Everything Wine And More

Samantha Torrance
September 28, 2015 | Samantha Torrance

Whisky Liqueurs

Whisky is a liquor everyone is familiar with, but it isn’t one people think of when liqueurs are in the mix. Some people find whisky has a harsh burn on the finish which comes from the alcohol content.  If we bring down that alcohol and add in some additional flavours and sweetness we find a new way to enjoy whisky!  Whisky Liqueurs are between 30% and 35% which cuts down on that burn we know all too well. Sample one of these Whisky Liqueurs today at our Sherwood Park location or buy a bottle and try at it home!

Irish Mist Honey Liqueur - $37.99/750ml
This liqueur is made from genuine Irish Whisky and is the only liqueur worldwide to have Irish in its registered name. Made with a blend of Irish whisky, honey, herbs and other spirits this liqueur has been around since 1947. It’s called a honey whisky for a reason. On the nose and on the palate honey is prevalent.  The palate starts with classic Irish whisky flavours then smoothly rolls into the sweet honey on the mid palate and finishes with a bit of heat and lingering sweetness. This liqueur can be enjoyed over ice, straight up, or mixed in a cocktail. The most popular is Irish Mist, Cola, and a wedge of lime.

Sortilege Maple Whisky - $32.99/750ml
This liqueur is a special blend of real Canadian maple syrup and Canadian whisky. At only 30% alcohol this liqueur is smooth with a little heat on the end. The aromas of maple syrup are gentle and sweet. Once you taste it the palate presents a slow embrace of maple syrup that envelops the whole mouth. It’s silky and not overpowering. The finish is a bit more traditional whisky with a soft mouth feel. This whisky is meant to be had over ice or straight up, but also is delicious in coffee or tea. If you love maple this is a must have! 

Spicebox Pumpkin Whisky - $28.99/750ml
Spicebox whiskies come in a variety of flavours. Spicebox pumpkin is a flavoured whisky and not a liqueur, but still has a sweeter softer finish than your typical straight whisky. The pumpkin flavours in the whisky remind you of  Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced syrup.  On the nose you get aromas of cinnamon and cloves. On the palate it is less sweet and finishes like a true whisky. There are more spices and pumpkin on the palate and move throughout the mouth to fill it with flavour. This can be a sipping whisky or try adding an ounce into cider for an added festive kick. 


Time Posted: Sep 28, 2015 at 1:42 PM
Locklin McDonald
September 16, 2015 | Locklin McDonald

Conversations With My Wife: How This Married Man Pairs Food & Wine

My wife Deb and I had planned a dinner with friends visiting from the Okanagan. This blog is about the conversation that took place when we were thinking about the best food and wine pairings for the evening. I hope you enjoy and see how much thought goes into making sure your meal is a hit from start to finish.

Wine friends are always the best friends to cook for and share some of our paring choices. Deb and I decided on our appetizer first: pickled salmon wrapped in a fresh basil leaf then painted with lemon gelatin. I smiled and immediately thought to myself: Alsace dry Riesling, the Pierre Sparr reserve 2012 ($20.99) to be exact. That kiss of lemon drop moving quickly to bright lime / grapefruit tinged acidity trailing to a brief mouthwatering finish complementing the acidy and pungent aroma of the salmon and basil. She winked…”just what I was thinking."

When it came to the main course my wife turned to me and said “how about I pick the meal and you pick the wine." As always when my wife asked to do the main course, it means she is cooking and the baroque cover will not be coming off. In order to choose the right wine I needed to know “how are you preparing the tenderloin, dear?”
She replied, “Salt and pepper, a little olive oil, you know me, let the flavour of the meat be the star. I was thinking brown cap mushrooms with shallots and green peppercorn sautéed in butter with chardonnay and a table spoon of fresh whole cream just for that little sweetness.  For veggies...golden beets par-boiled, then oven roasted with apple cider vinegar drizzle infused with cilantro and thyme. Baked russet potatoes rubbed with salt and olive oil to complete the plate and complement the mushroom sauce.”

Wow…sounds great…tough meal to pair a wine I thought. So much Umami flavours to consider, but I am up to the challenge. The flavour of a not over seasoned or sauced beef is perfect to pair with a big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon such as the Beringer Knights Valley 2012 ($39.99).  A complex cab with ripe red and dark berry flavours, floral and peppery spice notes with a rich mouth feel followed by pleasant silky tannins on the finish.

The mushroom sauce has a mouth coating effect which can subdue the complexity of the wine and its importance in the meal.  The beets with their natural sweetness balanced with the herb infused apple cider vinegar should balance the umami from the mushroom sauce. “Yes, I am going with the Knights Valley Cabernet,” I exclaimed!

“So Deb my love …you picked the main course, can I do the desert?”
“Well with that pretty please look on your face how can I say no!” Replied my wife. 
“So here it is and I think it is going to surprise and impress Marty and Charlene, oh and just maybe get me a big kudo’s from a certain lady.” 
“Oh boy…just like a man, always needing that pat on the head.”
“I was thinking Noe, a 30 year old Pedro Ximenez Sherry from Jerez Spain ($37.49) served chilled with large broken pieces of dark rich chocolate.  Can’t you just see the dark amber/brown with molasses and butterscotch aromas of the sherry and flavours of nuts and raisins, the creamy mouth coating texture creates a long powerful finish. The chocolate’s sweetness would pair perfectly with the sweet rich sherry. What do you think Deb?”
“You had me at thirty year old sherry…I’m in.”

The meal was a hit! I’m glad all the planning was worth it. Every bite and every sip was one to savour. I hope your next meal is as good as this one!

Time Posted: Sep 16, 2015 at 2:50 PM
Cart 0 items: $0.00
Your Account  |  Log In