deVine Thoughts

March 29, 2019

Sideways Revisited – 15 Years On

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:50 pm

sideways_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

2019 is the 15th Anniversary of the release of the wine related movie “Sideways”, which follows two friends reaching middle age with unfulfilled lives embarking on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to get married. There is a memorable scene in the movie in which the lead character played by Paul Giamatti, a Pinot Noir fan, adamantly refuses to drink Merlot – that sets the tone of the movie.

A lot has changed in the wine industry in Santa Barbara since then, but we’ve managed to get enough of the wineries showcased in the movie for a tasting and thus will be drinking some fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah on Saturday, June 1 @ 7pm. Note, not the exact wines appearing in the movie will be in our tasting as several of them are no longer being made by the respective wineries. However, the Cali wineries represented are definitely in the movie.

We’ll discuss the so-called “Sideways Effect” – the declined sales of Merlot and the upswing of Pinot Noir have become folklore within the wine industry.

We can’t really do the ultra premium Chateau Cheval Blanc at the end of the movie (the cost of this event would be in the hundreds of dollars) for this said $1k bottling but we’ve searched high and low for a couple of wines to take its spot, including a 100% Merlot Bordeaux right across the way from Cheval Blanc to perhaps change the minds of the non-Merlot drinkers out there. Plus we’ll have plastic cups available for those who want to drink it ala in the movie!

Don’t miss this totally fun stand-up event to bring back some memories and see how far Pinot and Merlot have gone in 15 years since the release of this Oscar winner.

You can register for this special event here…

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March 13, 2019

Book Signing, Wine Tasting, Walking Tour

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 5:09 pm

Author: Ed Fong

Twyla Campbell, the author of “Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup“, the inspiring life of Chef Gail Hall, will be signing copies of the book and telling stories from the book at deVine Wines & Spirits on Saturday, May 18 between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

During the book signing, Jennifer Fulford of Crimson Imports, will be pouring a selection of wines from her portfolio. This tasting is free of charge and customers can enjoy a 10% discount on any bottle of wine featured by Jennifer from 11-2pm.

There will be a free walking tour starting at deVines at 2pm – EITHER a tour of the City Market (guide to be announced) or a Historic Building tour of 104th Street with Jon Hall. The first fifteen (15) people interested in the free walking tour can sign up on May 18, commencing at 11:00 AM. Chef Gail Hall was an avid supporter of the City Farmer’s Market, so if the Market is still on our street on this day, it would be quite befitting that the book signing takes place on the first weekend that the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market opens. We can only cross our fingers at this point.

Any person who has pre-purchased a copy of the book can bring it down for Twyla to sign. Should you make a donation to the Gail Hall Fund, you will receive a copy of Gail’s Recipe Book as a thank you.

We look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday, May 18th!

Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup – The Inspiring Life of Chef Gail Hall by Twyla Campbell – $31.49

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March 9, 2019

Five French Winemakers Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 12:42 pm

five_winemakers_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

deVine and Cellar Stock Importers Inc. proudly presents a tasting with Five Winemakers from France from the regions of Cahors, Loire Valley and Bordeaux on a special Wednesday night tasting on April 10th. We will close early for this stand-up event. Special thanks to owner Denise Brisson of Cellar Stock Importers for arranging this special evening.

Joining us to present their wines will be the following:

Philippe Bernede (owner & winemaker) of Clos la Coutale in Cahors
Thierry Delaille (owner & winemaker) of Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny in Loire Valley
Céline Champalou (owner & winemaker) of Domaine Champalou, Vouvray in Loire Valley
Paul Pisani-Ferry (owner) of Chateau de Targe, Saumur in Loire Valley
Sébastien Menut (director) of Chateau Haut Brisson, Saint Emilion in Bordeaux

For lovers of the Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot grapes, this will be an interesting tasting – you can wine talk with our guests in between wines. It’s not often you get this many producers in one spot that you can rub shoulders with. Please book early to avoid disappointment as only 60 spots are available and it will be a hot ticket because of the pricing.

See the lineup & book your spot now..

