Introducing Canada’s Very own Beer Knight In Shining Armor, Sir Guy McClelland
Move over vino, there’s another big gig in town! Ultra-premium craft beers coming out of Europe are as unique and as flavourful as any Chardonnay or Cabernet, and they too embrace the role of partner when it comes to the pairing of food and drink. Not just any old beer will do, like a lager to white wine and an ale to red. And not only that…. says Beer Knight Guy McClelland, but each premium craft beer also has a story, a history, some dating back over ten thousand years!
THIS WEEK ON THE WINE LADIES TV WE WELCOME GUY McCLELLAND, PRESIDENT OF MPI.
Sir Guy is one of only four Canadians to be enthroned into the knighthood by the Confederation of Belgium Brewers, thus bearing the title of the Beer Knight. Guy will introduce us to an array of eight wonderful and unique European beers. We’ll learn the differences between lagers and ales, the importance of the right glass and why it is key to always use a glass… how to avoid that “bloated” feeling, why these pure natural beers are healthy, and much more will also bust some myths, that we know you are going to want to hear and be glad you did… when you do!
A LITTLE HISTORY THROUGH THE WORDS AND PASSION OF THE BEER KNIGHT.
Did you know historically ALL beer was ale? Lager was not invented until 1842. Do you know what key invention that year made lager possible? Hint: think refrigeration.
On what… never mind who has the “best life” ever “they have a lot of sex and they make beer” was the best quote of the show. Guy is referring to the life of the yeast. By the way, the red wine yeast is a little more vigorous, find out why. It gets awfully hot in that vat!
To pour ahead or not to pour ahead, that is the $64,000 question! Yes, says Guy, in a certain way to a specific height. Discover the power of the beer’s antioxidants and how NOT to miss out on them!
If you are okay with a bloated feeling after enjoying your favorite beer, continue drinking straight from the bottle, if not pour into a glass, some of which is most appropriate depending on the beer. According to Guy, the naturally fermented beer, on average contains 2.5 volumes of carbon dioxide…imagine that in your stomach which would be equivalent to 2/1/2 bottles of gas! Yikes. Thank you Beer Knight aka scientist.
JUST LIKE WINE, CERTAIN EUROPEAN BEERS HAVE TO COME FROM A SPECIFIC REGION AND ADHERE TO A SPECIFIC METHODOLOGY.
Just like wine, certain European beers have to come from a specific region and adhere to a specific methodology to bare the name on the bottle, similar to Champagne having to be made exclusively in Champagne. The same holds true for “lambic beers” which is one of the few technical legally protected terms for beer and refers to the indigenous yeast that only comes from the Zennevallei in Brussels. Special to be sure, Guy explains.
Say Yes to Pinot Grigio, aka Pinot Gris or Grauburgunder this slightly grayish-blue tinged grape varietal, hence the name is one of the most popular wines being enjoyed across America! Everyone enjoys a glass of Pinot Grigio! And at a very special luncheon we recently had the honour to attend, we were introduced to Pinot Grigio 2.0 if you will from the historic wine region of Trento, Italy.
The luncheon was hosted by Rachel Woodman, of Woodman Wines and Spirits, who recently took on the exciting portfolio of Gruppo Mezzacorona with a history dating back over 110 years. Gathered at the delectable Italian eatery, Little Anthony’s in Toronto, we were a diverse group of bloggers, sommeliers and media all eager to get this anticipated afternoon underway.
To lead us through the tasting and fill us in on Mezzacorona, dating back to 1904, the wines and a little history was the very charismatic visiting winemaker Lucio Matricardi. Matricardi trained in winemaking and viticulture at the University of Bologna, earned his Ph.D. in viticulture and enology from the University of California at Davis, and has worked at wineries around the globe. We had heard great things about this celebrated winemaker including his approach to his craft and his persona. We were not disappointed!
Under the Gruppo Mezzacorona are three wineries, Rotari located in Trento, being their crown jewel for sparkling wines made in the traditional champagne method, Mezzacorona in Trentino and Stemmari in Sicily.
