Yikes. I'd like to blame the move (and the pregnancy, and working from home, and Doodle's strep throat, and three floods in our house) but really, there's no excuse. So, what HAVE I been doing all this time?
Our first non-family dinner guests at the new house brought over a bottle of Aufkellereien Tafelwein, a refreshing and delicious non-vintage German white in a luminous blue bottle. Floral nose with hints of melon and pear; off-dry, with crisp acidity and fresh fruit. Good patio/summer wine, great with a variety of foods. We tried it out first with a mix of sausages on the Q; today it was paired with beer-can chicken. All the characteristics of a riesling/gewurz blend, but I'm having a heck of a time finding any information on it. Keep you posted ... I *must* get more.
Hubby spent a weekend with the boys in Niagara Falls, but paused in the debauchery long enough to stop in at some choice wineries around NOTL. He came back with two loaded cases mixed with Daniel Lenko reds and whites; Calamus Pinot Gris; Rancourt Noble Blanc; a rare 2003 Maleta Meritage (along with two rosés they just released - and he doesn't even DRINK rosé, so you can bet it's gonna be tasty); and some Southbrook Cabernet Merlot. Wine wOOt! We're stocked up for summer. Now we just need to get a patio set and we're golden.
During that weekend, dear Mum and Da come up to help the preggo with odd jobs around the house, including several loads of laundry, babysitting while I napped, and an absolutely stellar plumbing job on the laundry sink (in order to avoid another of the aforementioned floods we've had. Don't even ask.) So I did up a batch of souvlaki to thank them: big chunks of pork tenderloin marinated in Henry of Pelham Baco Noir, oregano, garlic, mint and other good stuff. Recipe calls for a minimum steeping time of three hours, but that tenderloin had soaked up plenty of that wine-y goodness in just an hour. Rave reviews. There's a reason why Pelham is one of the best Canadian producers of Baco Noir (and they have the bling to back it up, too.)
Steak night called for something with a bit of oomph, so I grabbed a Jackson-Triggs Meritage out of the cellar (and was horrified to discover all my bottles were sweating with condensation. Time for a dehumidifier ...) It had a promising start, with a spicy, meaty nose full of green pepper and black peppercorn. But the palate left a lot to be desired, with a bitter, tarry finish reminiscent of motor oil. Ah well, can't have a winner every time ...
PS: I'm a big fan of the LCBO's recent marketing tool, a wine and food pairing guide that takes all the guesswork out of the process. The recipes look fantastic, and the pairings are simple and straightforward (although it features a lot of the usual suspects from the general listing. Not that they're bad, but I'm sure there are other, more interesting choices out there. Preferably Canadian ones.)
So THAT'S what I've been up to ... in between naps. More to come, I guarantee, sooner rather than later next time!