Straight Up, a Film About Ontario’s Alcohol Laws, is Worth the Watch

Ottawa Screening of Straight Up Ottawa Screening of Straight Up

Earlier this week Katy Watts, Ottawa’s longtime champion of all things brewed and sometimes freelance food writer, invited me to attend the somewhat exclusive screening of Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario, an independently-produced documentary about the archaic and oftentimes punitive laws that regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol in Ontario. Ours would be the second screening of the documentary worldwide. Sponsored by Ottawa’s growing microbrewery Beyond the Pale, the screening was very well attended at the newly relocated Orange Gallery. The room easily sat fifty people. When seating ran out, a... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday: a New Year’s solution to my fear of flying corks

We celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas here at CasaNJG. This means we are exponentially more likely to require bubbly to celebrate the season. As you know, I am deathly afraid of Champagne corks (see previous post on this very subject). This year, I am happy to announce that I have found a solution, if not a cure to my problem. The question of spoilage due to the use of natural corks, aside, these things rock! I can safely open a bottle of bubbly without fear of embarassment or personal injury. Flat Rock Cellars Riddled –... | Continue reading article

Three Dog Winery + Harmony House = The Red and White

Imagine sitting at your dining room table, sipping a wine from a vineyard you helped plant, or knowing that you were there at the beginning? John and Sasha Squair are Prince Edward County’s biggest supporters. Residents of the county, involved in every good cause, found at every local event, they have been promoting the County’s bounty for many years. In a tremedous act of “going for broke” and “living your dream”, John and Sasha Squair started their very own winery: Three Dog Winery, in 2013. A few of us headed down there in June to help plant... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday: Hopa!

I have never been to Greece. If I ever have the good fortune to do so, I know I’ll be sampling the local wine as I wander back through thousands of years of history. In the meantime, I’ll sit in my cold Canadian winter and dream of white-washed houses perched on sun-drenches islands above a turquoise sea, centuty old trees sitting in the dusty groves, Appollo, Athena, and, of course, food and wine! Agiorgitiko Boutari 2008 is a well-priced Greek red wine that I picked up at the SAQ in Quebec for under $15. The... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday – I’m back and drinking

Hi. I’m back! Did you miss me? It’s been a while, I know. I took some time off to move. No matter how organised you are (and believe me, I am organised. Organisation is what I do for a living) moving never goes according to plan. No matter how much help you hire, there are tasks that only you can do (unpacking the wine, for example). No matter how much time you take off, you will inevitably run out and your week-ends will be devoted to boxes and paper and tape guns. That has been my life... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday – wine gadget for those on the move

Sorry for my absence these last few weeks: we’ve been moving. And, like many things in life, what seems simple when first imagined, turns into huge amounts of work, endless days and sleepless nights. Some of the fun things in life fall by the way-side, spending time with friends, reading books, and writing. And, despite the best plans and the most minute attention to details, despite every effort to organise down to the last detail, things are missed. In my case, I found myself in my new house with a bottle of scotch and not a single... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday – have wine, will travel

With the summer upon us, many of us will be taking trips: by car, by plane, on your bicycle, perhaps even by camel (it could happen). We will be gone a day, a week, or even a month. These trips may involve five star hotels, flea-bitten hostels, or “bring your own tent” accommodations. In addition to the sunscreen and the bug repellent, the bathing suits and the comfortable shoes, we must not forget to pack the other necessities. such as band-aids, extra cash and, of course, the wine. Travelling with wine, however, is rarely easy.... | Continue reading article

Wine Wednesday – Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling – Buy this wine!

Featherstone, a small Niagara winery Featherstone, a small Niagara winery

Buy this wine. I really should not have to say more than that. It is yummy and well priced and you will like it. What? You need more information than my decree before you will part with your hard earned pennies?     OK, OK, how about this: Featherstone Vineyards in Niagara employ sheep to help nibble away at excess foliage on their vines. Tell me you have not always wanted to own a flock of sheep-gardeners, I dare you. The founders of the winery got into winemaking because they wanted to make cheaper gravy. True Story. (Admitedly, it’s a... | Continue reading article