The luncheon began with an inviting and beautiful glass of the Rotari Brut 2014, delectably rich and full on the palate with notes of green apple, white flowers and a delicate hint of yeast. As it became time to be seated, Rachel made the formal introduction and Lucio Matricardi was at the helm.
We listened intently as Lucio filled us in on Mezzacorona. We learned that Mezzacororna is a wine producing cooperative, located in the north eastern part of Italy in the cool mountainous region of Trentino-Alto Adige. This region produces close to 70% of all the Pinot Grigio made in Italy. Mezzacorona was formed by the joining of two cooperatives in the region, Cantina Siciale started in 1904 and Lena far Viticoltori founded in 1911. Today Mezzacorona is one of the most important and respected cooperatives in all of Italy, with a commitment to the highest quality, respect for the environment and sustainability.
Lucio went on to explain how generations of families have devoted themselves to the cultivation of the grapes, with few having left the region. This, he tells us despite the great challenges grape growing presented at the time.
“The Trentino has always been a very difficult region to live in because it is overshadowed by the mountains (the Dolomites) by about 80% so the cultivable lands were very small and so unprofitable.” “After the war,” Lucio explained “the support of the local government, adopting policies to promote the economic development of the region at least allowed for the families to remain and continue to work their farms.” We learn that the challenge though remained for each individual farmer to commercialize their products abroad. The fragmentation of vineyards and grape production made it impossible. “So the joining together to form a cooperative was the only solution to be able to be stronger and have money to invest in a winery and in a brand. Hence in 1904 the Mezzacorona Company was born and today includes 1600 grape producers and guarantees economic stability generation after generation to the farmers.”
In present day, particularly key to the cooperatives’ success is how a passionate team of 5 agronomists and several oenologists work on a daily basis in close contact with the grape growers for the entire life cycle of the wine, in the vineyards, during harvest and up to the bottling.
Lucio emphasizes that in Trentino Pinot Grigio has been the variety best adapted to the soil of the Adige Valley, that is rich in silt, skeleton and medium level of clay. He also credits the cool climate coming from glaciers surrounding the Adige Valley and the warm temperatures of the day, to allowing for the grapes to produce a superior quality wine in aroma, body and structure.
We enjoyed three Pinot Grigios, one of which is a staple in our market the Mezzacorona 2018 Trentino DOC, a terrific buy! The grapes are hand picked and estate bottled. It is crisp and dry with notes of green apple, peach and white flowers.
Up next was the Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Riserva 2017. We truly enjoyed this Pinot Grigio, with 40% of the wine fermented in stainless steel and 60% in small oak barrels. After 6-8 months of the wine aging in the barrels, that which was fermented in stainless steel is blended with the oak aged and the result is a harmonious and delectable wine with a nose of ripe stone fruit notes and hints of vanilla. A beautiful pairing with two prime course options: a delicious Heirloom Tomato Caprese, made with pickled shallot, Fior di Latte, aged balsamic and fresh basil, and the big hit Shrimp Scampi!
Our final wine selection was the Mezzacorona Castel Firmian Pinot Grigio 2018, Trentino DOC. Also an Award-Winner of a Bronze Medal at the 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition.
From Trento in the north we headed south and enjoyed a trio of red wines from another Italian region, arguably one of the most exciting wine regions today, Sicily!
We must move on as the Stemmari Nero D’Avola and the Hedonis Riserva beckons! We are in Sicily now, where as Lucio tells us Sicilia gives us the “art of Living with the generosity of the sun, of the soil and of the water”. As the Winemaker Lucio is passionate about the wines of Stemmari, exclaiming how Stemmari brings to you a modern wine that can be paired with modern, Mediterranean and continental dishes. “Nero D’Avola is the most historical and noble grape planted here, it is a rich grape, in the glass we find an aroma of raspberry, of strawberry and currant, the palate is multi fragrant and elegant.” Nods all around, yes, this wine does deliver all that!
