I'd like to begin my first blog thanking David (our Food Geek) for paving the way and writing our first few forays into allowing people to keep tabs on what what's cooking (literally) down here @ cafe Taste.
Over the years people have asked me to blog our wine tastings, our initiatives, even our story of how cafe Taste came to be...so it begins:
This month we strayed from our usual Tutoured Tasting and instead of doing wine & cheese, we honoured the Emerald Isle and did a Whiskey tasting! This was "Whiskey 101" and gave first an overview of the origins & composition of whiskey, followed by the basics of each type. I chose entry-level examples that displayed not only the characteristics of the basic types of whiskies, but also one's that are on my shelf :) Cost was $40 (taxes & gratuity incl.) and got each guest 7 ounces of whiskey paired with cheeses, chocolate and nuts.
First-up was Irish whiskey - generally the more subtler of whiskies, distilled 3 times for richness. I chose Bushmills Black Bush paired with Quebec's Le Sauvagine cheese.
Second was Canadian whiskey (known as rye) - distilled twice with extra depth, smooth and fantastic for cocktails. I was happy to feature local Niagara winery/distillery Kitling Ridge's Forty Creek, and paired it with an Ontario asiago from Thornloe.
Third & fourth were Scotch whiskies (blended & single malt) - distilled twice and aged for a minimum of 2 years, for this we needed to go into some history of the why's and when's of blending vs. single malts and their characteristics, but for that you'll need to attend a tasting ;) Poured were Te Bheag & Balwhinie Double Wood paired with Blue Haze & 70% chocolate.
Fifth we poured American whisky (yes, there's no 'e' in American whisky) - distilled only once and aged for only a minimum of a year, these whisky's (Bourbon's, Sour Mash, etc.) are generally of stronger character AND alcohol (they can be released as 'cask strength') - liken them to American foreign policy ;) Poured was Knob Creek paired with a 7-year aged white Ontario cheddar.
As with all of our Tutoured Tastings, once the lessons and evaluation was complete we turned our attention to what remained in the bottles and the tasting became a hedonistic one!
...there may have been some wobbling ;)
I'd love any feedback to this, my first post on the Blog David began for us here @ cafe Taste, and welcome criticisms or accolades. Let me know what you'd like to see on our blog!
Till I post next (which btw will be some background about why cafe Taste exists...WARNING: there will be some sappy moments as I'll be talking about my dad) I raise my glass of Kacaba 2005 Cabernet to yourselves; the people for whom without cafe Taste would mean nothing.
Jeremy Day - Wine Geek