August 01, 2018

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Rosé all day? Rosé all year!

Photo Source: Winefolly.com

Our love affair with the rosy hued wine is not new, but its recent surge of popularity has more people discovering the diversity of rosé wines.

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May 25, 2018

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Recipe: "Kick-Ass" Barbecued Burgers

Photo Source: Blenditarian.com

These juicy and flavourful burgers are guaranteed to be your go-to all summer long.

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April 20, 2018

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Recipe: Crispy Oven Baked Pickerel with Greek Yogurt Tartar Sauce

Oven Panko Crusted Fish. Credit: Diana RattrayPhoto Source: TheSpruceEats.com

Friday was always fish night in my house growing up, and this recipe for crispy baked pickerel from Homegrown: Celebrating the Canadian Foods We Grow, Raise and Produce presses all the right nostalgia buttons. It also makes me excited for summer fishing trips and whipping up a fresh fry right on shore.

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March 09, 2018

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Recipe: Charred Miso Broccolini with Crispy Garlic Chips

A fresh, Springy recipe to wake up your winter-weary taste buds - paired with selections from the Holiday 2017 and Spring 2018 ClubK packs! View full article →
October 18, 2017

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Recipe: Crab Feuilleté

Crab Feuilleté

Here's a food and wine pairing that's easy to make and guaranteed to impress your fall dinner party guests (ours definitely were!) The recipe is from French Country Cooking, a beautiful cookbook by Mimi Thorisson - pick up your copy for more of her amazing recipes.

Pairs with: Regent 2011 White (in our Fall Discovery Pack!)

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces / 230 g frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon / 15 g unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
¾ cup / 180 ml crème fraîche
½ pound / 230 g picked crabmeat
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 granny smith apple
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 bunch of fresh tender herb leaves, such as chervil, basil, or parsley
1 teaspoon nigella seeds

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Roll out the puff pastry slightly and cut out 4 rounds 3 to 5 inches / 7.5 to 12.5 cm in diameter. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, place on the lined baking sheet, leaving room between the rounds, and cover with another piece of parchment paper. Set a second baking sheet on top to keep the pastry from puffing up too much. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the second baking sheet and the top sheet of parchment paper and bake until golden, another 5 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool.

3. In a small bowl, dissolve the saffron threads in 2 teaspoons hot water.

4. In a sauté pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool. Add the crème fraîche, saffron (along with the liquid), and crabmeat and season with salt and pepper.

5. Slice the apple very thinly, preferably using a mandoline. Rub the apple slices with the lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.

6. Arrange a few slices of apple on top of each round of pastry, creating a flower shape, then spoon the crab mixture on top and decorate with the herb leaves. Sprinkle some nigella seeds all over and serve.

September 26, 2017

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All About: Aged White Wines

All About: Aged White Wines

Aged white wines are a rare and beautiful thing - but sometimes hard to understand. Most white wines—about 95 percent of wines on the market—are made for enjoying young, while they are fresh and fruity. But aged white wine is a little different. Just like reds, the fresh fruit aromas and flavours take on spicier, sweeter, complex character that can be described as dried, cured, baked, or even burnt. 

Oak in white wines
Oak is used in white wines mainly for two purposes - to add flavours and to give the wine properties that will allow it to age. For flavour, oak chiefly lends a wine sweet spice notes like vanilla and clove, butter, popcorn and… sweet oak. These notes can be quite pronounced when the oak is new. Winemakers will use previously filled barrels when they want to impart characteristics upon the wine other than flavour. That is, they want to create a wine that will age. The gradual introduction of oxygen to a wine over many months or even years in barrel will stabilize the wine so that they can age for several years or even up to ten (and sometimes more).

Age-worthy white grapes
White grapes that respond well to oak ageing are generally higher in acid and grown in cooler climates. These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chenin Blanc. Acid acts as a preservative, allowing the wines to age and evolve while still maintain balance and structure.

Whites in Ontario
Here in Ontario, many of our higher-end Chardonnays are treated with a combination of new and used oak barrels. Stratus in Niagara makes some particularly interesting oak-aged white wines, like the Regent 2011 White from our Fall ClubK pack. This wine is as a blend of predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, with Gewurztraminer, Semillon and Viognier. It was aged in new and used oak barrels for almost a full two years before being bottled.

Have you tried an aged white wine? Leave us a comment and let us know!

September 13, 2017

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More Ways to Enjoy Your ClubK

Not sure how to best enjoy the wines in your ClubK box this season?

We here at kwäf have a few favourite ways that we wanted to share with you!

1. Share a photo on social media

Everyone loves to share, so why not share a photo of the best wine club and make your friends jealous? We love snapping a photo of our wines and posting it on Instagram and Facebook. Make sure you use the hashtag #ClubK so that others can see your photos too! We love looking at the hashtag and seeing how many kwäffers are enjoying their ClubK box - and the most creative ones we repost to our Instagram page (@kwafwine) for everyone to see!

