deVine Thoughts

July 29, 2008

En Santé Organic Fruit Winery

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:18 am

En_SanteAuthors: Tonia Chrapko, Dirk Chan

Once upon a time there was a pig farmer who had no more pigs… but he did have Alberta’s first certified organic orchard.  This pig farmer also had a 10-year basement hobby: making wine.  One day, while looking at the abundant fruit crop, he got to thinking, “I could make a lot of fruit wine…”  So, he talked to his MLA, about getting the government to change its policies and allow cottage wineries in Alberta. It took four years, but finally in 2006 the laws were changed and voilá, Alberta’s first and only organic-fruit winery emerged from the basement into full light. En Santé Winery, started by Victor and Elizabeth Chrapko, is located just 1.5 hours east of Edmonton between Two Hills and St. Paul, near Lac Santé.  It is a unique, innovative example of value-added farming.  Victor was nominated to the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2007.  Also in 2007, his winery won the AgChoices 2007 Best Practices Renewal Award, a joint federal and provincial initiative in Canada.  Their orchard is Certified Organic through OCIA International, one of the world’s oldest, largest and most trusted leaders in the organic certification industry.


July 23, 2008

A Tour at Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:39 pm

KastelbergKastelbergAuthors: Ed Fong, Dirk Chan

Eddie and Annabelle’s adventures in Alsace finished with a visit to one of the leading biodynamically certified estates of Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss, the acknowledged rebel of Alsace…With 30 hectares of vineyards, three Grand Cru sites, Marc clearly believes great wine can only come from a vineyard with soil type that places it mark, terroir, minerals and extract. Established three centuries ago,  Marc has ran this estate since the 1971 vintage, and since 1991 the estate has been farmed biodynamically.  

Pictured are two Grand Cru wines we sampled : the 2005 Kreydenweiss Kastelberg Riesling (south-facing single vineyard looks over the small town of Andlau dates back to Roman times, full-bodied, racy, lime & spicy, very ripe and minerally), the 2006 Kreydenweiss Wiebelsberg Riesling (off-dryish star fruit, herbs, smoke, honey and exotic scents).


July 18, 2008

The Futility of Food & Wine

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Mel @ 5:14 pm

cheezies-and-wine.JPGAuthor: Melissa Priestley

Far too much ink has been spilled on the subject of food and wine pairing. While a good match may enhance your enjoyment of a meal, a bad match won’t ruin everything. Be realistic. Is it really worthwhile to stress out, spend an hour in the wine store, try to envision one hundred different wines with your future meal, then go home, discover that the wine doesn’t really match at all, spend the entire night bemoaning the failure, and only later wonder why your partner went to bed so early?

Think about the actual mechanics involved in eating and drinking. Does the food and wine actually end up in your mouth at the same time? Hopefully not, as you’ll likely be left with some unsavory floaties in your glass. Or worse, you’ll choke.

In reality, we eat a bite of food, swallow, and then take a sip of wine. The lingering flavours of the food have maybe a minute to intermingle with the wine and work its magic (or mayhem) – and then a second sip will override all but the most pungent of dishes and it won’t have mattered what you just ate. (more…)

July 13, 2008

The Alchemy of Food & Wine

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Nick @ 10:25 am

Alchemy of Food and WineAuthor: Nick Tooke

Pairing food with wine is nothing new. Imagine growing up in Italy or France before rapid transport. The food and the wine grew side by side in the same soil, beneath the same weather, and they naturally graced the same table. The safest way to still find the right combination is consider the particular region as a whole.

See the video of our “The Alchemy of Food & Wine Tasting”

But that is only where the journey begins. The best thing of all is breaking the rules and discovering a marriage that both surprises and delights. You’ll know when you taste it. Your palate doesn’ t lie. (more…)

July 7, 2008

Domaine Weinbach

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Tags: , — Dirk @ 11:31 pm

Main_Entrance_WeinbachAuthors: Ed Fong, Dirk Chan

Pictured is the main entrance to the famous estate of Domaine Weinbach, established by the monks of the Monastery of Capuchin in 1612. Located in the town of Kaysersberg, just five miles northwest of Colmar, one of Alsace’s largest towns. Ed & Annabelle visited with Catherine Faller this week and spent the morning tasting 16 wines, many from the excellent 2007 vintage, a vintage of balance, finesse and bright acidity. The women of Weinbach (mother Colette and daughters Catherine and Laurence) form a triumvirate of women at the leading edge of winemaking – they have cultivated their 140 hectares of vineyards organically since 1998 and the estates in acknowledged as amongst the greatest in all of France.  With an emphasis on quality of grapes, vineyard work, low yields due to tight crop thinning, the results are the very famous Rieslings (Cuvees Schlossberg,  Ste. Catherine), Gewurztraminer (Cuvees Laurence , Furstentum) and Pinot Gris (Cuvee Ste. Catherine).


July 3, 2008

Globalization and/of Wine

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Mel @ 4:44 am

Wine GlobeAuthor: Melissa Priestley

Now, I know this is a topic on which one could write a thesis; entire books are devoted to the subject and a simple blog article cannot hope to do it justice. Therefore, it is not justice I seek – the mere raising of consciousness will suffice for now.

In preparation for my upcoming course at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, not Central Intelligence Agency, though I’m certainly going to pretend to be a spy), I’ve been feverishly studying everything wine-related. While reading about Bordeaux, I was struck by the almost glib observation that the stylistic differences between many appellations are dissolving, due in large part to modern technology and current trends. For example, the wines of St. Estèphe, once immediately discernable for their sturdy, bold profile, are now often confused with other Médoc wines that have adopted this big and bold style – a style that is currently enjoying international popularity.

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