.. The Oregon Culinary Institute explored the idea of pork products. They raised two different kinds of pork, then had a feast to see which kind of pork tastes better—pen raised or farm raised. The experiment was documented by Acutal Industries, and here's what took place:
Pairing Local is all about finding localized wine+food pairings in each region of the world. In this episode I visit Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander in Yarra Valley, Australia and meet a man who knows something about how your palate works. Winemaker, cheese maker and trained chef, Steve Flamsteed took time out of harvest to create pairings that feature the best of what Yarra Valley has to offer.
The first pairing was King Fish in a soy broth paired with Giant Steps Chardonnay, and the second pairing baby chicken with Pinot Noir. It goes to show Mother Nature gives us everything we need to eat and drink well in many regions around the world.
WINES TASTED IN THIS EPISODE:
2008 Giant Steps Chardonnay - Yarra Valley is a place where top notch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir flows like a river. Giant Steps has a unique production facility tucked neatly into into a building that features a bakery, restaurant, wine shop and wood fired pizza ovens. You could spend a week in there and be perfectly happy.
In the glass, this beauty shows candied meyer lemon peel, hawaiian pineapple, yellow carnations and baked bread. There's slight hints of toffee suggesting a deft balance of oak integration married with bright acidity. Yarra Valley is cold enough to give the wine the acidity it needs. It worked with the local king fish because the acidity cuts through the fattier fish, then compliments it with a backbone of minerals aka mild wet rocks (which sound weird but you want that), meyer lemon, honeydew, pineapple, marmalade and other tropical fruits. A ying to the yang of the soy broth on the fish.
2008 Giant Steps Pinot Noir - Australia makes some damn good Pinot Noir. Many wine lovers in the states may not realize it's not all about Shiraz and Cabernet. The Yarra Valley reminds me quite a bit of my beloved Willamette Valley in Oregon. The lush, rolling green hillsides are dotted with green grass and groves of big, bushy trees. It's farmland, and it's cooler than the Barossa or McLaren Vale.
Beautiful aromas of dark cherries, roadside raspberries and rose petals drift out of the glass. You can smell the wine even as it's sitting on the table in front of you. I also found some faint tertiary notes of asian spices. Like many Yarra Pinots there was a light body style, but focused intensity with soft, rose petal texture like cashmere. I liked the almost-chocolate-covered black cherry and RC cola notes, combined with raspberry tart, anise and smoky minerals. The Sexton vineyard fruit provided a fun experience and an exotic, sassy Pinot that paired nicely with the grilled chicken. But the secret to making this dish work was the onion cooked in stock for added complexity and savoriness.
.. During a recent trip to Australia I had a chance to visit one of the most iconic vineyards in the world. Hill of Grace Vineyard produces legendary Shiraz from 140-year old vines. The curators of the vineyard are Steve and Prue Henschke. I call them 'curators' because when you step in the vineyard, you feel like you're stepping into a museum, including the part where you have to step on sponges full of anti-Phylloxera agent at the entrance. It was a highlight for me because after we shot this video, the sun went down and I saw the Southern Cross for the first time. Not a bad place to see it :)
Steve and Prue are two of the world's foremost experts in each of their respective fields, and they just happened to be married to each other. The Henschke-owned land surrounding the Hill of Grace Vineyard is where Prue's true talent can be realized. She's planted entire forests and maintained complete ecosystems in an effort to give Hill of Grace the ideal conditions to grow world class grapes. If you ever get a chance to see all the plant life Prue has planted over the years, you'll see how dedicated she is to viticulture on their entire property.
And then there's Steve Henschke, who carries the weight of five generations of wine making at Henschke. His family has farmed the land, and produced wines since the mid 1800's. Steve is the current head of winemaking, and steward of the Henschke standard of quality. Steve and Prue have two children who are studying abroad in Germany and New York, but will eventually get involved with the family business. Although they make an iconic wine, they are two of the must hospitable and friendly people you could ever hope to meet. They were very generous with their time (and wine).
WINES TASTED IN THIS EPISODE
1997 Julius Riesling - Didn't see this one coming! I thought I'd show up and taste some Hill of Grace and be impressed. When they busted out the Julius Riesling, it was like being in the boxing ring with a boxer who throws a punch you don't expect. This one blew me away, in part because I'm a slut for good Riesling, but also because the age gave the Julius that exotic petrol, flint, steel character you find in upper echelon German Rieslings. I haven't found those notes in many Australian Rieslings.....none, in fact.
