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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for FEB 17, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for FEB 17,  2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
R+82024    MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS GRAN RESERVA    DOP Cariñena        2010    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+652446    CERBAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG        2007    $43.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 93
 
20 under $20
=========
W+89029    TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2015    $18.95     10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+536532    CANTINE DUE PALME SANGAETANO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP        2015    $17.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+536672    PIATTELLI RESERVE TORRONTÉS    Cafayate Valley, Salta        2016    $14.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+542365    SANTA EMA GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY    Leyda Valley        2016    $16.95  MVC/QPR:  89
W+673053    DOMAINE DES ASPES CHARDONNAY/VIOGNIER    IGP Pays d'Oc     2016    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+177824    13TH STREET GAMAY NOIR    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+542696    TORMENTOSO CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Coastal Region    MAN Vintners    2015    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+230391    CHÂTEAU LAGRANGE    AC Lussac-Saint-Émilion    Famille Courrech, Exploitante    2013    $19.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+469627    CHÂTEAU GRANGE COCHARD VIEILLES VIGNES MORGON    AP        2014    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+482455    S. DELAFONT MOSAIQUE AP Languedoc 2016    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+526665    GABRIEL MEFFRE ST. VINCENT CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AP        2015    $16.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+354134    CHÂTEAU BELLEVUE LA FORÊT AP Fronton    Philip Grant, prop.    2014    $14.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+536326    FEUDI SALENTINI 125 PRIMITIVO DEL SALENTO    IGP        2015    $14.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+56267    REMO FARINA MONTECORNA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE    DOC        2015    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+251439    FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $19.95    10.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+374819    KEINT-HE PORTAGE CHARDONNAY    VQA Prince Edward County    2014    $25.00     12.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+656710    D'ARENBERG THE MONEY SPIDER ROUSSANNE    McLaren Vale, South Australia        2016    $19.95    12.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+336958    FOWLES STONE DWELLERS CHARDONNAY    Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria        2016    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+591313    MALIVOIRE GAMAY VQA Niagara Peninsula 2016 $17.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+511428    REDSTONE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2013    $25.70         13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+395699    BERINGER LUMINUS CHARDONNAY    Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley        2015    $44.95    14.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+146951    FOLIE À DEUX CHARDONNAY    Russian River Valley, Sonoma County        2015    $24.95    14.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+461699    HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE BACO NOIR    VQA Ontario        2015    $24.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+256768    BLACK STALLION CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley        2014    $39.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+382267    BUENA VISTA THE COUNT FOUNDER'S RED    Sonoma County    Boisset Family Estates Collection    2014    $26.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+942599    RAVENSWOOD LODI OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    Lodi        2015    $21.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+29207    ROBERT MONDAVI OAKVILLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley        2013    $47.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+167189    DANDELION VINEYARDS LIONHEART OF THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ    Barossa, South Australia        2016    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+927657    JOHN'S BLEND MARGARETE'S SHIRAZ    Langhorne Creek, South Australia        2013    $39.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+962977    CHÂTEAU SÉNÉJAC AC Haut-Médoc  2015    $29.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+527986    DOMAINE ROUX PÈRE & FILS SAINT-AUBIN LES FRIONNES 1ER CRU    AC        2015    $46.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+981787    DOMAINE DU GRAPILLON D'OR GIGONDAS    AC    Céline et Bernard Chauvet, Prop.    2015    $32.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+941740    LA CRAU DE MA MÈRE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    AP    Famille Mayard    2015    $41.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+530485    SORDO GABUTTI BAROLO DOCG    2012    $68.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+225540    SARTORI CORTE BRÀ AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOC        2010    $39.95     15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+537852    CANTINE DI MARZO GRECO DI TUFO    DOCG     2015 $19.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+48710    REDHAWK GRATEFUL RED PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley    2015    $21.95 13.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+543728    OTAZU RESERVA CLÁSICO DO Navarra 2009    $24.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com
 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR JANUARY 2018 [published monthly since 2000]

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR JANUARY 2018 [published monthly since 2000]
======================================
 
By Dean Tudor, Gothic Epicures Writing, deantudor@deantudor.com
Creator of Canada's leading wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.ca
 
These food and wine book reviews are always available at www.deantudor.com and http://gothicepicures.blogspot.ca
 
 
But first, these words:
 
Most prices listed below are in US currency as printed on the cover. I do this because MOST of my readers are American. CAN prices are inserted for Canadian produced books. In these times of US-Canadian currency fluctuations about parity AND online bookstore discount (plus the addition of GST or HST) prices will vary upwards or downwards every day.
 
 
ALLEZ CUISINE!! [even though it has been a short month's worth of books]
 
 
* FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
1.THE BOOKLOVERS' GUIDE TO WINE (Books and Books Press, 2017, 390 pages, ISBN 978-1-63353-606-7 $19.95 USD paperbound) is by Patrick Alexander who teaches a six week program  at Books & Books in Coral Gables Florida. He's done it for the past six years, so he put out his "notes" in book form. It's an introduction to the history, mysteries, and literary pleasures of drinking wine. He's got a nifty literate accompaniment to the traditional wine and food pairings. It's a global wine tour, with pairings such as Charles Dickens with cabernet sauvignon, Jane Austen with chardonnay, Shakespeare with sherry (Falstaff's dry sack), and JRR Tolkien with albarino (the newest hot white grape from Portugal and Spain). Very entertaining package that begins with tasting wine, making wine, wine history, continues with old world and new world (Canada gets icewine, but not in the index), grape varieties, and food matches. Reference material includes lists of Bordeaux appellations, the Grand Crus of Burgundy, and the standings in the two 1976 Judgment of Paris smackdowns.
Audience and level of use: beginning wine lovers, millennials.
Some interesting or unusual facts: "I can see you that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret" - John Cleese as Basil Fawlty.
The downside to this book: it arrived too late for my annual holiday book gift issue.
The upside to this book: very readable account. More details at info@mango.bz.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
 
