FOOD/DRINK/MORE FESTIVE MAINS / SPARKLING COCKTAILS / LUNAR NEW YEAR
Nothing says “festive” like Champagne! Dive into the elegant world of Champagne and take a sneak peek at stellar bottlings that will be showcased in select stores during our Vintage Champagne Release. With entertaining in mind, we have a spread of festive holiday mains for you to try as well as delicious entertaining appetizers, dips and other winter fare. In preparation for the holidays, you’ll find tons of giftings ideas, from edible treats to DIY tasting boxes and more. Let us be your entertaining guide through the season, and however you choose to celebrate, be sure to make it festive! Make it Festive
the taste team
SUSANNE KNIGHT MANAGING EDITOR/ART DIRECTOR Susanne leads the content and creative direction of TASTE and holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Certification. Born and raised in Vancouver, she is passionate about creating a quality magazine for BC customers. She loves producing beautiful images to showcase the recipes and products. In winter, Susanne sips on spiced mulled wine. LYDIA DEL BIANCO CDP SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lydia has a BFA from UVic and has studied internationally at the Masters level with SVA and SCAD. She has been the senior designer on TASTE since 2009 and leads the in-house design team at BCLIQUOR. Lydia is passionate about typography and branding and sips Champagne throughout the holidays. DIANE SMALLWOOD DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST Diane has a diploma in Graphic and Visual Design and over 25 years of experience in design and production. Her specialty on TASTE is bringing out the best in the photos. She holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Certification. Over the holidays, Diane enjoys a sparkling rosé. CAROLINE RIEDEL A/MAGAZINE COORDINATOR Caroline has a degree in Social Communication with a major in Marketing & Advertising. She has experience working with magazines in Brazil and is passionate about photography. She loves travelling and exploring new places. Caroline sips on coffee with Baileys over the winter. CONNIE LEE MARKETING PRODUCT SPECIALIST Connie holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Certification and a BCOM in Marketing from UBC. She enjoys travelling and exploring new cuisines and wines to share with customers and readers. During the winter, Connie enjoys a sherry-casked Scotch. CONNIE HUI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Connie leads the marketing team for BCLIQUOR and is responsible for creating innovative ideas for the brand and magazine. Her in-depth experience in marketing and consumer research allows her to capture the trends that readers are most interested in. She enjoys running and yoga and is an avid foodie. Her winter go-to is a rich red. CAMI TORGERSON CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER Cami leads the creative strategy at BCLIQUOR, providing the overarching vision for retail store design, graphics and TASTE. She has always had a passion for design, creating beautiful spaces, images, and campaigns that connect emotionally to today’s consumer. Her advice for design: “ever evolving, and a step ahead on the latest trends.” Her winter drink is a spiced rum and eggnog.
PHOTOGRAPHY JOE BORRELLI PHOTOGRAPHY PICNIC CREATIVE PRINTER MITCHELL PRESS
from the cover …
Country of Origin refers to where the product comes from.
PIPER-HEIDSIECK CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE France $69.99 462432 When Florens-Louis Heidsieck fell in love with a woman from the Champagne region over 200 years ago, a Champagne legacy was born. Celebrate the people you love and the moments you cherish with a timeless glass of white peaches, citrusy apples, pears, orange blossom and toasty brioche.
Dry includes many popular red wines (e.g. Bordeaux, Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir) and white wines (e.g. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio). Sparkling wines labelled as Brut will also be very dry on the palate. In the former codes, wines would have been labelled as 00. Dry wines have less than 5g of residual sugar per litre. Semi-Dry wines have a hint of sweetness in the mouth and include many Pinot Gris, Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and California reds. In the former codes, wines would have been labelled as 01 to 02. Semi-dry wines have 6g to 24g of residual sugar per litre. Sweet wines will have noticeable sweetness but not enough to be considered dessert wines. Many Moscatos and German wines labelled with the terms Spätlese or Auslese will be included. In the former codes, wines would have been labelled as 03 to 07. Sweet wines have 25g to 79g of residual sugar per litre. Very Sweet wines include the famous dessert wines of the world like Sauternes, Tokaji Aszú, port and sweet sherries. In the former codes, wines would have been labelled as 08 to 10. Very sweet wines have greater than 80g of residual sugar per litre.
New products have been in market for three months or less.
BCL Select products are only available at BCLIQUOR stores.
BC VQA Wines with the BC VQA designation are 100 percent grown, made and bottled in BC. VQA stands for
Vintners Quality Alliance.
BC Craft Beer is BC-made and small-batch.
BC Spirits are distilled and bottled in BC.
Ontario VQA Wine, similar to BC VQA, Ontario VQA wines are 100 percent grown, made and bottled in Ontario.
TASTE Magazine is printed on 10 percent recycled paper using 100 percent vegetable ink.
Organic products with this designation are certified organic.
Kosher products with this designation are certified kosher.
To inquire about advertising opportunities, please contact Susanne Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices are subject to change without notice. In the event of any error or omission published in this magazine, the product description and display price in the liquor store will prevail. Products in this publication will be available as of November 2022, unless otherwise noted. Quantities may be limited. Items with very limited quantities are distributed only to Signature BCLIQUOR stores. Visit bcliquorstores.com to locate any products sold at BCLIQUOR stores and for up-to- date pricing information. Prices do not include taxes or container deposit.
FESTIVE MAINS Looking for an alternative to turkey? Here are four festive options for the star of the feast.
14 BELLS WILL BE RINGING
The perfect gifts or pours for any situation this holiday season.
Follow BCLIQUOR on
22 CHAMPAGNE, THE CHAMP Nothing says “celebration” like Champagne! 27 PERFECT PAIRINGS WITH TURKEY Delicious pairings for your holiday turkey.
TASTE Magazine is a publication of BCLIQUOR TM .