Julius could be the winery's flagship wine if it weren't for Hill of Grace. Absolutely drop dead gorgeous on the nose full of all things naughty: Kerosene, matchstick, golden delicious apple, dried apricot and orange peel unfold in the glass. The mouthfeel was rich and showed exceptional typicity, however, the one thing I was craving was more acidity. It didn't quite have it, but that's unfair because similar Rieslings come from Germany, which is much colder. I found the wine to represent what Riesling should be at the place where it was grown. That's what I'm talkin' about!
1986 Hill of Grace Shiraz - This was the main event. Prue was thinking this bottle had a little variation and wasn't showing its full beauty. I had no problem choking it down, however. What can you say about Hill of Grace? It's almost unfair to try to describe a wine that comes from 140-year old vines, grown by a world-class viticulturist and made by a world-class winemaker. It was elegant, youthful, balanced and showing off a cashmere-sweater silkiness. This is an OMIGOD! wine that you open for people you actually like.
More of a European style than what you'd expect from Australia. Floral notes of red raspberry, cedar and an element I can only describe as the smell you smell when you walk into a shoemaker's shop. Lots of old beat-up leather. In the mouth it doesn't make you think of Aussie Shiraz, maybe more like a Rhone style Syrah. Tantalize your taste buds with lush brooding red raspberry, blueberries, faint tar, spice box and vanilla. This is the kind of wine you let unfold over your palate and just go with it. So beautiful, so pure and made with a sense of history of place. Most likely peaked already so if you got 'em, drink 'em (and invite me and my somm buddies over) :). Cheers!
. . Pairing Local is all about finding localized wine+food pairings. I love seeing how chefs marry local ingredients with local wines or beers. Mother nature creates natural pairings for us in each region where wine is grown by providing foods that naturally match the style of wines. German wines happen to go with German food. If you're in Vancouver, Canada where dungeness crab is plentiful, it just happens to go with Sauvignon Blanc from the Okanagan Valley. Argentina has some of the best beef in the world, and just happens to grow great Malbec.
In this episode I had a chance to visit d'Arenberg winery in McLaren Vale, Australia where Chef Peter Reschke (co-head chef with Nigel Rich) sourced local lamb and paired it with Grenache. When you think about McLaren Vale you might think Shiraz, but I really fell in love with the Grenache. Some of the oldest Grenache vines in the world can be found in Australia about two hours north in a little region called the Barossa. Grenache doesn't get much love as a grape, but when you get a good one, it can provide exceptional range in food pairings.
Mother nature blessed these guys with the gift of great lamb, as well as great old vine Grenache. Lamb can be prepared in a way that makes it both savory, yet delicate. Over the years I've really come to appreciate good quality lamb if it's raised right and comes from the right region. Chef Peter Reschke created three lamb dishes specifically to bring out the delicate, yet powerful notes of old vine Grenache and used herbs from their own herb garden at the winery.
WINE TASTED IN THIS EPISODE:
d'Arenberg is a well known Aussie winery in the states for wines like The Hermit Crab, Dead Arm and The Stump Jump. One wine you might not know or appreciate is the 2007 Custodian Grenache which is foot trodden and aged on lees to keep the flavor fresh and bright.
Distinct black cherries, stewed plums, dark red fruits and raspberries (almost blackberries) complimented by tobacco, earth and spice box surround the fine grained tannins. In other words, it was rich and robust without being hot or overpowering, yet smooth as a baby's butt. The reason it works is this Grenache has medium weight, yet great depth and complexity. If Grenache was a musician, it would be in a cool ass jazz trio with Syrah and Mourvedre. The three of them are hip and stylish on their own, but when they come together, they create magic.
Lamb can be a wonderful protein if seasoned correctly. Mutton might not be the way to go, but the three ways chef Peter Reschke prepared lamb not only showed off what this region has to offer, but how versatile lamb can be.
Matching wine with food means combining elements with similar levels of intensity. All three lamb creations, along with the wine had similar weight or intensity of flavor. Add in the complimentary dark fruit with key seasonings and you have another great localized pairing. For about $20 you can't go wrong. I'd highly recommend picking up a bottle. Thank you to the chefs at D'arrys Verandah.
