It is with much enthusiasm & pride I release the first issue of Carpa Vino! I wanted to create a BC magazine that presented primarily wine and a bit of cider & spirits through culture. Wine is a global product produced around the world and each region, area and place presents itself in a unique way through its glorious juice. How we experience it is shaped by our experiences. Enjoy!
Tuscany can be found down the western coast of central Italy. Sangiovese is the main grape in the area, its name derives from sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove” . It ripens late in the season and needs a warm climate, which is why it works so well in Italy. Chianti is a wine that is crafted from (typically) 100% Sangiovese grapes. Look for the sign of the “gallo nero” (Italian for “black rooster”) on the bottleneck label, which certifies that the grapes are grown in Chianti Classico a region that is known for more premium wines.
Medium weight, savory, red plums, tart cherries, dried herbs and subtle tomato flavours of the Sangiovese grape are a wonderful pairing with eggplant parmigiana.
3 – 4 Medium sized eggplant, 1/4 inch slices
2C Dry Breadcrumbs
2 Lg Eggs
4C Tomato Sauce
1-1/2C grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3C Shredded Mozzarella
Lay the eggplant on paper towel and sprinkle them on both sides with sea salt. Leave for 20 minutes to drain. Pat Dry.
Scatter breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. In a bowl beat eggs with a bit of salt until they are foamy. Dip slices of eggplant in the egg wash, then dip in breadcrumbs. Pat the crumbs firmly in place.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Fry eggplant slices a few at a time until they are golden brown on both sides. When all have been cooked, cover with paper towel to absorb any remaining oil. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. In a rectangular baking dish, ladle out enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle with 1/2C of the Parmigiana Reggiano and 1C of the mozzarella. Add a second layer of eggplant, cover with tomato sauce, add two cheeses. Continue with additional layers. Finish off with remaining tomato sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for about one hour. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiana Reggiano on the top and add a sprig of fresh basil.
Trina Plamondon is the Founder of Carpa Vino, a local company in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that offers private wine events & charity events, wine education & consultation. Join the exclusive tasting club for those who like to explore the world of wine. www.carpavino.com
It is that time of year in Canada where we gather with friends, family and loved ones to give thanks and share an autumn meal. This is one of my favourite celebrations, with harvest bursting at the seams, a bounty of good food, and especially the root vegetables by the bucket full.
Somewhere in between being a vegetarian and a meatatarian, I became disenchanted with tired of the traditional turkey meal for holidays. Now, I like to celebrate occasions with a meal that feels truly special. Using the extra time I linger over food preparation, enjoy the process, obsess over details and honour my guests with a meal that has been put together with thought, care, attention and so much love.
The following recipe is a delight, surprisingly simple and what better way than to pair it with an Italian wine!
The Nebbiolo grape is from the Piedmont region in NE Italy. Nebbiolo derives from the Italian wine “Nebbia” meaning fog. This refers to the fog that hangs around the hills around Alba during harvest time. The grape has been documented back to the 13th century and is high tannins and a concentration of acids that make it long lived. This means you have to leave that “wild horse” in the stable for a few years to calm it down an make it approachable. Once it has had some time in the bottle, it has a wonderful complexity that combines dried red fruits, leather, sour cherries, truffles, mushrooms, roses, and earthy elements like herbs and tar. Do not let all this scare you away, it all comes together in a wonderful fashion and will not disappoint. The best examples are the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Barolo DOCG must be aged for three years, with at least 18 months of that in oak, combined this with the region and the end result is dreamy like a old movie star of years gone by.
6 (300g) Veal Shanks
1/4c seasoned flour
2tbsp unsalted butter
1/4c olive oil
2 onions chopped
1-1/2c canned plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1c beef broth
1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Make the “Gremolata” It is a mixture of parsley, garlic and lemon zest. It is added just before serving. Be sure to finely chop everything. Mix well and set aside.
Dust the veal shanks with the seasoned flour. Make sure not to leave excess flour.
In a heavy casserole dish (or dutch oven if you have one) melt butter, add oil and brown the shanks until they are browned on all sides. (do a few at a time depending on the size of your dish)
Put the shanks aside.
