liquor and libations

get a black belt in booze

For the Locals – Eat Vancouver! May 22, 2007

Filed under: beer,events,local,tasting,wine — liquorandlibations @ 5:00 pm


This weekend marks the annual Eat Vancouver festival. Billed as the “Everything Food & Cooking Festival” this year also includes a beverage stage highlighting beer, wine, sake, coffee and more. While the Food Network celebrity stage will definitely be a big draw for many people, for those of you already sick of “Vancouver’s Own Iron Chef Rob Feenie” (and if I have to see him on one more White Spot commercial, I definitely will be), then check out the tasting areas.

The drinks stage promises you will:

Enjoy some of the best wines, beers and spirits from British Columbia and around the world, offered for tasting by the vintners and producers themselves. Sample, compare and ask questions directly from those who know.

The Grapes & Hops Presentation Stage, located right inside the Tasting Pavilion and hosted by Vancouver’s own Wine Diva, Daenna Van Mulligan, will feature an impressive lineup of seminars, food pairings and wine tasting’s with celebrities drawn from the world of wine and beer plus culinary and mixology experts.. The Presentation Stage is located right in the Tasting Pavilion and provides comfortable seating. Master of Ceremonies Daenna will host writers, chefs, vintners, wine experts and a host of other presenters from across the country.

We’ll be checking out the Wine, Beer and Spirits tasting pavillion on Saturday and promise to report back on our best bets.


Summer is on the way! April Tasting Highlights April 23, 2007

Filed under: beer,tasting,wine — liquorandlibations @ 9:44 am

T.S. Eliot was on the mark when he penned ‘April is the cruelest month’. The worst part of April in Vancouver is the false sense of security you get that summer is on its way. Merciless trick! After months of jonsing for warm enough weather to elicit some joie d’été, we couldn’t resist the urge to guzzle these picnic and patio appropriate wines and beer. Who knew effervescence would be the theme of the month?

Tasting Highlights

Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D'Asti Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti 2004, 2005
For the second year in a row (hooray for new traditions), we had this bright, aromatic and lightly effervescent dessert wine with Easter brunch. It is adorably yummy, with notes of peach, honey and melon. While I love it at brunch or early on a sunny afternoon (feels happily indulgent), it also makes a nice aperitif if your tastes lean towards less sweet dessert wines because it has some musky notes. Nivole Moscato D’Asti hails from a single vineyard in the commune of Canelli located in Asti province where the moscato bianco grape dates back to 17th century. Anyways, why bother blundering through more description when the name ‘Nivole’ meaning “cloud” in the local dialect so nicely encapsulates this airy, tantalizing wine.

Blanche de Chambly beer
$11.76/6x341ml                                                                                                                                                                  This tasty, triple fermented white beer from Quebec’s Unibroue brewery will definitely be representing at our 2007 croquet season – special shout out to the Eastside Croquet Club! Citrusy with subtle spicing, light and effervescent, Blanche de Chambly is not as sweet as Hoegaarden and maybe that’s why it seems more refreshing. What can I say, Unibroue makes some great stuff … besides, have you seen their label art? Their designs are fit to be airbrushed on the side panel of 1970’s van. Awesome!

Fantasy Art Van

Pouring the Banrock Sparkling Shiraz and GabbyBanrock Sparkling Shiraz
$16.99/750ml We picked this up as a novelty one Friday after work. While the lightness of sparkling and fullness of red wine seem contradictory, in practice it wasn’t bad. Fizzy and sweet with robust plum and blackcurrant flavours, this sparkling red was interesting to try but definitely not for everyone. That being said, it would be tasty with summer picnic fare like sausage, baguette and an assortment of cheeses; alternatively, it may also be nice with dessert, particularly something of the chocolate persuasion. I must admit the cherry colour, tingly-on-the tongue froth is pretty fun too. If you’re not turned off by the notion of a bubbly red, it’s worth trying, but be warned the 14.0% alcohol content may give you, ahem, a little more buzz than you bargained for.


peroni is tasty April 2, 2007

Filed under: beer,drink of the week — liquorandlibations @ 6:21 pm

peroni.jpgPeroni is a light, crisp premium pilsner from Italy. Established in Vigevano Italy in 1846 by Fransico Peroni, the beer is still brewed in Italy to the original recipe from 1963. Also marketed as Nastro Azzurro, meaning Blue Ribbon in Italian, it fits right at home with other European lagers you’re probably already drinking.

If you like Stella Artois or Heineken, next time you’re out, give Peroni a try. It’s a nice, tasty easy drinking beer. The beer & wine store below my apartment usually has it in stock, making it, along with Mexico’s Negra Modelo, one of my standard purchases.

According to their slogan, Peroni is Italy’s #1 beer, but since it’s the only Italian beer I’ve ever seen on the shelf here in Canada, and because I spent my one visit to Italy savouring the country’s wonderful wines, I’ll just have to take Peroni’s word for it.

For more information on Peroni, check out their site (beware, it’s Flash-tastic!)