During a recent visit to the Yarra Valley, I had a chance to sit down with one of the most iconic people in the global wine industry. James Halliday AM is a living legend, famous wine writer, winery founder and recent recipient of Australia's highest honor. Mr. Halliday and I had the chance to discuss new media and how it fits into our world of wine. .
As one of the founders of Brokenwood in the Lower Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, and thereafter founder of Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, James is an unmatched authority on every aspect of the wine industry, from the planting and pruning of vines through to the creation and marketing of the finished product. His winemaking has led him to sojourns in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and he is constantly in demand as a wine judge in Australia and overseas.
James has contributed to more than 56 books on wine since he began writing in 1979. His books have been translated into Japanese, French, German, Danish and Icelandic, and have been published in the UK, the US and Australia. He is also the author of James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia and The Australian Wine Encyclopedia.
to be continued in part 2...
. To celebrate the global release of Penfold's Grange's new vintage, Penfold's hosted an evening of wine+food at Ghiradelli Square in downtown San Francisco. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone was tasked with creating food pairings to match with each wine. This was an incredible evening not only because of the food, but the people in attendance provided excellent conversation throughout the night. For me personally, it was a treat as I had just visited Penfolds' Magill estate a few week prior and had the chance to sit down with winemaker Peter Gago. All wines for the dinner were served out of magnum into varietal specific stemware.
One of the real treats of the evening was getting a personalized video greeting from Penfolds winemaker, Peter Gago. He is the man responsible for making Grange, and keeper of the Penfolds quality level. After dinner was over, I had a chance to talk with Curtis and get his thoughts on how he likes to pair wine with his food creations. What he says about balancing intensity of flavor is spot on. Think of intensity of flavor on a scale of 1-10. If you have a wine that's a 7 on that scale, you want the intensity in your dish to also be around a 7. Here's what Curtis created to pair with each wine: .
First Course - Dungeness Crab, Pickled Petit Beets, Tangerine, Arugula, Aragon Oil & Shallot Vinaigrette paired with 2008 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay Curtis shaved the beets razor thin and then pickled them specifically to marry up with the acidity in the Chardonnay. The 2008 Yattarna has a distinct acid backbone, so much so that the wine will make the roof of your mouth tingle (which is how you detect acidity).
Second Course - Wagyu Beef "Tataki", Chantrelle Red Wine Compote, Horseradish Créme Friache Foam, Confit Baby Tomatoes, Micro Chives paired with 2007 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz This was one of my favorite pairings of the night. The Beef was just right and really benefitted from the earthiness of the Chantrelle mushrooms. I think that was the thread that tied the Shiraz and dish together. St. Henri Shiraz might be the most "un-Aussie" style shiraz. The wine is fermented in large neutral oak barrels imparting very little oak influence, which allows the stellar fruit to show through.
Third Course - Strozzapreti Pasta, Foie Gras "jean Louis" Style, Pickled Ramps, Fava Leaves, Fava Beans, Beaufort Cheese paired with 2008 Penfolds 707 Cabernet Sauvignon I wolfed this dish down so fast I didn't even get to take a photo of it. The 707 is an exceptional Cabernet that's decidedly Australian meaning it truly expresses the place it is grown without being overpowering. One of my favorite Cabernets (also Penfolds), Block 42 goes into this Cabernet allowing the wine to have power combined with finesse.
Fourth Course - Sonoma Quail "Lardon", Crushed Purple Potatoes, Bacon, Sauce A La Orange, Frisee paired with 1998 and 2008 Penfolds RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz Curtis wanted to try an alternative version of Duck A La Orange and it worked beautifully. It takes confidence to serve a quail dish after beef and pasta, especially when you're doing a progression dinner. This dish was really tasty, but not the best pairing of the night. The RWT Shiraz was a solid example of what Barossa Shiraz can be in a great vintage, but ultimately it was a bit too much for the quail. The 1998 RWT was so youthful in both color and fruit it was hard to believe this was a 13-year old wine. Many red wines start to change color around the rim as that age changing from red to pink to salmon to a brownish hue. The 1998 was showing now signs of age yet, and with such a youthful nose it's got another 20 years ahead easily.
