Vintages devoted pride of place in their January 17 release to Argentina. We’ve always generally liked good Argentina Malbec so I decided to stock up on a few bottles of something — in the event, two bottles of Santa Ana’s “La Mascota” Malbec 2006, at 14% and $15.95 . (There were two wines that caughtcontinue reading

Wine thoughts again

I bought a bottle of wine for an experimental quasi-Provencal braised beef thing we made for dinner today. The braised beef absorbs a good third of the bottle in the braising sauce, making it possible to buy one of these 14% New World reds on a weekday without regretting it the day after. The winecontinue reading


Occasionally we actually have practical wine suggestions. Beppi Crosariol recommended Gabbiano Chianti 2007 some months ago in the Globe and Mail as a reliable $14 Chianti, also pointing out that (improbably) the operation was owned by the Australian megawinecorp Beringer Blass, better known for decidedly non-Chianti-like products such as the Wolf Blass line of Aussiecontinue reading

Drink up!

Even hoppy Dogfish Head beer won’t be enough to get some people through the next bumpy year. And so, the return of Depression-era cocktails: The industry has seen a resurgence of drinks that hark back to the prewar eras of Prohibition and the Great Depression, such as the Sidecar, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.continue reading


We have become distracted on the way home from singing at SMM on a regular basis by a small bistro on Harbord at Brunswick. Formerly known as Dessert Trends, now they go by DT Bistro. They have excellent sandwiches, quiches and the like for around $10-13. Not to mention desserts…

Drinking up Niagara

We’ve now had a chance to sample (er, consume) most of the wines we bought in Niagara on the Labour Day weekend. We liked all the Niagara College Teaching Winery wines we bought, without falling in love with any of them. They all struck us (perhaps predictably, in retrospect) as somewhat textbooky, good examples ofcontinue reading

Another one bites the dust

Caves de Rasteau Tradition Rasteau, regularly available at Vintages, used to be one of our favourite bargain-ish wines (about $16.95). It comes from Rasteau, which if memory serves is a sub-AOC in the Cotes-du-Rhone Villages AOC. (It’s one of the Villages.) It used to be one of those fun southern Rhones with a lot ofcontinue reading

Beer cheer for depressionary times

There’s a very entertaining profile in the New Yorker of the great Dogfish Head microbrewery and its founder, Sam Calagione — link below.  I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I’m not enough of a beer geek to know they had this kind of following.  My only concern is that this kind ofcontinue reading