Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates Chinatown on November 23

If you enjoy exploring different parts of Vancouver, and trying out different restaurants, why not buy tickets to Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates in Chinatown?  Details from Vancouver Foodster are below.  Will I see you there?

~~~

Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in Chinatown. This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 10pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates and Tasting Cups for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Registration: tba- this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Passports and menus.

Participating Restaurants:

 

klaus

Klaus’s Kaffe Haus

291 E. Pender Street

Web:: http://www.klauskaffeehaus.com/

Twitter: @KandJFoodTruck

Cuisine: Austrian

Klaus’s Kaffee Haus is a unique place offering the best hand-made strudel with assorted fillings (sweet & savory).

lisa lous

Lisa Lou’s Cbocolate Bar

1007 Main Street

Web:http://lisalouschocolatebar.com/

Twitter: @Lisa_Lous

Cuisine: Dessert shop

Handcrafted Chocolate, Caramels, Ice Creams, Pastries & Cheesecake complete with Espresso Bar, from scratch Iced Teas, Cold Brew and Floats.

 

Image result for bodega on main

 

Bodega on Main 

1014 Main Street

Web: https://www.bodegaonmain.ca/

Twitter:@bodegaonmain

Cuisine: Spanish tapas

Vancouver’s newest Spanish Tapa Bar and Lounge serving traditional Spanish cuisine using our family recipes with a modern twist.

 

treasure

Treasure Green Tea 

227 East Georgia Street

Twitter: @TreasureGreen_T

Web: http://treasuregreen.com/

Cuisine: Chinese Tea House

Second-generation tea master, Olivia Cheung runs the tea shop, Established in 1981 by Olivia’s father, Treasure Green Tea Company is the first authentic Chinese tea shop in Vancouver, they are celebrating 35 years this year.

 

 

Le Tigre Cuisine Food Truck

(location to be announced)

Web: http://www.letigrecuisine.ca/

Twitter: @LeTigreTruck

Cuisine: Modern Chinese

Modern Asian food truck with kickass dishes from Chef Clement Chan & Chef Steve Kuan .

 

Propaganda Coffee

209 East Pender Street

Instagram: propagandacoffee

Twitter: @ppgdacoffee

Web: http://www.propagandacoffee.ca/

Cuisine: Coffee/Cafe

Stylish cafe featuring Elysian and Phil & Sebastian coffee.

 

Early-Bird Tickets: $33 per person before November 10, 2016

Advance Tickets: $45 per person after November 10, 2016

Regular Tickets $60 per person after November 20, 2016

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Purchase Tickets Here: 

Advertisements

Vancouver’s Thai Confusion – Great Thai Tapas

Thai Confusion logoThis past week had the official opening of Thai Confusion by owner Thai Keattivanichvily, who also owns Bob Likes Thai Food.  What makes this restaurant different is that Tai is introducing Vancouverites to “Grub Gam” or Thai tapas.  Thai Confuion is located on Pender (117 West Pender) across the corner from Tinseltown, where Wild Rice used to be located.   The restaurant is nicely decorated and has solid wood tables that are not covered up.  I enjoy the look and feel of wood, more than having everything covered up with table cloths.   We were treated to several of their dishes, along with signature cocktails and some of the wines served at the restaurant.

To start off your dinner, try the Lychee Mimosa made with lychee juice and sparkling wine, which I believe is Averill Creek Charm de L’ile.  It is exceptionally tasty.  A few dishes that stood out for me were the:

  • Three Citrus Salad (Yum Som O) – a salad made with pomelo fruit, a relative of the grapefruit, together with tamarind sauce and chili
  • Thom Kha with a Fried Curry Rice Ball – made with a galangal coconut milk base soup, with basil, lemongrass, and lime; while the rice appeared to be a mixture of white and black rice and/or wild rice
  • Thai Poutine – deep fried sliced of taro root topped with lemongrass, Thai basil, lime lead chili and green curry sauce, and also served with a deep fried soft shell crab.
  • Curry Fish in Banana Leaf (Hor Mok Pla) – Marinated then grilled on a banana leaf with coconut milk, turmeric, red curry paste, kaffir lime and relish

The Three Citrus Salad is a wonderfully refreshing way to start or end a meal, with citrus and bitterness from the pomelo, crunch from pomegranite seeds, saltiness and spiciness from the tamarind suace and chili.  Highly recommended.

