Bauhaus's newly-appointed Wine Director, Alan Koller, is back. This time, he's exploring 1990s Vancouver wine culture, Italian Chiantis, and the Tasting Menu's coffee-marinated strip.
I am going to age myself a bit here: when I first started in the hospitality industry way back in ’91, it seemed like everyone was drinking was the Wolf Blass Yellow Label. Then, I moved to Vancouver in ‘94 and it didn’t take long for me to discover where Vancouver’s wine passion was focused… Italy. More specifically, oh boy, did Vancouver jump on the Super Tuscan bandwagon! I blame Umberto for this, but that is another story for another time. Of course, we had a short visit from Beaujolais Nouveau in the mid-90s for a couple of years.
In the 1990s, it was the new world that picked up the mantle. We began seeing the BC wines take off; it seemed that Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris and Merlot were on every menu. The fine dining world was being dominated by the big names of Napa. Joseph Phelps, Caymus, and Shafer were on ever table. That was until the late 2000s when it was Bordeaux’s turn to rule Vancouver. In some ways, you can see the immaturity of the Vancouver wine market by observing these trends. Now, this is not a bad thing! Out west, we live without restrictive rules. It is much more fun to live life as a maverick, without bias and rules. Trends always affect an industry, and wine is no different. The term ‘Super Tuscan’ was the result of a few decades of negative wine growth in Tuscany and wine makers wanting to up their game. ‘Beaujolais Nouveau’ was Beaujolais’s attempt to break into the New World market. It didn’t work as well as the Super Tuscan trend did. There was the ‘Robert Parker effect’ on Bordeaux and the ‘Wine Spectator effect’ on Napa. All these events created change – some good, and some not so much. Let’s explore this a little further and we will use Chianti as our case study.
The Italians have been growing wine in the Chianti region for thousands of years, but it was roughly in the 13th century that the term Chianti was first used. The term was used a designation for a collection of winemakers came in the 1760s - welcome to one of Italy’s earliest regional wine marketing plan! Also, this is the era that created the region Chianti Classico. Now, the fun fact about Chianti in the 18th century is it was predominantly white wine. It wasn’t until the 1880s when Baron Ricasoli set the standard for Chianti: a minimum of 70% Sangiovese, with 15% Canaiolo and 10% Malvasia, with an optional 5% of other varietals. This guideline was established into law with the creation of the DOC system in the 1960s.
What inspired the DOC system? Well after WW2, the world started drinking a lot of wine, and with few wine regions around, many regions focused on quantity instead of quality. Chianti was one of these regions, and sadly the quality of the wine was poor and was only getting worse. The DOC system was an attempt to improve the quality of the wine. Unfortunately, that improvement was delayed. There were a couple of reasons for this delay: ego, as Italian winemakers are very proud and they didn’t like being told their wine was poor; other winemakers wanted to use different grapes in the blend, and didn’t want the percent of each grape to be dictated by law. This group of winemakers began making wines that we now know as ‘Super Tuscans.’ FYI: the first Super Tuscan was the 1971 Sassacaia.
Now that there was a break-away group, there was a comparison available to us. There was a distinct difference in quality between a Super Tuscan and a Chianti, and it didn’t help that Chianti was still being sold in straw bottles. So, it took until the mid-80s before Chianti finally started making better quality wines. Some of the early ones I can remember are Ducale Gold Label and Nipozzano Chianti Classico. Since the 2000s, Chianti has maintained its market share, but recognized that another change was needed. The designation of Gran Selezione has been around for some time, and it represents a similar standard of wine production to the Classico, except that none of the grapes could come from a Classico vineyard. In 2014, we saw the latest change to Italian wine law. Now Chianti Classico wine makers could add the Gran Selezione designation to their wines, providing they owned the vineyard the grapes came from and it followed a couple of new rules. Thus, Gran Selezione becomes the highest designation for Chianti Classico. Does this mean better quality? Hopefully, but there is only one way to find out!
We have recently added two new Chiantis to our list, both from Castello Di Ama. We have the 2009 Chianti Classico Reserva and the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo 2011. The vineyard sites have been around for centuries, but the winery was closed for many years until a couple of families decided to purchase the land and try and restore the vineyard to its former glory. They succeeded. In 2003, their winemaker was named winemaker of the year in Italy. In 2010, the San Lorenzo was number 6 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100.