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March 1, 2019

Dry Martini Riff Rumble – A deVine Cocktail Competition!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 7:09 pm

Author: Ed Fong

deVine Wines is pleased to host a cocktail competition with Edmonton’s finest barkeeps on Monday, April 1.

The event begins at 7:00 PM, and guests will be able to see 12 professional bartenders create their interpretation of a Classic Dry Martini. The rules of the competition appear at the end of this blog.

During the event, guests will be able to taste Strathcona Spirits Gin, Barrel Aged Gin, Vodka and a bottled cocktail made from one of these fine ingredients. Guests will also sample La Quintinye Extra Dry White Vermouth, the only permissible vermouth the barkeeps can use to make their creations.

Cost to attend is a whopping $5! Guests can cheer on their favorite barkeep and enjoy a 10% discount on ALL spirits, cocktail ingredients (vermouths, amaros, bitters, syrups & tonics) and barware. deVine wants to inspire and help you create your own cocktails at home!

Confirmed participants include:

Chuck Elves – Woodwork
Elyse Colville – Linnea
Shaun Hicks – Wilfred’s
Joshua (Happy) Byrne – Ampersand 27
Jordan Watson – Cartago
Barnabas Siwila – Revel
Corbin Frederick Brocks – Wilfred’s
Alex Pocock – Wishbone
Calvin Neufeld – Chartier
Delain Nordlund – Grindstone Theatre / Revel
Devin McCawley – The Marc

Only 70 tickets are available for this special, stand up event.

Click this link to book your spot now for this exciting event.

“Strathcona Distillery creates multi-award winning spirits from local ingredients in a tiny old punk venue just off Whyte Avenue.”

This event is co-sponsored by local distiller Strathcona Spirits and importer Manuel Barreira of Global Wine Merchants. Manuel imports a unique selection of some of the finest cocktail ingredients into Alberta and is the owner of Ulysses Speakeasy & Bar in Lisboa, Portugal.

Special thanks to Joe Gurba of Strathcona Distillery for his inspiration and help in organizing this event!

Rules of the Competition

Hello, Barkeep! To achieve greatness you will be required to stir or (gasp!) shake up one dry martini with a glancing one-ingredient personal tip of your hat. There are six rules for what’s in the glass:

1. The Barkeep must use one or both of Strathcona Spirits’ Badland Seaberry Gin or Single Grain Vodka.*
2. The Barkeep must use La Quintinye Extra Dry Vermouth.*
3. The Barkeep can’t cut the recipe with any other dry vermouth, vodka, or gin besides the above.
4. The Barkeep must add one nuancing ingredient that will in­flect the drink without straying far from the traditional definition of a dry martini.***
5. The final drink must remain dry in essence, i.e. no more than a barspoon of any ingredient containing sugar, and no more than a half ounce of any non-sweet ingredient.
6. The Barkeep must bring their nuancing ingredient with them to the contest (enough for 2 cocktails).**

Lemons and olives will be provided for use at your own discretion. Proportions and methods are fully within the Barkeep’s discretion.

*No infusions of the spirits or vermouth.
**You may bring your own glassware. We will have simple coupes.
***Strange or familiar libations, tinctures, shrubs, ferments, brines, bitters, house speci‑c, or homemade ingredients are all welcome! So long as said ingredients do not contain tobacco or any type of drug or psychotropic ingredient or narcotic or medicinal ingredient that may cause any harmful side effects to our judges. The judges have no specifiedallergies.

• You will make two cocktails, one for the judges and one for yourself.
• There is no time limitation for making your two drinks and no points awarded for performance. • Your dry martini riff will be judged out of 100 points:


THE PRIZE: A bottle of Strathcona Spirits Gin or Vodka (your choice!), a bottle of La Quintinye Extra Dry Vermouth, a lemon, and a jar of olives!

Pictured above (left to right) :

La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Extra Dry (France) – 375mL $27.99

Strathcona Spirits Badland Seaberry Gin (Alberta, Canada) – 750mL – $53.99

Strathcona Spirits Barrel Aged Gin (Alberta, Canada) – 750mL – $64.99

Strathcona Spirits Single Grain Wheat Vodka (Alberta, Canada) – 750mL – $53.99

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