Thai Confusion - Three Citrus Salad

Thai Confusion – Three Citrus Salad

The Thom Kha with Fried Curry Rice Ball, is like an Italian Arancini gone Thai.  I loved the texture of the rice; both sticky and crunchy, combined with the wonderful, rich coconut milk based soup.  Another dish not to miss.

Thai Confusion - Thom Kha with Fried Curry Rice Ball

Thai Confusion – Thom Kha with Fried Curry Rice Ball

Thai Poutine.  Who knew?  Well no potatoes here; rather taro root, sliced very thin so that when it is fried, it comes out very crunchy.  I am not sure if the soft shell crab will normally come with this dish, but offers richness to the dish.

Thai Confusion - Thai Poutine with soft shelled crab

Thai Confusion – Thai Poutine with soft shelled crab

Curry Fish in Banana Leaf comes with a small fish, around the size of your hand.  I am not sure the name of the fish, but it is white fleshed, and had no bones, although Tai may have removed the bones ahead of time.  The fish was covered with a paste before grilling. The fish was served on a banana leaf that went into the grill, so you get some smokiness from the banana leaf, together with the flavours from the Thai spices, and the medium texture from the fish.  Another dish you should try.  It is small, so no problem finishing it off.

Thai Confusion - Curry Fish in Banana Leaf

Thai Confusion – Curry Fish in Banana Leaf

Besides the Lychee Mimosa another cocktail we were served was the Bourbon of Bangkok made from bourbon, lime and apricot jam with ginger beer.  A nice contrast of ginger spice, citrus, sweet and the darker flavours of bourbon.  You can also taste a selection of 4 white and 2 red wines and 6 different beers.  Check out their website for the list of their beverages.

This would be a nice place to have a quick Thai tapas meal before going to a hockey or football game, or maybe a movie at Tinseltown.  Enjoy.

 

Nicli's Next Door

Visit Nicli’s Next Door to Enjoy Italian Tapas

Bill McCaig from Niclis Next Door introducing us to the restaurant

Bill McCaig from Nicli’s Next Door introducing us to the restaurant

In Spain, small plates of food are known as Tapas.  In Italy they also have small plates, but the name is different: Cicchetti.  Whether you prefer to say Cicchetti or Tapas, the food at Nicli’s Next Door is very good and they have an excellent wine list!  I was invited with a group of other food writers to try out Nicli’s Next Door, which is next door to Nicli Antica Pizzeria (at 62 E Cordova Street, Vancouver).

Nicli’s Next Door was conceived as a place for a small snack or drink, while you waited for a table to open at Nicli Antica Pizzeria, but the chefs, David Tozer and Keev Mah, really produced some fantastic Italian and Italian-inspired dishes, going beyond the small snack, so now you can enjoy a great meal with shared plates with your family or friends.

Our Dishes

We were treated to:

Cicchetti E Stuzzichini (smaller plates)

  • Cold pea and coppa soup, with creme fraiche mousse, and citrus preserve
  • Bruschetta, capecollo, bacon and leek jam, and arugula
  • Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce
  • “Not Scotch Egg”, made of Italian sausage, fior di latte, runny egg yolk, and smoked egg white aioli

Piccoli Piatti (larger plates for sharing)

  • Eggplant involtini, with house made ricotta, San Marzano tomato, lemon and thyme
  • Braised meatballs, with Marina sauce and house bread
  • Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree
  • Reginette with pork ragu napoletana and house bread

I enjoyed all the dishes.  The cold pea and coppa soup, came with the cold pea puree and the creme fraiche mousse separately which you mixed together.  Lovely citrus zing and lightness to this cold soup.

Cold pea and coppa soup with creme fraiche mousse and citrus preserve

Cold pea and coppa soup with creme fraiche mousse and citrus preserve

The bread that came with some of the dishes, btw, is all baked in-house.  It was all nice and crunchy.

The bruschetta had a leek jam that was so full of flavour together with nice smokiness from the bacon.

Bruschetta, capecollo bacon and leek jam and arugula

Bruschetta, capecollo bacon and leek jam and arugula

The arancini was quite large, and could almost be a meal in itself for small eaters. The pork ragu inside the arancini was full of savoury flavour.  One of my favourite dishes.

Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce

Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce

The “Not Scotch Egg” was a play on scotch egg, with Italian ingredients.  The egg part, really had an egg yolk in the middle, but around it was wrapped the fior di latte. So you had cheesey, creamy goodness, together with the egg yolk and the seasonings from the Italian sausage.

Not Scotch Egg

Not Scotch Egg

A bit larger plate was the eggplant involtini, which had a thin slice of eggplant wrapped around the ricotta cheese, and served with the San Marzano tomato sauce and the lemon and thyme spices. This dish was light, fluffy and creamy.  An elegant dish.

Eggplant involtini

Eggplant involtini

More savoury goodness from the braised meatballs (made with beef and pork), with the Marinara sauce and house bread.  I liked the fennel in the meatballs and the bright flavour from the Marinara sauce.

Braised meatballs with Marina sauce

Braised meatballs with Marina sauce

For a bit more vegetables we tried the roasted Romanesco and Sunchoke puree, and sunchoke chips.  A Romanesco is a vegetable that is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli.

Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree

Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree

Our last dish was the reginette with pork ragu napoletana. Reginette are strips of pasta with wavy edges.  To this you add a nice pork ragu sauce, and enjoy.

Reginette with pork ragu napoletana

Reginette with pork ragu napoletana

Wine List

I mentioned that Nicli’s Next Door has a very nice selection of wines, all by the glass, and all Italian.  For some at our table, the short wine list was a bit intimidating, but the list is broken down into a few categories to help you choose: Rustic, Lively, Elegant, Complex, Rose, Sparkling, and House.  If you can’t make a choice, they also have 3 different flights of wine you can try, with each flight having 3 different wines.  I had a glass of the “Elegant” Brancaia Tre Sangiovese blend di Toscana.  I chose it as it would be lighter bodied with a good balance of acidity and fruit flavours, and soft tannins, which should pair nicely with most Italian dishes at the restaurant, and I was right.  Enjoy!

Tricolore flight of wines

Tricolore flight of wines

3 Interesting Observations about Spanish Food & Wine

Living in one country or city for most of your life you come to expect certain things when you go to a restaurant to eat.  Visiting another country, especially one that is significantly different in language and culture, I have found can suprise you about food and meals.  Here are 4 of my current observations from my visit in Valencia, Spain.

1. Condiments at the table

When sitting at a table and enjoying your meal, in North America you would expect salt and pepper.  In Spain I have observed that black pepper is not provided at all.  Salt is always at the table, and if it is not, the server will bring you salt when they serve you your dish.  People really like to salt their food in Spain.  I would love to sprinkle some pepper on my dishes, but am adjusting.

Many of the marinated fish dishes that I had, were heavily salted.  Maybe not using much salt back in Vancouver has sensitized me to sodium.  But a warning if you do order some marinated fish at a tapas bar, be prepared that it could be quite salty.

2. Patatas Bravas – tapas

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Back in North America, one of the tapas dishes I really like is Patatas Bravas; cooked potates, cut in cubes and then coated with a spicy tomato/paprika sauce, and sometimes with a poached egg.  Here in Spain, when I ordered the Patatas Bravas, I get a bit of the tomato/paprika sauce, but it is mostly mayonnaise that coats the potatoes.  It is quite filling and rich.  Sometimes dishes that are made in North America, do not match the dish in it’s country of origin.

3. Sangria

Similar to food dishes, drinks can also differ from country to country.  When I enjoy Sangria in Canada, I get a pitcher full of chopped fruits, and is not too sweet.  In my latest Sangria experience in Spain, my pitcher contained only 2 slices of lemon, wine, and a sweet fruit juice.  Not quite what I expected.  Again you need to be flexible and go with the flow.

Related to my Sangria observation, is the love of sugar here in Spain.  Desserts like turrone are quite sweet.  Non-alcoholic drinks, in particular, horchata, which is popular here, is quite sweet.  Along with the horchata, they love to have a sweet pastry, in particular a Farton, a long thin sweet bread topped with icing or icing sugar.