Both of these wines are very good examples of Chianti, but there are some differences. The 2009 shows more of the classic Sangiovese fruit, the raspberry and the black cherry, along with a touch of pepper. Because of its age, it is also showing more tobacco and dried floral and herb tones. The nice part of the structure of Classicos is that you don’t have to wait as long as you must with a Brunello for the aged character to show itself. This wine still has a few years left in it but it is very enjoyable now. The San Lorenzo is a couple of years younger and is a little richer in the fruit, mainly because of the higher percentage of Merlot, and this adds a bit more plum flavour to the body of the wine. Because the winemaker was meticulous about only using his best grapes, you also get more spice and leather tones to the wine, creating more depth and character at its younger age.
Both these wines are very similarly rated, and both are about $140 a bottle. If you feel like a challenge, try them side by side with our new Tasting Menu. We will open them at the beginning and by the time we get to the coffee-marinated Cache Creek Striploin with the pumpkin, the challenge will be completed. One of these two wines will be a touch better with the beef. I wonder which one?
The seasons are changing - days are crisp, evenings are long, the leaves are falling, and the new Tasting Menu has arrived. The 6 course dinner (also available as 4 courses) celebrates the changing of the seasons and is bursting with fall's flavours. Read on for a preview of each course.
Duck Liver shortbread / carrots / oats
Sunchoke mushrooms / chives
Venison apple / juniper / parsnip
Halibut shellfish consommé / daikon / garlic
Beef coffee / squash / kale
Pear white chocolate / blondie
created by our Executive Chef team, David Mueller and Tim Schulte four courses for 79 / six courses for 99 wine pairing 54 / 70
Alan Koller is back, this time with the story of his first sip of wine, German Rieslings, and the details of a very special evening planned for October.
"I love wine. Seriously – I love wine. I am very passionate about wine, and I am not apologetic about it. Being passionate about wine is one of the greatest accents to your life’s journey. It is the perfect blend of everything we need in life. I may write a post just on that one day, but for now I want to talk about one of the keys to becoming truly passionate about wine. The key I am referring to is building the correct foundation. What do I mean by that? There are many styles of wine in the world, and to truly embrace wine as a passion, one must embrace all of it. From Bordeaux to South Africa, dry sherries and sweet ones, Pinot Noirs from around the planet, to every obscure grape found in Italy – all wines have a story to tell and deserve to be appreciated.
Now, unfortunately there is one grape that has been unfairly picked on by wine drinkers for a long time – German Riesling. For many people, all they think when I say German Riesling is, “ugh sweet wine, I don’t like it.” This is a situation we face everyday on the floor at Bauhaus. It is our mission to expose our guests to the truly incredible wines of Germany. To not have Germany included in your passion for wine means you exclude some of the greatest wines the world has ever seen.
For me, I was fortunate – my exposure to German Riesling began 40 years ago. I was 5 years old and sitting at the table with my parents and their friends. What was unique about this dinner was what was in my little glass in front of me was wine. Yes folks, my dad gave me wine at 5 years old (only about two ounces, if that makes it better). My mother didn’t drink, so I blame my dad. At least that is what I tell my therapist! Now, I can honestly say that drinking wine at 5 has had no ill effect on my life, but it did have a profound effect on my life. This first moment of enjoying wine became one of the cornerstones to my life both personally and professionally.
I was fortunate to have my love of sweeter style wines cemented within me at a young age. The best part is I still remember the wine – Niersteiner Goldener Oktober Kabinett Riesling. Some of you may remember this wine, and it is still available today for $10.50 at your local liquor store, in case you would like to take a trip down memory lane. I will not be joining on that trip unfortunately, as I have moved on, and thankfully. This is the wine that many of our customers think of when they hear German Riesling.
Moving on from the age of 5, I began to find out that Riesling is the most fascinating white grape in the world, and here are a few reasons why. One, you can have a situation where 1 vineyard could produce 7 different styles of Riesling. Two, you will learn how acidity and sugar levels are connected in great Rieslings. Three, you can have the same style of Riesling produced by different vineyards, vinified in almost the same way, but end up with completely different wines. A great example of that is our collection of GG Rieslings at Bauhaus. If I lined them up side by side for any of you to try, you would not find any two remotely similar.