TASTE Magazine BCLIQUOR 3383 Gilmore Way, Burnaby, BC V5G 4S1 Susanne Knight 604 252 8722 email@example.com
in every issue
THE COCKTAIL MENU
Featuring reversible hot & cold cocktails.
PRODUCT CONSULTANT’S CHOICE Our expert Daewhan Lim shares their favourites. SPECIAL EVENTS & TASTINGS
TASTE TEST KITCHEN
LAST WORD All about responsible hosting.
64 SPIRITED PRESERVES Spirited jams, spreads and garnishes to gift and share. 67 PERFECT PAIRINGS WITH ROAST BEEF Delicious pairings for your holiday roast beef dinner. 68 MAKE IT SWEET 72 RING IN THE NEW YEAR Be the toast of the town with these inspiring bites. 80 COFFEE COCKTAILS These cocktails are sure to please any coffee aficionado. 84 ENTERTAINING DIPS Dive into dessert wines and their perfect pairings. Perfect for the holidays, game day and beyond! 90 APRÈS FONDUE 92 WINTER WARMERS Why hearty BC beers are what we crave this time of year. 96 COZY (PLANT-BASED) COMFORTS Plant-based comfort food to get you through the winter. The perfect après treat: beer & cheese fondue with pretzel bites.
100 SOME LIKE IT HOT Classic cocktails get a spicy makeover this winter. 104 LUNAR NEW YEAR A multicultural potluck to celebrate Lunar New Year. 109 LUNAR NEW YEAR GIFTS What to gift and share for Lunar New Year. 110 THE CABIN COLLECTION Must-haves for your winter getaway. 114 FOR LOVE & BRUNCH Get cozy with your valentine by making one of these unforgettable brunches.
DELICIOUS GIFTS Delicious treats perfect for gifting and enjoying with loved ones.
32 YOUR WHISKY GIFT-GIVING GUIDE Finding the perfect whisky gift is as easy as 1-2-3! 38 CREATE POP & FIZZ MOMENTS Celebrate the holidays and beyond with sparkling cocktails. 42 GIFTS IN GOOD TASTE Curate the perfect gifting box, with five themes to get started. 46 A SWEET NOTE Celebrate the festivities of the season with impressive desserts. 50 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE RELEASE This December, uncover the elegance of the past at the Vintage Champagne Release. 54 DIVE INTO LIQUEURS Discover the diversity of liqueurs with cocktails. 60 AFFORDABLE WINES TO SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER Quality bottles that won’t break the bank.
118 WINTER IN THE WINERY
What happens once the grapes are picked? We look into our BC wineries in the winter.
122 CHILLIN’ CHILI
Relax this winter with these delicious chili recipes.
Crown Roast of Pork
for recipes, see index on page 129
LARA VICTORIA Lara Victoria, DipWSET, CSW is a WSET Certified Educator. Her training as a chef, along with her extensive qualifications in wines, spirits and sake, make her a credible expert in food pairings. She teaches, judges and writes on these subjects internationally and is a hospitality consultant. See her work on www.laravictoria.com and follow her @laravictoria.cheers.
Pairs with Crown Roast of Pork
LOUIS LATOUR BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR France $39.99 69914 This elegant Pinot Noir from Burgundy showcases ripe cherries, wild strawberries and raspberry fruit interlaced with nuances of dried herb and spices. It will pair beautifully with the umami flavours and seasonings in the wild rice pilaf.
MEZZACORONA TRENTINO PINOT GRIGIO Italy $19.99 312801 This is a crisp, easy- drinking Pinot Grigio that showcases stone fruit, pear and citrusy green apple flavours. It is a juicy, palate-cleansing sipper which is complementary to rich flavours.
Wild Rice Pilaf
for recipes, see index on page 129
| FESTIVE MAINS |
TARYN WA Taryn is passionate about creating and sharing beautiful and delicious food. She learned the importance of nourishing others from her mother and grandmothers, and fell in love with cooking at a young age.
Pairs with Roast Leg of Lamb
GRAY MONK GEWÜRZTRAMINER BC VQA $19.99 321588 Flavours of lychee, rose petal, grapefruit rind and spicy candied ginger make up this food-friendly Gewürztraminer. The
medium body and bright acidity make it a perfect pairing for Mediterranean and Moroccan fair.
CASTELLO DI GABBIANO CAVALIERE D’ORO CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA Italy $29.99 25163 An excellent value for Chianti Classico Riserva, Gabbiano offers ripe red cherry, mocha and savoury herb flavours indicative of a warmer region. It has a full body and silky tannins. This is a delicious pour with roast lamb!
Citrus Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb served with Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes
Bourbon-Glazed Ham served with Roasted Carrots
for recipes, see index on page 129
| FESTIVE MAINS |
PAIGE MANZIE Paige loves a dinner party! Spending a year of high school in Italy sparked a passion for food and entertainment at a young age. Over the last few years her love of cooking and presentation has transitioned from hobby to career. She works as a freelance food stylist as well as a private chef, hosting intimate dinner parties and catering events.
Pairs with Glazed Ham
OYSTER BAY PINOT NOIR
New Zealand $23.99 111302 The elegant red fruit notes of this cool- region Pinot Noir play up the sweet and tangy juices from the brown sugar bourbon glaze, while the delicate notes of earthy sage draw out the flavour of the clove and star anise spiced ham.
ROAD 13 HONEST JOHN’S ROSÉ BC VQA $19.99 357327 This is a versatile BC rosé that can befriend a bevy of dishes. It offers vibrant notes of strawberry, rose petals, ripe pear and tropical fruits. Enjoy the refreshing acidity between bites.
for recipes, see index on page 129
| FESTIVE MAINS |
LAWREN MONETA Chef, food stylist, recipe developer and mommy, Lawren Moneta’s culinary passion has taken her all over the world. Now based in Vancouver, she loves exploring the ever-expanding food and wine culture the West Coast has to offer.