4. Salad Dressing

Salad with olive oil and salt in the background

Salad with olive oil and salt in the background

A typical salad dressing in Canada is oil and vinegar based, blended with various spices.  I have found in Spain that when I receive the salad, I am also given a bottle of olive oil and of course salt.  I miss the acidity of vinegar for my salad, but embracing the Spanish way of doing things.

I’m sure I will come across more observations on food and wine before my time in Spain is over.  Stay tuned on my blog and on Twitter.  Cheers.

Gusto di Quattro Italian Noodle box with an asian twist

My Picks from the North Van Edition of Tasting Plates Vancouver

Tasting Plates North Vancouver editionVancouver Foodster finally did it; he ventured outside of the City of Vancouver.  Where did he go? North Vancouver, just a short Seabus trip to take.  What I enjoyed especially about this particular event is that all the restaurants were about within a 2 block radius.  Walking was a breeze, and it was a beautiful sunny day to enjoy the food.   The restaurants I visited are:

  • Cafe for Contemporary Art
  • Fishworks Restaurant
  • El Matador
  • Gusto di Quattro
  • Pier 7 Restaurant
  • Anatoli Souvlaki
  • The District

We all have our favourite tasting samples from an event like this.  My favourites were from Fishworks Restaurant and Gusto di Quattro, who put together I think something special for the event.  The other restaurants offered items from their menu, which gives you a peek at their menu.

Fishworks offered two items to taste: a Chef’s Creek oyster on the half shell, and a seared tuna served with watermelon, chili spice mayo and scallion (I hope I got the description right. Please correct me if wrong).  I loved the interplay between the meatiness of the tuna with the refreshing flavour of the watermelon, and the hint of spice in the mayo.  My overall favourite dish of the evening!

Seared tuna from fishworks

Seared tuna from fishworks

Gusto di Quattro, an Italian Restaurant, was quite innovative creating a cold Italian pasta dish with an Asian twist.  In fact the dish was served in a Chinese take-out container and you ate this dish with chopsticks.   The dish was called the Ori-talian Noodle Box.  It was a thin spaghetti noodle served with pickled vegetables, balsamic vinegar, garlic and crispy Parmesan wontons.   I enjoyed the different textures and flavours, plus it was cold and refreshing on the hot summer evening of the event.

Gusto di Quattro Italian Noodle box with an asian twist

Gusto di Quattro Italian Noodle box with an asian twist

El Matador served us some tapas; olives, a crusty bread topped with a slice of spicy chorizo, and a spicy prawn.  If you like tapas, give El Matador a try.  All the items were tasty.

Tapas at El Matador

Tapas at El Matador

If you like Greek food, there is solid traditional Greek food at Anatoli Souvlaki.  We were served Anatoli Souvlaki with with caviar spread, prawns, spanakopita, and roasted lamb.

Anatoli Souvlaki with tasting plate with caviar spread prawns spanakopita and lamb

Anatoli Souvlaki with Tasting plate with caviar spread, prawns, spanakopita, and roast lamb

The District offered us Belgian-style pomme frites (twice fried), and served either with a herbed mayo or ketchup.

Pomme frites from The District (image courtesy The District)

Pomme frites from The District (image courtesy The District)

More seafood was to be tasted at Pier 7 Restaurant; a large oyster on the half shell (not sure of the variety), a prawn, and seared tuna.  Pier 7 is located right on False Creek, so you have a spectacular view of downtown.

Pier 7 with sear tuna shrimp and oyster

Pier 7 with sear tuna shrimp and oyster

The Cafe for Contemporary Art offered two items, a Basa fish taco (open face), and a vegetarian taco (not sure the ingredients).

Cafe for Contemporary art with a fish taco and vegetarian taco

Cafe for Contemporary art with a fish taco and vegetarian taco

Fall in Love with Le Parisien

Le Parisien LogoFor those of you who have been to Vancouver’s West End and tried the food of Le Parisien, you know how good it is. For the rest of you, there is added incentive to visit Le Parisien during the fall as they refine their menu and add in some special Petits Plats (think tapas), to go with a glass of wine, as the rain beats a steady cadence outside.  Here is the latest announcement about the refined Fall menu from Le Parisien! J’aime beaucoup!

