Posts tagged ‘Wine’

September 27th, 2011

B.C. Vineyards

Continuing on with my trip to B.C., on the Sunday we all headed out on a road trip, we hit up a few wineries, B.C. is famous in Canada for it’s exceptional wines and I was dying to check some out! We hit up around four of them but I was so into it that I really didn’t take many photos but here are two vineyards we went to and loved!

Cherry Point Vineyard

One of the vineyards we went to was Cherry Point Vineyard.

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Cherry Point was this wonderful little Vineyard about an hour outside of Victoria.

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Turns out, we showed up on the same day that they were hosting the after-party of a cycling race! We also found out that someone who was part of the race actually flew this helicopter into the vineyard just to race! Crazy!!!!

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One of the things I LOVE about visiting wineries is just how laid back the atmosphere is. They let us set up a picnic out back and pop open a bottle of sparking pinot noir which was so light and fruity that it went down waaay to easily even though we forgot glasses and had to buy shot glasses!

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At one point, the sommelier just wandered down to join us for a drink and chat!

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Then this happened! The bottle didn’t have a cork in it, nor was it a twist top, it was one of those hold pop tops but every time we opened the bottle it would go flying off. The second time we tried putting the metal neck on the bottle (the one seen in the picture) it somehow sheered the entire lip of the bottle off!!! Yikes! We let the workers know and they were kind enough to give us another bottle. Guess we just don’t know our own strength!

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Godfrey-Brownell Vineyard

Another winery we went to was Godfrey-Brownell Vineyard. My cousins snagged a Groupon deal with this vineyard as we were the last appointment for the day so everyone was even more relaxed! We got a tasting of a variety of their wines and were served an antipasti platter to go along with it!

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All the wines we tried here were top-notch. Full of complex, fruity flavours!

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When we first arrived we were served by a foreign student who had just been working in the vineyard for two weeks and she sat and chatted with us for a while. Not too long after she left, the owner himself came out to chat! This is David Godfrey and he was quite the interesting guy! He came out with a few more bottles, including an amazing 2002 sparking Pinot Noir, poured us all glasses, poured himself a glass and then plunked himself down in a chair for a chat. Turns out he spent a lot of his years in Toronto and when we Google’d him later he turned out to be a Governor General award winning author!

Mr. Godfrey talked a lot about the winery and the wines. Not only is the wine organic but they also use bio-dynamic principles in the wine making process. Bio-dynamics is a system whereby the farmers do not bring in outside sources to keep the crops from growing (outside of the crops themselves) but use the natural lay of the land and everything that’s on it to produce their crops. They also use the weather and even moon phases to help to plant and harvest their crops. I love this style of farming and trust me, it shows in the wine! I wanted to buy everything! Thank god they do shipping, we just may have to order a few bottles!

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Visiting Godfrey-Brownell was the perfect end to a leisurely day in the vineyards of Vancouver Island. A great time was had by all and we really had to pull ourselves away.

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It was so great to be able to try some wines we wouldn’t ordinarily get at the liquor stores here in Ontario. I’m so sad they’re so far away! I was even more impressed with the sheer amount of organic wineries, almost all of the wineries we visited were organic without being so pretentious as to shout it from the rooftops.

More from our vacation to come!

August 7th, 2010

Kiss Me, I’m…Greek?!

As some of you know, I live close to Danforth Ave here in Toronto. Danforth Ave, from roughly Donlands Ave and west to Broadview Ave is known in Toronto as “Greek Town”! There are loads of amazing Greek restaurants, stores, travel agencies, etc. The movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding was actually shot in this area of the city and every year, on the first full weekend of August, they host The Taste of The Danforth and for blocks and blocks all you get are stalls with Greek food, non-greek food and sidewalk sales. There are rides for the kiddies, Greek music and lots of sports to be played.

Last night Alan and I decided to beat the crowd and head down as soon as I was done work. Although a lot of things didn’t open until 6pm (the official start time), we still managed to walk around before the crowds showed up.

Last year we left dinner to the whimsy of the stalls but all I ended up with was roasted corn and a sweet potato. We winded up at restaurant for something more sustainable. This year I thought ahead and suggested we check out a restaurant we haven’t tried  yet for dinner and then have some traditional Greek dessert! Alan was game!

