Archive for the Wines Category

the invasion of the American cheeses

Posted in Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by xi'an

Part of the new Nafta agreement between the USA and its neighbours, Canada and Mexico, is lifting restrictions on the export of American cheeses to these countries. Having tasted high quality cheeses from Québec on my last visit to Montréal, and having yet to find similar performances in a US cheese, I looked at the list of cheese involved in the agreement, only to discover a collection of European cheese that should be protected by AOC rules under EU regulations (and only attributed to cheeses produced in the original regions):

Brie [de Meaux or de Melun?]
Burrata [di Andria?]
Camembert [missing the de Normandie to be AOC]
Coulommiers [actually not AOC!]
Emmenthal [which should be AOC Emmentaler Switzerland!]
Pecorino [all five Italian varieties being PDO]
Provolone [both Italian versions being PDO]

Plus another imposition that British Columbia wines be no longer segregated from US wines in British Columbia! Which sounds somewhat absurd if wine like those from (BC) Okanagan Valley or (Washington) Walla Walla is to be enjoyed with some more subtlety than diet cokeOwning a winery apparently does not necessarily require such subtlety!

Grès de Montpellier [Mas de Lunès]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , on September 20, 2018 by xi'an

absurd graph [if relevant warning]

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Wines with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2018 by xi'an

A pretty silly graph opposing countries with an overwhelming majority of non-Muslims and countries with an overwhelming majority of Muslims in terms of alcohol consumption. Surprise, surprise! And not incorporating the average amount or anything useful… In a Guardian article reporting on a Lancet paper about the lack of health benefit from drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol. Although, as pointed out by David Spiegelhalter at the bottom of the article, an increased risk of 0.5% associated with one unit of alcohol a day [half a pint]  , as opposed to 7% for two units [a pint!], should not get occasional drinkers too worried:  “Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention.”

Pic Saint Loup [Clos Marie]

Posted in Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2018 by xi'an

unusual clouds [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2018 by xi'an

Arbois [Domaine de la Borde]

Posted in pictures, Wines with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by xi'an

miei primi cannoli

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by xi'an

Cannoli are among my favourite pastries and one of the first things I try to eat while in Italy (if never in Sicily)… (Or in Boston!) Especially since they cannot travel. Hence, when my wife brought me cannoli baking tubs from Venezia, I took the hint and did not wait many days to make a first attempt at baking my own cannoli. Preparing the dough takes a little while, although it does not much differ from a rich shortcrust pastry (with a wee bit of Sicilian sweet wine). But baking the tubes is not that complicated, thanks to the tubes, and they remain crusty for several days, while mastering the ricotta cheese filling will require many attempts before reaching the right consistency… The more attempts the better!!!