In the dish add onion and cook them until they are softened. Add wine and bring to a boil. Ensure you scrape all the bits of browned shank that cling to the pan. Boil gently for 2 – 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, and beef broth. Add veal shanks and ensure that all sides have been coated in the sauce. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a slow, gentle boil, cover and let cook gently for 1.5 – 2 hours. (Or until veal is tender and sauce has thickened) Add a little water or wine if necessary, checking the meat from time to time.
Once sauce has thickened, and meat is throughly cooked, adjust seasoning to your taste.
Sprinkle the gremolata over the ossobuco just before serving.
~Trina Plamondon is the founder of Carpa Vino, a local company specializing in private wine events, wine consultation & wine education. In her blog she helps others discover the magic in wines.
A prairie girl at heart, I love harvest season. The colors of the fields, the trees, the leaves. The signal that the page is turning and a new chapter is about to begin. Some of my best memories from this time of year are friends sharing the bounty from their gardens. Soups, stews, carrot and zucchini cake and of course for those who have had the pleasure “Janice Pie”, with fresh whipped cream. The true sign that fall had arrived is corn by the sack.
What’s better than a bit of prairie corn from Taber, AB and a glass of Chardonnay? Match the weight of your food with the weight of your wine. Take the strongest flavour on your plate and match your wine to that flavour.
Herbs & spices that play nice with Chardonnay are garlic, marjoram, cinnamon, rosemary, saffron, thyme & tarragon.
Chardonnay is a an unusual grape because it does well in a variety of climates from cool to hot. Much like us, the final taste and feel of the wine depends a great deal on where it was grown. Flavours can range from green apples or pear in cool climates to peach with a bit of citrus or a hint of melon to more tropical fruits in warmer climates with flavours of pineapple, star fruit, and banana. One of the places that makes one of the best examples of what Chardonnay should be is Montrachet or Mersault. A wonderful medium style can be found in British Columbia and Ontario, with Soave being a “like Chardonnay” choice to try something new.
A wonderful harvest pairing is sweet corn & pepper chowder.
Sweet Corn & Pepper Chowder
4 tbsp Butter
2 Sweet (not hot) peppers seeded & diced
Scallions, trimmed & chopped to taste
4 Cups fresh corn removed from the cob
3 Cups of cream
2 1/2 C of Chicken Broth (bone broth gives the best flavour) (Or Vegetable for vegetarian Chowder)
2C Diced potatoes
1/2 Chopped Chervil or Parsley
In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Add peppers and onions, sautéing until they tender. (4 – 6 min). Put aside.
Using a blender or a food processer , blend 2 cups of cream and 2 cups of the corn until it is mostly smooth. Add pepper/onion mixture until just blended. (Do not over blend)
Pour everything from the mixer into the soup pot, add broth. Add potatoes remaining corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently until the corn and potatoes are tender. (About 10- 12 Min).
Add remaining cream, salt and pepper and simmer gently until it is heated all the way through. Just before serving stir in chevril or parsley.
Serve with a dark rye bread or pumpernickel with butter.
I am one of those people who get visibly lost and excited when I am among the vines. I find it a deeply soothing and magical. On one trip to Epernay, I stood in awe at the beauty, rows upon rows of beautiful plants. To drink the bubbly artistry produced in famous Champagne houses was truly a highlight of my life.
The origins of wine predate written record keeping. Žametovka is a vine that has been validated to be at least 400 years of age, and is found in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world still producing fruit. “The old vine was planted in Maribor at the end of the Middle Ages during the Turkish invasions.”
There are many different species of vines that have evolved all around the world. Only a handful are important to grape growers. Vitis Vinifera is the main species and nearly all the grapes used in winemaking are from this vine. It has been used to make wines for thousands of years.
A vine goes through an annual growth cycle. Perfect conditions come together for a vine to produce quality fruit and taste. A vine takes everything it needs from its environment. To complete an annual cycle a vine needs five things:
What are old vines?
After a vine has been planted, it takes about 3 years for it to bear fruit. It reaches adulthood around 7 -8 years . A mature grape vine is 12 -25 years old but an ‘old vine’ is usually 25+ years, preferably 50+ years old.
Now imagine you are drinking a wine made from old vines. Decades of conditions that kept it alive to continue to produce fruit. Once mother nature has done her job, the wine maker brings it alive with their artistry. It is cellared and aged before being presented to the lucky person who will take it home.
Trina Plamondon is the Founder of Carpa Vino, a local company, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that offers private wine events with rare tastings, local food west coast food & entertainment. Learn more at www.carpavino.com