I should clarify something, allow me to digress a bit on my use of “GG”. GG stands for Grosses Gerwachs, which is a sub-category of the Grosses Lage designation. Grosses Lage is essentially the grand cru vineyards of German. Grosses Gerwachs is the designation given to the dry Rieslings produced in those grand crus vineyards.
What separates the GG class from the regular trocken Rieslings? Complexity. Riesling is known for a few key flavours such as petrol, green apple, and stone fruit with some other players in the game, but when you move into the GG class, that is when those other flavours are balanced out with this incredible minerality. This is where Riesling moves from a patio wine to one of the best wines in the world to pair with food. You have heard me say that the quality of the wine is dependant on the length of conversation. Well, GG has a lot to say. But let’s get back on point.
I am going to focus now on the wines of Robert Weil, an exceptional creator of some of the finest Rieslings in Germany. Allow me to take a moment to give you an overview of the winery. Robert Weil winery has been open for business since 1875, which in Germany is considered a relatively young winery. The winery is located in Kiedrich, in the Rheingau. They own approximately 90 hectares of vineyards, with one vineyard being classified as grosse lage, the Gräfenberg Vineyard, and two erste lage, the Klosterberg and Turmberg. Erste lage is essentially first growth vineyards, one tier down from Grand Cru. Weil produces only Riesling, and have produced a trocken, kabinett, spätlese, auslese, eiswein, beerenauslese and trockenbeerenauslese every year from 1989. This is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish, and Robert Weil is one of the very few vineyards can say they have been to accomplish such a feat. Why? Because each style of wine requires grapes to be of a certain sweetness, and to achieve these levels of sweetness you must leave the grapes on the vines for a very long time. Not only that, but you must hand-pick each bunch when they are ready to be picked. Because of these factors, the vineyard may be harvested up to 17 times in one picking season. That is an incredible amount of work, not to mention having to have a strong team of pickers who know which grape bunches to pick, and which to leave.
What can you expect from a Riesling from Robert Weil? Well at Bauhaus we have 3 offerings. The Kiedricher Trocken Riesling, the Gräfenberg GG, and the Rheingau Kabinett. The first thing you can expect from all of their wines is the perfect balance of fruit and acidity. This applies to all 3 we offer.
But, individually, the Kiedricher Trocken will properly introduce you to what a true dry Riesling can be. It has wonderful green apple tones, subtle hints of stone fruit, with a perfect amount of minerality and salinity on the finish just before the acidity brightens your palate.
For the Gräfenberg GG, imagine everything I just said but add in more complexity. The minerality extends the wine well beyond expectations. The fruit plays along perfectly, and everything is rounded out with the incredible acidy. But the best part is that it does it with an elegance that creates the longest most enjoyable conversation. It is a wine that you can get lost in.
The Kabinett shows much more intensity on the fruit. Beautiful apple, stone fruit, and honey tones all erupt on the nose and in the body of the wine. The winemaker also takes some of the grapes from their top vineyards and add them to this wine. This creates some more fruit complexity and, more importantly, it adds a subtle amount of minerality right before the acidity kicks in to balance out the sweetness.
At this point I usually make a wine pairing suggestion. Today this is not the case, as I have a better offer for you. Coming up on Wednesday, October 4th we are doing a winemakers dinner with the Brand Ambassador for Robert Weil. Chef David and Chef Tim will be creating 5 dishes paired with 5 wines, all designed to show the passion and creativity of Bauhaus and Robert Weil. Full details are listed below. I hope to see some you joining that evening to experience the passion and depth of the Riesling grape."
Uwe's Wine Club Dinner Château Lafite vs Knipser Cuvée X
Is everything better in Germany? That’s the challenge for this dinner on September 18th.
There is a winery in Germany with a cult following, but it isn’t well known abroad. Knipser wines rarely leave Europe, let alone Germany. Knipser have made a wine called the Cuvee X, a Bordeaux blend that spends 18 to 20 months in new French oak and is bottle aged for an additional 3 years. Knipser likes to brag that the Cuvee X can rival a Bordeaux. So, naturally, Uwe is putting it to the test.