To our final vino today Stemmari Hedonis Riserva 2015 Sicilia DOC is poured in our glass. The bouquet is seductive, complex with a cornucopia of aromas reminiscent of dried fruits, spices, notes of vanilla and tobacco! On the palate, smooth, soft like velvet with good structure and sublime tannins. Award-Winning 91 Points 2018 Ultimate Wine Challenge, please visit the website for details on vinifcation and oak aging, an amazing wine!
We are served the second course, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. We await upon the verdict from Lucio who after all did train at the University of Bologna. “Fantastico, perfectly al dente!,” Lucio exclaims. We all concur. With Hedonis in our glasses, we continue to enjoy the beautiful wine, our perfecto pasta and spirited conversation into the late afternoon. We thank Rachel for a delightful afternoon, it was truly a great pleasure to meet Lucio, and become more acquainted with Mezzacorona!
If you could like more information on any of the wines please contact Rachel Woodman at www.woodmanwinesandspirits.com
In 1999 Bernard Walsh and his wife Rosemary founded The Hot Irishman Company an innovative Irish Coffee.
The company named changed in 2007 to Walsh Distillery and The Irishman Whiskey was introduced followed by Writers’ Tears in 2009. Working with a small team Bernard has brought his whiskies to 40 nations worldwide, including Canada.Today he has created one of Ireland’s largest independent distilleries. The distillery is unique for being manually operated and for distilling all three styles of Irish Whiskey – pot still, malt and grain- in the same house.
His recent visit to Toronto captivated us with his Irish charm and delightful range of Irish Whiskies available at the LCBO just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day.
If you are lucky you can get them while they are still all available.
Press Luncheon with Bernard Walsh, at the Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Avenue, Toronto.Walsh is the exclusive supplier showcased in an initiative at the LCBO known as the ‘Distillery Feature’ which launched at participating Whisky Shops on February 7, 2019. As support, Walsh has distilled 7 different expressions that were introduced together and available for a limited time
We had the opportunity to host a virtual wine tasting for the Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club. This event replaced their annual Christmas Gala due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although not a “party” in the normal sense of the word, everyone had fun and we tasted some lovely wines. Peter Sharp, from Select Wine Merchants provided some wonderful wines for the members to taste and enjoy, including the Telmo Rodriguez/Blancos de Rueda, the 2019 Basa Rueda DO $ 18.99 from Spain and the Speri / Valpolicella Classico 2019 Valpolicella Classico Valpolicella Classico DOC $ 21.99 from Italy.
Lots of great prizes and games were part of the fun too.
If you are interested in a similar event for your club, restaurant or business, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
This is an edited version of the 1.5 hour event that took place on Dec 4th, 2020 with over 100 participants.
As we continue to offer a venue for new and upcoming wineries and brokers, we also celebrate and support our “old friends” who have supported us along the way. You can always look forward to tasting and learning about wine varietals from regions both close to home and across the world. We hope you can join us as we discover new tastes and revisit old favourites.
The Wine Ladies Events, Soirees, Fundraisers and Simply Super parties!
Please join us for our next up coming event!
You never know when or where our next event will be…. Life is like a box of chocolates…. But one thing is for sure, it will be filled with joy, laugher, great people and fabulous wine and food! Heck, you might even learn something!
Visit this page regularly to not miss out!
Whether practicing yoga in the vineyard, harvesting frozen grapes in the bold cold of January for icewine or stomping grapes in oak barrels, live life large with us!
See some of our past events below. Oh and if you ‘d like us to create an event for you, your company or your brand? We’re here for YOU!
If you are interested in hiring us for your next event whether live or virtual, please email us at email@example.com
E-commerce is definitely here to stay and is the way of the future, being an early adopter, by having your own app before everyone jumps on board is a great position to be in.
We build you:
– A new online ordering system for your website. (Touchless online payments for orders)
– A custom branded iOS & Android App which would function for all locations.
This app FoodMe developed specifically for restaurants is valued at over $250k and took years to develop. The parent company Dine Palace which is purely marketing based, will assist with marketing your ordering platform to our large database of customers.