Pairs with Savoury Baklava
BOTTEGA IL VINO DEI POETI PROSECCO ROSÉ Italy $19.99 43610 This delightful effervescent wine is bursting with flavours of wild strawberries, white peach, citrus and apple. Serve as an aperitif or as a perfect complement to the vegetables in the savoury baklava.
WILD GOOSE AUTUMN GOLD BC VQA $19.99 414755 This ultra food- friendly blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Blanc offers a sumptuous palate of apricot, apple and pear fruit flavours with candied ginger and rose petal notes. Enjoy with all your favourite foods.
SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM FALALALA LALALAND.
CALIFORNIA WINES. AS ALIVE AS THE PLACE THEY’RE GROWN.
Things are a little dierent here in California, that’s for sure. But the Holiday spirit, that’s universal. We have so much to be thankful for and so many reasons to celebrate. Happily, there are California wines for every occasion, milestone and moment.
KENDALL JACKSON VINTNERS RESERVE CHARDONNAY SKU 296566
7 DEADLY ZINS OLD VINE ZINFANDEL
JOEL GOTT 815 CABERNET SAUVIGNON
MEIOMI CABERNET SAUVIGNON
91 PTS The Tasting Panel
90 PTS James Suckling
92 PTS The Tasting Panel
Tropical flavours such as pineapple, mango and papaya with citrus notes that explode in your mouth. Certified Sustainable
Heaps of jammy berry fruit are followed by aromas of leather, oak and spice notes. The palate is layered, showing flavours of dark fruits, currants and toee through a lingering spice-touched finish. Certified Sustainable
Dark, concentrated fruit flavours, followed by velvety tannins on the mid-palate and notes of vanilla on the long, textured finish. Certified Sustainable Proud supporter of Food Banks BC
Meiomi Cabernet Sauvignon is made with grapes from esteemed coastal winegrow- ing regions. This California Cabernet Sauvignon features aromas of dark berries with a plush, velvety, full flavour.
Look for this logo for wines crafted sustainably from 85% or more grapes from certified sustainable vineyards.
MADE IN CALIFORNIA ADVERTISEMENT
Bells will be Ringing Choosing the Perfect Wine I t’s the season of celebration, camaraderie and connectedness. That special time of the year when we indulge, convene and give. An exceptional bottle or two is always appreciated when we gather—be it in small groups or large. Sometimes, picking just the right one for an occasion can seem daunting, so we took some of the guesswork out of the equation for you and put together some suggestions that will ding, ding, ding , ring in the season perfectly. Cocktail Party One of the most social and customary receptions over the holidays, the cocktail party is also by far one of the most enjoyable gatherings of the season. It’s less formal than a dinner, and so easy to pop in and out of when you have additional plans. You also get to pick who to mingle with and what to nibble on, rather than being confined during a full-seated meal. Likewise, choosing a wine as lively as the conversation is certain to be is key. Our pick is the effervescent Bailly LaPierre Crémant de Bourgogne Réserve Brut , which is a blend of Burgundy’s four varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aligoté and Gamay. It is an off-dry sparkling with a pretty nose of orchard fruits, spring flowers and honey and a buoyant and pristine palate. Cheers will be ringing while glasses are clinking!
BAILLY LAPIERRE CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE RÉSERVE BRUT France $27.99 657742
DAENNA VAN MULLIGEN Daenna Van Mulligen is a Vancouver-based wine journalist, but is typically found in the world’s vineyards. She is also a wine judge, accredited sommelier and international speaker. Daenna is publisher of the long-running websites WineDiva.ca and Winescores.ca. She has been published in numerous local and internationally distributed publications and is a regular contributor to Vines Magazine and, more recently, Montecristo Magazine . Follow her @thewinediva.
An exceptional bottle or two is always appreciated when we gather—be it in small groups or large.
Family Get-Togethers It’s likely been a few years since you’ve seen Aunt Martha or some of your cousins, so you’ll want to make sure this year’s family holiday reunion is one to remember. Be it a large, prepared dinner or potluck, a bottle of wine that will not only appeal to all adult ages, but also suit the season’s classic fare, is required. A wine such as the Okanagan’s own Sovereign Opal—a rare, aromatic white variety created in Summerland by crossing Muscat and Marechal Foch—is sure to be spot on. Sandhill Sovereign Opal is light but laden with bright grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours. This refreshing and food-friendly pour is equally refreshing at home served as a pre-meal sipper as it is accompanying any meal. Pair it with everything from spicier dishes to more traditional turkey and trimmings. Office Party It’s likely been a minute since you’ve had a serious office party and the chance to reconnect with colleagues in person, and not just standing around the water cooler. It could be just the morale boost you all need! A wine that’s both amiable and impressive is exactly what you’ll want to share when face-to-face. At this time of the year, when there’s likely a chill in the air, the plush Escorihuela 1884 Cabernet Sauvignon will be sure to warm up the party. It shows Mendoza, Argentina at its best; a supple and woven wine with cherries and chocolate, violet and licorice notes—a standout bottle guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
ESCORIHUELA 1884 MENDOZA ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON Argentina $19.99 750547
SANDHILL SOVEREIGN OPAL BC VQA $17.99 23841
WHY NOT ADD A SPLASH OF YELLOW
| BELLS WILL BE RINGING |
Christmas Eve There’s something truly magical about Christmas Eve—it’s equal parts stillness and anticipation. Whether the night before Christmas is a larger, more raucous gathering or an intimate stay-at-home-and-watch- all-your-favourite-holiday-movies sort of night, a memorable bottle, something just a little more significant, is perfectly fitting. Elegant and timeless, Tuscany’s Castello di Ama San Lorenzo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is exactly that wine. Made primarily from Sangiovese grapes, it delivers notes of dried cherry, balsamico, salted licorice and spice, leading to a smooth and fleshy palate with notable density and freshness. It’s a warm hug on an enchanting night.