2. Cooking amazing wine and food pairings

We love drinking wine, and we love cooking, but what's best is cooking a dish that matches your wine perfectly. Every season we find (and test!) the best recipes for our ClubK wines. This Fall, they all come from French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson. One of our favourites is her Pot-au-Feu (recipe below), which pairs perfectly with the 2012 Dean's List Meritage. After you make this, you'll want to check out more of Mimi's recipes which you can find on her website, or by purchasing her book!

Pot-au-Feu Recipe

Pairs with: Niagara College 2012 Dean's List Meritage

Psst! You can find more recipes in the Members' Corner at kwaf.ca/TheClub

3. A relaxing evening in with some good music

Don't want to drink your wine in silence, but can't find anything to watch on Netflix? We've created a playlist full of great songs that will match your drinking experience this season. Fill up a glass, turn up the volume, sip and enjoy. Listen to the full playlist by creating a free Spotify account.

Have more ways you like to enjoy your ClubK? Share them with us!

Want to get in on the #ClubK fun? There's still time to get this season's box! Get yours here!

September 12, 2017

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Recipe: Pot-au-Feu

Pot-au-Feu

Here's a food and wine pairing that will keep you warm as the leaves start to fall and the nights get cooler. Recipe is from French Country Cooking, a beautiful cookbook by Mimi Thorisson - pick up your copy for more of her amazing recipes.

Serves: 6

Pairs with: Niagara College 2012 Dean's List Meritage (Find it in the Autumn ClubK box!)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds / 900 g veal shank
  • 1½ pounds / 750 g tender beef shoulder or brisket
  • 2 pounds / 900 g boneless beef brisket, rolled
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled and halved
  • 1 pound / 450 g carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 pound / 450 g leeks, white and pale-green parts, cut into chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 bay leaf
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 medium russet potatoes, halved
  • ½ head savoy cabbage, sliced into large strips
  • cornichons, for serving
  • dijon mustard, for serving
INSTRUCTIONS

1. Individually tie the veal shank, beef shoulder, and brisket firmly with kitchen twine so the pieces keep their shape during cooking. Put them in a very large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove from the heat and discard the water. Remove all of the pieces of meat, set aside on a large plate, and rinse the pot to get rid of any traces of scum. Return the meat to the pot.

2. Stick the cloves into the onion halves. Toss them into the pot along with the carrots, leeks, celery, turnip, garlic, bouquet garni, and bay leaf and cover with cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 hours, checking the pot from time to time to skim off any scum from the surface and to add water if necessary to cover the ingredients.

3. Add the potatoes and cabbage and continue to simmer until they are tender, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

4. Take out the meat and vegetables and transfer to a large serving plate. Slice the meat. Spoon a few ladles of the broth into bowls, add some meat and vegetables, and serve with the cornichons, mustard, and some salt.

 

*Recipe excerpted from French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson. Copyright © 2016 Marie-France Thorisson. Photography copyright © Oddur Thorisson. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

August 25, 2017

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ANNOUNCEMENT: kwäf app now available!

Introducing the kwäf Pocket Somm app!

We have an app!

We’re dedicated to bringing you the best wines all the time, and now we can do it from your pocket 24/7!

kwäf: Pocket Somm is the guide for all of your LCBO shopping and browsing needs, and you can use it any time, any place.

What’s on the app:

  • View all LCBO Sale Picks in app – this week’s, last week’s and every week’s. View the best wines on sale with tasting notes and pairings, and get a notification when we make the latest pick!
  • Product search – you can search every product in LCBO right from our app. You can even scan barcodes of products you have at home!
  • Check availability in stores – know before you go. Check how much of your favourite product is left in your local store before you get there. Set your home store as your favourite.
  • Save picks for later – found something you want to try later? Like an LCBO Pick you don’t want to forget? Save it to your watchlist and never worry about missing our on a new fav.
  • Share products with friends – LCBO pick so good you need to tell your friends right away? Send them your picks in the app so they can get all the info too!

Each week we'll be adding new kwäf picks and lists of our faves for you to enjoy!

Plus, did we mention it’s free?!

What are you waiting for? Download kwäf: Pocket Somm now!

August 17, 2017

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Fall ClubK - A Sneak Peek!

It's hard to believe that summer is already winding down. But we must admit we are looking forward to some parts of fall—the harvest, sweater weather and, of course, another season of ClubK!

After tasting through dozens of wines, we've finally narrowed down your final six bottles for Autumn and we're pretty darn excited about it. So, we're giving you a sneak peek into 3 of our picks for you!

In your box this season:

Organized Crime 2016 Pinot Grigio

Niagara College Teaching Winery Dean's List 2012 Meritage

Hinterbrook NOMAD 2013 Wanderlove Red - a new winery we've never featured before! Lindsay Groves says this wine is "bold, flavourful and classic" with big black and blue fruit and savoury spice. It's a perfect pair with grilled steaks and burgers, or a meat-lover's pizza with bacon for those Friday nights you want to order in.

 Not already a ClubK member? Get on it! Subscribe before September 5 and you'll get these delicious wines delivered by September 22.