We are constantly developing and adding new features that are free on the next update. Our team at Dine Palace/FoodMe has over 15 years experience with local restaurants in the GTA.
Our App features:
– Build your own database of customers! You can send custom ‘push marketing notifications’ to every customer that has downloaded your app.
– Save $$ on 3rd party companies charging high commissions. Cut out the middleman with your own branded app.
– Built in Loyalty Rewards Points.
– Receipt printers, printing orders right to the kitchen.
– Live menu updates.
– Custom Delivery Zones with set fees per zone.
– Direct Payment to your bank account on orders.
– Free online ordering.
– 24/7 local support.
– Stop the phone from ringing.
– NO MONTHLY FEE’S!
Check out some of our current clients.
Montfort Mediterranean Cuisine
We’ve got the travel bug and no place to go!
And with so many folks out there having travel plans being foiled due to Covid 19, we thought well…for today’s show our topic is “if you can’t get to the Mediterranean, we’ll bring the Mediterranean to you!
And introduce you to some of the marvels of Mediterranean cuisine, from countries including the likes of the well traveled Spain and France, but also those less well known for their cuisine such as Israel, Egypt and Syria. Each celebrating a few of their very own and unique specialties.
We’ll also touch upon on some of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown folks that follow this style of eating are also more likely to enjoy a longer life than people in other regions.
So joining us today, we bring the Mediterranean to you via the journeys of our guests Rebecca Shoufany Amoury .Rebecca and her husband Jad are the proud owners of Montfort Mediterranean Cuisine, a fabulous restaurant, located in Oakville, Ontario that offers you, the diner a delectably diverse and mouth-watering menu.
Rebecca and Jad each have their own journey that began just north of Israel, knowing and living the traditions of Mediterranean culture first hand for many years. Their journeys eventually led them here to our beautiful country and our beautiful town of Oakville.
We will welcome Rebecca CEO of Montfort Mediterranean Cuisine first, she will fill us in on her story and learn more about the story behind Montfort.
For our second perspective on rosés made in France we turn our attention to the Rhone Valley. Our focus is more specifically the appellation of Ventoux. The Ventoux vineyards actually developed and expanded during the Avignon papacy. This papacy was 1309 -1376. The kings of France drank these wines over the centuries.
Our producer Ogier founded in 1859 is situated in the southern Rhone in the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This literally translates to “new castle of the Pope”. Ventoux is enjoying a positive affect of climate change now due to the warmer climes. They are producing wines of deeper colour and body.
And to close off the show, Yvonne Robinson will join us. Montfort just recently relocated and under the guidance of Yvonne, an Interior Design Consultant for over 25 years, with a love herself of the Mediterranean, Yvonne designed and decorated the new Montfort. Yvonne will share with us the nuances that speak to the Med in her design, truly a job beautifully done.
Our podcast “Taking Life One Sip at a Time” is an radio audio podcast on which we share with the audience our passion and sense of adventure for delectable and fascinating foods, wine, spirits and lifestyle discoveries. Our motto “everything in life somehow comes back to the vine and to live life large and with integrity is intertwined with a variety of guests from around the globe… Chatting with celebrity chefs, celebrity winemakers, exotic food purveyors, artists, musicians, sports personalities, lifestyle advocates and fashion icons be sure to tune in for an hour of lively topical and educational conversation.
On this week’s podcast…
And the country, a long and skinny one with wine regions that span from the north to the south, over 4000 kilometers. Is… ready for this.. Chile. Now at this historic tasting, these wines truly came out on top! Beating out some of the worlds iconic wines including established French classics such as Chateau Lafite, Chateau Margaux and and Italian cult wines including Sassicaia and Tignanello.
Today all the way from Chile, to share with us how this tasting went down that historic January day in 2004, to the surprise of the panel of 36 international judges, no-one really expected this outcome… except possibly our guest… Eduardo Chadwick, the President and Owner of Vina Errazuriz and co-founder with Mondavi of Sena, who’s two wines won top honours! We’ll also explore with Mr. Chadwick how these wines are faring today and the long lasting impact this legendary tasting has had on the wines of Chile today.