Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cottage Life and the Perth Brewery

If you’re one of the fortunate ones that owns a cottage, is able to rent a cottage or are really lucky and have a nice relative that lends you their cottage for a week then you can appreciate the quiet time relaxing by the lake’s edge listening to the waves lap against the dock whilst sipping on a cold beer. No grass to cut or house repairs to be done just the occasional swatting of flies as they nip at your ankles. I can’t imagine anything that is more soothing to the mind than listening to a loon’s cry across the lake as a gentle breeze cools your face while relaxing in a lawn chair. When the sun is shining and the weather is hot I prefer beers that have more of a citrus flavour with some good acidity which makes them taste more refreshing.
 We were running short on essentials at the cottage like hot dogs, beer and chips plus we were getting a bit of cabin fever. We decided to organize a side trip to Perth to pick up more supplies and stop at Perth Brewery to see what they had to offer in the way of refreshing beverages.

As we came through the Perth Brewery front door and viewed the list of beers we knew that making a choice wouldn’t be easy so some “sampling” would be necessary. The Whalebone Stout with oyster shells added to the brewing process was interesting and the Oh Canada Maple Lager made with Temples maple syrup was a real treat but we needed something more refreshing for the beach.

After some more sampling we settled on four beers. A grapefruit Radler, a west coast IPA called Calypso, a wheat beer called Summer Squeeze and we couldn’t leave without grabbing a couple of Oh Canada maple ales. It was time to head back to the cottage, throw the beer on ice and get setup for a relaxing afternoon by the lake. A little fun in the sun with some kayaking maybe a swim and then sit back, sip a beer and watch the odd pontoon boat go by. Life is tough.

Cheers !!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

South Africa Wines

The lawn has been cut, raking done and you’ve plucked as many dandelions as provincial election signs on March Road. Your lower back is at the point of seizing up or just plain giving out but you push on because at the end of the day you’ll be able to sit back in a lawn chair and survey the splendor of your “homestead” in all its crabgrass wonder whilst sipping a cold beer. But first, you have to search the dark recesses of that poorly lit garden shed to find it. With a few groans, and a brief fight with a garden hose you see it. There it is, in all its grease stained and dust covered majesty….the BBQ! You can almost hear the faint sizzling of sausages and the smell of barbeque chicken emanating from the grill. It’s calling you like an ancient pandora’s box to open the lid and look inside. You struggle to free it and after more than a few swear words the BBQ is pulled on to the deck and opened. Wow! you should have really cleaned that before putting it away. This BBQ will need a major makeover to get it back to last year’s grilling glory or maybe a lengthy burn off will do for now. You’ll definitely need some good wines to pair with the marinated chicken and steak that you plan on grilling this weekend.
  Here’s a couple of wine suggestions from South Africa that aren’t typical of the Chenin Blanc and Pinotage varietals they are known for.

2017 Spier Signture Chardonnay – Stellenbosch South Africa

South Africa is not really known for it’s Chardonnay but the trend over the last decade has been to switch from more traditional varietals like Chenin Blanc to more popular wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This Chardonnay is done in a California style with a soft texture and some oak. Pear, golden apple, vanilla and butterscotch are all there which combine for a smooth fruit forward Chardonnay. Pairs well with garlic marinated shrimp skewers on the BBQ.

LCBO 487181 - $12.30

2016 Big Bill Cabernet Sauvignon – Western Cape South Africa

The wine is actually called “The Legend of Big Bill” which was named after KWV’s original manager, Bill Millar. KWV winery is South Africa’s oldest winery (originally a coop winery). This Cabernet is very dark and rich with flavours of plum, menthol and a hint of dark chocolate. It pairs well with most red meats but I tried it with a pulled pork dish marinated in Bullseye BBQ sauce.

LCBO 457119 - $12.95

Cheers !!