Thursday, July 30, 2009

Niagara Bus Tour is Nigh!

The tourism industry might be in the tank, but the wine lovers are certainly alive and kicking. With over a week to go we sold out of the bus tour. We sold so many tickets in fact that I’m driving the staff down in my car. Wow, me the designated driver, someone take a picture.

8:30-8:40 AM Guests arrive @ Taste and get espresso'd up w. our house-made cinibuns
8:45 Departure!
10:00 AM @ Chateau des Charmes for VIP cellar tour and tasting
11:45 AM @ Cattail Creek VIP Tour and tasting.
1:30 PM @ Henry of Pelham for tour (lunch @ 2:15)
4:00 PM @ Flat Rock - terroir/facility tour
5:00 PM Leave for Toronto for BBQ @ Taste.
6:30 PM David looks longingly at his first wine of the day.

Wow, I’ve got several friends that are graphics designers… They must be so proud.

What’s cooking:

  • Pasta Primavera will be our $3.00 recession pasta on Tues. 4th.
  • Angelo Bean Sausages and the Taste Burger will be available on Friday 31st only.
  • Our new goat cheese and fire roasted red pepper dip will be hitting the menu this week too.
  • Roasted garlic and cheddar bread made with wine flour will be appearing soon.


  • Our Prince Edward County trip is official. We’re heading out on the 6th of September and hitting Sandbanks, The Grange and Huff Estates! We’ve already received a lot of attention on this trip, and couple that with no one else is doing bus tours to the county from Toronto and we expect this to sell very well.
  • And yes we’ll be also hitting the Niagara Wine Festival!
  • Thanksgiving Prix Fixe.
  • Our next Wine Tasting is August 12th and spots are still available.

David Berman
Food Geek

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wine Pairing for the Everyday #1

Furniture Building.

First off, a couple of precautions: using power tools while under the influence of alcohol is not recommended by the author, café Taste or anyone that still has at least 20% of their gray matter still in reasonable working condition... And please work in a well-ventilated area as some woods are treated with toxic finishes.

To all the DIYs and adventuresome novices out there who are considering building a table, night stand, bookshelf and the like, I thought I might have the audacity to suggest a beverage beyond beer to accompany you through your project. Oh and don’t forget… a cover for your wine is recommended as you might end up with a bit more oak than you are accustomed to: a coaster, a tool instruction manual, or in a pinch 1 or 2 post-it notes will do.

We’ll need something to pair with the physicality of constructing furniture and the dexterity needed to apply the old adage “measure twice, cut once.” It should be a wine that doesn’t reside in the high-octane category, refreshing but not completely devoid of character.

2006 VQA Malivoire Gamay (17ish dollars)

This wine hits all the requirements: with a nose of black tea, strawberry, and floral notes, it is both light and uplifting. The start is all crisp berries without being sweet. The mid pallet is cranberry, with medium body and mild tannins. It ends with a lively, clean mouth feel. By my measurement, this vintage is worthy of 87/100, and it’s a definite buy for those who are not still hung-up on super large wines. Cheers!

What’s cooking:

  • My Bovine Exploitation Lasagne, 7 cow cheeses and beef! Available Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th.

  • This is the second week for our $3.00 Recession Pasta Tuesdays. Get a bowl of Pasta (Tuesday the 28th is chicken pesto with cheese) for $3.00 with the purchase of a wine flight!


  • The Niagara Bus Tour. Over 75% of the tickets are sold, buy yours today… Now in fact!

  • Our next Wine Tasting is August 12th featuring a deconstruction of Niagara! Jeremy will be discussing the many different types of soil all within Niagara.

David Berman

Food Geek

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ontario Wine Fair aftermath

It took a while to shake off the cobwebs from the “long days and alcohol” cocktail I was subsisting on, but now that I can see the vineyard from the grapes (?), I can look back at the Ontario Wine Fair 2.0 with pride. Truth of the matter was the economic downturn had left a concern in the air for this year’s event, but in the end, the wine and cheese enthusiasts attended on mass. There is certainly a measure of satisfaction to be had when someone asks when the next café Taste event is, while they’re currently partaking in one.
The wine representatives impressed all with their knowledge and their healthy stock of 80 wines. My personal favourite was the Sandbanks Foch Reserve 2007. I’ll spare you my technical analysis of the wine and just leave it at I’d actually sit through the entire Star Wars saga back to back for a glass…a large glass.
As for the cheese, judging by the way Greg was dishing out the Sauvagine and the Blue Haze, they would have to take the cheese crown for the day. Personally I’m more of a Chevre Noir man, but that’s probably more a commentary on the wines I drink than anything else… Which tend to be much like my personality... Dry.

Chardonnay - Flat Rock 2007
Gewurtztraminer - Calamus Estates
Pinot Gris - Norman Hardie
Riesling - Flat Rock Nadja's Riesling
Merlot - Lailey
Cabernet Franc - Tawse
Cabernet Sauvignon - Peller Estates
Pinot Noir - Grange Pinot
Gamay Noir - Chateau des Charmes
Red Blend - Calamus Red
Red under $25 - Sandbanks Baco Noir
White under $25 - Chateau des Charmes Sauvignon Gris
Red over $25 - Magnotta Enotrium
White over $25 - Norman Hardie Pino Gris
other Red - Legends Estate Malbec
other White - Chateau des Charmes Late Harvest Riesling
Winery - Southbrook

Best Quote:This is the best everything ever!” – a patron who probably doesn’t want to be identified.

What’s cooking this week:

  • Personalized cheese fondues.

  • The Taste Burger will be available in limited quantities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • My "Aristaeus" 16 cheese risotto will also be making an appearance.


  • Niagara Bus Tour, 4 wineries, lunch, bbq and VIP treatment.

  • August wine tasting. It’s the deconstruction of Niagara! Jeremy will be discussing the many different types of soil all within Niagara

  • …and rumours of a Prince Edward County harvest trip! Shhh!

David Berman
Food Geek