~~~

john blakely

John Blakely

“We’ve been open six months now and it was time to refine the menu” says owner John Blakeley of the changes he and Executive Chef Tobias Grignon are introducing to Le Parisien’s menu. ‘Refine’ might not be exactly the right word, as for Fall Le Parisien will feature more rustic dishes in addition to what Mr. Blakeley refers to as ‘nasty bits’ as daily specials.

The regular menu retains dishes that have become iconic favourites since the restaurant opened – French Onion Fondue, Steak Tartare, Roast Chicken for Two, Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait.

New on the menu are Petits Plats – small plates that can be quickly ordered to accompany a glass of wine or cocktail as you peruse the rest of the menu. Priced at a very reasonable $3.50, diners will be hard pressed to choose between Pork Rillettes (Dijon Mustard), Baked Mussels (tomato and garlic), Oyster Rockefeller (bacon and Pernod), Crispy Calamari (saffron mayonnaise), Smoked Herring (warm potato salad) and Squash Croquette (goat cheese and apple chutney). Of course, you don’t have to choose, you could make an entire meal out of ordering several Petits Plats.

Fall weather demands heartier fare and Le Parisien’s regular Fall menu also includes such French comfort dishes as Choucroute Garnie, Boeuf Bourguignon and Crispy Braised Pigs Trotters.  “We wanted to add a rustic element to the menu,” says Mr. Blakeley. “These are types of dishes you’ll find in any bistro in France at this time of year. They are part of the harvest tradition, where every part of the animal is used, or preserved in some way for use in the winter. As Vancouver diners are now more open to trying offal, we’ve added some dishes as specials to see how well they are accepted. If people like them, then we’ll keep them on the menu.”  Nasty Bits Specials will be rotated over two week periods and appear in all menu categories – from Petits Plats to Plats Principaux.

Chef Tobias has worked his culinary magic to create tasty and satisfying dishes including: Duck Heart Tourtiere, Tripes à la Provençale, Smoked Beef Tongue, Slow Braised Pigs Tail, Popcorn Chicken Livers and House-made Andouillette Sausage to name a few. After trying Le Parisien’s new Fall menu, your taste buds will be singing ‘I love Paris in the fall.’ After all Le Parisien is Vancouver’s own little corner of the Left Bank in the West End.

751 Denman Street, Vancouver BC V6G 2L6 /  604-687-1418
www.leparisien.ca

Sangria for Summer!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Author: TamorlanSummer is just around the corner, your patio furniture is coming out. You need something refreshing to drink. How about sangria?

If you have never had a glass of sangria, it is a mixture of sliced fruit, wine, and club soda or other sparkling water. The wine can be white or red, so make a pitcher of each if you are having a party on your patio. Sangria, from Spain, works well with tapas, so try to put together a few classic Spanish tapas, such as grilled prawns with garlic in oil, potatoes in spicy tomato sauce, grilled sausages, olives, cheese, and more.

White Sangria Recipe

  • 1 bottle of a light, unwooded white wine, like Casal Garcia Vinho Verde or a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 sliced lime
  • 1/2 sliced orange
  • 1/2 chopped red delicious apple
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Dissolve the sugar with a bit of the wine in a pitcher.  After the sugar is dissolved, add the chopped fruit. Pour the remaining bottle of wine into the pitcher, then refrigerate overnight, if possible, otherwise give it a few hours.  The next day add a few ice cubes to a glass, fill the glass 1/2 way with sangria, and fill the other half with the soda water / sparkling water. Enjoy.  If you like peaches, you could use them instead of the apple or orange pieces.

Red Sangria Recipe

  • 1 bottle of an inexpensive red wine (try a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Tempranillo. Check wines from Chile or Spain)
  • 1 shot of brandy (optional)
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 sliced lime
  • 1/2 sliced orange
  • 1/2 chopped red delicious apple
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

As you can see the ingredients are very similar to the white sangria.  So are the preparations. Dissolve the sugar with a bit of the wine in a pitcher.  After the sugar is dissolved, add the chopped fruit. Add a shot of brandy (optional). Pour the remaining bottle of wine into the pitcher, then refrigerate overnight, or at least a few hours.  The next day add a few ice cubes to a glass, fill the glass 1/2 way with sangria, and fill the other half with the soda water / sparkling water. Enjoy.  If you like peaches, you could use them instead of the apple or orange pieces.

Enjoy these two sangria with friends and with food!

Get Ready to Enjoy Spanish Sherry – Part 1 #VPIWF

Have you ever tried sherry, or know what it is?  There is a lot to sherry, which may surprise you.  The quick Wikipedia definition of sherry is “Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez, Spain“.  Jerez is located in the southern end of Spain which is very hot and gives the grapes in the area a very long ripening season.