2.THE PLAGIARIST IN THE KITCHEN (Unbound, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 9781783522408, $42.95 CAD hardbound) is by the redoubtable Jonathan Meades, the UK journalist, TV personality, and filmmaker who also specializes in food. He says that this book will be the only cookbook he will ever write. Meanwhile, as this book does exist, it is his take in praise of the unoriginal recipe. Very very entertaining and provocative. It was funded by readers through the writer website "Unbound". You pledge for it in advance, and it gets published once it receives critical mass. This particular title was distributed in Canada by Penguin Random House. He says it "is an anti-cookbook, a recipe book that is also an explicit paean to the avoidance of culinary originality, to the daylight robbery of recipes, to hijacking techniques and methods, to the notion that in the kitchen there is nothing new and nor can there be anything new. It's all theft." So: ultimately, it is a basic book of workable standard classic recipes with his pithy and enlightening comments. Because it is British, it is all in metric, with no tables of equivalents or conversion charts. There is a an index, plus four pages of three columns each which feature the names of contributors/subscribers. There is a short bibliography of "books referred to" and presumably borrowed from. Most of the books are old, and most of the authors have since passed on. So there. The book could have been improved if it also used US volume measurements in the recipes; this would improve sales in the last remaining country on the planet to ignore metric. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
3.RETRO RECIPES FROM THE '50S AND '60S (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017, 228 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-14632-8 $19.99 US paperbound) is by Addie Gundry, a chef who has worked for Boulud, Keller, Stewart, et al in management, restaurant openings, editorial, brand development. She also won a cooking match on the Food Network. Here she give us 104 vintage appetizers, dinners and drinks from the past – 60 years ago. She also has some historical notes, such as sourcing the first printed recipe for a party cheese ball to the Minneapolis Star-Journal in 1944. Or the brunch stalwart Monte Cristo, first offered in southern California in the 1950s. This is the stuff that North Americans grew up with at that time, the food that millennial grandparents ate at home. Yes, people ate at home then, in families gathered around the table with no phones, TV sets, or other distractions. Expect "classics" such as crab puffs, shrimp cocktail, meatloaf, cheese fondue, deviled eggs, quiche, SOS, Waldorf salad, ambrosia salad, grasshopper pie, and more. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
4.STIRRING SLOWLY (Square Peg, 2016, 280 pages, ISBN 978-0-22410165-3 $42.95 CA hardbound) is by Georgina Hayden, a food writer who worked in the kitchens with Jamie Oliver for a decade. And of course it comes with an endorsing foreword by Oliver. The book was originally published in late 2016 but is now available to the North American market via Penguin Random House. It is a basic book on comforting food for those who love to cook, that is, the preps are not slapped together just before consumption and the preps are nourishing and healing as well. Major topics include bowl food, quick & light, slow & hearty, veggies, and baking. Meat is included. Typical dishes include chilled avocado soup with ginger,  Jerusalem artichoke with thyme barley risotto, caraway honey and buttermilk buns, sticky harissa carrots and beets with dates, pomegranate chicken skewers, chorizo and tomato and chickpeas on toast, and green chili greens with cashews. One my faves is "pho for one". Readers of my reviews know I excoriate publishers for lack of metric data, but in this case, the book could have been improved if it also used avoirdupois in the recipes, or at least had a conversion chart for the American market. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
5.CANADA'S CULINARY HERITAGE (Klorifil Editions, 2017, 229 pages, ISBN 978-2-9810783-7-7 $39.95 CA hardbound) is a publisher's collection of some 100 recipes from 100 celebrities in celebration for Canada 150, for the benefit of Breakfast Club of Canada (and helping to provide 165,000 daily breakfasts to children). Too bad they couldn't make it 150 recipes since it is Canada 150, but of course that would have increased the price. Preps are divided into apps, entrees, "this and that" and desserts. There is an index to personalities and their contributions, which includes k.d.lang (Canadian s'more), Premier Kathleen Wynne's ginger snaps, Lisa Laflamme's family cheesecake, Susur Lee's Singaporean style slaw, Lynne Crawford's honey whiskey glazed chicken, Ron James' moose meat marinade, Brian Orser's beer can chicken, and Wayne Gretzky's grandmother's perogies. An interesting mosaic of Canadian food. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
6.CULINARY TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD (Klorifil Editions, 2017, 213 pages, ISBN 978-2-9810783-5-3 $39.95 CA hardbound) is a publisher's collection of some 92 recipes from 92 countries in celebration for Canada 150, for the benefit of Hire – Embauche Immigrants Ottawa. The source materials are authentic recipes from diplomats posted in Canada. From Afghanistan (kabuli palau) to Vietnam (fowl congee), with stops along the way for Estonian Lenten breads, Indian samosa, Italian panforte margherita, Jamaican ackee and saltfish, South Korean kimchi, Peruvian ceviche and Egyptian fattah. Another interesting mosaic of food that immigrants bring to Canada. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
7.HOW TO ROAST EVERYTHING (America's Test Kitchen, 2018, 406 pages, ISBN 978-1-945256-22-6 $35 US hardbound) is from the creative team at the TV show America's Test Kitchen. It is also a guide to building flavour into meat, veggies, fruit, and other roasted items. Like all the ATK books, it is a definitive reference tool There are many years of experiences here. The primer start with roasting basics and then moves on to "ten essential roasts", which is just about the most that regular  people at home would do: these are the classics of bone-in chicken breasts, butterflied chicken, roast chicken, roast turkey breast, roast beef with gravy, slow-roasted beef, roasted pork tenderloin, glazed pork roast, roasted bone-in pork rib roast, and roasted salmon fillets. Plus some 15 variations of rubs and sauces. But no leg of lamb, or any lamb roast. You'll have to see the pork & lamb chapter for that, and there are just a half dozen. The really engaging chapters deal with grill roasting, veggies and fruits. It's a well-priced nifty book full of details, tips, and photos, and includes the equipment needed – the usual ATK approach. The book could have been improved and have had wider sales if it also used metric in the recipes, but at least it had metric conversion charts. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
8.THE QUINTESSENTIAL QUINOA COOKBOOK; eat great, lose weight, feel healthy (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, 2018, 223 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-2223-1, $14.99US papercovers) is by Wendy Polisi, with photos and nutritional info for every recipe, gluten-free desserts, and quinoa recipes for kids. It's a reissue of the 2011 book with updates. She's given alternative ingredients and prep methods for many dishes, including vegan, sugar-free, and quick and easy. She's got two recipes for gluten-free flour blends – an all-purpose quinoa flour blend and a quinoa cake flour blend. These can be used without fear. The book is arranged by course, breakfast through apps and snacks, salads, wraps and tacos and sandwiches, mains, baking and desserts. About 100 dishes are here, but there is more at www.cookbookquinoa.net. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Some interesting preps include quinoa pizza; broccoli quinoa salad; Mediterranean lettuce cups; and smoked chile rellenos. Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
9.ROSE MURRAY'S COMFORTABLE KITCHEN COOKBOOK. Rev. ed. (Whitecap, 1991, 2018, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050301-4 $29.95 CAD paper covers) is by Rose Murray, a Taste Canada Hall of Famer and award-winning food writer appearing in print (over 10 cookbooks and scores of articles) and broadcasting in both radio and TV. It was originally published in 1991 (McGraw-Hill Ryerson). As the subtitle notes, this is "easy, feel-good food for family and friends". It's been modernized and with new food shots and layouts. It's an easy going classic for the home cook, with 230 preps, from apps to soups to sides, salads, and desserts, all wrapped around "comforting main courses". Typical dishes include upside-down pear gingerbread, veal and onion ragout with gremolata garnish, dandelion salad, warm lamb salad, wild rice lemon pilaf, homemade BBQ sauce, Thai thighs, cheesy meat loaf, and sweet potato party flan. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. There are multiple recipes on each page, and only a few of the preps have photos – both of which help keep the book's price low. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
10.FIX-IT AND FORGET-IT COOKBOOK. Revised & updated. (Good Books, 2012, 2018, 702 pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-301-1 $29.99 US hardbound) is by Phyllis Good, who has sold over 12 million such books for the slow cooker. This is a revision of the 2012 book, which was already a revision of an earlier book. Her 2012 book had sold more than 5 million copies, but there are changes and additions here:  100 new recipes for slow cookers; "Prep Time," "Cooking Time," and "Ideal Slow-Cooker Size" are included for each recipe; new data on "Substitute Ingredients for When You're in a Pinch", "Equivalent Measurements", "Kitchen Tools and Equipment; new tips and tricks for making the most of your slow cooker, spread throughout the book; and a revised and improved Index. So here are 700 slow cooker recipes to fulfill every need. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, but at least there is a large type page of  metric conversions. Quality/price rating: 88.
----------------------------------------------------