We’re putting the 2013 Cuvee X against an incredible opponent – the 1988 Château Lafite. When Uwe suggested that, of course we hesitated. But, we know better than to doubt what Uwe says. And so, for this Wine Club Dinner, Knipser’s Cuvee X 2013 will face off against the Château Lafite 1988, and Chef David and Chef Tim will create an incredible 4 course menu for the occasion.
The dinner will begin with a champagne worthy of such a showdown, and the Chefs will create a dish that is light, fresh, and elegant to begin the evening.
The main course will be a new level of grandeur for the wine club – a shared meal, reminiscent of a king’s feast, with the wines as the centerpiece.
For the third course, we will present a collection of cheeses to enjoy.
The final course will be a stunning dessert to round out the evening, and depending on the dish we will be offering a wonderful wine to complete the evening’s wine club dinner.
The cost of the evening includes dinner, a glass of champagne to start, and a 3oz glass of the Knipser and Lafite with the dinner.
Bauhaus's resident wine enthusiast is back with another story, and this time he's taking us across the Atlantic to Austria and diving into the Austrian Blaufränkisch and it's history.
This time, we're travelling to Austria to learn about a wonderful grape called Blaufränkisch. More specifically, one man’s passion to define a country’s wine industry. Before we get into the man, lets talk about the wine industry in Austria. Based on the availability of Austrian wine in Vancouver, I'm comfortable assuming many readers won't know much about Austrian wines.
The history of Austrian wine is actually a very long one, dating back several thousand years. Wars have disrupted its wine production many times in history, and not just in the 20th century. Of course, in the mid to late 19th century, phylloxera wiped out the vine stock, but eventually this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It allowed Austria to plant vine stock that was best suited to its climate and soil, with Grüner Veltliner being the predominant grape.
Side note - 80% of the vines in Austria are of a white varietal. About 5% is Blaufrankish.
So, following the First World War, Austria was the third largest producer of wine in the world - who knew, right? Then the Second World War came around, and that changed. The wine regions in Austria are all located on the eastern part of the country, following the borders with Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Danube river. If you remember your high school history lessons, you'll remember that Hungary and Czechoslovakia were under the rule of the Soviet Union and the threat of war was very real for decades along the border. During this time, Austria became known for producing basic bulk wine with little structure and flavour. Then came the 'oops' in Austrian wine history: in an attempt to create a better structure in their wines, some producers started adding diethylene glycol. Now, this chemical is used in anti-freeze and is very difficult to detect chemically, but it made wines a bit sweeter and more interesting. This was only discovered because one winery tried to write off a bunch of it as a business expense. Oops! Now the good news is, in 1986, in response, the DOC system was created to ensure the quality of Austrian wines. The guidelines were now in place, and wineries started to see wine for what it could be - world class. This is where we return to the man, Roland Velich, and he comes from a family of wine makers. The Velich winery began in 1933, and the family winery produces only white wines, with Reisling and chardonnay being the main wines. Early on in his life, Roland was passionate about wine, and became very dedicated to finding a red grape that would best showcase what Austria had to offer. It turns out it was the Blaufränkisch grape. He believed that Blaufränkischcould become what Nebbiolo is to Piedmont, and what Pinot Noir is to Burgundy. So, he began studying both regions. His experiments with Blaufrankish began in 2001, with his new winery, Moric. Over time he developed his style and started creating the vision he had back in his youth. He owns multiple vineyards all in the Mittelburganland, the only red grape DOC in Austria. When it comes to making wine, he focuses on following the traditional techniques used in Burgundy and Barolo, and could apply for certification as organic, but doesn’t want to. Fermentation can be a bit different at Moric, sometimes taking an entire year, or more, to allow a malolactic fermentation to take place. Aging of the Blaufränkisch takes place in only old oak. Now, 16 years later, Roland will argue that the aging potential of his wines are 20 to 40 years, I guess time will tell on that. But what we do know is, he creates beautiful, complex wines that are being recognized as unique world class wines.
We are very fortunate to have 2 wines from Moric on our list. The Blaufränkisch and the Reserve. What does it taste like? Unique is a good starting point. In a blind tasting, you will hear people talk about Gamay Noir, but then the tannins are too present. Others will mention Pinot Noir, but the fruit is much richer than Burgundy. Others may start thinking Barbara, or a Nebbiolo but the structure is wrong in both cases.