Holiday Brunch While brunch is a year-round phenomenon, during the holidays it takes on an even more special role. It’s a time to catch up with family or friends early in the day, while likely indulging in decadent whipped cream and syrup-coated waffles and the always-satisfying mainstay, Eggs Benedict. Because the day is young, a playful and lower-alcohol wine is exactly the way to go. Made from Italy’s Venetian Glera grape, the fizzy and fruity Anna Spinato Organic Prosecco Brut not only has a joyous lime green wrapped label, but a friendly and unpretentious character. Expect tree fruits and acacia, honey and racy citrus notes. It’s crisp and dry and hits all the right notes with brunch and lunch dishes.
Secret Santa While a pre-selected price point often guides secret Santa practices— often much lower than the cost of a bottle of vino—we like to suggest a slightly higher-value option to our gift-giving group and make it both fun and educational. How? By the gifter picking a bottle of wine or variety the giftee might never have tasted. It’s a great way to learn about different grapes and will generally be more appreciated than a dollar store trinket. Why not put that money into the local economy at the same time! British Columbia makes a broad range of single-varietal and blended wines, and one of our best in the red category is undoubtedly Cabernet Franc. From the Black Sage Bench near Oliver in the Okanagan Valley, Bartier Bros. Cabernet Franc is an exceptional version that’s scented with currants, silky chocolate, purple flowers and vanilla. Stylish and truly representative of the variety, it will make any recipient rejoice!
CASTELLO DI AMA SAN LORENZO CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE Italy $64.99 765123
ANNA SPINATO ORGANIC PROSECCO BRUT Italy $19.99 374769
BARTIER BROS. CABERNET FRANC BC VQA $29.99 993139
The Cocktail Menu Featuring Hot & Cold Cocktails
recipes and cocktail styling by David Wolowidnyk
MAKER’S MARK KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKY USA $45.99 103747 Specially selected red winter wheat and a No.3 level barrel char gives this reputable bourbon its signature palate- forward sweet oak, vanilla bean and wheat flavours. Smooth and creamy,
it finishes with a pleasant note of crème brûlée.
APRÈS APPLE CIDER 1½ oz (45 ml) Maker’s Mark Bourbon 3 to 4 oz (90 to 120 ml) Spiced Apple Cider * fresh cranberries and orange peel, for garnish To serve cold , combine bourbon and Spiced Apple Cider in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously then fine strain into an old-fashioned glass. To serve hot , combine bourbon and Spiced Apple Cider in a heatproof mug or glass and microwave for 1 minute on high. Garnish both with fresh cranberries and orange peel. * For the Spiced Apple Cider, in a saucepan, combine 25 oz (750 ml) apple juice, 8 oz (250 ml) cranberry juice, 1½ oz (45 ml) maple syrup, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise pods, peel from 1 orange (pith removed) and peel from 1 lemon (pith removed). Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool then strain into a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1L (4 cups)
GINGER BEE 1½ oz (45 ml) Tanqueray No. Ten Gin ¾ oz (22 ml) Honey Ginger Syrup * ½ oz (15 ml) lemon juice 2½ oz (75 ml) water (if serving hot) candied ginger, for garnish To serve cold , in a cocktail shaker, combine gin, Honey Ginger Syrup and lemon juice. Add ice, shake vigorously, then fine strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. To serve hot , combine gin, Honey Ginger Syrup, lemon juice and water in a heatproof mug or glass and microwave for 1 minute on high. Garnish both with candied ginger. * To make Honey Ginger Syrup, in a small saucepan, combine ½ cup (125 ml) water, ¾ cup (175 ml) honey and 1 tbsp (15 ml) peeled and grated ginger. Simmer until hot, remove from heat to cool. Strain and transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
TANQUERAY NO. TEN GIN United Kingdom $49.99 600163 Affectionately
named after “Tiny Ten,” the distillery’s number 10 still, this exquisite gin leads with juniper followed by lime, orange and pink grapefruit and is sprinkled with hints of chamomile, peppercorn and coriander.
For where to buy & cocktail recipes, visit us at: www.fever-tree.com If ¾ of your drink is the mixer, shouldn’t you mix with the best? Using the finest, naturally-sourced ingredients from around the world, Fever-Tree mixers elevates your cocktail while keeping it simple. It’s as easy as 1 + 1 + 1. THE perfect PAIRING FOR ANY OCCASION
@FeverTreeCanada | #MixWithTheBest
| THE COCKTAIL MENU |
PANETTONE EGGNOG 2 large eggs (freshest possible) 3 oz (90 ml) Raisin Syrup * 1½ oz (45 ml) Old Sam Demerara Rum 1½ oz (45 ml) Amaretto Disaronno 1½ oz (45 ml) McGuinness Orange & Brandy ½ cup (125 ml) milk (3.25%) ¼ cup (60 ml) whipping cream grated cinnamon, cinnamon stick and orange zest, for garnish Add eggs and Raisin Syrup to a blender. Blend on medium for 30 seconds. Turn blender to low and gradually add rum, amaretto and orange brandy, then milk and cream (about 1 minute). Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Enjoy once chilled. Best if left a day or two for flavours to develop. To serve cold , measure 8 oz (250 ml) into an old-fashioned glass. To serve hot , measure 8 oz (250 ml) into a heatproof mug and microwave for 1 minute. Garnish both with grated cinnamon, cinnamon stick and orange zest. Serves 2 * To make Raisin Syrup, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (250 ml) raisins, 2 cups (500 ml) water and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain raisins, reserving raisin water. Remove cinnamon stick. In a blender, combine raisins, 1 cup (250 ml) raisin water and ¾ cup (175 ml) demerara sugar, blend until smooth. Transfer to a sealed container. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Makes 2 cups (500 ml).