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Event: annual dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

The Date and Time: Monday January 29, 2018   6:15 - 10PM
The Event: annual dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
The Venue: Mad Crush Wine Bar, College Street
The Target Audience: members of the WWCC and their guests, all set to try out the new Mad Crush (Jamieson Kerr's new spin on his former Crush Wine Bar). We are grateful for their setup, service, and no charge for corkage!
The Wines: 14 different wines were on show
 
Reception wines:  13th Street bubbly VQA
                  Creekside 2016 Sauvignon Blanc bubbly VQA
                  Colio Lily Rose VQA Ontario bubbly
 
Dinner wines from members:
    –- Alkoomi 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Frankland River, Western Australia
    -- Domaine de Bachellery 2007 Pays D'Oc  Grenache fut de chene
    -- Fabre Montmayou 2013 Gran Riserva Malbec
    –- Chateau Marquis D'Alesme Grand Cru Classe, AC Margaux 2005.
    -- 2016 Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay
    -- 2012 Legends Estates Petit Verdot.
    -– Quinta da Jardinete  Merlot/Aragonez  2010 Azores (Portugal;  not                   available in Canada)
    -- Fresh Sparkling Rose  Gamay/Riesling   VQA  Ontario   (April)                                         --  -- Novas Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere  Chile    LCBO #434662
    -- Magnotta Blanc de Blancs Sparkling VQA ( Winery and Magnotta Stores)
    -- 1987 Inniskillin Heuriger Nouveau (made by Karl Kaiser).
 
The Food: we began with a series of hors d'oeuvre which went perfectly well with the sparklers. And then we continued with a choice of apps, mains and dessert. I had the sweetbreads and the lamb and the cheese, and samples of all the wines.
 
