its not that surprising with later discoveries.

A Discovery of Witches

Granted its only a few episodes long for the first season, the story does have some odd execution issues that probably lean more on building a romantic foundation between the two characters a lot in the first half before bringing in the magical dangers in the second half. This execution is good and bad. Its good because the characters of Matthew and Diana become quite the connected couple and we can root for them together. The bad is that, it takes a little away from the thrills of this world of magic and keeps that part relatively more shallow and piles it on a lot more in the second half. I haven’t read the source material so maybe that is also how the book is.

A Discovery of Witches Season 1

While I say that, Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer are amazing as a couple and probably will end up on couples to ship together for sure. Their characters Matthew and Diana are fascinating together even when some of the dialogue is very been there done that and maybe even a tad cringey however somehow whenever ancient vampires come into play, it all becomes a little more acceptable because they are expected to be old-fashioned. The connection they have is great on screen and they have some believable chemistry and passion between them. It also helps that Diana learns from him as he learns and protects her from the magical world that she isn’t quite familiar with. At the same time, they balance out because while she lacks control in her powers, she is also a tough character with determination not only for their love but other elements as well. TV couples that somewhat grow and better themselves together make for strong characters.

A Discovery of Witches Season 1

Where this season and possibly the story itself has its limits is in some relatively annoying characters who almost seem endless and have no sense of danger to them. Like the girl above playing Satu (Malin Buska) who honestly is supposed to be scary or unsettling through the constant character design of quiet and glares. Her character felt quite useless throughout although how they end the season 1 (and depending on what Season 2 does with it) might change that thought. While there are other fairly disposable characters here presented, which probably only feels that way because the season is so compact and has a good number of characters revealed but never quite having enough place to be memorable or meaningful.

This first season of A Discovery of Witches is honestly setting up a lot of foundations and giving an outline of the characters and the world and magical politics, that set the stage for whats to come in future seasons. Many shows tend to do that as something of an introductory. Luckily, there’s enough here to have Season 2 greenlit and hopefully will be released soon.

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?

What’s Up 2019 – Week 39

Tranquil Dreams

The last week of September signals the end of Q3 of 2019. Man, time flew by this year. Its already getting chilly outside and my autumn jacket is out. This week has been busy and fun and a whole lot of starting to prepare for upcoming things mentioned earlier on the September adventures post HERE.

READING

Sketch by Didi Oviatt

Currently reading: Sketch by Didi Oviatt

Back to a slow reading week as I’ve been a tad tired this week because of work rushes and other things going on. I’m still reading Sketch and probably more than a quarter done at this point. I should finish it up soon. Its actually quite good and has me guessing on what will happen next.

PLAYING

Mobile Games for the September round-up over at Game Warp has been my main focus. While I’m about to start up the next long form game very soon as things get settled again. I have a big plan to replay some games that I had wanted to review but never did last year that were on the phone and played for mobile. Its a franchise so might be just a franchise recap or like a few games per roundup. I’m still deciding. Nothing to much to talk about this time around for gaming but definitely have several games to get back to and wrap-up or get started.

WATCHING

Anna and the Apocalypse

  • Anna and the Apocalypse (2017, Review)
  • The Babadook (2014, Review)
  • Blue My Mind (2017)
  • The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Its been a very questionable list of movies that I’ve chosen to go into blind for the Halloween horror marathon. Just look at the four films this week, right? One is full of zombies and is a horror comedy but is a Christmas movie, the second is pure psychological horror, the next is a transformation horror but more of a drama and coming of age and the last is more in line with horror. Either way, my double feature plans are slightly falling apart right now because of certain changes and hopefully will get back on track. However, the first one is out to kick off the marathon and also has my fave movie of this week, Anna and the Apocalypse that I have gone on to rewatch the movie multiple times during the week because I love the soundtrack so much.

BINGING

A Discovery of Witches

  • A Discovery of Witches (Season 1, 2018)

Currently binging: When I Grow Up, Dream Space 2, Relation Ship

Its been definitely a tame week in terms of TV, which seems to be uncommon of late. With the Shudder subscription, we’re taking some time to spend more time on there right now. The first thing that caught our eye was to check out A Discovery of Witches. I have my husband might have some slight regrets on watching it but as for myself, I have some thoughts on it but overall, I’m looking forward to Season 2, whenever it gets released.

That’s it for this What’s Up for Week 39 as we wrap up Q3 of 2019!
Its been a crazy ride this year and What’s Up has given me a really good perspective of whats been going on and such!

What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

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.