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Cassoulet in YYC?

Fleur de Sel does. It's delicious.

Dec 26, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Regional Must-Eat Foods Saskatchewan

Grew up there. Pemmican, perogies. Saskatoon berry pie. Yeah, that's what we've got. I'm interested in what your choices for Manitoba and Alberta are, though. Alberta barely has perogies (and, really, perogies are eastern European, so you shouldn't count them).

Well, there's also Vern's Pizza. They used to buy expiring deli meat and build a four inch thick pie. Probably still do. There's that.

Nov 12, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Best dishes in Calgary?

The choucroute or the steak au poivre at Fleur de Sel. Just classics done very well.

Oct 25, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

NZ Sauvignon Blanc

My wife, a strange one.

She loves cheap New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (New Harbour is her favourite), but intensely dislikes the classic examples (Cloudy Bay or Dog Point, for examples). She hates Kim Crawford. Loves Kiwi Walk, or whatever that's called. Hates Oyster Bay (fair enough, I guess).

My problem is this: I know she likes this particular wine, but if I'm at a shop that doesn't have it, I don't know what to get.

I've been trying out more complex Marlboroughs on her, but she hates them.

So, I'd say check out her favourite: New Harbour.

Oct 09, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Have you heard that plastic wrap removes cork taint?

You may be right (not that this is an argument of any kind: I believe we are agreeing with each other).

I had poured the wine into a large plastic bowl which I added three large balls of film. I waited about an hour. I then poured the wine through a sieve and funnel into a different bottle.

All I'm saying is, no, this process, while removing the cork taint, does not make the wine drinkable. Judging from my experience last night, I would not cook with it either. I really doubt this is a matter of degrees. That said, a homemade vinegar might be interesting.

Oct 07, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Have you heard that plastic wrap removes cork taint?

Yeah, that's about all it does. This process certainly does not make it drinkable.

Oct 06, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Have you heard that plastic wrap removes cork taint?

Having just done this, my results are that it does, to a small extent. I must emphasize "small." The taint remains and the wine still tastes disgusting. More of old chocolate than wet cardboard, but still not something you want to drink.

I do hope a chemist reads this and would like to chime in.

Oct 06, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Trip To Calgary, First time to Canada

Ah, bull. Caesar's is great if you treat it as a theme (Calgary's relationship to oil money being the theme). It's a gloriously silly place.

Oct 01, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Long's Chinese Food (Calgary): Real Sichuan on 17th!

THANK YOU. There hasn't been a good Chinese place in this neighbourhood since I've moved here (almost 15 years, Christ). I will be checking this out.

Sep 10, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

In British Columbia: "Gape Growers Brace for Syrah Decline"

They were representative. BC hasn't figured out what works yet or how to work with it (other than badly aping Alsace). Ontario's a bit further ahead. Both have incredible potential, but at this point, it hasn't been realised. Often, I wonder if they care to.

Don't buy it. They charge incredible prices for wines that Chile or South Africa would be embarrassed to release.

Aug 15, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

In British Columbia: "Gape Growers Brace for Syrah Decline"

The Okanagan will not be able to make a world class wine for the next 15 years, to be generous. It's an incredibly complex (climate-wise) growing region populated by three types: massive corporations, retired professionals (made their money) who are trying this because they consider themselves sophisticated, and some who actually know what they're doing. The latter comprise about a tenth of percentage point and are usually forced by finance to sell to their grapes to the former. Okay, I'm being a bit unfair, but not by a lot.

There is much more to tell, but this is just a post to a website. Unfortunately, the internet is full of praise for Canadian wine by marketing concerns, a few nationalists and overpaid "journalists." Makes the subject tough to research.

I say this as a Canadian: don't bother with Canadian wines just yet.

Aug 15, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

Ha!

Aug 15, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Figs in Calgary

Ha, yeah, that makes sense. Anyone with some money want to help me duplicate Mercato's business plan? We could do it in Kensington or Springbank with a French, or possibly, Asian market.

I almost guarantee Mercato buys a lot of its inventory at the Real Canadian Wholesale Club, marks it up at a factor of 4.5 on retail cost, and sells it with the store made stuff.

Jun 13, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

What could be the problem with this wine?

Please continue at some point. Despite my withdrawal, I am interested in the outcome.

May 31, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

It was not my intent to insult, just to point out some basic elements of the occasional disappointment of wine, as any art. Judging by your further comments, you seem to have completely skipped over them. I, too, am an adventurous drinker, but I've learned not to rely on the whims of the press nor the tastes of the self-interested agencies and notoriously corrupt and inconsistent awards-granters as my determination.

I'll stop my participation in this thread here as I have no interest in flame wars.

