Try a Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail for something different

Try a Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail for something different

Craving something different for apres than the “usual” Irish Coffee? Why not give this tasty treat a try; Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail.

4c milk (whole milk makes it creamier!),
1/4c Pure Maple Syrup 🍁,
1/2 tsp nutmeg,
2/3c Irish Cream Liqueur,
1/3c Bourbon,
2 tsp Vanilla.

In a saucepan, combine milk, syrup, and nutmeg. Once hot, remove and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy! #whistler #apres #drinkoncitizen #dontgothirsty #littlethingswhistler

To Capture a Moment…

To Capture a Moment…

We often use wine to make an occasion special, to make a toast, or to celebrate someone or something, and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy that which wine has to offer.  Today though, I consider the wine itself to be the moment.  The simple pleasure of the sip can be the occasion; it’s that moment when the wine offers the flavour, the comfort, or the refreshment you’re looking for.  Today, that wine is the Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir.  Now I know it sounds like a repetitive name but the significance is that the Shea Vineyard (where many of Oregon’s top Pinot’s come from) is the property of Shea Wine Cellars, so while they sell a large portion of fruit from Shea, they keep their favourite bunches for their own wines and it is spectacular! The moment holds aromas and flavours of sweet spices, floral musk, raspberry, sweet beets, stewed strawberry, earth, hints of candied berries, and tangy cherry. The wonderfully balanced acidity and structure keep the wine elegant and focused with a persistent finish that showcases the well integrated fruit. It’s a perfect wine for an autumn moment.

~ MK

The Little James Basket Press

In my wine experience, I have what I like to call ‘wishlist wines’.  These are wines I admire from afar; wines that are often impossible to find or impossible to afford.  Some people say it is better not to meet your heroes, and so perhaps it is best to keep the dream wines a fantasy we can admire in books, magazines or on extravagant wine lists.  Now the flipside to the coin is what I like to refer to as ‘workhorse wines’.  While the term does not conjure up a very romantic image, it describes wines that I can take pleasure in on a regular basis.  Wines that are approachable at a relatively young age, and have appeal both as a wine to enjoy by the glass as well as being suitably food-friendly.  One such wine, that both my wife Rachel and I count amongst our favourites, is the Chateau St. Cosme Little James Basket Press Grenache.

Particularly appropriate as Grenache is one of my favourite red wine grapes for winter drinking, the Little James is a fantastic wine made by Chateau St. Cosme in Gigondas.  It is produced in a solera style, which in this case means it is made up of 50% current vintage wine blended with a combination of the previous 10 vintages.  This fractional blending gives the wine a very consistent, approachable style that offers wonderful complexity.  On the nose you will find subtle earthy hints, dried red and black berry fruits, vanilla and sweet herbal notes.  The palate is dry and medium full bodied with rich mouthfeel, balanced structure and layered black fruits, prune, cocoa powder and slightly nutty spice notes, with a very smooth lingering finish.  Terrific to have on its own, or with a variety of firm cheeses, grilled meat, cassoulet or shepherd’s pie.  Put your feet up and enjoy!

"Great Grigio"

What’s in a name?  Well sense of identity I suppose; and with wines and grapes it is as applicable as with any other thing.  We, in North America, remain quite varietally focused with our wines.  We tend to gravitate towards wines named for the grape or grapes that they are produced from, and perhaps that is part of the success of Pinot Grigio.  I think people like to say the name, and it sounds exotic enough yet seems familiar enough that it isn’t intimidating.  Plus let’s face it… it’s not chardonnay, and for many wine drinkers that fact alone is enough to attract attention.

So, whether you like to say Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, you are talking about the same grape.  Different countries and different producers will result in differing styles, but ultimately it’s the same grape.  It tends to be light and crisp, with delicate aromatics, and slightly leaner structure than its cousins Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, and has an affinity towards lighter fare and seafood, or simply makes a refreshing companion to more intensely flavoured dishes.  A few that I am fond of are as follows:

Villa Chiopris Pinot Grigio – lean and mineral style with subtle citrus and straw notes, and crisp acidity.

Lagaria Pinot Grigio – slightly more modern version with a touch more fruit intensity on the nose and palate with citrus and floral notes and balanced acidity.

Zenato Pinot Grigio – classic lean and crisp, with a slightly richer mouth feel, balanced by white citrus, hints of minerality, and juicy acidity.

Fasoli Gino Pinot Grigio – an Italian beauty, with layered white fruit and citrus character, very slight herbaceous hints, balanced mineral and crisp acidity.



Michael Kompass