What you will find is beautiful and upfront raspberry and current flavours - I call it fleshy as well - finishing with some wonderful minerality and crushed herb flavours. The acidity and soft tannins pair nicely with some of our dishes.
The difference between the two we have, relates to the complexity and intensity. The Reserve shows more dried floral tones and a deeper intensity. We are using the Blaufränkisch as the pairing for our duck course in the tasting menu. The Reserve is available by the bottle for $125. If you would like to buy the Blaufränkisch, we offer it for $95.
Come on by for a taste of Blaufränkisch, Austria’s signature red grape."
A German-inspired four course menu, each paired with exceptional Rieslings - 31 Days of German Riesling has arrived at Bauhaus! They say it takes 30 days for something to become a habit, so we're pleased to welcome you to your new obsession.
Each dish is paired with a Riesling that works in harmony with the characteristics of the dish's ingredients. If you're not already in love with Rieslings, this is the menu that will change your mind.
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water." - Galileo
This 4 course menu includes wine pairings is $135 and available only for the month of August.
Bauhaus's wine expert, Alan Koller, is back. This time, with a story about a California man and his vineyard.
Let’s begin by talking about the vineyard. The To Kalon Vineyard is a very old vineyard site near Oakville, originally planted in 1868. Fast forward many years and you will find 3 owners of this vineyard site. Robert Mondavi, Mouton Rothschild and Mondavi from Opus One, and Andy Beckstoffer. Opus and Mondavi own 75% of the site, while Andy owns the rest. The grapes that come from this vineyard are incredibly intense and complex, and are some of the most desired grapes in California. Wines made with these grapes almost always score over 95 points and it is one of the few vineyards that can brag about perfect scores of 100 on what it seems a yearly basis. Janzen, Paul Hobbs, Schrader, B Cellars, and Tor vineyards are all some of the big names that feature wines made from this vineyard. However, he important part of the story at this point is the understanding that only Andy Beckstoffer sells grapes from his vineyard.
Who is Andy Beckstoffer? Well, way back in 1966 he got involved in a marketing company, Heublein, which owned wineries like Inglenook and Beaulieu. In 1970, he created a separate division in Heublein called Vinifera Development Corp. All the wineries would be shifted into this division. As if in a game of chess, this move set up the next, which was to buy out Vinifera and make it his own. Now this is how Andy became owner of his part of the To Kalon vineyard. It was the vineyard that supplied Beaulieu vineyard. From this point is where Andy’s marketing side took control again and he began rebranding and creating the Beckstoffer Vineyards. Here is the interesting part: Beckstoffer Vineyards only grows grapes, they do not make wine. The brand has expanded to include 16 vineyards, and several are the most sought after in Napa, Mendocino and Red Hills.
Perhaps at this point you might be wondering, well why doesn’t he just make a Beckstoffer Winery? Apparently, he has two goals: firstly, to grow the best grapes in the world; secondly, to create vineyard designation as the highest level of wine in California. He is content to let others take his grapes and create wines, but if you think this man is just a nice guy that grows great grapes, you would be mistaken. To call him a shrewd business person would be a polite description, and to call him a confident business person would be very polite. The reports from the vineyards seem to be relatively consistent. He is direct, arrogant, and one of the most difficult people to negotiate with on the planet. All characteristics of a person that would fail as a business person if they didn’t own the greatest grapevines in California.
To illustrate this, let’s say you want to buy grapes from his To Kalon Vineyard. First, you and your winery must be approved by Andy. Second - the best part - the pricing. Believe it or not, the pricing is not the same for everyone. Originally, there was the price per tonne and the price per acre. You paid whichever was higher. Yield per acre can vary from 2.5 tonnes to 4 tonnes in a strong year, and it is because of this that there existed the two pricing options. This created consistency for Beckstoffer in revenue, but inconsistency for wineries. The system worked for a while, but then Andy torched all his contacts with wineries, came back to them and said, "here is how the pricing is going to work now. It is based on a minimum price per acre of $45,000, and we still have a pricing based on a per tonne. BUT we are now charging you based on the price of your wine per tonne. If you are charging $350 for a bottle of wine, then you will pay 350 X $175 per tonne. That would be $61,250 per tonne." Andy used to base it on a set number of 100 times the bottle price. Now the price fluctuates. Well, I guess if your grapes are that good, you can do it.
