There's a new big cheese in town.Actually, there are two. Jonah and Andrew Benton have opened three Benton Brothers Fine Cheese stores in Vancouver in the last five years...
I was in my local market the other day, checking out the cheese — as I always do — when something caught my eye on the package of Comox Brie: a gold medal. A cheese gold medal.
Cheese tastes best when eaten close to home. Shipping cheese adds a hefty price to the bottom line while subtracting a certain amount of flavour.
Laughing Stock 2010 SyrahSyrah is B.C.’s new darling. No surprise considering this Côte Rotie-inspired drop (with six per cent Viognier) that blends elegance and plushness with a firmly structured meaty centre.
I didn't start off being a cheese expert. In fact, a year ago I knew virtually nothing about cheese other than it came in three types...
Lighthouse Deckhand Belgian Saison...A truly “serious” beer
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir 2009 ... It’s tough to find decent Pinot for under $20, and properly aged at that. All the more reason why this approachable but structured strawberry- and raspberry-toned drop with well-balanced oak over-delivers for the money. $19.99 BCLS and VQA stores.
Mission Hill Reserve Riesling 2011 ... Riesling is proving to be a star of B.C.'s 2011 vintage and this is no exception. Citrus and tropical on the nose, followed by juicy acidity, citrus and apple and a wicked mineral streak. Good for sipping or lightly spiced Asian plates. $19 to $21 VQA and private stores.
Leyda Pinot Noir 2011...Chilean coastal Pinot continues to shine. This one sports more earthy and mineral notes than the previous (highly rated) vintage, wrapped in cherry notes with firm acidity. It’s an absolute deal at B.C. Liquor Stores, $16.99. (89 points)
Wild Goose Pinot Gris 2011 ... Another winner from the Goose. Apple and stonefruit with pear overtones. Broad but clean on the palate with a crisp close. Pair it with anything summer. $17.99 at B.C. Liquor Stores.
Gray Monk Brut Rosé. There’s a slew of good rosés out there but here’s one of the best that also happens to coincide with a triple crown of important Gray Monk anniversaries, including 40 years since planting. Pretty salmon bubbles, immense rhubarb notes, pristine Gamay and Pinot Meunier fruit and a clean, dry finish. At $19.99 BCLS, where do we sign?
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2011 From B.C.’s first carbon-neutral winery, comes Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2011. Clean citrus, tropical and pear notes, easy sipping with a little added texture this year from malolactic stainless steel fermentation. $18 to $20 VQA and private stores.
Langa Real de Aragon Cava Brut ... Here's a crisp, well textured apple and slightly brioche-toned Spanish bubble that won't break the bank. $14.99 at B.C. Liquor Stores.
When it comes to buying wine, are you a creature of habit—either because you know what you like or feel there’s too much risk heading into unfamiliar territory?
Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2010 ... Classic apricot and floral notes with a generous, clean palate and a lengthy end. Think grilled chicken with apple and tangerine salad.
Wild Goose Pinot Gris 2010 ... Tuck this refreshing and clean finishing apple, pear and mineral-toned Gris into the fridge the next time you’re having anything from grilled chicken to pork. Goes great with company, too. BCLS $17.99.
Suffice to say, we've met more than our share of "star" chefs. But few have resonated with us as much as Mark McEwan, who breezed through town recently to promote his new book celebrating his latest Toronto restaurant of the same name, Fabbrica.