Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gastown, Vancouver, BC

So the wife and I decided to spend some time with our favorite cousin & hang out in Gastown... walk the historic streets, stopping in at little coffee-shops, winebars & restaurants and do a little "Food & Wine Tour". Wow. What a great city I live in & what a fantastic way to get to know it a bit better...
When was the last time you toured your city?
-a funky little cafe called the Acme Cafe. Great service - virtually impeccable (and coming from someone in the industry that's a real rarity). The food was utterly delightful. I had a free-run omelette and my wife had the free-run over easy with sausage & grilled peppers. Esthetically pleasing presentation, a more than reasonable amount of food, excellent quality ingredients - we rarely say this as well, but we really can't wait to go back! They make their own pies, cakes, cinnamon buns & even have Pop Shoppe soda pops!
-after a great deal of walking off our fantastic breakfast/brunch, we decided to pop into Pourhouse, which has been written up internationally for it's brilliantly old-school, classic cocktails. I've had the pleasure to meet one of the owners before, Mr Jay Jones, and even followed his blog during the construction of the restaurant. Really great guy - very approachable - and I've enjoyed our chats... Jay certainly knows how to create a hospitable environment. I had a glass of wine with a plate that was written as "slow baked beans with grilled sausage & crispy pork belly". What I ended up getting was a full pasta bowl of beans! I mean seriously, this was enough for 2 grown men after a day working the field... it did go excellently with the wine I chose though.
clean visual;
  • garnet centre
  • cherry brickish rim indicating little age (2007)
  • moderate++ legs indicating 13% alcohol or plus

clean nose; moderate++ intense notes

  • hot alcohol!
  • lots of leathery oak
  • cigar box
  • classical Malbec aromas of blackberry, plum & dark chocolate
  • rich Argentinean terroir: I don't know how to explain that, but when you've had enough Argentinean wine - you know it

clean palate; 0 dryness, moderate+ acids, moderate++ tannin, full- intense flavors of

  • rich and robust Malbec flavors predominate this wine; blackberry, plum, dark chocolate
  • some definite spiciness due to the Shiraz in the blend
  • tannins are chewy, but not as rough as one might expect from so young - this is due in large part to the winemaker and his unique methods (see the article in )

moderate+ body, very hot alcohol (14.5% and you feel it), excellent structure

Great wine. It wasn't until now that I realize this is a 90 to 91 point wine disguised by a $15 to $20 pricetag. Wow! Delightfully rich in flavor, and surprisingly soft in it's tannins for so young, I think this wine drinks well now - but will be superlative in another year or two. It really does love grilled meats and as I said - was delicious with a cassoulet-like dish.

2007 Clos de Los Siete (48% Malbec, 28%Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah)

by Michel Rolland in the Oru Valley, Mendoza, Argentina



Nuba Lebanese Restaurant

-we stopped in here almost by chance... a little restaurant downstairs that has changed hands many times over the past 10 years, it was just begging to have someone snoop around (*grin*). Wonderfully attentive staff, we were inspired immediately by their selection of freshly squeezed juices which anyone in Canada will tell you is far too rare.

My cousin had fresh raspberry juice, which I suppose was good, but couldn't tell because it disappeared so quickly! My own drink was raspberry juice with Flor de Cana rum, pomegranate juice, lemon juice & a sugar rim. Fantastically refreshing, this opened my palate and quenched my thirst... serve this on a hot summer day and I'll order a dozen!

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