Fifth Course - Australian Lamb Loin "En Croute", English Pea Puree, Morels, Pea Sprouts, Lamb Jus paired with 1996 and 2006 Penfolds Grange As if the night could get any better, it did. Curtis saved his best for last with the lamb loin wrapped in philo dough. The real star of the dish was the pea puree providing a unique combination of texture and flavor. I take that back, the real star of the dish was the lamb wrapped in a thin puff pastry. No, wait. Maybe the star was the lamb ju. No matter how you look at it, if you're going to create a dish to pair with an iconic wine like Grange, it better deliver and this one did. What can you say about Grange that hasn't been said? This 2006 vintage combines the power of the 2004 but has the elegance and grace of 2000. If you follow the "law of 6's" you'll see Grange tends to be at its best in years that end with the number 6. Can't wait to see how 2006 develops over time.
Dessert - Delice Cheese, Berkshire Lomo, Crispy Bread, Sausalito Springs Watercress, Quince Paste Essence paired with NV Penfolds Grandfather Tawny Port Dessert is my favorite course, and a cheese plate is a good way to go. This cheese was a small little morsel but it was "triple creamed" creating a rich foamy brie texture. The crispy bread was paper thin providing just the right compliment for the cheese. Of course you can't go wrong with a nice Tawny port. I love port, and had a chance to talk port and madeira with Bartholomew Broadbent recently. Many wine lovers might now realize this, but Aussies make some of the best fortified wine in the world from port to Muscat. The Penfolds Grandfather Tawny port was provided an exclamation point on the evening.
. This was a night full of celebrities and great company. Wine+food never ceases to amaze me in its ability to bring people together. From a wine lover standpoint, it was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. From a sommelier standpoint, these wines represent the pinnacle of what Penfolds makes. Mrs B and I don't drink Penfolds as much as we used to, but it's always good to be reminded about a winery is capable of. This meal along with my recent tour through Australia has reminded us about all the great wines coming from Australia, Penfolds and the Barossa. Thank you to Penfolds for inviting my wife and I to be part of the May 1 festivities. Cheers!
Peter Gago is the man responsible for creating one of the world's most iconic wines, Penfold's Grange. On a recent visit to Adelaide, Peter was nice enough to sit down and talk about the current vintage as well as share some amazing bottles of wine. During my visit Peter opened a younger Grange from the 2004 vintage along with a 2008 Yattarna Chardonnay and 2004 Block 42 Cabernet.
Peter also gave a tour of Magill Estate, where many of the higher end Penfold's wines are crafted. Pinot Noir grapes were just arriving and being crushed during the visit, so it was a rare opportunity to sit down with one of the world's most famous winemakers: . WINES TASTED IN THIS EPISODE:
2008 Yattarna Chardonnay - Much has been made about this wine being the "white Grange". When Peter mentioned half the fruit was sourced from Tasmania, I got excited because world class Chardonnay's often have higher acidity and less winemaking fluff like overly oaked malo textures. Growing grapes in colder areas that are either higher, or farther away from the equator boost the acid in the wine grapes. It makes a statement to grow half the fruit in their vineyard in Tasmania that's both higher and southerly.
The immediate expression of Yattarna is elegance and refinement. I was thinking it was going to be over the top, but is was very much restrained in the same way automobile designers at Mercedes use restraint when designing a new car. This baby had the Mercedes body with detailed leather seats and fat chrome wheels. It's less oaky and less fruit forward than past vintages. Pouilly-Fuisse lovers would likely enjoy this vintage with its crisp acid backbone, framed up with golden delicious apple, meyer lemon and lees, toasted biscuit notes. You don't have to search for the fruit on your palate, you get it front and center first, followed by refined oak nuances.
2004 Grange - If you've ever had Penfold's Grange, you get a sense of its place in history (and collector's cellars). This is not only one of the most iconic wines in Australia, but also worldwide. From its humble beginnings, Grange has been made as a wine that needed age before drinking. Collectors tuck bottles of Grange away in their cellars without even thinking of touching them for at least ten years, but knowing they'll be rewarded the longer they wait. Over time, Grange develops into a "first growth" type of wine with wonderful Cabernet and Shiraz characters along with exotic spices, shoe leather, cedar and cigar box among other notes.
So it was a bit of a surprise to see the 2004 drinking so well at this stage. I expected it to be a bit closed down, as if asleep in a long slumber. But it was lively and approachable now. It was neither tight nor overly oaked. The 2004 was a decidedly relaxed version of Grange that still exhibited the pedigree you'd expect from Grange. Somewhere along the way it seems Peter realized people want to wait, but not wait their whole life to enjoy Grange.
