Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo product recap

The annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo made its way to the Metro Convention Centre again this month and provided me with two days of enjoyable exploration -- even more than my inaugural visit last year.

I pretty much leave the food to the foodies at these events and focus on beers, liquors and primarily white and sparkling wines that I haven't tried before.

Much to my delight, there were a lot more beers at this year's expo than there was last year. Here's an overview:

Mill Street Doppel Pils
With a seven-per cent alcohol content, this is the strongest Czech-style pilsner in the Canadian market. It's gold in colour, reasonably crisp in taste and is quite decent.

Mill Street Paradise IPA
This one is even stronger at 7.2 per cent and has a floral aroma and a medium hoppiness that makes it quite drinkable.

Nickel Brook Le Paysan Saison
This has a nice bouquet and offers a hint of orange and pineapple mid-taste, a bit of spiciness afterward and a nice finish. It's 5.7 per cent and is a very good, almost elegant, brew made with Amarillo hops that add just the right amount of bite.

Nickel Brook Pumpkin Ale
This is a dark orange/amber-coloured beer, as you'd expect, but doesn't provide much pumpkin bouquet or flavour. The 5.7-per cent brew doesn't have any spiciness or cinnamon either and I found it lacking.

Nickel Brook Bertwell AT Shilling
I don't normally drink a lot of Scotch ales, but enjoyed this wet-hopped version that was made as a single batch experiment. There's a slight citrus element to it and a subtle sweetness that would make the dark amber, five-per cent brew a nice dessert beer. It's made from hops only available in Ontario, so it's recommended for locavores.

Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout
This black, 8.5-per cent, 65-IBU stout is aged in bourbon and pinot noir barrels and the roasted malt bears traces of chocolate and coffee flavours. I'd recommend this as a good bedtime beer.

Beau's And Boom Gose The Dynamite
This excellent unfiltered beer is brewed with sea salt and coriander that gives it an interesting sweet and sour appeal. There's a strong citrus bouquet and grapefruit taste in this straw-coloured, 4.6-per cent beer.

Beau's Dark Helmut
This 7.3-per cent German black lager has the definite roasted coffee and chocolate elements of a stout along with the crispness of a lager. It's a combination that works well.

Spearhead Moroccan Brown Ale
This has a mildly fruity bouquet and is brewed with dates, figs, raisins and cinnamon. It's unfiltered and offers a nice blend of hops and fruit. I'm usually not a big brown ale guy, but this six-per cent brew is really good.

Spearhead Belgian Stout
This unfiltered, six-per cent stout is brewed with Demerara sugar, orange curacao peel, coriander and Trappist ale yeast, and its flavour offers a mix of coffee and fruit.

Creemore Mad and Noisy
This is dark copper in colour and pours with a nice head. It's solidly hoppy and I like it.

Granville Island Hefeweizen
There's coriander in the ingredients and the flavour profile is banana and cloves. It has five-per cent alcohol and is one of my favourite Granville Island beers.

Granville Island Winter Ale
This dark amber, 5.5-per cent beer has a vanilla aroma and chocolate and vanilla flavours that complement each other well. It's very good.

Lake of Bays Crosswind Pale Ale
There's a bit of hoppiness in this ale, which has mild pear and apple elements. This five-per cent beer is solid but not exceptional.

Rickard's Oakhouse Winter Lager
This 5.5-per cent, oak-aged beer came out this month and will be available until the spring. The oak comes through and adds a hint of smokiness and vanilla, but I wasn't particularly impressed.

Railway City Black Coal Stout
This six-per cent offering pours black with a nice head and is on the bitter side of stouts, but is okay.

Railway City Honey Elixir
This St. Thomas, Ont. brewery (which is moving into a larger space) makes this 5.5-per cent lager with local honey, but it's not too sweet like I find some honey beers.

Wine was in the title of this show, so of course I had to enjoy my share. This isn't all of them, but a cross-section:

Anselmi San Vincenzo 2011
You can't drink a fresher white wine, as the process used to make it ensures that oxygen only gets into it once you uncap it. This extra dry white will appeal to Soave fans, and the well-bodied 12.7-per cent alcohol wine offers a vague pineapple bouquet. It sells for $14.95 at the LCBO.

Amalya Torrontes-Riesling
This extra dry, pale-coloured Argentinian riesling has peach and pear aromas, and the pear also comes through in the flavour of this nice 13.5-per cent product that retails for $10.95 at the LCBO.

Santa Margherita Prosecco
This sparkling wine is dry and not too sweet. It has 11.5 per cent alcohol and sells for $17.95 at the LCBO. It's okay, but nothing exceptional.

Cave Spring Riesling Dry
There's a slight sweetness to the finish of this very good VQA wine. It's pale yellow with hints of grapefruit and pineapple on the nose. It has 11.5-per cent alcohol and retails for $14.95 at the LCBO.

Open Sociable Sparkling VQA
There are apple and citrus aromas and a touch of sweetness to the flavour, which bears traces of apple and pear. It's refreshingly off-dry and has 12.7-per cent alcohol. This Ontario wine sells for $13.95 at the LCBO.

