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November 2007 Wine


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 November 2007

We knew choosing wine for our November newsletter theme would be a great idea, and we were right. We’ve been sampling flights of red and white all month just to prepare… which explains the short ‘welcome’.

And, since apparently just drinking wine doesn’t actually qualify you to give advice about it (too bad), we asked some real live oenophiles to help us out, and we have included their great perspectives on wine and the barbecue. So, sit back with a goblet of your favorite wine next to a roaring fire, having enjoyed a satisfying meal from the grill, and read on. Happy Grilling,

Barbecues Galore


This month, we welcome two special guest columnists: manager Kevin Mclean from J. Webb Wine Merchant Ltd. in Calgary (www.jwebb.net), and Barb from Kensington Wine Market (www.kensingtonwinemarket.com) to give us a few tips about wine and food.  Keep in mind that these folks are super keen about wine (Yay!) and are professionals in their chosen field.  Throwing around phrases like “...anise on the nose”, is something best left to the properly trained.

Kevin McLean’s Grill’n, Chill’n and Spill’n Most people divide wine into two categories – red and white. I however, have a more pragmatic classification system: wine you drink while you cook, and wine you drink while you eat.

  For the first category white wine is best, its refreshing qualities keep you cool while you work over a hot grill (really it’s just something to keep your left hand busy while your right hand flips sausages). But in November, the days of casual conversation around your grill are now few and far between, so if you’re hearty enough to cook outside during the brisk months of winter - you’re probably not thinking about a grill-side glass of cold white wine to keep you company.  So, we need to talk red. Big, rich and totally over-the-top red wines were built for cold winter nights, and for me, these are the wines of the Rhone Valley and Mediterranean Coast. Ironically, this warm and inviting climate produces wines that can soothe our souls on the most bitter winter nights and work magic with our regional favorites like steak, lamb and game. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre are the three main grape varieties of France’s Rhone Valley and each contribute their own character to the wines. Cotes-du-Rhone is often the perfect foil for grilled meat, it’s rustic and smoky character is quickly tamed by a peppery steak or roasted leg of lamb. My favorites include Saint Cosme $16.95 and Vin de Vienne $19.95 – both great examples of the generous wines of France’s Rhone Valley, offering intense spicy flavors backed up by classic brambly fruits.Further South we find some terrific values in the less explored Languedoc. Here the grapes change only slightly with Carignan making an appearance. Chateau Ollieux Romanis is surely one of the best values from this region. Their range of wines begins with the simple but utterly delicious Cuvee Alice $13.95 – a soft but fragrant wine full of youthful exuberance.  Next we move to the more intense Ollieux Romanis Corbieres $17.95 which shows the pretty violet and lavender aromas this region is capable of delivering. Finally we have the complex and nuanced Cuvee Presitge $22.50 that behaves more like a fifty dollar Chateauneuf-du-Pape, full of class and charm– truly a wine to experience. Anytime you’re choosing a wine to go with grilled meats (especially in winter) you want something that will stand up to the weight of the meat and deliver flavors that won’t get lost in the complexity of the seasoning. For less intense meats like chicken or pork, you can go with softer more gentle wines than I have suggested here. But let’s face it - when it’s cold out, you want rich foods and heavy wines to warm you from the inside out – and that’s what you can expect from these.
     Barbara’s barbecue recommendations:


  Frontier Red NV  $20.99 California Red This wine is a complex blend of Rhone and Bordeaux varietals, exhibiting blackberry, boysenberry and black cherry fruit flavors along with blueberry, smoke, vanilla, nutmeg and anise on the nose. “Frontier Red” is designed to be the perfect complement to the foods found at most backyard cookouts and barbeques.


  Tait 'Ball Buster' 2005  $27.49 South Australia Shiraz A delicious blend of Shiraz (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and Merlot (20%). This wine is broad shouldered and built like a stallion - she's what the winemaker at Tait calls, "THE BALL BUSTER" and so it is! You've just got to see the front and back label to appreciate the humor! It will leave you laughing and pondering! Names not withstanding, it is pretty delicious wine.


  Red Heads Studio Whip Hand Red 2005  $45.99 South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon Red Heads Whip-Hand Cabernet is a gorgeous glass of red velvety fruit oozing glorious notes of mouthwatering, teeth staining fruit. The label is quintessential Alberta!



Roasted Stuffed Pears Servings:  6 

  INGREDIENTS: Roasted Stuffed Pears 6 firm fleshed Bartlett pears 5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (75ml) 5 tablespoons gingersnap cookies crumbled (75ml) 2 tablespoons brown sugar (30ml) 2 teaspoons chopped lemon zest (10ml) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (2.5ml) 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (1ml) 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (2.5ml) 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (15ml) 1 vanilla bean scrapped vanilla extract 1 lemon cut into wedges 3 cups apple wood smoking chips (750ml)Whipping Cream 1 cup 35% cream (250ml) splash of Orange liqueur 1/2 vanilla bean scraped 1 tablespoon icing sugar (15ml) DIRECTIONS: Whipping Cream Place a stainless steel large bowl in the freezer, allow to chill for 15 – 20 minutes. Take the cream out of the refrigerator and the bowl out of the freezer. Roasted Stuff Pears

  1.Prepare smoke pouch. Place 2 cups (500ml) of apple wood chips into a bowl of cold water to soak for 1 hour and reserve 1 cup (250ml) of dry wood chips.

  2.In a bowl combine room temperature butter and crumble in graham crackers. Add brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange liqueur, scraped vanilla seeds and mix.