AMARETTO DISARONNO ORIGINALE Italy $29.99 2253 This sweet Italian liqueur is made from apricot kernels along with 17 spices and fruits. Expect sugared almonds, marzipan, a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of spice.
OLD SAM DEMERARA RUM Guyana $25.99 50336 Made from dark Caribbean molasses, this Guyanese rum is rich, dark and flavourful with notes of brown sugar, coffee, oak, dried
MCGUINNESS ORANGE & BRANDY Canada $25.99 53611 A rich, smooth liqueur bursting with notes of sweet orange and hints of nutmeg spice, this is a staple in every bartender’s bar. It also pairs deliciously with a variety of citrusy desserts.
fruits, nuts and baking spices.
Champagne, the Champ
by Lara Victoria
Perhaps it is the twinkling lights of the season, or the cheer of shared joy, but one cannot think of a celebration without the clink of a Champagne toast.
P erhaps it’s the twinkling lights of the season, or the cheer of shared joy, but one cannot think of a celebration without the clink of a Champagne toast. Champagne is eponymous for sparkling wine. Yet, all that sparkles isn’t Champagne. Only wines from the region of Champagne in France bear that name. While the origin of its production technique of secondary fermentation “in bottle” is heartily debated these days, Champagne was without a doubt the first place to take these sparkling wines to market and has been distinguished with supreme quality ever since. Despite its universal demand, Champagne represents just about 8 to 10 percent of global sparkling wine production. There is only so much land under vine in Champagne and rather than increasing yields, the quality-obsessive champenois have focused on elevating quality standards even higher to command their market share. In this, they have unequivocally succeeded. Indeed, nowadays we have access to some of the finest wines Champagne has ever made. There are currently more than
VINTAGE These are wines from a single vintage and are aged for at least three years on their lees before release. Producers only declare a vintage in years that produce exceptional wines. With great aging potential they continue to evolve in complexity with time. BLANC DE BLANCS Three grape varieties rule in Champagne: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. When a Champagne is made from Chardonnay, the only white grape variety of these three, it is called Blanc de Blancs, i.e. white wine from white grapes. The chalky minerality of Champagne’s soil and cool climate yields crisp, pure and intensely complex Chardonnay that produce powerful wines with stupendous flavour characteristics, balance and structure. It is no doubt that Blanc de Blancs are treasured among Champagne aficionados. TREASURED BLANC DE NOIRS This is Champagne made from its dark grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. They look deceptively like white wine because of minimal skin contact with the grape must before fermentation. Pinot Meunier contributes fresh fruit
percent of its vineyards. Some growers or “vignerons,” produce their own wines, known as “grower Champagne.” Others combine yields to produce wines as “cooperatives.” The celebrated Champagne houses, or maisons buy a lot of their grapes from these growers. It is worth noting that Champagne houses collectively represent 90 percent of global exports. In BC, we are spoiled for Champagne choices. With everyone from Bond to Churchill endorsing their preferred Champagnes, whom are we to trust? Admittedly, this can be a little intimidating, so here are three considerations to help you pop the cork on Champagne. Style NON-VINTAGE (NV) A product of different vintages, NV wines are masterfully blended to deliver a signature “house” taste. Many can also hold for years. Aged for a minimum of 15 months, their effervescence is ready to sip now. Some houses like Piper- Heidsieck (from the cover) age their NV wines for a minimum of 30 months, twice the requirement for this style, offering greater value to consumers for incredibly complex wines.
15,000 growers in Champagne, who collectively own about 90
D I SCOVER COLLECTION 243
| CHAMPAGNE, THE CHAMP |
aromatics while Pinot Noir delivers finesse and structural balance. ROSÉ You got it, Champagne bubbles in various shades of pink from both, vintage and non-vintage offerings. Producer Champagne houses tend to deliver signature flavour profiles that consumers can reliably expect. For example, Krug is known for robust wines with distinct autolytic characteristics, while the Champagnes of Barons de Rothschild can be crisp and fresh on the palate. This is particularly true for NV as reserved wines from multiple vintages are blended to produce this signature taste. On the other hand, grower Champagne can be terroir-driven. That is why, this category is growing in popularity as they deliver uniquely expressive wines. Region Champagne boasts a diversity of terroirs that influences its wines. Pinot Noir thrives in Montagne de Reims to the north. Vallée de la Marne offers ideal growing conditions for Pinot Meunier. Côte de Sézanne and Côte de Blancs favour Chardonnay. Côte de Bars in the south is gaining market attention with affordable options for the cost-conscious consumer. Offering so many options, Champagne is indeed the champion of choices. Yet, it is the singular authority for ultimate quality in sparkling wines. While many have emulated its style, none have come close to its incomparable distinction. Nothing says celebration quite like Champagne. So, this holiday season, or any time of year for that matter, if you have something to celebrate, like life itself, you now know exactly what to look for! Santé!
CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT RÉSERVE France $73.99 884775 Persistent tiny bubbles deliver crab apple and pear flavours punctuated by toasty umami notes of mushroom with a rich mouthfeel and a complex, luxuriously long finish.
BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD CHAMPAGNE BRUT France $91.99 182709 Crisp, mouth- watering Asian pear, lime and a
biscuity savouriness adorn this elegant Champagne that is balanced with bright acidity, leaving the palate with refreshing finesse.
LARMANDIER- BERNIER LATITUDE BLANC DE BLANCS EXTRA BRUT France $98.99 759936 Dry, complex and active with pure orchard fruit and savoury minerality, this grower Champagne gushes with bubbles of citrus freshness throughout its long, clean finish.
PERRIER-JOUËT BELLE EPOQUE BRUT 2012 VINTAGE France $249.99 267880 A rounded palate exuberantly expresses ripe melon, citrus zest and brioche through a luxurious moussant with layered, lingering complexity. Superlative now and for years ahead!