We can break this down into different types or styles of sherry, which will give you a wide range of taste profiles so that you can enjoy sipping sherry on it’s own or with appetizers or a main meal, if you choose.

There are 3 main grape varieties that go into sherry production: Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, and Moscatel.  The majority of sherry is produced from the Palomino grape, with lesser contribution from the other 2 varieties.

The production of sherry is a three-step process.  The first step is the fermentation of the grape into a dry, white wine. The must (juice) from the first pressing of the Palomino grape is fermented in stainless steel vats till all the sugar has been used up.  This takes till sometime in November.

Step number 2 is evaluating the quality of the wine produced in step 1. The wines are placed in casks and the casks are graded with a stroke (or mark). The grading process works as follows (from Wikipedia):

  • / a single stroke (una raya) indicates a wine with the finest flavour and aroma, suitable for fino or amontillado. These wines are fortified to about 15 per cent alcohol to allow the growth of flor.
  • /.     a single stroke with a dot indicates a heavier, more full-bodied wine. These wines are fortified to about 17.5 per cent alcohol to prevent the growth of flor, and the wines are aged oxidatively to produce oloroso.
  • // a double stroke (dos rayas) indicates a wine which will be allowed to develop further before determining whether to use the wine for amontillado or oloroso. These wines are fortified to about 15 percent alcohol.
  • /// a triple stroke indicates a wine that has developed poorly, and will be distilled.

Image courtesy basicjuice.blogs.com

In Step 3, the /, /., and // quality wines are fortified with distilled wine up to a set alcohol level to allow or prevent the growth of flor and are then aged in oak barrels.  The aging aspect is quite unique and interesting for sherry.  The barrels are placed in a “solera” system, which consists of barrels of sherry from different vintages being stacked on each other up to three barrels high.  The youngest sherry is placed in the top level and progressively older sherry is at the bottom level.  What makes this unique?  The process of taking some of the youngest sherry and placing it in the next row of older barrels below it.  The portion of wine from this level of barrels is then placed at the lowest level of barrels.  A portion of wine from the lowest level of barrels is extracted and bottled for sale.  So at any one time the sherry that you buy has a mix of wines from many different vintages, in  theory from EVERY vintage ever produced from that solera.

The other interesting thing about sherry is the layer of “flor”, a natural yeast, that grows on the top of the wine for fino or amontillado, keeping oxygen away from interacting too much with the wine.  To exist, the flor feeds on oxygen, alcohol and glycerine, which reduces the overall acidity of the wine.  It also increases the level of acetaldehyde, which gives sherry it’s unique flavour. Flor is affected by temperature, so is less active in the summer and winter, and more active in the spring and fall. This change in temperature and amount of flor activity helps to give sherry, from each bodegas a individual style. Oloroso style sherry are also affected by the change in temperature but are not protected by the flor due to the higher alcohol content and thus oxidize.  Fino sherries are aged in a solera for on average 3-5 years, and up to 10 years for Amontillados and Olorosos.

You may have heard of Cream Sherries.  These are sherries that have had Pedro Ximenez wine added before bottling to sweeten the sherry.  Pedro Ximenez grapes are typically used as a dessert wine produced from sun-dried grapes before they are fermented.  This provides a very concentrated grape flavour and raisins.    There is much more to say about the different styles of sherry and I will leave that to Part 2 of this blog.

I hope that this peek into the production of sherry has peaked your interest to try the different styles of sherry, both on your own, and at the upcoming Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fair.   There is a sherry and tapas event you may want to attend.  Here is the link to the sherry and tapas event.   Cheers!

The casks are marked with the following symbols according to the potential of the wine: 

/ a single stroke indicates a wine with the finest flavour and aroma, suitable for fino or amontillado. These wines are fortified to about 15 per cent alcohol to allow the growth of flor.
/. a single stroke with a dot indicates a heavier, more full-bodied wine. These wines are fortified to about 17.5 per cent alcohol to prevent the growth of flor, and the wines are aged oxidatively to produce oloroso.
// a double stroke indicates a wine which will be allowed to develop further before determining whether to use the wine for amontillado or oloroso. These wines are fortified to about 15 percent alcohol.
/// a triple stroke indicates a wine that has developed poorly, and will be distilled.