Tag Archives: Canada

Glacier – not yet gone

18 Mar

It was August and it was freezing at the Columbia Icefields. The clouds were low and the visibility was very sparce. This shot was taken when the clouds broake apart momentarily. There was a wicked wind and rain was coming in sideways. One might be tempted to dismiss climate change then but coming here, even when it was very cold at the height of summer, is one of the best places to see te effects of global warming. We are about 200 meters from the toe of the glacier. When I was here last, in 1995, the toe was about where we were standing. The first time I came in 1978 the toe was a short hike from the highway – now it is a drive and a bit of a hike. Go visit this place while you still can.


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.

Weekly Wine – Canadian Rosé

19 Apr

Jackson-Triggs Rosé
11.5% ABV
$9.75 (LCBO)

This wine looks good.
The bottle is nice.
I liked the colour.
I had such high hopes for this wine.
Really, I did.
Wow was the first sip sour. Not too good.
The second sip was not much better. This wine is very acidic – to the point that I can’t really taste the wine. It has a pink flavour I guess – kind of like kids drinks that the flavour is stated by the colour. Purple flavour, orange flavour, red flavour, green flavour.
This one is pink but it is not as sweet as the kid’s drinks – it is fairly dry and that just seems to exsacerbate the acidity and the sourness.
What a shame.

Weekly Wine – Cote

22 Mar

George DeVilliers L’Entre-Cote
Year: N/A
11% ABV
$8.95 (Quebec gas station)

This label is fine looking.
Quite classy – one could mistake it for a nice French wine.
The label in the back claims that it is well balanced and well rounded.
Frankly it tastes like someone poured a bunch of leftover wine after a party into a vat and topped it off with some tap water to get the volume just right. In fact, this wine is a blend of various wines – none of them particularly good I suspect.
The bland flat flavour is punctuated, however, by a bizarre sourness that gets progressively more pronounced as one goes along drinking the wine.
I’m just getting down to the end of my first glass and am already thinking that my head will hurt me in the morning if I have another glass. Heck, it might hurt my while I drink the second glass.
Do I need to conclude the review by stating you should avoid this mixture?

Weekly Wine – White Fate

25 Jan

tofwTwist of Fate Winemaker’s White
Date: N/A
Canada (kinda)
12.0% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I have to stop drinking these blended wines.
I have to stop buying these blended wines.
It is hard to do because they are cheap. Some are drinkable. Some are not.
Welcome to the latter category.
This sour swill gives me no pleasure. The flavour is thin and week and masked by the sourness and acidity. The label states that it is a blend of Pinot Grigio, Muscat and Chardonnay wines – imported and domestic. It calls itself a “Winemaker’s White.” This might be a clue as it can be a blend of international wines that were made a “Make Your Own Wine” shop.
It is a shame as I really like the label.
It is a shame that there is a bottle of red Twist of Fate that is staring me down – daring me to drink it.
It is a shame principally because there is much better wine that is cheaper than this.

Weekly Wine – Red Fate

4 Jan

tofrTwist of Fate Winemaker’s Red
Year: N/A
Canada (kinda)
12.9% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I approach this wine with great trepidation.
I had the white wine a while back and it was quite miserable.
So the bar is quite low on this one – if I don’t retch I might consider it passable.
Well the wine is OK – again, the bar is not that high.
It is not as sour as the white one and there is a bit of flavour that pokes through – some sort of berries I get. It is also a bit spicy that gives it a bit of zing up front.
The zing fads fast and it becomes a bit flat and uninteresting at the end.
After a few more swigs the zing wears off and it becomes a very pedestrian wine. The bar was set low and it made it just above the bar, but this does not make this a good wine.
There are better wines, much better wines, at less than the price of this. There are even Canadian wines, real Canadian wines – with all the grapes grown in Canada, at this price point which are better than this.

Cloud Blanket

30 Oct

Most of the flight to Edmonton was in the clouds and then it cleared up. There were great views of the majesty of the Canadian Shield and then the prairies. And, as we were descending, the clouds came in again, covering the autumnal land like a warm blanket.


18 Sep

Occasionally displays of patriotism don’t really work. This restaurant’s flag in the window display is rather ackward.

Weekly Wine – OKV

22 Jun

bcred2Okanagan Vineyards Select Red
Year: 2014
750 ml
13.5% ABV
$8.49 (BC Liquor)

Another B.C. wine bought in British Columbia. This one is quit good.
It has a quite nice fruity flavor but I can’t make out which fruits they are. It is a mashup.
I taste grape but that should be a given – considering that this is wine. But there are other hints that I can’t quite make out.
It hit me finally – this has a taste of one of those “more healthy” juices you buy in the super markets. The kind that are a blend of cranberry, grape, Apple and whatnot. They have no sugar added and are quite good. This has that kind of aura.
It is fitting as the bottle does not denote what grapes went into making this wine. Merlot – maybe. Shiraz – perhaps. Who knows? The bottle ain’t saying.
That being said – it is a pleasant inexpensive red wine which will be great for picnics, barbecues or other such informal gatherings.

Weekly Wine – Another Unreserved

15 Jun

BCwhite2Unreserved White
Year: N/A
750 ml
12% ABV
8.99 (BC Liquor)

First off – This wine has nothing to do with the unreserved wine I reviewed last week.
There is not too much wine from British Columbia in Ontario. This is a mystery to me. Ontario used to have a nice selection of B.C. wine, but these days that is not so.
On a short trip to B.C. recently, I was able to purchase a few bottles.
I chose this one because it came with a free Mason style mug.
The wine is ok – but just barely.
The taste of peaches and pears comes through quite prominently. This may sound nice but these peaches and pears are overripe. They are squishy and a step or two from being rotten. Will you eat this fruit or throw it into the compost. This is the taste of the peaches and pears in this wine. A familiar taste yet one that is not always welcome.
It is also a bit acidic. I believe that these are the sulphate because I don’t think that this is the natural acidity of the wine that is coming through. This wine is a blend. It is made “from imported and domestic” wines according to the label. And these wines tend to be of questionable taste.
This one is of questionable taste as well. You can easily get better white wines for the same price.
But I like the mug.