Dark brooding crimson color in the wine, with so much depth you could get lost staring into the abyss. Dark red fruits waft out of the glass unraveling a mystery of cassis, cocoa, vanilla, stewed plums and tertiary notes of menthol and blueberries. This was cashmere in a glass, exhibiting a more open and refined style than one would expect. It'll only get better with age, but if you have more than one bottle in the cellar take a look at it to see where it is, but also where it's going.
2004 Block 42 Cabernet - As a sommelier and wine blogger, I get to taste all sorts of different wines from around the world. Wine bloggers in general are called upon to share their thoughts, notes and experiences on the wines they taste. When Peter poured this wine everything stopped. This was a wine unlike anything I've ever tried, and quite possibly one of the finest Cabernets I've ever tasted. It was magic in a glass.
As if in a movie, I felt like I was in a slow motion scene drawn out for drama. This wine is not a wine you drink. This is a wine you experience. The Block 42 has only been made four times ever and with good reason. Penfold's uses fruit from the world's oldest operating Cabernet vines to make Block 42 in exceptional years, otherwise the fruit goes into Grange or possibly Bin 707 Cabernet.
I could try to describe what I tasted by pecking away at some tasting notes but my notes wouldn't do justice. The power and finesse on display create an amazing tension between the elements. There was purity and precision as if the winemaking team was saying, "yeah, it's Cabernet from some of the oldest vines in the world". They got out of the way and let the fruit put on a show. Then Peter put an exclamation point on the end and stated the alcohol was only 13.5%. I nearly fell out of my chair. I was guessing it was closer to 15% based on how much impact came across. I hope to be able to try this wine again in my lifetime....what a treat!
I had a chance to visit the Rockwood Room in Houston, Texas. Originally, I visited because their bartender won a drink competition in NYC with his bacon-infused Whiskey. But after meeting with Chef Michael Del Maggi, it became clear he had a perfect localized wine+food pairing that needed to be shared with the world. Chef Del Maggi used pork belly sourced from just north of Houston, he then braised it in a Coca-Cola mix and added some accoutrements to enhance flavors. We paired it with the Becker Vineyards Cabernet-Syrah from Hill Country.* as a side I'd like to apologize for the sound and video quality in this episode. The camera we planned to use crapped out on us so we shot this entire episode on my iPhone. .
WINE IN THIS EPISODE
Hill Country wines are gaining mass love from wine lovers and critics alike. The higher elevation of Hill Country gives Texas wines one of two things they need to make good wine: cold temperatures at night. During the day, heat and sunlight aren't a problem, so it's a good thing when winemakers find a place to grow good, quality fruit.
Becker Vineyards has a long history of making quality wines with critical acclaim. We found the coca-cola braised pork belly had sweet and savory flavors that lent themselves to this new world styled wine. There's gobs of ripe fruit, low tannins and low acidity... Some might compare this wine to some low priced Australian wines. For a localized pairing, it works. Coca-Cola braised Pork is a treat, and this wine is one of a dozen that would've paired well.
Australia is home to the oldest Shiraz (and Syrah), Grenache and Cabernet vines in the world. Luckily, for the Aussies, phylloxera never made its way to their wine regions. Because of that, Australia now has some of the longest surviving vines in the world. Other countries like France and Argentina have long histories with wine, but the annoying pest known as Phylloxera decimated vineyards in the 1800's.
In 1838, German settlers arrived in Australia and began planting vineyards in the Barossa Valley. A man by the name of Christian Auricht and his family escaped religious persecution in Germany, and fled to the place where Langmeil winery now stands. Langmeil Winery is home to Freedom Vineyard, documented as the oldest Shiraz/Syrah vineyard. They also transplanted another block of 100+ year old vines known as Orphan Block. The beauty of old vines is they often produce exceptional wine grapes that result in higher quality wine. The root system has been able to dive down deep into the soil and water tables, providing complexity in the grapes. Some wineries even "root prune" or cut the roots at the surface in order to get the deeper roots to provide more of the rich nutrients up to the grapes.
Wine tasted from Freedom Vineyard: The 2008 Langmeil Freedom 1843 Shiraz is surprisingly affordable at $100 considering the pedigree of the vineyard. Power and finesse are on display in a silky smooth cashmere ride in a glass. Deep garnet in a color with purple hues, this isn't a wine you drink, it's a wine you experience. Swirl it around and lose yourself in the color. The intoxicating aromas of deep red raspberry and stewed plums combined with a little vanilla and baking spices are like walking into the kitchen while grandma is baking pie. You can't wait to taste it, and when it's gone you shed a little tear.
