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Rosé, Rosado, Rossato, Weissherbst are all names for the wine we call rosé in English (we borrowed the word from the French). The word rose means pink in French. Add an accent on the é and you get rosé, which is the pink wine being produced in many countries around the world.
How is rosé wine made? First, you need to start with red grapes. Generally two methods are used. One method is to macerate (sounds savage but it isn't) the juice with the skins (macerate means to become soft or separated into constituents by soaking). This is done for a short time so the juice picks up some colour to become pink but not red. The skins and juice are then separated either by draining or pressing and fermentation proceeds. In rare cases, some rosé wines are made by blending a finished red wine with a finished white wine. This happens in Champagne and Rosé Champagnes are made in this method.
Many types of grapes are used in making rosé wines (Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Mouvedre, Tempranillo, to name a few) and the wines can vary from being very light and off dry to more full bodied and dry. Some are definitely made to be summer sippers, to be drunk on their own, while others go well with summer foods such as salads, pasta, seafood, fish and grilled chicken or pork.
If you are interested in knowing more about rosé wines and tasting a great lineup of 6 rosés from around the world , come to Firefly on Cambie for a celebration of Rosé and Crab on Thursday June 13 from 7-9 pm. Rosés from Chile, BC, France and Spain will be poured and paired with tastes of crab. Tickets are available on line or at the store.
When we had a Sake tasting at Firefly for staff recently, I approached the tasting with trepidation. My memories of sake were of drinking a warm, musty alcoholic beverage from a small ceramic cup 40 years ago in Vancouver's old Japan town. I wasn't expecting much, needless to say, even like it. What a surprise! Sake has joined the ranks of wine in its variety of styles, tasting notes and prices.
There are literally hundreds of different kinds of Sakes just as there are wines. Like wine, Sake is a fermented beverage, using as the base material rice, instead of grapes. However, Sake has a more delicate flavour than wine, is generally higher in alcohol than wine and doesn't have the natural acidity that wine has.
Unlike wine, Sake is actually brewed like beer. The four ingredients that are used to make Sake are rice, yeast, water and rice Koji (Koji is actually a kind of mold that is used for the breaking down of the starch in the rice into simple sugars). Just like the winemaker, the role of the Sake Master is of utmost importance in the making of Sake.
The most wine-like of the Sakes are called Junmai Daiginjo and can range from $50 to over a $100 a bottle! They can be paired with Japanese fare, such as sashimi and sushi, but also go incredibly well with non Japanese food. Junmai Daiginjo could easily accompany chicken, pork, seafood and fish dishes. The particular Daiginjo we tasted called "Eau du Desir" had notes of citrus, Asian pear and apple. As a wine drinker, this would definitely be a Sake I would purchase and pair with a dinner just as I do wine.
In just an hour of Sake tasting led by an expert, I learned more about Sake than I had during my whole lifetime.
Come experience the world of Sake. We will be holding a tasting at our "Table Commune" on Thursday, May 30 from 7-9 pm and tickets are $30. The session will be led by a Sake Sommelier), Iori Katioka, who owns a number of Japanese restaurants around Vancouver.
Cote Rotie, Kanazawa, the Great Sonoran Desert..... What is the common thread that links these three places together?
Cote Rotie is one of the oldest vineyards in France and a famous appellation in the Northern Rhone. Cote Rotie is known for producing wines often considered to be the best in the Rhone. The primary grape is Syrah which is often co-fermented with a little Viognier.
The Great Sonoran Desert stretches from Mexico all the way up to the Okanagan Valley and the Osoyoos/Oliver areas are located in that great desert.
Kanazawa is a city that sits on the Sea of Japan bordered by the Japanese Alps. It is also the surname of Richard Kanazawa, the winemaker and owner of Kanazawa Winery, located in Oliver, BC, part of the Great Sonoran Desert. Richard is making Kanazawa Raku, it is one of the six featured wines at our "Taste of BC ". The grapes for the wine were grown in Osoyoos and Richard produced this wine in a Cote Rotie style, co-fermenting 85% Syrah grapes with 15% Viognier. Raku has flavours of dark berries, spice and candied fruit supported by firm tannins. It is delicious on its own but also pairs well meat dishes and charcuterie.
At our "Taste of BC" on Thursday, May 16, we will be trying a range of wines which will be paired with small delicious bites . We are looking forward to seeing you there!
We're teaming up with Gregg Peacock to help him raise funds for the 2012 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer® , a 250km ride from Vancouver to Seattle with the goal of raising money for the BC Cancer Foundation.
Tickets are $25 and you can buy them online. Doors are at 7pm and you can enjoy wine, beer, cider and cheese until 9pm. We've invited many of our suppliers to pour samples of delicious products and nibble on Benton Brother's Fine Cheese.
The store will still be open Wednesday night, but you can expect to see a lot more people hanging around with a wine glass on Wednesday.
We hope you'll join us, and we wish Gregg the best of luck with his ride!