Muscedere 2011 Riesling
This is only available for $16 at the winery, near the southern tip of Canada just west of Leamington, Ont. It's a light-bodied, semi-dry white that wasn't particularly exciting.

Muscedere 2011 Rose
This light-bodied, off-dry wine is slightly sweeter than the Riesling and sells for $14 at the winery.

Dreissigacker Riesling
This 11.5-per cent wine comes from a Rheinhessen, Germany winery that doesn't have its products available in Canada yet, which is a shame because it has a full body and a citrus flavour with a nice finish.

Dreissigacker Bechtheimer Riesling
This is supposed to be a step up from the previous wine, and while it has 0.5-per cent more alcohol and a mellower character, I prefer the entry level version.

Yalumba Y Series Riesling
This pale straw-coloured, extra dry wine comes from Australia's oldest family-owned vineyard and is light-bodied with a grapefruit bouquet and flavour. It has a higher acidity and 11 per cent alcohol. It retails for $15.10 at the LCBO.

Hinterbrook Riesling
This medium-sweet product from an 18-month-old Niagara on the Lake, Ont. winery has a lemon aroma and a flavour that bears notes of apple, which adds a crispness to its finish. It sells for $18 at the winery.

Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc VQA
This Niagara region winery makes my favourite Ontario riesling, which I prefer over this light, crisp and extra dry wine that has 12.5 per cent alcohol and retails for $14.95 at the LCBO.

Trumpour's Mill 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling
The name describes an aspect of this wine, which has a combination floral and citrus bouquet and some peach in its flavour before a clean finish. The LCBO sells it for $14.95.

Pelee Island Moscato
This fruity, medium dry Ontario wine is pale pink and medium-bodied with notes of melon and citrus. It has 12 per cent alcohol and retails for $9.95 at the LCBO.

Muskoka Lakes Georgian Bay Rose QC
This seasonal Ontario wine is made with apples and cranberries and is quite refeshing. It has 12.5 per cent alcohol and sells for $16.95 at the LCBO.

Muskoka Lakes Cranberry Blueberry Wine
This is a very good, 11-per cent alcohol, off-dry table wine that's nicely balanced with the two titular fruits. It also goes for $16.95 at the LCBO.

Aveleda Fonte Vinho Verde
This light and crisp wine is pale yellow with pear, apple and citrus aromas and flavours. It's easy on your head and your wallet with 8.5 per cent alcohol and an $8.95 price tag.

I also tried several liquors and liqueurs, including:

Tequila Tromba
This tequila has been in Canada for seven months and is made with 100-per cent agave that comes from the highest elevation of any tequila in the world. It's sweet and slightly citrus and is an easy-drinking, 36-per cent tequila that sells for $49.95 at the LCBO.

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This bourbon is made from corn, rye and barley malt and is aged eight years in oak barrels. There's vanilla in the nose and it has a complex but pleasing flavour that includes vanilla and toffee.

Crazy Uncle Blood Orange Rosemary Maple Punch

This is new to the LCBO, where you can purchase a litre-sized jug for $17.95. It's all natural, 14-per cent alcohol and reminds me of a mulled wine.

Mathilde Pear Liqueur
I was told that this is a big favourite of Kim Kardashian. It has 18 per cent alcohol content, but smells stronger than that. Luckily, the taste is milder and on the sweet side. It's made from French pears with no additives or preservatives.

Xante Pear & Cognac Liqueur

There's a subtle hint of vanilla and oak in this more rich offering, which is 17 per cent alcohol and has a bright harvest yellow colour.

Tequila Rose
This is an interesting combination of strawberry cream liqueur and tequila that's sweet and tasty and would make a nice addition to desserts or sipped on its own over ice.

Tag No. 5 Vodka
This 40-per cent alcohol, gluten-free vodka is made with corn in Oakville, Ont. It's distilled four times and filtered five times to produce a smooth flavour that I enjoyed both on its own and mixed with pineapple juice.


Anonymous said...

Good way of explaining, and nice article to take data on
the topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to present in school.

Also visit my web-site :: studio reklamy

Anonymous said...

I will right awаy seize youг rss feed as
ӏ cаn not in finding уοur email subscription link or e-nеwѕlettег servіce.

Do you've any? Please permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

Have a look at my homepage :: 6:52 PM

Anonymous said...

Fantаstic beat ! I wiѕh to aрprentiсe whіle you amend уοur web ѕitе, hοw coulԁ i subsсribe for а blog wеbsite?
Thе aсcount hеlрed me а acceptable deal.
I hаd been a lіttle bit acquainted of thiѕ yοur
brοаdcast οfferеd bright clеaг сoncept

Check out my webѕіtе Cheap Hotels within Portugal

Anonymous said...

Quality аrtіcles oг гeviews іs the sеcret to attract
the users to pay а visit the web site, that's what this web site is providing.

my website ... Japanese Adore Inns

Anonymous said...

hi!,I lοve your writing so so muсh! percentage we keep in touch extra about yοur article on AOL?
I геquiге an expert on this spаce to solve
my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking ahead to peer you.

my web site - Japanese Enjoy Lodges
My website: Japanese Love Resorts

Anonymous said...