May 29, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

Define a "good bottle," or this might lead to much chaos.

May 28, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

Agreed, with a whole heart. Wine is not beer, scotch, brandy, or brick.

There are too many variables, although the vintage part seems covered (as if that's a guarantee). I'm surprised that the OP isn't used to this.

One should also consider the proven inconstance of the palate.

Nevertheless, the OP had higher expectations than were warranted. I'd suggest a normal Loire table wine was bought and they expected something akin to a 2003 Pommard. Might happen, but probably not.

France has also had a wine glut for the last fifteen to twenty years. Buying untested wine, European or not, carries its risks.

May 28, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

There's a lot of presumption going on there, my friend. The agents, the awards, the website description? The price? Come again, please.

Especially the price. At this point, you may be expecting too much from a $15 wine. The Loire may no longer be the value it's become associated with. Occasionally, sure. But I don't trust it as much as I used to. Too variable. Have you had others from this producer?

Let me put it this way: last night I had a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo that was touted in very similar ways to those of yours. It was simple and the aroma that of a barn (not in the normally good way: it literally smelled like shit). I would compare those two appellations for value and sometimes incredible value (especially considering the recent attention Abruzzo's been getting, leading to according prices). But I don't expect every different wine to hold up. Sometimes they're just simple.

May 28, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

What could be the problem with this wine?

I'm not sure what your question is at this point. What makes you think this isn't just a problematic producer?

May 27, 2013
Leibowitz in Wine

Have we overdosed on the Hops? Well, probably.

But, that may be a good thing, in time.

Related (please ignore the stupid, Slatey inflammatory headline):

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dr...

May 16, 2013
Leibowitz in Beer
1

Dining in Banff

Ha! I had the same thing the same night. My experience was completely different. The steak was just fine, but the asparagus was untrimmed and completely underdone. Just woody. Also, the wine list was bizarre. Almost exclusively new world and wines from Arizona and Idaho shouldn't be anywhere near a fine dining menu at this point. Even the sommelier seemed perplexed that they were on it. The service was decent though.

May 04, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

what is happening to my steaks?

Oh, god no. Don't do more than a couple of hours. Tried salting a couple days ahead, just for the hell of it. The steaks turned grey. On the inside (no, not well-done. Grey.). I cooked them to rare and they had the correct texture, but they were grey. It was off putting.

That part was terrible advice

Apr 26, 2013
Leibowitz in Home Cooking

what is happening to my steaks?

Serious Eats had a post on searing steaks in their Food Lab section. While I don't agree with all of it, salting a long time prior to cooking (more than an hour before) is preferable.

Salt does draw moisture out of the surface of the steak, but if you allow it to sink back in, it very much enhances the flavour and helps develop a nice crust when seared. Either that, or do it just before.

I feel marinades, like Worchestershire sauce, serve only to wet the steak, destroying any chance of getting a desirable crust. If you must, I'd use a dry rub and let it sit for a long time.

Apr 19, 2013
Leibowitz in Home Cooking
1

Inexpensive wine recommendations

Apr 16, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Anchovy paste

Kalamata grocery, any half decent Italian store, Co-op, Sunterra.

Apr 15, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Steak for dinner YYC

If you've never been to Caesar's, I highly recommend you check it out. Extremely old school. Your mother will love it.

Parking is an issue at Saltlik, usually. You may be able to get a spot on Centre Street or 9th Avenue, but it's a bit of a hike if you don't. The nearest parkade is Palliser, behind the Calgary Tower. Might as well go to Ruth's Chris if you have to park there.

Apr 07, 2013
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Cooking time for roast Pheasant...

Very late, but I agree with Veggo. At 160 degrees, it is overcooked a bit. The time to kill the cooking would be about 150, I think, with a quick broil and 10 to 15 rest.

Dec 23, 2012
Leibowitz in Home Cooking

Calgary Fine Dining Sunday Night - Downtown...?

The Old Spaghetti Factory. Just kidding. Yeah, I'd check with the River Cafe. There's also Q Haute Cuisine in the old LaCaille space. Can't vouch for it, but I'm sure you can find a review somewhere. If you're willing to a few blocks south there's dozens of options. Murrieta's, Teatro, Divino, etc.

Sep 20, 2012
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Calgary North African Maghreb Food Market?

Yeah, you can buy preserved lemons at Kalamata, among other cool things. Also, Atlas at 10th Street and 9th Avenue is a great place for Lebanese/general Mediterranean stuff.

Aug 08, 2012
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces

Best butcher in Calgary.

Probably. Shame I missed it.

Jun 27, 2012
Leibowitz in Prairie Provinces