Hors d'oeuvre
 
Truffled Pecorino Potatoes
Roast Cauliflower Cakes & Pomegranate
Fried Salt Cod & Green Peppercorns
 
Apps
Winter Parsley Root Puree
OR
Maple-Aleppo Glaze Crispy Sweetbreads  [not too sweet]
OR
Harrissa Spiced Raw Kale Salad
 
 
Mains
Bourguignon Canadian Beef Port Steak
With Confit Garlic Pomme Purée
OR
Pappardelle & Wild Mushrooms
With Grey Owl & Roast Walnuts
OR
Slow Charcoal Roast Leg of Canadian Lamb
With Aubergine & Chevre Melktert
 
 
Dessert
Apple Tarte Tatin & Ice Cream
OR
Cheese & Biscuits 
 
The Downside: the night of a big snow storm that eventually petered out.
The Upside: a chance to break bread with wine-writing colleagues and with nobody from the trade around.
The Contact Person: deantudor@yahoo.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

For February 3, 2018 LCBO Vintages -- Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Sonoma County, +331603

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Sonoma County, +331603 Vintages, $27.95: in time for the upcoming spring season and early BBQs -- this is a re-release of a popular selling red wine. It's sourced from Sonoma County (99%) and retails in the US at $24 USD. Black fruit all the way (black cherry, blackberry, black currant), 90% cabernet sauvignon, 6% cabernet franc, rest is petit verdot, merlot, and malbec – which makes it a Bordeaux-styled wine. 13.5% ABV, aged 10 months in French and US oak (86% of total production) plus balance in stainless for freshness. And there's some mocha nuances for the millennials to pick out and go wild over. I last tasted this in May 2017; here, it has picked up a few non-fruit tones such as leather and tobacco leaf, even some "smoke". All of which is a good thing for the evolution and maturing of wines. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for February 3, 2018

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  February 3, 2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
W+439554 AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE WO Paarl 2015 $15.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92.
R+382283    SPERLING VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2015    $28.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
W+ 686600    PEWSEY VALE SINGLE VINEYARD ESTATE RIESLING    Eden Valley, South Australia        2016    $19.95    12.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+391987    MIDDLE-EARTH SAUVIGNON BLANC    Nelson, South Island    Winelord Ltd.    2016    $17.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+390781    NOVELLUM CHARDONNAY Sud de France    Lafage    2016    $17.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+346007    RABL KITTMANSBERG GRÜNER VELTLINER    DAC Kamptal        2016    $16.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+532259    CANTINA DEL CASTELLO SOAVE CLASSICO    DOC        2015    $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+546036    ROCKWAY VINEYARDS FERGIE JENKINS LIMITED EDITION RED    VQA Ontario 2016    $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+712463    PRIMUS THE BLEND    Colchagua Valley        2014    $19.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+478271    SISTER'S RUN OLD TESTAMENT CABERNET SAUVIGNON  Coonawarra, South Australia        2015    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+535856    MOUNT RILEY SYRAH    Marlborough, South Island        2016    $18.95  13.5%  ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+542704    STELLENBOSCH HILLS CAPE RED WO Stellenbosch    2016 $14.95 14%ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+527051    JEAN-PAUL DUBOST BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES CLIMAT LE TRACOT    AC        2015    $19.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526848    CHÂTEAU SAINTE MARIE ALIOS    AC Côtes de Bordeaux 2014    $15.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+331900    E. GUIGAL GIGONDAS    AC        2014    $39.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+378026    CASA AL VENTO ARIA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2014    $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+318352    LAZZERETTI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG        2012    $53.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+492561    FARINA VALPOLICELLA    DOC        2016    $14.95    MAJESTIC WINE  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+160374    SARTORI VALDIMEZZO RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE    Unfiltered, DOC        2014    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+490011    LA TREMENDA MONASTRELL    DO Alicante    Enrique Mendoza    2014    $17.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+266882    LUA CHEIA OLD VINES RED    DOC Douro    Wines & Winemakers by Saven    2015    $13.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+149302    FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $21.95     13 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+529735    JACKSON ESTATE CHARDONNAY    Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara    Kendall-Jackson    2015    $39.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+226936    RODNEY STRONG CHARDONNAY    Sonoma County        2016    $21.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+466144    J. MOREAU & FILS CHABLIS    AC 2015 $22.95  12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+249623    DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER KESSLER PINOT GRIS    AC Alsace Grand Cru        2012    $29.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+539106    BUENA VISTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley    2013    $59.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+55764    CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE INDIAN WELLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley        2014    $26.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+433060    WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE SHIRAZ    Coonawarra, South Australia        2015    $22.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+484253    CHÂTEAU LA VIEILLE CURE AC Fronsac 2008 $41.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+534289    CHÂTEAU LANESSAN    AC Haut-Médoc    Delbos-Bouteiller    2000    $69.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 93
R+539825    MACHARD DE GRAMONT VIEILLES VIGNES NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES    AC        2015    $59.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+538462    ROCCA DEL DRAGONE AGLIANICO    IGP Campania    Orion Wines    2013    $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+536318    FELLINE PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA DOP 2016 $19.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
R+483412    LE MACCHIOLE BOLGHERI ROSSO DOC 2015 $34.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+709980    MICHELE SATTA PIASTRAIA    DOC Bolgheri Superiore    2013    $38.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+239707    POGGIO VERRANO CHANCE    IGT Maremma Toscana    2007    $38.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+681692    CA'LINVERNO VERONESE ROSSO    IGT Rosso Veronese    Monte Zovo    2013    $23.95    15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+313270    DON JACOBO RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    Bodegas Corral    2010    $22.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+546283    NORTH 42 DEGREES CABERNET FRANC    VQA Lake Erie North Shore        2016    $21.95     14.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
 
