All posts in category “How To’s”

  • How to serve sparkling wine like a sommelier

    The only shutterstock image I could find of someone pouring sparkling properly.

    I originally wrote this story about how to serve sparkling wine for Niagara Life magazine.

    You could say I have a bit of a Napoleon complex with Champagne. I’ve always wanted to know how to sabre a bottle of bubbly like the French emperor did when he was victorious in battle.

    Problem is, I don’t have a sabre, and as it turns out, I’m not good with sharp objects anyway. The words “bomb” and “shrapnel” also don’t sit well with me, and both flowed freely from David Hulley’s mouth as he explained the risks of putting blade to bottle of any sparkling wine.

    The director of customer service at Vineland Estates Winery, who trained under a master sabreur, has successfully sabred many a flagon. He’s also experienced the nerve-shattering explosions and cuts when the spectacle has gone awry, so he was quick to put my inner Bonaparte in his place.

    Instead, Hulley offered a safer technique for opening and serving sparkling wine, requiring no sharp objects or first aid kit within reach. Best part is, unlike Napoleon, you won’t spill a drop, making it a truly revolutionary way of serving that méthode classique.

    Continue reading

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    Category How To's


  • Peach Tree
  • All-star cast: Caring for cast iron pans

    Cast iron pans are an essential kitchen tool, loved for their even heat distribution and the iron they add to food. Here’s how to keep the at their best.

    I always drink an oatmeal stout from a glass.

    That way I can marvel at its murkiness, impenetrable even when held up to light.

    I inherited my love of dark beer from my Oma Walter. No one else in my family would touch the stuff. And even me, as a child, couldn’t fathom drinking something so cloudy, black and mysterious — a mindset informed by living in a home where water-clear Labatt Blue was enjoyed in amber stubbies.

    But the bitter coffee and sweet chocolate synonymous with stout grew on me as I got older and every time I drank a dark beer that I really loved, I’d think of my Oma as she smacked her lips after a pleasurable first sip, looked upon her glass with approval, and said “Oooh, dat’s a gut beer,” in her German-flecked English.

    I also credit her with my appreciation for the cast iron frying pan. Continue reading

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    Category How To's, Reviews