MICHEL LORIOT AUTHENTIC MEUNIER BLANC DE NOIRS BRUT France $61.99 593434 A floral and herbaceous bouquet graces this elegant Champagne with a nougat-like mousse, delivering unbelievable value. This versatile Champagne offers tremendous food pairing flexibility.
LAURENT- PERRIER CHAMPAGNE CUVÉE ROSÉ BRUT France $108.99 158550 Ripe, red berries, redcurrants and a whisper of rose and thyme unveil an expressive palate with a generous mouthfeel smothered with delicate, insistent bubbles.
YALUMBA Y SERIES VIOGNIER Australia $19.99 624502
Please the pickiest of guests with this plush, vegan-friendly Viognier. Apricot, pear, citrus and ginger-spiced flavours are enveloped in a creamy, texturally rich palate. An excellent pairing with turkey and stuffing.
CAKEBREAD CELLARS NAPA CHARDONNAY USA $69.99 191437 The grapes of this food-friendly Chardonnay were picked at night to preserve its crisp acidity. Honeysuckle and golden apple aromas tease the nose. Yellow pear, pineapple, vanilla and zesty citrus engage the palate. This is an elegant treat! DUCK POND NATURAL PATH PINOT NOIR USA $35.99 427872 This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir delivers tart cranberry, cherry and rhubarb flavours supported by perky tannins and hints of an earthy note. It’s liquid cranberry sauce to accentuate the turkey and gravy.
Rosemary Focaccia & Dipping Oils
Handmade Delicious Gifts
recipes and food styling by Paige Manzie
Crackers & Dipping Trio
pairs with Focaccia & Oils
pairs with Crackers & Dips
pairs with Crackers & Dips
SEA SUN CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR
FREIXENET GARDA DOC PINOT GRIGIO Italy $18.99 456117 This is a fresh, easy- drinking Pinot Grigio that offers apple, pear and delicate citrus notes. It is a beautifully bottled wine and an elegant partner to flavourful dips, fish and green vegetables.
CHÂTEAU MIRAVAL CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ France $33.99 488049 This venerable rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Vermentino and Syrah grapes sourced from Château Miraval’s clay and limestone terroir. This is a pure and straightforward wine with a lingering citrus finish. Its acidity and minerality will complement creamy dips.
USA $28.99 37794 From the renowned Wagner family winemakers of Caymus fame, comes a fruit- driven Pinot Noir with a strikingly soft silky texture and notable juicy red berry character. This versatile wine is a natural crowd-pleaser. Charlie Wagner likes to pair it with herbed flatbreads.
for recipes, see index on page 129
| DELICIOUS GIFTS |
Assorted Cookie Box
pairs with Assorted Cookie Box
pairs with Assorted Cookie Box
pairs with Focaccia & Oils
CLOUDY BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC New Zealand $38.99 304469 This beautiful Sauvignon Blanc opens with youthful gooseberry, zesty citrus and asparagus notes. The expressive palate has layers of grapefruit, green apple, lemon, lime zest and green bean notes. An energetic contrast to savoury, herby focaccia bread.
FIVE FARMS SINGLE BATCH IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR
RUMCHATA CREAM LIQUEUR USA $33.49 560672 RumChata is a rich cream liqueur made by blending
Ireland $46.99 445960 Who can resist milk and cookies? Flip the cap off this bottle inspired by milk containers of the past and you are immediately taken in by lush aromas of butterscotch, caramel fondue and vanilla bean. Expect creamy flavours of dulce de leche , coconut cream and Belgian waffles to coat the palate.
Caribbean rum, fresh Wisconsin dairy cream, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour
RumChata in milk, coffee or chai tea to create the perfect beverage to dip your cookies.
for recipes, see index on page 129
A re you someone who enjoys meticulously planning presents months in advance of the holiday season, or are you more of a last-minute panic purchaser? Or perhaps you fall somewhere in between? Regardless of your gift-giving style, when it comes to the world of whisky, choosing a gift for someone (whether in advance or last minute) can be challenging. The key is to know which whisky or whiskies you’re going to purchase before you shop. And making a game plan can be as easy as 1-2-3. Your Whisky Gift-Giving Guide
1 Pick one or two flavour profiles that appeal to your recipient’s palate. 2 Establish a price range that you’re comfortable spending on a bottle. 3 Follow this guide to select the perfect gift!
In this whisky gift-giving guide we explore five different flavour profiles that tie into bourbon, rye, Japanese whisky, Irish whiskey and Scotch, and offer low and high price point suggestions for each category to make sure you’re covered, regardless of your budget.
REECE SIMS Reece Sims is a former award-winning Vancouver-based bartender who holds her WSET Level 3, Executive Bourbon Stewardship Certification, and has completed courses at the Irish Distilling Academy. After years of writing about whisk(e)y on WhiskeyMuse.com she recently created the Reverse Tasting Method: Whisk(e)y Sensory Program. Connect with her @reecesims or @whiskeymuse
…choosing a gift for someone (whether in advance or last minute) can be challenging. The key is to know which whisky or whiskies you’re going to purchase before you shop.