11.DELICIEUX (Hardie Grant Books, 2016, 424 pages, ISBN 978-1-74379195-0 $40 USD hardbound) is by Gabriel Gate, a Loire-born French chef who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants. He's also been a TV host for in Australia for decades and leads gourmet tours to France. This book (one of his 23 cookbooks) on French food covers recipes from all regions, Normandy to Provence and the Mediterranean back up to Alsace. He also covers local markets, cafes, patisseries, and fine-dining places. It is arranged by course: starters, salads, veggies, seafood, poultry (and rabbit), meats, cakes, desserts and tarts. Little on wine. Veal gets covered by blanquette de veau, cotes de veau panes, and veau saute. Flan de courgettes au Saint Marcellin is a good zucchini cheese dish. Preps are sourced as to region, and both French and English titles are used. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
12.GATHER COOK FEAST (Fig Tree, Penguin, 2017, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-241-21609-5 $53.95 CAD hardbound) is by Jessica Seaton (and Ann Colquhoun). These are recipes from land and water by the co-founder of Toast (UK fashion and lifestyle brand). Colquhoun is a food anthropologist looking at local cuisines, and author of "Eat Slow Britain". It's a collection of recipes subdivided by landscape types: freshwater, saltwater, home ground (yard gardens), pasture fields, and heath and wood (foraging). This is the food that one could expect to find, for the most part, in temperate regions. And, of course, if you do not want or cannot forage, then there is always the local market or a supplier of unusual ingredients (they've got a list). Typical are duck in apot with spring veggies, wild weed pasties, watercress salad with blood oranges, bitter green orecchiette, roast partridge with smoky lentils and damsons, herbed rice with saffron pike-perch. A good selection of recipes. The book could have been improved if it also used avoirdupois in the recipes, or at least had a conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
13.THE OKANAGAN TABLE (Figure 1 Publishing, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-773270-002-9 $37.95 CAD hardbound) is by Rod Butters of RauDZ Regional Table and a number of other places in the Okanagan Valley. The book is hailed as "the art of everyday home cooking" but in the Okanagan area of fruit orchards, vineyards, and food artisans. In that case, it is quite similar to the Sonoma and Provencal landscape, especially now with global warming. The chapters are arranged by time of day: sunrise, midday, sunset, twilight. This is food from the region: whatever is grown or raised, such as duck eggs at brekkies, potted smoked salmon, halibut pastrami, turkey wings, venison carpaccio, pork roast with apples an potatoes, et al. The Okanagan Valley is indeed rich. Here are 80 recipes for use at home, with mains such as bamboo steamed fish in curry, beer-braised short ribs, braised oxtail, honeyed quail, root veggie torte, and wild boar meatballs. There are also supplier lists, principally useful if you live in the region. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
14.THE MODERN JEWISH TABLE (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017, 220 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-1718-3, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by www.thejewishprincesses.com (Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn, both in the UK). They've gone the promo route through TV, radio and the prss, plus cooking demos. They've updated and extended about 100 Jewish recipes from the around the world, maintaining the kosher status. The results include sephardi saffron chicken soup instead of just plain chicken soup, and princess pita instead of matzo. Other modernized dishes include Chinese chicken sesame toast, street food gefilte fish bites, and Kunafa Middle Eastern cheesecake. Pareve desserts are a specialty here, and many other items can be part of a Passover feast. It is all arranged by course: small plates, soups, green salads, fish, meat, veggies, and desserts. The book is well-laid out with leading and nice large print, and this continues with the large print index. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there conversion tables to metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
 
15.PETER CALLAHAN'S PARTY FOOD (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-45971-5 $35 USD hardbound) is by the owner of NYC's Peter Callahan Catering. He's created food for both corporations and for celebrities, as well as contributing to Martha Stewart Weddings. His first cookbook was "Bite by Bite". Here he expounds on serving food in style for celebrations: tablescapes, buffets, family gatherings, plated dishes, mini hors d'oeuvre, seated dinners, and bar carts. He's got stories about his career and business with anecdotes of some of his dinners. He simplifies as much as can be and organizes well with his shortcuts. There are 100 original party tricks and recipes. It's all arranged by format, from passed small plates to plates, family style, and bar carts. There are some really good ideas here, along with excellent display photos (Con Poulos). The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had
a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
16.I LOVE INDIA (Quadrille Publishing, 2017, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-563-9 $29.99 USD hardbound) is by the UK's Anjum Anand who has hosted "Indian Food Made Easy" (BBC TV), and has written seven other Indian cookbooks for Quadrille. She's also been busy with her own range of Indian sauces (plus chutneys and pickles) sold internationally as The Spice Tailor. Here is a collection of recipes and stories from Indian cities and coastal shorelines, for eating morning to midnight, and created from the past to the present. Most regions of India are covered, as well as stories of traders/settlers/immigrants. She's got street food, app bites, curries from the coast, holidays and high days' food, comfort food, and regional classics. Sample Delhi papri chaat, potato burger, hot lamb sandwich, tandoori-style sea bream, sindhi-style grilled fish, chana masala, even classic butter chicken. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart for the avoirdupois elements. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
17.BACO (Chronicle Books, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-5468-8 $35 USD hardbound) is by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock. He's the chef-owner of five LA restaurants; she's a food writer formerly at the LA Times. These preps come from his first restaurant, Baco Mercat, and represent both Turkish and Tejano (Texas) heritage. It's a chef cookbook from his collection of recipes, and it does have international inspirations, arranged for the home cook as – chapter 1 spicy/salty/pickled/preserved; chapter 2 fresh/green/snappy/light; chapter 3 bright/citrusy/zesty/hardy; chapter 3 buttery/crispy/tangy/herbal; chapter 5 earthy/sharp/velvety/savoury; chapter 6 creamy/nutty/crunchy/floral; chapter 7 tender/juicy/peppery/rich; chapter 6 flaky/fruity/caramely/tart, plus 11 drinks (mash, shrub). A nice way to deal with food distinctions. Try roasted golden beets with radishes, cucumbers, hazelnuts, and creamy poblano-feta dressing, or lebni with eggplant puree, fava "hummus" and za'atar, or hamachi crudo with adjika, yuzu-dashi vinaigrette, avocado, and potato croquettes.
The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Still, a fab production with photos and lots of notes about his cooking philosophy, and a great looking index with large typeface and lots of leading. Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
 