So, the moral of the story is this: if you find a wine that is from the To Kalon vineyard, the grape cost alone for the vineyard is $100 a bottle USD. Expect to pay a lot more than that.
We have two wines carrying the To Kalon designation: The Janzen and B Cellars. The Janzen is the 2011, and the wine is showing its true colours a little more with each passing moment. Rich black currant and black cherries get wrapped with incredible amounts of herbs and spice all balanced with wonderful mocha and soft tannins in the finish. The B Cellar’s is the 2014; early tastings are putting the score between 98 and 100, with Robert Parker leaning towards the 100. Parker describes this wine as a skyscraper of flavours and textures, it just keeps going for 50 to 60 seconds on your palate. There is no quit in this wine. What do I think of it? I haven't tried it. I had to write a blurb about it so Uwe realizes he hasn’t tried it. That way, when he gets back from Germany he'll want to try one. Based on the price, that's probably the only way I'll get to try some too.
Soak up the sun with the new Summer Tasting Menu, brimming with the season's warm, fresh flavours. This stunning menu is the second Tasting Menu created for Bauhaus by the executive chef team David Mueller and Tim Schulte.
First Course The Bauhaus take on a Vichyssoise. Poached and torched salmon with potato ice cream, leek, and trout roe. Wine Pairing Domane Wachau, Terrassen Smaragd, 2013 (Austria), Gruner Veltliner
Second Course A dish that evokes memories of sun-soaked evenings at the neighbourhood baseball fields. Goat Cheese Agnolotti with summer squash, zucchini, spinach, sunflower seed purée. Wine Pairing Kunstler, 2015 Chardonnay (Germany), Limestone
Third Course A nod to Vancouver's incredible seafood. Tuna, avocado, radish, sesame, apple. Sake Pairing Hakutsuru Jumai (Japan)
Fourth Course Beef Shortrib, on a sweet corn purée, with torched baby corn and chanterelles, salted and caramelized popcorn Wine Pairing Two Hands, 2014 Shiraz (Australia), McLaren Vale
Fifth Course Like a syrupy-sweet summer evening. Duck breast and leg done 2 ways, with fois gras, beetroot, charred onion, and blackberries. Wine Pairing Brunello di Motalcino 2011 (Italy), Verbena
Sixth Course A summer vegetable garden. A carrot 'cake' with orange, cream cheese foam, chocolate 'soil,' and carrot tops. Wine Pairing La Stella 2016 (Okanagan, BC), Moscato D’Osoyoos
The Summer Tasting Menu is available as four courses for 79 or six courses for 99
Add the wine pairings for 54 / 79
Click below to read Richard Wolack's course-by-course review of the Tasting Menu and wine pairings
Bauhaus's resident wine-expert Alan Koller is back, this time diving into the dirt of Burgundy.
My last post explored the German obsession with sugar content. Today, we’re going to explore an obsession with dirt, but perhaps I should use the proper term for it – terroir. Now, terroir is one of the key components to creating a great wine. On a regional scale, there is the limestone of the Loire, the gravel and clay of the Pomerol, the steep terraces of slate in the Rhine, etc. Now, terroir can change from vineyard to vineyard. A great example is that of Diamond Creek’s lineup of Cabernets. They have Volcanic Hills, Red Rock Terrace, and Gravelly Meadow, each of which are the names of the vineyards that produce Diamond Creek Cabs. For Diamond Creek, it is clearly all in the names, as each name describes the terroir. However, there exists a deeper level, and it is only found in Burgundy.
What is it about Burgundy and terroir that sets it apart from the rest of the world? Perhaps it has to do with the vineyards being very particular about sorting grapes according to terroir.
Imagine this: you are in France, walking down a sun-baked dirt road that is no wider than ten feet. There are vines along the road to your left, and vines to your right. What if I told you that the wine made from one side of the road tastes different from that of the other side? You might say that’s ridiculous. Now, what if I told you that the road was purposely put where it is BECAUSE the grapes taste different on each side? That is the level of dedication to terroir that wine producers in Burgundy have.
There is another fun detail to Burgundy as well: you can have one vineyard supplying multiple wineries, but unlike the rest of the world, wineries have the rights to specific rows of vines. Napa, for example, will pick all the grapes from a vineyard and then split them up randomly for each winery that wanted grapes from that vineyard. They don’t know where in the vineyard the grapes come from – but in Burgundy, they do. This is of great importance. Wineries in Burgundy are very proud of their wines and insist that the specific terroir of the row in which the grapes grow is as important as any other part of the wine-making process.
