deVine Thoughts

February 19, 2014

Whisky Basics

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 9:27 am

bushmillsAuthor: Dirk Chan

Whisky is big and on Saturday, March 8th at 7pm, deVine will host an introductory sit-down tasting entitled Whisky Basics, where we’ll talk and taste through the various different types: Single Malt Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee, along with Whiskies from Ireland, Sweden, India and Canada.

Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash where the grain used can be of different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, buckwheat and corn. Whisky is very typically aged in wooden casks, made generally of charred white oak. There are many classes and types of whiskies, the typical unifying characteristics of the different classes and types are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and aging in wooden barrels being the determing factor.

There are two spellings – Whisky or whiskey with many schools of thought on the issue. One is that the spelling difference is simply a matter of regional language convention and is just a variation on spelling (like the difference between color and colour; or recognize and recognise), and the 2nd is that the spelling should depend on the style or origin of the spirit being described – there is general agreement that when quoting the proper name printed on a label, the spelling on the label should not be altered as some will take offense to incorrect spelling. Others favour spelling each type of spirit according to the way favoured by its country of origin.

As such, the spelling ‘whisky’ is generally used in Canada, Japan, Scotland, England, and Wales – while ‘whiskey’ is more common in Ireland and the United States. The usage is not always consistent. For example, some prominent American brands, such as George Dickel, Maker’s Mark, and Old Forester, use the ‘whisky’ spelling on their labels. “Scotch” is the internationally recognized term for “Scotch whisky”. It is less used in England, Scotland & Wales, where the drink is simply called “whisky”. Yes, very confusing and yes, time for a drink!

Nevertheless, there will be lots to talk about at this event – learn the difference between malt, corn, rye and blended whiskey; learn about the distilling process and the types of Grains and Malts used in the making process. And sample the differences from many whisky producing countries.

The tasting is selling quickly – you can register for the Whisky Basics tasting here..


February 10, 2014

Valentine Wines

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:41 pm

valentineAuthor: Dirk Chan

Valentine’s is a special day for lovers and we’ve written in our latest blog with wines appropriate for sharing with that someone special. Love-themed, chocolates, sweet wines and pink themes in the following dozen recommendations:

1) NV Langlis-Chateau Brut Rosé (Loire Valley, France) – $26.99 – From the makers of Bollinger (the one James Bond drinks), this brilliantly color sparkling pink offers notes of cherry and strawberry with superb acidity. Great starter aperitif to pair with all sorts of appetizers.

2) NV Henri Billiot et Fils Rosé (Champagne, France) – $62.99 – the real thing, French Champagne, made from 80% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay. Stellar, earthy, wonderfully complex and yeasty. Class.

3) 1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Brut (Champagne, France) – $259.99 – A library release from Veuve, this ready to drink 1990 (one of the great vintages) is for those who want to impress. Stunning hardwood packaging, elegant and sophisticated with great nuance and breed. Extremely limited.

4) 2009 Hupfeld Hochheimer Konigin Victoriaberg Riesling Spatlese (Rheingau, Germany) – $31.99 – a sweet white named after Queen Victoria, this wine is fit for royalty, your queen – pair with something spicy.

5) 2012 Bodegas Sierra Norte Pasion de Bobal Rosé (Valencia, Spain) – $17.99 -. ‘Pasion’ Rosé is made from the little known Bobal grape, rich and velvety. Organically grown, this offer stunning strawberry pink in color, fruity, well balanced and food friendly. Beautiful label of tree with heart-shaped leaves in this Spanish still pink…

6) 2011 Fita Preta Sexy Tinto (Alentejo, Portugal) – $21.99 – ‘Sexy’ speaks for itself, incredible neon pink label and the wine is also great. This popular red is arriving this wednesday just in time for your Valentine.

7) 2011 Boekenhoutskloof ‘The Chocolate Block’ (Franschoek, South Africa) – $43.99 – French inspired darkly mysterious red whose boldness, sweetness, and bouquet is said to resemble a block of dark chocolate.

8) 2011 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz (McLaren Vale, Australia) – $124.99 – Gorgeous label design appropriately named. Extremely limited full-bodied shiraz.

9) 2001 Corte Sant’Alda Recioto – 500mL (Veneto, Italy) – $74.99 – Sweet black fruits, chocolate and raisins sing from the glass in this Italian red dessert wine. Great with gorgonzola.

10) 2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey – 375mL (Bordeaux – Sauternes, France) – $94.99 – marvelous Sauterne from the legendary 2001 vintage. This offers pineapple, peach, caramel, candied lemon and custard notes; for those looking for a world class dessert wine to end the evening! Pair with fruit based desserts.

11) 2012 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy) – $25.99 – slightly effervescent, smells like Chanel No.5, light as a feather, sweet and a heavenly pairing for fresh strawberries & cream. From one of the original inventors of the Moscato d’Asti style. Works either at the beginning or end of a meal.

12) Flying Monkeys Chocolate Manifesto – 750mL Bottle (Ontario, Canada) – $16.49 – for those looking for a different alternative for a chocolate pairing, a Canadian mircobrew beer.

Please contact us if you have special needs in selecting specific wines that would make your Valentine’s Day truly memorable.

Happy Valentine’s everyone!


February 5, 2014

2010 Right Bank Bordeaux

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 5:20 pm

magdelaineAuthor: Dirk Chan

Hot on the heels of the equally great 2009 vintage, 2010 is yet another legendary year for Bordeaux which will be highly sought out throughout its lifetime. While the 2009 are fruity and flamboyant (the California vintage), the 2010’s are in the more classic, ageworthy style – the comparison between these two vintages will parallel the still ongoing debate between the 1989 and 1990 vintages.

Please join us on Saturday, February 22nd at 7pm, as we taste the 2010 Right Bank (of the Gironde River) Bordeaux in our Top Drops series – this sit-down tasting will feature the Merlot dominant right-bank wines from the famous and expensive appellations of St. Emilion and Pomerol. We’ll serve appropriate food pairing, and the highlights will be the second-to-last-ever vintage of the Chateau Magdelaine and a surprise aged bottling.

Many of the best Merlots grown in the world are in these two small appellations. Don’t let “Sideways” discourage you, Merlot is heavenly when it is done right and are as ageworthy as their Left Bank Cabernet Sauvignon cousins. Only 18 seats available for this sure-fire sit-down sellout, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

Register for the Top Drops: 2010 Right Bank Bordeaux tasting here..

Check out all available 2009 Right Bank wines..

Check out all available 2010 Right Bank wines..


Powered by WordPress