18.SUPPER LOVE (Quadrille Publishing, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-78713-049-4 $22.99 USD hardbound) is by David Bez, who currently owns and operates a London cafe serving his fave bowls for breakfasts, salads, and suppers. He began five years ago with Pride Kitchen, a blog dedicated to creating a new salad every work day. This led to the cookbook "Salad Love" followed by "Breakfast Love". Here, he's got comfort bowls for quick and nourishing suppers. It is in two parts: soups and nourishing bowls, and each prep can be adapted for diets such as vegan or vegetarian with clearly marked  alternative symbols. His primer covers about 50 pages and just about tells you everything you'll need to know to make your own, inventive bowls. Typical are blue cheese, radicchio, sweet potato and broth or shrimp, brown rice, broccoli and fish broth. A bowl of solids would have roasted pepper, parsnip, quinoa and dulse or smoked ham, Jerusalem artichoke, kale and yogurt. There's some metric measurements in the recipes, but it is just weights only. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
19.FARM-TO-TABLE DESSERTS (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017, 185 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-1692-6 $22.99 USD hardbound) is by Lei Shishak, pastry chef working in Sun Valley and Los Angeles. She's authored two other cookbooks: the award-winning "Beach House Baking" and "Beach House Brunch". Here she shares her local farmers' market locally sourced organic foods and gives recipes for creating desserts from them. Eighty sweet recipes are divided by season (beginning with spring), so everything is fresh and seasonal. She's got key lime bars, quince brown butter tarts, fried fuji apple pies, dulce de leche cheesecake with fuji apples, cantaloupe soup, cherry ice cream sandwiches – an amazing variety. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
20.HONEST TO GOODNESS (Whitecap, 2017, 200 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-302-1 $29.95 CAD papercovers) is an oversized book from Christine Tizzard, Newfoundlander food stylist and host of YouTube Channel and CBC TV (Best Recipes Ever). She shares over 100 nutritious preps along the line of comfort food for the family mealtime. It's all very practical and creative, and involves the whole family. It is arranged typically, from breakfast to "packed lunches" to supper (with its soups, salads, sides, mains, and desserts). There are separate chapters on theme nights, snacks, and even bake sale recipes good for the whole year's roster of celebratory sales-in-need-of something. One of my faves is the yummy spatchcock piri piri chicken, not too spicy yet still full of flavour. Or try the pole and bush bean salad with crispy chickpeas. Food is global, with Korean Asia, Indian, Mediterranean, etc. She makes cooking fun. She's got symbols for GF, V, NF (nut-free), LS (low-sugar). On page 4 there is a detailed anatomy of a recipe. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, and there is no tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for January 20, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  January 20,  2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
20 under $20
=========
W+486993    POWERS VIOGNIER Columbia Valley 2016 $18.95    13 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+535765    ANNA'S WAY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2016    $18.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+414144    ESSAY CHENIN BLANC/VIOGNIER/ROUSSANNE    WO Western Cape 2017    $14.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+528869    MASTROBERARDINO MASTRO GRECO    IGT Campania 2016    $16.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+536797    STOLEN IDENTITY PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley    2014    $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+533687    WASHINGTON HILLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Washington State    2014    $18.95    13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+541169    MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley        2013    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+146894    PORCUPINE RIDGE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Coastal Region    Boekenhoutskloof    2016    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+526889    MOULIN DE GRENET    AC Lussac Saint-Émilion    Château Cantenac    2015    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+480665    LA TORRE GUINZANO SAN GIMIGNANO ROSSO    DOC    2013    $16.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+190694    EVEL TINTO    DOC Douro    Real Companhia Velha    2014    $14.95    H.H.D. 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+336313    GUADALUPE RED    Vinho Regional Alentejano    Quinta do Quetzal    2015    $12.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
536342    MAR DE LISBOA    Vinho Regional Lisboa    Quinta de Chocapalha 2014    $16.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+39925    CUNE CRIANZA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+57869    CLAYHOUSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Red Cedar Vineyard, Paso Robles        2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+524868    COVELA EDIÇÃO NACIONAL AVESSO    Vinho Verde    Lima & Smith    2015    $17.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+540781    SAN PEDRO 1865 SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY Elquí Valley    2015    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485656    LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC M. Chapoutier    2015    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+536813    PIATTELLI RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON Cafayate Valley, Salta    2015    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+205567    CALITERRA TRIBUTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Single vineyard, Colchagua Valley     2015    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+371161    SANTA EMA GRAN RESERVA SYRAH    Leyda Valley    2015    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+530121    JOHNNY Q CABERNET SAUVIGNON    South Australia Quarisa    2014    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+523845    CHARLES BAKER B-SIDE RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula    Stratus Vineyards    2016    $22.20 11 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+522227    JEAN CLAUDE BOISSET MARSANNAY BLANC    AC        2015    $42.95
12.5 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+409292    DOMAINE DES CÔTES BLANCHES SANCERRE    AC    François Millet    2016    $23.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+361782    FIRESTEED PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley 2014    $20.95    13.4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+455915    ANTHONIJ RUPERT OPTIMA    WO Western Cape    2013    $27.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+527044    CHÂTEAU FOMBRAUGE    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru        2006    $62.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+966382    CHÂTEAU PUYGUERAUD    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Francs    2015    $28.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526921    CHÂTEAU BELLEGRAVE DU POUJEAU    AC Haut-Médoc    2008    $38.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+527945    DOMAINE MOILLARD CÔTES DE NUITS-VILLAGES    AC    2015    $26.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+735407    CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    AC        2004    $52.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+213132    LA PIEVE BAROLO    DOCG        2013    $34.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+538033    CORTE ADAMI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    DOCG        2013    $46.95 15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+378968    ALDEASOÑA Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y León    Convento San Francisco    2006    $26.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+745745    MINER CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley    2014    $42.95    13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+431809    LUIS FELIPE EDWARDS LFE 900 SINGLE VINEYARD BLEND    Colchagua Valley        2014    $24.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+541136    MONTES OUTER LIMITS WILD SLOPES RED    Colchagua Valley 2016    $27.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 99
R+541177    MATETIC CORRALILLO WINEMAKER'S BLEND San Antonio Valley 2014    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+334094    LUIS CAÑAS RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2012    $27.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback
 
reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a
 
chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a
 
book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange
 
existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the
 
focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an
 
"easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING VEGETARIAN; simple meatless recipes for
 
great food. 2D ed. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017; John Wiley, 2007, 832
 
pages, ISBN 978-1-118-45564-7, $35 USD hard covers) is by the
 
ubiquitous Mark Bittman, multiple award winning cookbook author (Julia
 
Child, IACP, Beard). Notable logrollers include Alice Waters and Yotam
 
Ottolenghi, although at this point (as I said 10 years ago), I don't think that
 
Bittman needs logrollers. This is the tenth anniversary edition "completely
 
revised" and tightened up, apparently, because it is 160 pages shorter.
 
Here, simple dishes are emphasized, along with tips, advice, cook's notes,
 
charts, sidebars, and lists. It has been updated with new information and
 
new photography, along with new recipes. The
database is over 1000 recipes and variations. It is all straightforward, from
 
apps through desserts, and he embraces meat substitutes such as tofu, and
 
eggs and dairy. There are special icons to identify recipes that can be
 
made in 30-minutes or less, recipes that can be prepped in advance, and
 
vegan recipes. There are also "how to" line drawing illustrations but the
 
menus are gone. US volume measurements are used, but there are tables
 
of metric equivalents. He concludes with notes on meal planning plus a
 
special index to appetizers and essential recipes. There is no indication of
 
which preps are new, and if you don't have his 2007 book, then this is the
 
one to get. Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
 
SEAWEED (Grub Street, 2017, 184 pages, ISBN 978-1-910690-51-2
 
$36.95 CAD hardbound) is by Claudia Seifert, Zoe Christiansen, Lisa
 
Westgaard, and Hanne Martinsen. It was originally published in 2016 in
 
Norway as Tang & Tare Et Hav Av Mat. This is the English translation, and
 
the book is selling in the UK, USA and Canada. It is, of course, all about
 
seaweed. The four authors give us the primer of harvesting, drying, storing,
 
with discussions on texture and flavour and nutritional values. Seaweeds
 
can be oarweed, sea lettuce, winged kelp, sea spaghetti, thong weed,
 
dulse, laver, and seabelt. There are 130 pages of recipes plus a directory of
 
resources. It is also a well-photographed book and it is a unique ingredient
 
book. The book has mostly metric measurements with just a few
 
avoirdupois such as volumes in teaspoons and tablespoons. But it should
 
be easy to follow. One of my faves is the polenta sticks with paprika dip and
 
almond sticks, plus the black rice salad, some dim sum, and celeriac
 
potatoes with aioli and green salsa. I have found seaweed, such as sea
 
asparagus, to be extremely salty. So check first. Quality/price rating: 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, January 12, 2018

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! (Farm to Chef, Penguin)

FARM TO CHEF (Penguin, 2017, 338 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-319360-9
 
$40 CAD hardbound) is by Lynn Crawford, former Exec Chef at Four
 
Season hotels in Toronto and NYC. She's appeared on TV and has also
 
written two other cookbooks. Currently, she is chef at Ruby Watchco in
 
Toronto. Here she's got log rolling from Samuelsson and Jamie Oliver. She
 
has 140 preps from all seasons featuring farm-fresh produce for just about
 
every occasion. It begins with Fall, moves through Winter, Spring, and then
 
Summer. Each season has a breakdown by a share of the total 42 major
 
ingredients. Thus, for Fall, there are apples, beets, broccoli, carrots,
 
cauliflower, celery and celery root, "fall greens", grapes, leeks, mushrooms
 
[ears, and sweet potatoes – with an average of 3 – 4 preps each.
 
