Archive | May, 2017

Weekly Wine –Quotidien

31 May

Year: NA
1000 ml
10.5% ABV
$7.99 (Quebec grocery store)

This wine comes in a very dubious looking tetra-pack. There are farmers picking grapes on the label. There is a wine bottle – a wine glass.
And yet – when I first saw this package, and even now, I think that this is a chicken broth package.
But it is not chicken broth and remarkably the wine is not bad.
It is quite passable – light, fruity and slightly acidic.
This is not really a table wine. It is not just the tetra-pack or the image on the front. The wine is fine – as I mentioned. The wine is quite uninteresting. The fruitiness is unremarkable and rather generic. It will make a fine wine for a picnic. Or camping. Or the beach. Or even just chilling on the deck.
This is the first passable cheap Quebec wine that I found.

Planting raspberries

29 May

Victoria Day has come and gone.
Memorial day is today.
This means – the start of summer and planting season in the North-East part of North America.
The garden centers are packed with people buying more stuff than they actually need for their gardens.
I was on the lookout for Raspberry bushes.
Mine got destroyed when a neighbor replaced the fence in the back last fall.
The raspberry bushes on sale looked rather weak and pathetic – they retailed for about 25 bucks per bush. This is a bit dear and over the top in my opinion.
The funny thing about plants and seeds and nature in general is that it has a way of regenerating itself. I had stuck a few twigs of my ruined raspberry bushes in the ground late last fall and after coming home from the garden center empty handed I checked out the twigs.
They were starting to sprout.
Sure – I might not have raspberries from these bushes this year but I can buy many raspberries for the price of that one bush for the one year. The raspberries will be fine next year.
My philosophy of gardening is that I do this to have fun and watch things grow. I am not doing this to stave off starvation.
Three out of the five twigs that I stuck in the ground are growing – so it seems. The bushes are coming along fine. I am content.

Footprints in concrete

28 May

At a construction site this should not happen.
The freshly poured concrete must have a barrier to prevent people from leaving their mark.
Footprints in concrete happen quite frequently and must be repaired at considerable toil and expense.

Weekly Vinyl – Jean-Luc Ponty

26 May

Jean-Luc Ponty

I bought this album used back in the early 1980s when I was trying to make sense out of the years I was studying violin.
I never really wanted to play the violin – I wanted to play guitar. But as a child I was overruled.
This album introduced me to the fact that the violin can be more than an instrument for classical music or folk dirges. It can be quite cool. It also introduced me to the world of jazz and improvisational music.
I like this album. The violin playing by Mr. Ponty is quite incredible. The band is rock solid in backing this violin virtuoso.
I have not heard this album for many years and I’m glad I pulled it out and gave it a good listen.
I should pull my violin out and start playing that as well.

Weekly Wine – Dauphins

24 May

Cellier Des Dauphins Carte Noire Cdr AOC
13% ABV
$10.00 (LCBO)

This is nice.
The first taste is like whoa! It ain’t right. You are expecting something different. Something worse.
But here it is – French wine that is exactly ten bucks Canadian and the label looks like it cots way more.
And it tastes real nice.
It looks good in a glass – in a crystal wine glass or in the kids glass that I use that has a picture of a lion on it. The colour is a nice maroon deep red.
The flavour is bold with berries and a bit of spice that is hard to pin down. That little bit of spice that makes living so nice. It is a fine wine – in fact one of the better ones that I’ve had in these reviews. It is a 2013 vintage so that actually makes it fairly well aged for the wines in this lowdown category. Wines under ten bucks tend to be a year old. This one has nearly four years behind it.
Is it a lost wine from the mythical French wine lake that is being sold of cheaply in the new world? If so they can get more than a simple sawbuck for this wine.
Get this wine before it is gone.

Sad Jag

22 May

I was walking on a street a day or two ago.
I did not have my camera.
I did not have my phone – with a camera.
I saw a fancy car.
A very nice car.
A Jaguar in fact.
It was an X-Type. Perhaps 10 or even 15-year old.
But it still looked elegant.
It still had class.
Except for the packing tape on the roof, plugging the leaky sunroof.
Shades of duct tape on old convertible British sportscars.
But that looked natural.
This … was a travesty – packing tape sealing an elegant Jag.
I wish I had a camera.

Wrong Wires

21 May

In a renovation job, you never know what you will find when the walls come down.
This is what supplied electricity to a refrigirator for many years.

19 May

Weekly Vinyl – Ramones

Rocket to Russia

Rocket to Russia.
Appropriate given the times we live in.
But that’s not what this album is about.
It is about the exhilaration of being unencumbered by pre-set notions.
This is bubble-gum pop dressed up as anti-establishment propaganda.
It is all this.
And more.
Rocket to Russia is a definitive album that everybody should have. Everybody at least should listen to this album as a complete entity. Don’t listen to just the “hits”.
I’m not gonna list them out. Every song is a gem. A short piercing gem.
Listen to the whole album.

Weekly Wine – Alta Pinot

17 May

Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio
12.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This is a more expensive cheap wine.
Is it good?
Yes, it is good. A little acidic and a little fruity. Quite dry and a little tart. There is a little bite to it that makes you take notice. There are no off flavours. There is nasty after taste. Yeah… it is good.
Does it sing?
It is very nicely balanced. I’m drinking this in the dead of winter here but I can feel the summer in Argentina. Upon further tasting I can taste peach and banana – and I am not a big fan of banana flavoured stuff. But I like this wine and I want to sing. So yes to that.
Does it make you want to order a case?
This kind of wine does not age well so unless you are consuming vast quantities…
But this would be a great table wine for a wedding or other reception. I have been to some and the wine was atrocious. There are a few wines that cost less than this but why would you ever order undrinkable wine to save a dollar, if that much, a bottle.

Note: since I bought this wine, drank it and reviewed it, this wine has shot up in price to a lofty $11.00.

Grand openings

15 May

There have been a few openings of new retail outlets in Toronto in the past few years. They have been enhanced with great promotion and fanfare.
There have been pop-up retail places that appear and disappear – also to great media hubbub.
I ignore all of this because it does not interest me.
There have also been some notable closings of major retail here, but that is not part of this story.
I inadvertently attended a grand opening a week or so ago. It was packed. It was a mad-house. It was a feeding frenzy. It was a Value Village … a big-box thrift store.
It was rather depressing come to think of it.
I was there because this place opened in the same retail plaza as the grocery store I was shopping at. I was shocked at the people`s attitude to this opening. It was astounding. This was used stuff after all. I remember pitching a story to a financial magazine a few years back with the idea that buying used clothing and household items was not a trend derived from an environmental perspective – it was the way the middle class gets buy now. The Goodwills in Toronto have all been closed. There are a few SallyAnns – but not in our neighborhood. I guess our middle-class neighborhood needs this type of outlet and the people responded.
I like frequenting these types of stores but the shopping frenzy put me off and I bought nothing.