Now that we've covered the level of committment to terroir that Burgundians have, let's talk about a great example of that in the Domaine Chevrot, Le Croix Moines, Maranges. The vineyard is small - only 20,000 square feet, or about 0.4 of an acre. Very, very small - there are some houses in Vancouver that are bigger than this vineyard! Each year they only produce 2 barrels of wine, or equal to 60 cases of wine. What should you expect from this wine? Well, the 16 months of aging in the barrel has created a complex expression of raspberry and other red berry flavours, mixed in with some wonderful spice. Personally, from the times that I have tried it, there is a certain X factor to this wine. There is amazing complexity, there are these layers of the aforementioned flavours into these wonderful earthy tones that show the true expression of the vineyard. This is not a pinot noir for the rookie drinker. It will challenge you, but it is worth the challenge.
We do have a wonderful dish on the menu that this dish works perfectly with: the Summer Tasting Menu's course of duck done three ways. This dish is an incredible combination of cured and seared duck breast, confit of duck leg and foie gras cream, and finished with blackberries and beets. The raspberry flavours of the wine work well with the duck and the blackberry, the more rustic tones of the wine will help soften the sweetness of the beets and just add another layer of WOW to this amazing dish.
Come by Bauhaus, and allow me to show you this great example of what makes Burgundy arguably the greatest wine region in the world. If you go to Wine Searcher and try to find this wine, good luck - it is listed in 2 wine shops in all of North America. In that case, I guess we will see you soon.
The Dr. Peter Pride Crawl Fundraiser
We're excited to announce that we're taking part in this year's Dr. Peter Aids Foundation Pride Crawl! From July 14th to August 6th, simply order the Steife Melone for $14, where $8 will be donated to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre in the West End of Vancouver. The Dr. Peter Centre provides compassionate care to some of British Columbia's most vulnerable citizens who face poverty, homelessness, mental health and addiction issues in addition to HIV.
It’s a staple on our menu (as either the Cheese Spätzle for the table with crispy onions, or the herb spätzle as a side), and we served it last week alongside our braised pork and housemade kimchi at the Indian Summer Festival Gala. It's an iconic German dish, associated with memories of grandmothers labouring over the hot stove. Today in Germany, spätzle are mainly considered a “Swabian specialty” (Swabia is a cultural, historic, and linguistic region in southwestern German) and are often associated with the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. In France, they’re associated with Alsace and Moselle. The total estimated annual commercial production of spätzle in Germany is approximately 40,000 tons. That’s a lot of spätzle!
Some say the name comes from the word Spatzen, which means “little sparrows.” Why? Some think that before there were specially made Spätzle tools they would put dough into their hands, as if they were holding a little sparrow, and put small pinches in the water. Another idea is that the dough was formed with two spoons, creating little oval shapes like little sparrow bodies. How it got from Spatzen to Spätzle is unclear.
Swabia is an area of Germany that has a long history. One of the dishes they are most known for is Spätzle . According to a German company, Spätzle Wonder, one of the reasons for its popularity is that Swabia was a poor area, and that this was a dish that was versatile, simple to make, and could be served alone or with a small portion of meat or vegetables and be satisfying.
Spätzle dough typically consists of a few ingredients, primarily eggs, flour, and salt. The Swabian rule-of-thumb is to use one more egg than the number of people eating the spätzle. Water is often added to produce a thinner dough. The flour traditionally used for spätzle is a coarse type known as , or what may be referred to in North America as ‘first clear’ or semolina flour. This gives a chewier texture but can produce a dough too crumbly for scraping if no water is added.
Traditionally, Spätzle are made by scraping llong, thin strips of dough off a wooden (sometimes wet) chopping board, called a Spätzlebrett, into boiling salted water, which they are cooked until they rise to the surface. The dough should be as viscous as to slowly fall apart if cut into strips with a knife, yet hold the initial shape for some seconds. If dropped into boiling water, the egg whites will congeal quickly, while the yolks will keep the eggs succulent. Once the noodles have become firm, they’re skimmed from the water and put aside.