  3.Slice a bit off of the bottom of the pears so that the pears stand up on a plate. Remove the tops and then core the pear using a melon baller.4.Rub the pears with lemon wedges to stop discoloring. Stuff the pears with the mixture then put the tops back on. 5.Butter a bbq perforated baking sheet and add the pears.

  6.To build a smoke pouch, drain 2 cups (500ml) of the wet wood chips and squeeze excess water out. Spread wet wood chips on a large piece of aluminum foil. Place 1 cup (250ml) of dry wood chips on top. Mix them together. Close the foil around the chips to make a sealed foil package. Use a fork to puncture holes in the top and bottom of the foil pack to allow the smoke to flow through and infuse the meat.

  7.Prepare the barbecue for indirect grilling. Preheat the barbecue to 220ºF/110ºC. Place the smoke pouch directly over the heat source. Close the lid and wait for smoke.

  8.Once BBQ is smoking, place the pears on the grill side which has no heat. Smoke the pears over indirect heat for approximately 30 minutes.

  9.Remove from heat serve with whipping cream.

This month’s expert is Gwen. She has only been with the company for 5 months now but has made a large impact in our Ontario stores. Gwen is still learning all about the product. While she may not be an expert on barbecue specifications, she is definitely one on making the barbecues look good. Gwen is in charge of the merchandising for both Ontario stores which is no easy task. Gwen first applied for the job to drive Paul and Kevin crazy but is now just one of the crew. According to Paul the horns are there for a reason! Her favorite part about working at Barbecues Galore is that you never know who or what is around the corner. Especially since it is up to Gwen to find a home for any product she finds. Anyone who has been to our Burlington store can attest to the fact that it is no easy task.

Gwen grew up in Winnipeg and has 2 boys, one who is 10 and the other is 15. In her spare time she enjoys photography and scrap booking. She also enjoys her wines and will often match her wine to the meal she is preparing; especially when entertaining. Her favorite wines for sipping are a couple local Ontario wines: VQA Reisling and Gewurztraminer. She will cook with wine at least once a week and she plans to adapt recipes to the grill once she has decided which barbecue to get. I know you are all shocked that Gwen doesn’t have a barbecue; we were too. She does like grilling it’s just that there are a lot of barbecues to choose from, as most of you know, and she can’t make up her mind. Maybe some of you can send her some recommendations. When Gwen finally decides which barbecue to get she plans to make ribs; they just aren’t the same cooked any other way. She will try any recipe once but prefers her men spicy not her food. She enjoys taking simple, basic recipes and making them more interesting. The last recipe she used was the drunken chicken wings recipe. If you come in to recommend a barbecue to Gwen make sure ask her how the chicken wings turned out.

Wine Barrel Chunks: Smoking Wood for the Grill, $11.99/box

Reduce, reuse and recycle never tasted so good! Steven Raichlen – famous grill master and author of the Barbecue Bible – has packaged chunks of wine barrels as smoking wood for your barbecue, and you can see the taste with each little inch square chunk stained red with flavour. Just soak them for about an hour for maximum smoke output, toss a handful on your fire (or in a smoker box) and prepare for an extraordinary flavour  of oak smoke with red wine overtones. Delicious with steaks, chops, or seafood. Fun, and tasty too.


Question: When grilling with different marinades and rubs, how can I be sure of a great wine pairing?

Answer: There’s probably as many opinions as wine-drinkers, but here’s a cheat-sheet worth keeping:

Better with white or rosé - Marinades based on oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs (crisp dry whites, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc) - Asian flavours such as lime, coriander and chilli (aromatic whites such as Pinot Gris, Riesling and rosé) - Middle Eastern spicing such as cumin, coriander and mint (sharp, lemony whites, dry rosé) Better with red Smokey or chilli-based marinades or rubs (Shiraz, Pinotage, Zinfandel) Red wine marinades (Cabernet, Merlot or blends of the two) Tomato-based sauces (Sangiovese, Zinfandel) Cape Malay style spicing (sweet and spicy) (a jammy Pinotage or Shiraz)

But, let’s face it, the only true guideline you have to worry about is:  if you like it – drink it.  If we all had the same taste nobody would have bothered to invent deep fried Mars bars, the AMC Gremlin or Milli Vanilli.




Next month is December.  That means Christmas: crowded malls, office parties and re-gifting until your closets are completely empty.  We’ll be trying to make your Christmas less hectic and more flavourful by sharing some time saving holiday grilling tips.  We will be sharing our experience with the new, must-have, Christmas grill gadget: The Turkey Cannon (it will change your life!).  And in the spirit of giving, we are sending out $25 gift certificates to any of our readers who send us Christmas-themed grilling pictures before November 31.


Sauce Prize Pack Prize pack includes a selection of hot cooking supplies. This includes our featured hot sauces, skewers, a basting brush, seasoning, a mitt and a wok. Congratulations to this month's winners:


Harold Fowler (Calgary South)

Cathy Deck (Calgary North) Dan McCambridge (Burlington) Edy Almeida (Oakville)


Each month names are drawn from those collected at each store and online to win. Claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification.



Finally, we want this newsletter thing to be a two-way street. We interrupt your work day with a barbecue missive of miscellany, and you get to call us and have your questions, queries and complaints addressed. Email us at:query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

North Calgary 3505 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, Alberta 403-250-1558 South Calgary 5875 9th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta 403-258-4440 Burlington 482 Guelph Line Burlington, Ontario 905-639-0436 Oakville 490 Speers Road Oakville, Ontario 905-844-3224


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