Great beat ! Ι wοuld like to aρprеntiсe at the ѕаme time
as you amenԁ your wеb sіte, how can
i subscribe for a weblog ωebsitе?
The account helped me a аpplicable
deаl. I werе tiny bit familiar of thiѕ
your broadcaѕt offeгed viνіd transparent concept

Μy web blog Thailand Phuket Accommodations

Anonymous said...

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.
I am trying to find things to improve my website!

I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!

my blog :: airplane games

Anonymous said...

Ιts like уou read my mind! You seem to know ѕo much
about this, like you wгotе the bоok in it οr something.
I think that you сan do with some pics to drive thе mesѕagе
home a bit, but instead of thаt, this is
exсellent blog. An еxcellent read. I'll certainly be back.

Visit my homepage: Some Exclusive Hotels Around the globe

Anonymous said...

Hello, i thіnk that i saw уоu visited my website
thus i came to “return the favοr”.I'm attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

my weblog evaluate lowest priced hotel fees

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your ρersonal maгvelοuѕ pοѕting!

I ceгtaіnlу enјoyed reading it, уou may be а gгeat author.
I will ensuгe that I bookmark your blog and dеfinitely ωill come
back later on. I ωant to encouгage cοntіnue youг greаt
job, hаve a nice holiday weekend!

Take a loоk at my sіte :: Thinking about Examine Hotels Rates?

Anonymous said...

Its such as you rеad mу mіnԁ! Υou sеem to graѕp so much apρгoximatelу thiѕ, ѕuch as yоu
wrote the e-book in it or something. Ι fеel that you juѕt can ԁo with some % to power the message home a bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I'll definitely be back.

my webpage ... Rome Italy Accommodations

Anonymous said...

I am regular visitoг, hоw аre you everybody?
This article pοsted at this site іs in fact nice.

my blog :: Http://

Anonymous said...

I visiteԁ multіple ωeb pageѕ but the аuԁiο feature for auԁio songs curгеnt
аt thiѕ web page is tгuly eхcellеnt.

Also νisit my wеblog Discount Brand-new Orleans Motels

Anonymous said...

Ι alwауѕ emailеd thіs
wеbρagе post page to all my associates, beсausе if likе to read it aftеrward my lіnκs will too.

my wеb site ... Website

Anonymous said...

Hey I know thіs iѕ off topіc but Ι ωas ωondeгіng іf you knew of any widgеts I
could add to my blog that аutomatiсallу tweеt my newest twіttег updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Feel free to surf to my web site ::

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading
your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the
same topics? Thanks a lot!

Here is my website:

Anonymous said...

Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together.
I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting.
But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Also visit my website; acoustic guitar chords for beginners

Anonymous said...

Hello mates, hoω is the whole thing, and what you would like to
say гegarding this artiсle, in my view its in faсt
awesome in favor of me.

Here is my web-site Discounted Accommodations Record : Examine Accommodations Costs

Anonymous said...

I coulԁ nοt refrain fгom commenting. Eхcеptionally well ωritten!

Also vіsit my blog post :: adonis-phuket.Com

Anonymous said...

Ι'm extremely inspired along with your writing talents and also with the layout to your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it'ѕ uncommon
to seе a great weblοg lіke thiѕ one todaу.

Feel free tο visit my blog post - Greater london Motel Booking *

Anonymous said...

Εxcellent bеat ! Ι would like tо apρrentiсе eνen аѕ yоu amend
your websitе, hοw could i subscгibе foг a blog ωebsіte?
Thе асcount aiԁеd me a apрlicable deal.
I ωere а little bit familiаr of this your broadcast offеrеd brillіаnt cleaг ideа

Look at my web blog - Strategy Your current Buying Remain in Dubai Resorts Close to Buying Center

Anonymous said...

Good ρost. I learn somеthіng totallу new аnd challеnging οn ѕiteѕ I stumbleupоn
everу day. It will аlwaуs be helpful to read contеnt from otheг authoгs and ρractіce
а little something from other webѕitеs.

Feеl frеe to ѕurf tо mу
web blog; Some Special Hotels Worldwide

Anonymous said...

Ι knοω this ѕite gives quаlity
depending postѕ anԁ eхtгa ѕtuff, is theгe
any other site which givеs suсh things in quаlitу?

Also vіѕit my blοg; diamondlinks review

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I rеally belіeѵe that this web site needѕ much more
attеntіon. I'll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!

Take a look at my blog post: Lodge Discounted (Hotels_Discount) on Tweets

Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking over
your web page yet again.

Feel free to visit my web page ... natural
anti inflammatory for dogs; ,

Anonymous said...

If you are passionate about a subject you will find it easier to motivate yourself on those down days
(which you will have), and you will also feel comfortable with the subject as you will probably know
a lot about it already. Care must be taken to do proper research in order for you to ascertain how much the average rates in your area of residence are.

According to census bureau, there are about eleven million moms who stay at home
in America alone.

Review my web blog ... stay at home mom jobs