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Tapping the West

Tapping the West

How Alberta’s Craft Beer Industry Bubbled Out of an Economy Gone Flat
edition:eBook
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The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook

The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook

Recipes & Stories from Wineries Across British Columbia
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

Introduction
Welcome to beautiful BC wine country! There are more than 370 wineries (and counting) across British Columbia, split between nine recognized wine regions: the famous Okanagan Valley, the Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Fraser Valley, the Thompson Valley, the Shuswap and the newest regions, Lillooet and the Kootenays. These days, BC is known worldwide for its excellent wine, and as weather patterns change it is becoming possible to grow grapes ever farther north in the province. Which means more wine for all! Our wine world is full steam ahead.

We hear all the time that “great wine is made in the vineyard,” and BC has an amazing range of vineyard soils. From desert to oceanfront, our diverse geography produces a huge spectrum of distinctive, terroir-driven wines. And the same goes when it comes to food! Farmers will tell you that vegetables have terroir, too. A carrot grown in one region does not taste the same as one grown somewhere else. It’s all in the soil and the weather conditions unique to the area. Maybe that’s why folks in the wine industry seem to have an instinct for which foods pair best with their wines. Or maybe it’s because so many BC winemakers have a background in the culinary industry, including plenty of excellent chefs. With the province’s incredible combination of farming, fishing, foraging and fine wineries, BC’s food and wine are having one great love affair!

Wine drinkers in BC are absolutely spoiled for choice, and narrowing this book down to the wineries chosen was nearly impossible. I’ve tried to include a good range from across the province, with a mix of established and newer wineries. At each stop, you’ll learn a bit about the history of the winery andwinemakers, and what you’ll find there when you go to visit. Then, I’ve shared one or two of their favourite recipes and the perfect wine to pair with them. The wineries in this book are organized geographically, so you could more or less drive from one end of the book to the next (map on pages 6–7), but you don’t have to visit them that way! For wine tours built around your favourite varietal instead, have a look at my ideas for Wine Adventures on pages 262–274. Things change fast in the BC wine world, so give the wineries a call or check their websites before you plan a visit!

As part of the BC wine community myself, I know there is incredible diversity here, not just in our wines, but in the people behind those wines as well. In this cookbook, I wanted to showcase the beautiful cultures and nationalities that make up the community—Australian, Austrian, Canadian, Dutch, East Indian, French, German, Hungarian, Israeli, Italian, Kiwi, Mexican, South African, Swiss and more—all working together, and all sharing the dream to play a part in one of the world’s most exciting new wine industries. And what better way to do that than through food? For recipes in the book, I asked the people behind each winery for a recipe that was meaningful to them. The recipes they provided are family favourites, from comfort food served after a long, hard day in the vineyard, to dishes prepared to celebrate the end of harvest. I love that some of these recipes came to me as a photocopy of a recipe card, some handwritten by a beloved grandmother. It has been a wonderful pleasure for me to connect with the families featured in these pages, and to collect together their favourite recipes in what feels like one gigantic international potluck party!

Through these recipes, we pay tribute to the spirit of the people they came from and the hours they spent in their kitchens preparing meals with love. For ideas on how to group the recipes together into menus, check out my suggested Seasonal Menus on pages 258–261.

I truly hope you enjoy these stories and recipes shared by some of the most wonderful, passionate people behind BC wine. Whether you plan to use this book as a keepsake from one of your favourite wineries, an inspiration to visit more or a way to bring a little bit of the BC wine world into your kitchen, this book is for you. My dream is that many of these dishes will become part of your own family’s traditions and live on through the next generation of cooks.

If you can, please plan a visit to the wineries featured in this book, and when you prepare their recipes, raise a glass of BC wine and thank them for sharing a little piece of their story. Cheers!

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Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up

A History of Alcohol in Newfoundland and Labrador
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

The Portable Expert to Over 200 Distilleries and the Spirits they Make (From Absinthe to Whisky, and Everything in Between)
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

From the Introduction

There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world. If you doubt us, just visit the farmers’ market in Duncan, BC. There, among the local vegetables, grass-fed meats, cheeses, handcrafted soaps, and wines, you will find the Schacht family, who operate Ampersand Distilling just up the road, selling products they make by hand: gin and vodka. Duncan is typical of the scores of communities across the land where a burgeoning interestin locally produced food and drink has grown to embracespirits. More than 200 distilleries have sprung up across Canada to meet this surging demand, most of them in the past five years alone. New distilleries are popping up so regularly that it is almost impossible to keep up.

These new enterprises are not small-scale knock-offs of the major distilleries that already provide more than 99% of the spirits that Canadians drink (and yes, that’s the real number). Small or large, each of Canada’s distilleries has its own distinct, often eccentric, personality. And for the most part, each one turns to local produce to make its fine spirits. While larger distilleries focus on high-volume, mass-market liquors, the smaller distillers specialize intiny batches of specialty spirits. Often, they sell these products in shops inside their distillery.

What these smaller start-ups may lack in volume, theymake up for in cachet. Many of them, for example, are raising terroir to an almost fetish-like obsession. It’s notan exaggeration to say that you really can taste Vancouver Island barley in Shelter Point’s whiskies, while Cirka’s gin telegraphs innovative flavours from Quebec’s boreal forest. As well, distillers are creating a new understanding of formerly traditional flavours for spirits. Still Waters Distillery and Dillon’s Distillers have each created their own versions of rye whiskies with surprising and appealing new flavours. Pemberton Distillery has been digging peat right on its own property to fuel the kiln that dries and flavours its malt. Distillerie Fils du Roy harvests New Brunswick thuja staves for its barrels, while a collective of Quebec distillers has created an official geographic designation known as acerum, for spirits they make from maple sap.

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The idea for this book began to take shape while we were travelling across Canada, writing a travel and whisky adventure series. Entering crowded tasting rooms from Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, Alberta, to Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario, showed just how popular “drinking local” is becoming. As we have gotten to know some of these distilleries, we realized each has a unique product and a story that needs to be told, and thus this guide was born.

In all 10 provinces and one territory, you will meet the quirky personalities who create these spirits and who run the distilleries that make them. Some of the distilleries featured have been around for over a century; others are creating their spirits for the first time. Each plays its part in Canada’s spirits landscape. There has never been a better selection of rich specialty spirits to tempt the palate and add to your long-time favourites, and the tasting notes we have included will help guide you.

There is a lot to say about the over 200 profiles featured in this book. To make it as comprehensive as possible, you’ll find the technical details of each distillery—whether it is their street address, the kinds of stills they use, tour information, or a listing of where you can buy their products—in sidebars on every page. As well, we have included regional maps to plan your next distillery-crawl adventure and to track your progress. We have also mentioned each distillery’s nearest neighbours, in each direction, so no matter which way you are heading, you know where to stop next. Once you have taken that first sip, we are confident you will want to visit them all. And when you get home, new discoveries in hand, why not try some of our distillery-specific cocktail recipes—some classic, most unique.

This book is as up-to-date as we could make it. And like every book, it is up-to-date until the moment someone pushes the “Print” button. Given all of the exciting things we have seen in our research, we know there will be new additions by the time it reaches your hands. And this is why, for the latest updates, we invite you to visit us at www.canadiandistilleries.com.

As you work your way through this book, you will—in words, at least, and we hope later in fact—taste all the spirits these distilleries create, and hundreds more. There is a whole new world of flavour in Canada’s distilleries, and we hope our book will help you be part of it.

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