Bourbon FLAVOUR PROFILE: SWEET & RICH If your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, bourbon is an excellent option. Because bourbon must be made from at least 51 percent corn and aged in new charred oak barrels, it tends to be sweeter than other styles of whisky. When a barrel is charred, it caramelizes the wood sugars found in the staves and as the bourbon matures, these delectable sugars will be extracted into it. The balance of sweet and rich is particularly prominent in the oldest bottled bourbon, Old Forester . This bourbon, which was first bottled (and hand-signed) by George Garvin Brown in 1870 as a way to guarantee the quality, was even produced legally during Prohibition. With notes of spiced vanilla, red apples, orange and a hint of tobacco leaf, Old Forester is a testament to value for price point through the ages. If you’re looking for something with more intensity, seeking out a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) bourbon will do just the trick. Often found on the bottle, the terms “bottled- in-bond” and “cask strength” or “barrel strength” will inherently denote a higher ABV. Bottled-in-bond bourbons
Rye FLAVOUR PROFILE: SPICY & INTENSE
will always be bottled at 50 percent ABV and cask strength/barrel strength bourbons will be bottled at the ABV in which it was put into the cask (typically in the 55 to 62 percent range). For example, Booker’s Bourbon , named after its founder, Booker Noe, is sweet, complex and potent. What makes this brand particularly special is that it is produced in small batches with each release having different flavour nuances and varying ABVs as each cask evolves differently over time. Booker’s Bourbon was created by Noe as a gift for friends during the holidays. Now, we have the distinct pleasure of gifting it to our kinfolk too.
From hot wings to flavourful Indian curries, if your recipient is a fan of spice, then look no further than rye whisky. Rye can be made all over the world, however, Canada and the United States are the major producers of this style of whisky. The US requires that all rye whiskies be made from at least 51 percent rye and aged in new charred oak barrels, whereas Canada allows a lot more flexibility. In fact, for something to be labelled “rye whisky”
OLD FORESTER SIGNATURE 86 PROOF
BOOKER’S SMALL BATCH BOURBON WHISKEY USA $124.99 569061 Bottled at barrel strength, this bourbon possesses notes of rye spice, honey and caramel with hints of dill on the nose. The palate is full of cinnamon spiced pecan pie, buckwheat honey, dried fruits and tobacco with a long
KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY
USA $34.99 21822 This bourbon is a fine balance of citrus fruits, tobacco and menthol spice and rich dessert notes. Graham crackers, maple syrup, spiced vanilla, cinnamon- dusted almonds and cardamom leave you wanting another sip.
lasting, mouth- watering finish.
Please savour responsibly. | www.themacallan.com
| YOUR WHISKY GIFT-GIVING GUIDE |
in Canada, there’s no stipulation that rye must actually be used to make it. Despite this, several distilleries are producing 100 percent rye expressions. Compared to bourbon, rye tends to be spicier, drier, earthier and sometimes herbaceous. Rye whiskies can serve as an excellent base for cocktails that call for whisky, as the spicy, earthy and herbaceous notes create a more dramatic
CANADIAN CLUB CHAIRMAN’S SELECT 100% RYE CANADIAN WHISKY Canada $23.99 501668 This rye is an excellent value-driven cocktail base. Full and spicy, with aromas of orange, cloves, black pepper, vanilla oak and subtle florals present on the nose. On the palate, caramel, oak spice and dried orange peels lead to a warm and creamy finish.
LOT NO.40 DARK OAK 100% RYE CANADIAN WHISKY Canada $55.99 96548 Finished in heavily charred barrels, this 100 percent rye whisky is rich with notes of dark cocoa, black pepper, coffee, hazelnuts and butterscotch with subtle hints of dried peaches.
contrast to the other ingredients. Canadian Club 100% Rye , for
example, serves as an excellent affordable cocktail base. First released in 2014, this all-rye whisky utilizes a combination of American oak barrels, once-used bourbon barrels, and ex-Canadian whisky barrels to develop its spicy, yet light profile. If you’re looking for more of a sipper for the seasoned whisky drinker on your list, Lot No. 40 Dark Oak is a must-buy. Named the “World’s Best Rye” at the 2021 World Whisky Awards and “Best New Whisky” at the 2021 Canadian Whisky Awards, Lot No. 40 Dark Oak is made with 100 percent rye grain and aged first in lightly charred new American oak barrels, then in heavily charred casks. The double-barrelled maturation adds layers of rich, pronounced cocoa and dessert-like notes that converge with the fruity and spicy notes from the grain.
Irish Whiskey FLAVOUR PROFILE: SWEET & SPICY
that’s smoother, cleaner and slightly sweeter in style. This, contrasted with the fruity, savoury and spicy notes from an oloroso sherry cask, creates a convergence of compelling flavours. The Sexton, for example, is a single malt that is triple distilled and aged for approximately four to five years in oloroso sherry casks. Its black hexagonal bottle is almost as distinct as the liquid inside, presenting sweet, yet sharp and tangy notes of pears, citrus, prunes and baking spices.
For those seeking the best of both worlds (i.e. sweet and spicy), sherry- cask aged Irish Whiskeys can serve as a bridge between both flavours. Often known for affordable blended whiskeys that go down well with a pint, Ireland’s best kept secret is their single malt and single pot still whiskeys. Despite it not being required by law, many Irish distilleries opt to triple distill, instead of double distill, resulting in something
Along similar lines but slightly more
refined, Redbreast 12-Year-Old is made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley, triple distilled, then aged in ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. Dried fruits, roasted nuts, vanilla and sugar cookies juxtapose peppery, gingery spice in this complex pour.
THE SEXTON SINGLE MALT IRISH WHISKEY Ireland $51.99 162043 On the nose zesty lemon, menthol, yellow apples, golden raisins and slight hints of stone fruits make way for vanilla, white pepper, prunes, citrus, baking spices and a delightfully waxy mouthfeel.