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois
 
measurements.
Audience and level of use: Canadians, millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: the apple range covers hot
 
buttered bourbon cider, apple mostarda, spiced apple butter, pork chops
 
and apple-braised cabbage, harvest apple pie.
The downside to this book: typeface is a bit small and the ink impression is
grey/light.
The upside to this book: a nifty collection of preps.
Quality/Price Rating: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! Wine & Food (Parkinson, Ryland Peters & Small)

WINE & FOOD; perfect pairings every time (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-825-3 $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Jane Parkinson, a UK wine writer with experience on magazines (eg, Decanter) and BBC TV. She's also a Roederer Award winner in 2009. Here she covers the newest wine trends with deets on grape varieties and wine styles. Red, white, rose, fortified and dessert wines plus sparklers combed over. But the emphasis is on what goes with what, using practical examples. She is au currant with cheeses, moving on from the default red wines to white wines (soft cheeses) and fortified wines (hard cheeses). Goat cheese? Savvies and Rieslings. Sweet wines are needed for blues. Cheesy pasta? Depends on weight, moving from Italian white to Merlot. There are sections on matching cheeses with a country's wine (eg, brie and Loire rose, comte and Pinot noir from Alsace, Roquefort and Sauternes). She also does this for English, Italian, and Spanish cheeses and wines. Ultimately, though, there is more material on describing wine as food-friendly and what that means – and not enough on food textures and tastes (just the last 40 pages). Most people I know, especially dining out, really have a food dish in mind before contemplating wine choices.
Audience and level of use: millennials, wine beginners.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: "countries like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal; have raised their game in the face of stiff competition from New World winemakers...there are tons of delicious European wines, with high-quality local grape varieties" and terroir.
The downside to this book: the index is mostly to wine.
The upside to this book: there is a resources list.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, January 1, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 10 over $20 for January 6, 2018.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 10 over $20 for January 6,  2018.
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS – Well, it is Christmas Deju Vu with Epiphany on Jan 6 and for followers of the Julian Calendar, on Jan 7. Paucity of top notch wines over $20, but some interesting "holiday" values on this "Smart Buys" release include --
 
538983 Croft Reserve Tawny Port $18.95. Score: 90
515791 Alvear Cream Sherry DO Montilla-Moriles. $16.95. Score: 89
400432 Moutard Grande Cuvee Brut Champagne NV $39.95. Score: 90
207936 Chateau Moncontour Tete de Cuvee Brut NV Vouvray TM Loire $17.95. Score: 91
524827 DR. SIEMENS SERRIGER WÜRZBURG RIESLING KABINETT FEINHERB Prädikatswein        2008    $17.95 Score: 93
 
20 under $20
=========
W+544072    ST. HUBERTUS RIESLING    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2014    $17.95      11.5  % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+43281    FLAT ROCK RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95     9.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+265983    MCMANIS CHARDONNAY    River Junction        2016    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+711556    WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY ESTATE CHARDONNAY    Clare Valley, South Australia    2016    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+981670    MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2016    $17.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+480764    TUSSOCK JUMPER CHENIN BLANC    WO Western Cape    2017    $12.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+224642    JOSEPH CATTIN PINOT BLANC    AC Alsace    2016    $15.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+344929    CHÂTEAU MONCONTOUR SEC VOUVRAY    AC    2015    $19.95    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+745349    DOMAINE JACKY MARTEAU SAUVIGNON TOURAINE    AC    2016    $14.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+346742    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID'S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2016 $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+424960    CANTINA DI VERONA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE    DOC        2014    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+528737FEUDI SAN PIO PASSATEMPO IGT Rosso Veneto 2016 $14.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+540070    EL PEDROSAL CRIANZA    DO Ribera del Duero    2014    $17.00    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+455659    FATTORIA LE PUPILLE MORELLINO DI SCANSANO    DOCG     Elisabetta Geppetti    2015    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+657601    BENMARCO MALBEC    Unfined and unfiltered, Uco Valley, Mendoza    Dominio del Plata    2014    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+530618    GAPSTED TOBACCO ROAD PINOT NOIR    King Valley, Victoria    2016    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+744235    WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Clare Valley, South Australia    2015    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+348672    CHÂTEAU BRÉHAT    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Castillon    2012    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+403683    GÉRARD BERTRAND FITOU    AP    2014    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+270306    MASSERIE PISARI PRIMITIVO    IGT Salento Rosso        2014    $13.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+512640    GIOVANU CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA    DOC    2014    $14.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+484014    CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY WHITE NIGHT    VQA Ontario     2014    $13.95 12.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+121160    VILLA TRASQUA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG     2013    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+159111    CHÂTEAU D'ARGADENS BLANC AC Bordeaux    Famille Sichel     2016    $17.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+527259    DOMAINE DES QUINTS SAUMUR AC 2016 $16.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+528786    JANARE FIANO    DOP Sannio    La Guardiense     2016    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+536631    LEEUWENKUIL SHIRAZ    WO Swartland 2016    $14.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
 
10 over $20
=========
W+421941    CLOS DU BOIS CALCAIRE CHARDONNAY    Russian River Valley, Sonoma      County        2014    $29.95    14.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+186163    FOLIE À DEUX CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Alexander Valley, Sonoma County        2013    $27.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+309831    CHÂTEAU SIAURAC    AC Lalande de Pomerol    Baronne Guichard    2010    $43.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+530048    CHÂTEAU TOUR DE PEZ    AC Saint-Estèphe    2008    $44.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526376    FERRATON LES CALENDES CROZES-HERMITAGE    AC     2015    $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+470187    CA' MOMI MERLOT    Napa Valley    2015    $23.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+10538    CHÂTEAU PEYRABON    AC Haut-Médoc 2015 $23.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+76349    ALAIN JAUME CLOS DE SIXTE LIRAC    AC 2015 $25.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+994608    CASTELLO DI BOSSI C. BERARDENGA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2013    $22.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com