Archive | April, 2014

Weekly Wine – Chenin Blanc

30 Apr


KVW Chenin Blanc
South Africa
12% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)

This wine was an experiment, of sorts. My very significant other usually questions my obsession with the sub ten dollar wine world.
I had bought a rather more expensive wine to sample and it did not really suit us. So I opened this one.
Didn’t do it either.
So the score is really 0-0.

The wine is sour. The sourness hits early and sticks around to remind you that it is sour. The wine was chilled but obviously not enough. We put it in the fridge and go it down to refrigerator temperature. The wine was okay, but not spectacular. The sourness was gone because of the cold. When the glass was out for five minutes and the temperature rose a few degrees the sourness returned.
Lime many inexpensive white wines, this will be nice for making spritzers in the summer.
I’ll pass.

An evening in Paris

28 Apr

It was my first day in Paris. Technically my first evening. The first few hours. I found myself in a cafe in the Louvre. Statues behind me and a moon hovering over the Eiffel Tower. What more could one ask for?
Oh, the coffee was really good. As if that mattered.
This image was taken hand held with a long exposure.


Weekly Vinyl – Japanese Sketches

25 Apr

Japanese Sketches
Dorothy Guyver Britton
I’m not sure why I have this album.
Did I get it from my parent’s collection? I don’t think so. Immigrant parents tended to stick to their own mournful songs – although my mom loved Nana Mouskouri.
Who wouldn’t…

But this is a bizarre album. The music sounds like a cliché of what Japanese music should sound like.
I read the liner notes and I now understand the music.
The music was written by an English composer, Dorothy Guyver Britton, that lived in Japan until she was 13.She left before the war and returned after.
It is Japanese music for western sensibilities. We have all heard this music when watching a movie and a sinister Japanese character comes onto the screen.
If you see this in the record bin of a local Goodwill or Salvation Army, don’t buy it.

Weekly Wine – Gray Fox

23 Apr

SONY DSCGray Fox Merlot
12.5% ABV
$8.25 (LCBO)

It is quite astounding that I keep on finding wines for under 10 bucks. I thought I would have run out of wines and would have to go up to 11, or just review the same old wines but with a different year.
Here’s another American wine. A good Californian wine.
How good?
A friend who is skeptical of low cost wines gave this wine an uncomplementary look before trying it and then said, “Hey, it’s not bad.” The wine even got a bit better after breathing a bit according to them.
The wine is harsh around its edges. The sulphites are definitely a presence in this wine but they do not get in the way of the wines light and subtle flavour.

Painted Truck

20 Apr


When I see these trucks I frequently wonder if the owners appreciate the “colour enhancements” or are they upset.

Weekly Vinyl – Grace Jones

18 Apr


Living My Life
Grace Jones
As I pulled this album out of the stack my eyes did a brief roll around in my skull.
Grace Jones. The image that flashed in my inverted eyes was her in that James Bond flick with Roger Moore and Christopher Walken. Not the image you want in your head.
But wow. What an album. The only way you would know that this album is over two decades old is because the beat is rather leisurely. Not as frenetic as you have it now.
This album is full of relevant and poignant songs.

The lyrics are great. The music is great.
After listening to both sides twice, I realised why I have it. It is a must have album.


Weekly Wine – Eclipse

16 Apr

SONY DSCBosco Montepulciano D’Abruzzo D.O.P.
12.5% ABV
$7.60 (LCBO)

I rarely look at the back label before opening a bottle of wine.
I did for this bottle because I wanted to see how much alcohol was in it. What caught my eye was the name of the company – Bosco Nestore & C. A fellow Nestor. How wonderful. I was really looking forward to this wine.
At $7.60 it is one of the cheapest bottles I have ever purchased at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). I should not have had high hopes based on a doppelganger name.
The flavours gushed in all at once – watery, fruity, sour. The after flavour is sour. It lingers in your mouth. It stays there like an unwanted guest, for way too long.
I chased the taste out with some good aged Appenzeller cheese. All was well and I could continue tasting.
This is an inexpensive wine and there is no hiding it. It will works well with flavourful heavy food. The sour flavour might make a nice addition to a spaghetti sauce after all.


13 Apr


This is a very nice wall in the preserved part of Ottawa’s Byward market. All around are cafes and restaurants. It is a very nice setting.

Weekly Vinyl – Wish You Were Here

11 Apr


Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd

In reality what is there to say or write about this album.
One can argue about how good it is compared to other Pink Floyd albums.
One can whine, as many do, about the self-indulgent nature of the music. It is Pink Floyd. You are listening to it because it is self-indulgent.
I know. Even though I had a legit copy of this album, I bought a bootleg copy of this album. It was made by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Russia. I know this because they put a copyright symbol on the cover. They claim a copyright of 1991 for the album.
The cover is similar to the original but much different.
It is a bad copy. I bought it because I could.
The album is lush, thoughtful, introspective and yes, self-indulgent. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest you find it and have a listen.
It will do you good.

The pictures at the top are of the original album – front and back.
Below is the offending copy.


Weekly Wine – Alianca

9 Apr

SONY DSCAlianca Bairrada Reserva Sangalhos
14% ABV
$8.85 (LCBO)

I’m drinking this wine while busy with other work.
Naturally, I am distracted. Male humans are not the best mulitaskers and they this skill/gift deteriorates once the age gets north of 30. That’s when I noticed it going.
I’m sipping this wine and I’m not really noticing it. Is it because it is generic? Is it because it lacks any personality? Does it have a flavour?
These thoughts strike me and I have a seat.
I taste the wine.
There is flavour. It is not overbearing. It is light but with presence. There is a bit of bite – it is not sulphites. The bite is pleasant.
The wine is pleasant.
There is a bit of an after taste but it only comes around to signal that you need another sip of this fine wine.