REDBREAST 12-YEAR-OLD SINGLE POT STILL IRISH WHISKEY Ireland $83.99 636845 This single pot still Expect notes of dried fruits, roasted nuts, vanilla and sugar cookies contrasted with peppery, gingery spice, tobacco and dark roast coffee. whiskey is pure Christmas cake.
| YOUR WHISKY GIFT-GIVING GUIDE |
Single Malt Scotch FLAVOUR PROFILE: FRUITY & HONEYED Single malt Scotches provide enormous variety for imbibers, and it would be unfair and downright inaccurate to lump them into just one category. That being said, when we look at the traditional style of production in the Speyside region of Scotland, many distilleries produce Scotches that are fruity and honeyed in style. Two of the best-selling single malt Scotch brands in the world, The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, are renowned for their approachability and undoubtedly contain fruity and honeyed notes. However, if you’re looking to gift something different but along similar lines, The Singleton 12-Year-Old , which is produced by Glendullan Distillery, is an excellent value alternative. At under $60 a bottle, the Singleton 12-Year-Old is double distilled and aged predominantly in ex-bourbon casks, giving it notes of brown sugar, baked apples and creamy toffee. This expression can be sipped neat but works wonders in cocktails, especially a Mamie Taylor. Something Speyside-adjacent, not in proximity, but in style, is Oban Little Bay produced by Oban Distillery. Located in the waterfront resort town of Oban, the distillery was built before the town itself was established. Due to limited space at the distillery (as the town was essentially built around it), they are only able to conduct one distillation run per day. The Little Bay expression, which gets its name from the English translation of the Gaelic word oban , possesses delightful stone fruit, spice and honey notes, similar to Speyside Scotches but with distinctive maritime salinity and a subtle hint of smoke.
Japanese Whisky FLAVOUR PROFILE: DELICATE & BALANCED
OBAN LITTLE BAY SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY United Kingdom $119.99 569137 Imagine yourself in a quaint seaside town enjoying the soft aromas of oranges, stone fruits, honeyed brioche, golden plums and hints of brine and smoke. Spiced cashews, marzipan, coconut and smoked honey linger on the palate.
Japan has unequivocally perfected the art of blending when it comes to whisky, and continues to produce balanced and complex pours. Not all great whiskies need to be bursting with intensity—the subtleties of a well-crafted, delicate blend can be equally rewarding on the palate. For example, Suntory’s Hibiki Harmony presents creamy layers of citrus fruits, green apples, florals and exotic wood. In addition to the exquisite quality of the blended whisky itself, the bottle is a showstopper on any bar. Its 24 glass panels are meant to serve as a visual representation of the 24 hours in the day and 24 divisions of the solar year, or sekki in Japan. Another option that’s more value- driven is the little sister to Hibiki Harmony, Suntory Toki . Toki , which means “time” in Japanese, displays similar floral and citrus fruit notes to that of Hibiki, but with a slightly more herbaceous edge. From sweet and rich to delicate and balanced, gifting based on the styles in this guide will put you in the holiday spirit this season.
THE SINGLETON 12-YEAR-OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY United Kingdom $55.99 891739 An exceptional selection (and price point) for Scotch-based cocktails, this single malt presents notes of baked apples, buttery biscuits, brown sugar and spiced vanilla on the nose. The palate is full with stewed fruits, toffee, nuts and light roast coffee. Spicy oak dances on the finish.
SUNTORY TOKI BLENDED JAPANESE WHISKY Japan $61.99 855445 On the nose are subtle notes of honey, green apples, pears and a slight hint of basil. The palate extends to grapefruit, green grapes and peppermint followed by vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger on the finish.
SUNTORY HIBIKI JAPANESE HARMONY WHISKY Japan $149.99 358390 Elegant and precise, this stunning Japanese whisky subtly presents notes of vanilla, coconut, green apples and spring florals on the nose. On the palate, more vanilla and spiced coconut are contrasted by macadamia nuts, honeysuckle and eucalyptus.
CITRUS & CRANBERRY SPARKLE 1 oz (30 ml) Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin 1 oz (30 ml) cranberry juice ½ oz (15 ml) simple syrup * ½ oz (15 ml) lemon juice 3 oz (90 ml) Saint-Louis Blanc de Blancs Brut fresh cranberries and orange peel, for garnish
In a mixing glass with cubed ice, combine gin, cranberry juice, simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain into a flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with fresh cranberries and an orange peel.
* 1:1 ratio of sugar dissolved in boiling water. Allow to cool before using.
create Pop & Fizz moments
SAINT-LOUIS BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT
France $14.99 18303 Named in honour of King Louis IX of France, this dry sparkling wine, made entirely of white grapes, is crisp and refreshing, with peach, apple, pear and white floral notes.
recipes and cocktail styling by David Wolowidnyk
TANQUERAY FLOR DE SEVILLA GIN United Kingdom $29.49 234821 Tanqueray’s signature botanical recipe is infused with Sevilla orange essence to create this citrusy, slightly bittersweet gin with orange blossom aromas.
MINT GREEN TEA SPARKLE 1 oz (30 ml) Beefeater Gin 1½ oz (45 ml) Mint Green Tea * ½ oz (15 ml) simple syrup ** ½ oz (15 ml) lemon juice 2 oz (60 ml) Freixenet Cava Brut fresh mint, for garnish
FREIXENET CORDÓN NEGRO GRAN SELECCIÓN CAVA BRUT Spain $17.99 88591 Made using the traditional Champagne method from indigenous Spanish grape varieties, this excellent value Cava offers fresh apple, pear, citrus and toasty aromas with a delicate mousse delivering lemon peel and grapefruit on a crisp, dry finish.
BEEFEATER LONDON DRY GIN United Kingdom $25.99 570 This quintessential London Dry gin has stood the test of time since it was first produced in London in 1863. Expect prominent notes of juniper and citrus peel with hints of coriander, angelica, almond and licorice.
In a mixing glass with cubed ice, combine gin, Mint Green Tea, simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with fresh mint. * To make Mint Green Tea, add 2 tbsp (30 ml) green tea to 3 cups (750 ml) boiled water, steep for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup (250 ml) fresh mint leaves, steep for 5 more minutes. Fine strain into a glass bottle and chill. ** 1:1 ratio of sugar dissolved in boiling water. Allow to cool before using.
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