Beer, Blueberries, Port and Sake

Darcy O'Neil :: August 2, 2006 8:18 PM

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't been posting as much as usual. Part of the reason is because of the new job at Mint, which is using up some of my time. The other part is that it is summer, and I'd rather be outside, instead of in front of the computer. But don't worry, my time away from writing is being well spent collecting information for new posts. In the last three days I've picked 14.5 kg (32 lbs) of blueberries, so there will have to be a blueberry cocktail creation. I've taken a tour of the Kittling Ridge distillery / winery in the Niagara region. Picked up a nice bottle of fortified dessert wine there. Then I headed off to the Black Oak Brewery in Oakville, but no one was home, so I just picked up a six pack of their Pale Ale at the Toronto LCBO. Then I hit the Summerhill LCBO and purchased a bottle of good sake.

Every year I have a routine of picking fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) to use throughout the year. Blueberries freeze great so I generally pick a lot of them, plus they are a very healthy fruit. I brought 7 lbs to the restaurant and then gave some to family members, but most of the blueberries came home. Hopefully I can come up with a good cocktail to use the blueberries in.

Next, my wife and I decided to spend some time in Toronto, so I planned to hit a few places that were close by, that I've always wanted to visit. The Kittling Ridge distillery / winery (makers of Forty Creek whisky) is pretty close so we hit their early for a tour. More on that in another post, but the two things that I came away with were a great dessert wine, styled after port, called Angelica Villard Noir (1999). The other is that there are plans to release a Forty Creek Reserve whisky. The time-line, or distribution, wasn't given, but it is on the drawing board so I'm looking forward to getting a bottle when it does come out.

After the Kittling Ridge tour, we headed down highway 403 to the Black Oak brewery. I wanted to pick up some of the Black Oak Pale Ale and their Summer Saison, but nobody was home. These two beers seem to be highly rated but are only distributed around Toronto and a few other select cities, but not London. It wasn't a complete loss, since I could pick up the Pale Ale in the LCBO store in Toronto.

Finally, I went to the Summerhill LCBO which is one of the bigger liquor stores in Ontario. They have a pretty big selection, but I wish they had more "vintage" spirits like rum. If I found a bottle of Rhum Agricole, that would have been my purchase, but none could be found. So instead I picked up a bottle of Momokawa "Diamond" Junmai Ginjo Sake. Sake seems quite popular lately so I figured I should try some decent sake.

This should give me some material to work with and write about.  


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