We wound up at:

I’ve heard great things about Lolita’s Lust but had yet to check it out. Alan saw that they had a special vegetarian platter for 2 so we decided to check it out! We started out with some wonderful bread with a fabulous spicy hummus!

Seriously, this hummus was to-die-for! We attacked this plate with gusto!

So I wouldn’t forget, I took a picture of what was included in the vegetarian tasting platter:

Neither of us are crazy about beets but we decided to give it a whirl. Besides, I love balsamic so it could be interesting!

I’m happy to say that, although you won’t see surge of beets on this blog, we ate ALL of them! They weren’t as acidic as I remembered, most likely due to the balsamic reduction. The marinated feta was amazing and the tzatziki, not surprisingly as we were in the heart of Greek Town, was phenomenal. It was so much creamier than  you get in the store! I love Greek Town tzatziki! I get it anytime we eat down there!

The wine list caught me off guard and I really appreciated the menu. They separated their wines by tasting notes!

Isn’t that handy?! It really helps for novices like Alan and myself to make good choices for what we were eating. I let Alan pick the wine tonight and although he ordered one type of Italian Pinot Noir, our server recommended another, cheaper one from Australia that she said was better. She was right! It was great!

A 2009 Pinot Noir from Woolshed in Australia. It paired really well the spiciness of our tasting plate and had a fabulous hint of plum to it! I’ve never had Woolshed before and now highly recommend it. We sipped on the rest of this bottle while chatting and people watching.

It makes me laugh though because this whole buying-a-bottle business at restaurants is new to us. Whatever happened to our buying-a-pitcher days?! Sooo much cheaper…

By the time we left the restaurant the festival was already in full swing and the crowds, for me, were getting a bit crazy (I’m not much of a crowd person) so we began to make our way back home (about a half hour walk). But we did stop for some Greek dessert!

We snacked on baklava:

Pretty much phyllo pastry with honey and nuts. I haven’t had baklava in years so I was pretty stoked (yes, stoked!).

We also had a couple of loukoumades which are like little doughnut holes soaked in honey and topped with cinnamon.

I have to say, it was a good thing that we decided to walk home because we both started to slip into a slow, diabetic honey coma. Holy moly!

If you happen to be in Toronto this week make your way down to my neck of the woods and check it out! You won’t be disappointed!

Before I go, however, I have a recipe to share! Today I’m celebrating my first weekend of doing absolutely nothing since last August! I have no responsibilities at all this weekend so I decided to celebrate by making a yummy breakfast!

Healthy Grilled Banana French Toast

I got the base of the idea for this from The Healthy Tipping Point. I decided to take what I had and health it up just a wee bit. It’s so easy to do! All you’ll need are the following (serves 2):

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4c egg whites
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 sandwich thins (or 2 buns like I did)
  • splash of soya milk + 1tsp vanilla extract (or splash of vanilla soy milk like I did)
  • 1 tsp both nutmeg and cinnamon

First spray a large skillet with spray oil and let heat. While that’s heating combine egg whites, chia seeds, soya milk (and vanilla) plus the nutmeg and cinnamon and give a quick stir.

Soak the bread into the mixture on both sides and set on grill.

While the bread is grilling, slice the bananas in six big chunks and set to grill on another skilled that has also been sprayed. Grill on each side for only about 2-3 minutes.

You should be able to flip your bread at this point, it only needs about 5 minutes per side.

When you’re done, place half the banana slices on one of the thins and place the other piece of bread on top! Voila!

However, you could also do what I did and add some spreads:

Because the bread isn’t overly sweet I also added a bit of coconut butter and macadamia cashew butter to the inside of the bread before adding the banana. Then I poured just a wee bit of maple syrup over top!

Perfection! This turned out soooo well! It didn’t fill me up uncomfortably like other french toast and the bananas become sweeter after grilling. I just had a hint of the nut butters which really came out once they melted. Hee hee And look at those chia seeds! I think they’re so cute!

Alrighty friends, I’m finally publishing this beast of a post so I can put my feet up and read for a bit just.because.I.can!

I’m also going to head out to the theatre later to watch Winter’s Bone as I’ve been eyeing it for a while!

Have a fantastic weekend and Twitter me if you want to hook up! I’m free!