Langmeil Winery in Barossa Valley has the oldest Shiraz (and Syrah) vines in the world. Their Freedom vineyard is documented as such. But Langmeil has another vineyard called Orphan Bank consisting of 100 year-old vines they transplanted from another location. The cost associated with transplanting vines is steep, but the reward is something that can't be quantified. All the hard work to sacrifice these living legends is akin to preserving a historic building. Vines of this age are hard to come by, and produce pristine fruit in which to make stellar wine from. Here's how it happened:
Meet Australian wine bloggers Andrew Graham and Patrick Haddock who are not only the most handsome wine bloggers in Australia, but also self made millionaires apparently. Who knew you could make so much loot doing what you love? Kidding aside, hope more wine bloggers connect with each other around the globe. Their sites are Oz Wine Review and WiningPom, whatever the hell that means. Check 'em out!
My video series, Pairing Local is all about finding food+drink pairings in different regions around the world. I love finding local ingredients, and seeing how chefs marry flavors with local wines or beers. At the Four Seasons in Vancouver, Chef Oliver and Chef Grant each took at run at a localized pairing. Chef Oliver assembled a Charcuterie board featuring local meats and cheeses. He paired the Nichol Syrah from British Columbia with the selections, which was a great pairing.
Chef Grant went with a white wine, choosing Stag Hollow Sauvignon Blanc also from British Columbia. His pairing with Dungeness Crab, pureed peas and parsley along with grapefruit was incredible. The sweet/salt flavors in the local crab offset the sweeter pea and sour grapefruit notes. Perfect with the Sauvie B!
Wines Tasted This Episode:
Stag's Hollow Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc is a grape that can really reflect the place it's grown more than many white varietals. You could try Sauvignon Blanc's side by side from Bordeaux, Margaret River, Napa Valley, Chile, New Zealand, Loire Valley and South Africa...they'd all be completely different. One thing that helps set them apart is where they're grown, and the temperatures in the place it's grown. Colder temperatures during the growing season generally lead to higher acid, and in my opinion, better Sauvie B.
This was a successful Pairing Local match. The tender, sweet succulent dungeness crab has a natural saltiness. I the local grapefruit slices along with sweet pea puree all came together nicely, and lobbed one over the plate for the Sauvignon Blanc. It had the right amount of acid to cut through the crab and pea puree as well as natural delicate grapefruit undertones. This was a home run. Double rainbow all the way!
2007 Nichol Syrah - I'm in disagreement with many of the wineries in the Okanagan Valley. They seem to think red grape varietals like Cabernet, Merlot and Cab Franc do well on the Naramata Bench. I don't think they show well unless the winemaker overly extracts the juice and overly oaks the wine. Syrah and Pinot Noir seem to show better typicity and represent the growing conditions.
This is a honey badger in a glass. Honey badger don't care—its fearless. Nichol Syrah doesn't care if there's a glut of Syrah or that wine drinkers aren't buying much of the grape. This is a tenacious wine that's neither too heavy or lacking personality. It doesn't have to hit you over the head and overpower your palate to show you it's refined black fruits, stewed plum and sassy acidic backbone. The cobra in this scenario is the charcuterie board, and it doesn't stand a chance.
On a recent visit to British Columbia, I had the privilege of getting a personal tour from chef and owner of Edible British Columbia, Eric Pateman. We took a walk around the Granville Island food market, located on the water in the heart of Vancouver. If you love food like I do, you've gotta visit these guys when you go there.
You know you're on to something when other people share your passion. Take for example my obsession with bacon. For the last three years I've been sharing things like Bacon Smoothies, or my annual Top 10 Bacon recipes but during a recent visit to Penticton, British Columbia I was introduce to my very own Bakas Bacon Burger.
The guys at Burger 55 created the ultimate creation that's basically a middle finger to animals. There was beef, there was bacon, there was more bacon and then there was sausage and some other stuff. I can't remember because it was like stepping into the ring with Andre the Giant. All I wanted to do is OBEY and eat it, but only after pounding some Lipitor. Not only did Burger 55 hook it up, but they even paired a local Amber Ale to pair with it. Brilliant!
Ever wonder look at a German wine label and wonder how to pronounce the name of the grape? Here's a video guide to pronouncing all those words so you look like a rockstar next time you order.Read More