Archives for category: At the table

Oz Clarke dishes the dirt — minerality? — about Riesling with Matt Kramer and Kevin Zraly. Feel the love.


Tom Who? The Dave Frederics is a refreshing blend of Riesling, ruby grapefruit juice and ginger ale.

Although there were many well-known personalities at last week’s 2012 InterVin International Wine Awards, the star of the show proved to be Dave Frederics, a Riesling-based cocktail.

Like its namesake, the origins of the Dave Frederics cocktail are cloaked in mystery. At first, many were leery to try the fresh, fruity concoction — the spectre of poorly made white wine spritzers had left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. But tasting is believing. By the end of the night, winemakers, wine writers and sommeliers alike could be heard at the bar saying things like “Hit me with another Dave!”

Colourful, delicious and very refreshing, the Dave Frederics was embraced as the official cocktail of InterVin and was quickly added to the cocktail menu at Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Port Dalhousie.

You can see what all of the fuss is about by making your own. Mix 2 parts Riesling (preferably from the Niagara Peninsula), 1 part ruby Ruby Grapefruit Juice and 1 part diet ginger ale (regular ginger ale also works) in a wine glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange or grapefruit slice and enjoy!

Tempura is a light and crunchy Japanese batter that can cover almost anything and make it taste delicious. Often vegetables like sweet potato or  bell pepper or seafood such as shrimp are covered in tempura batter and fried, all which pair beautifully with Riesling. When I asked a friend how to make tempura at home she explained, depending on how you want your batter to turn out, there are two ways of making tempura batter:

1. If you want to achieve a flat and crunchy batter like a croquette, coat shrimp in flour, dip in beaten egg, then coat with panko crumbs. Deep-fry until browned.

2. To recreate a restaurant-style light and crunchy batter, beat an egg in a bowl, add ice cold water and flour into the bowl and mix gently. Make sure the batter stays cold as the crunchiness comes from the temperature difference between the batter and oil. (Proportions are approximately one egg, one cup water, one cup flour) Dip shrimp into batter and fry.

Panko crumbs can be purchased at any grocery store with an Asian section.

Tempura is easy to make and a great way to add satisfaction to any meal. ANUPA SIMON


Hot Sun, Cold Riesling: Having a great long weekend. Wish you were here.

Rabl 2011 Steinhhaus Riesling pairs well with a winning hand.

Riesling Bottles:

You gotta know when to hold them and know when to drink them.

Two-crust caramel apple pie: An American classic that tastes heavenly with late harvest Riesling.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie
Serves 8

This apple pie is sort of a cross between a French apple tarte Tatin and a traditional apple pie. By first caramelizing the sugar and then stirring in the apples so they soften just a bit, you get an evenly sweetened pie, with excess juices thickened by the caramel so that they stay in the pie as you slice it and don’t run over the bottom of the pie plate.

1 recipe Double-Crust Pie Dough, chilled
3 Tbsp (45 mL) rolled oats
¼ cup (60 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
6 cups (1.5 L) peeled and sliced apples, such as Mutsu or Granny Smith
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

For Brushing:
1 egg
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
Turbinado or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Pull the chilled pie dough out of the fridge 30 minutes before rolling. Lightly dust the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with flour, and place it on a parchment- or foil-lined baking tray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of the pastry to just under ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Lift the rolled dough, line the pie plate with it, and sprinkle the pastry with the oats. Roll out the second disc of pastry to ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Cut a 1-inch (2.5 cm) hole in the centre of the pastry (so steam can escape as the pie bakes). Chill both the lined pie plate and rolled top crust while preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400°f (200°c). In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepot, bring the water, sugar, and lemon juice up to a boil without stirring. Continue to boil the sugar without stirring, occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water, until the sugar caramelizes, about 3 minutes. Add the apples all at once and stir to coat. Add the butter and cinnamon, and stir. Once the juices return to a simmer, remove the pot from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Pull the chilled pie shell from the fridge and pour the apples and all the juices into it (the juices will absorb into the apples as the pie bakes). Top the fruit with the second rolled piece of pie pastry. Trim excess dough and pinch the edges of the pastries into an angled, even pie crust trim.

Why It Works With Riesling
“I would serve a late harvest Riesling because it’s not as sweet as Icewine,” says Food Network chef Anna Olson. “I like that late harvest Rieslings have a tree-fruit character to them, reminiscent of pears or apples and the acidity balances out the buttery pastry.” She also recommends Calvados, an apple brandy from Normandy. “I judged an apple pie contest a while back and the winning pie had Calvados mixed in with the apples!”

Featured on the Spin Sip page of VINES‘ latest edition is a food and wine pairing that will get any sushi lover’s heart fluttering. David Gelb’s documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, is the only way most will ever experience Jiro Ono’s celebrated restaurant Sukiyabashi. Located in a Tokyo subway station, the 10-seat establishment has been awarded a Michelin three-star review and is the destination for sushi lovers from around the world. Enjoy with the attractive and refreshing Wynns Coonawarra Estate 2010 RieslingCoonawarra, Australia $17.95 (528216)


Cook Like a Pro: Grilled peaches and pork chops sing with Riesling

In honour of its 25th anniversary last year, Cave Spring Cellars called upon talented Canadian chefs to share their favourite Riesling-friendly recipes. Chef Peter George, from 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, answered with Willow Grove Farm’s Pork Chop with Cave Spring Cellars Grilled Riesling Poached. As George explains, “Riesling is my favourite way to start a meal; its light sweetness and exotic flavours excite my palate. I always have a few bottles.”

4             Willow Grove Farms pork rack chops
salt, pepper and fresh rosemary
4             Niagara free stone peaches
2 cups   Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Niagara Peninsula
½ cup   sugar
1             vanilla bean, split lengthwise
extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the peaches. Boil for one minute; remove the peaches to an ice water bath to cool. Peel the skin from the peaches and cut in half removing the peach stone. Combine the Riesling, sugar and vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the peach halves. Simmer the peach halves for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and allow the peaches to cool in the Riesling. Once cool, remove the peaches from the Riesling and reduce the peach cooking liquid to a glaze, about 1/5 of its original volume.

Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and a little extra virgin olive oil. Grill the pork chops on the barbecue for 5 minutes per side. The last two minutes of cooking, grill the peach halves on the barbecue. Brush the pork chops with the Riesling reduction saving a little for the final platter.

Arrange the pork chops on a platter with the grilled peaches. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of the Cave Spring Cellars Riesling reduction. Enjoy!

Best Western: The combination of BC spot prawns and Riesling from the Okanagan Valley makes this a regional feast

Chef Christopher Thomas from B.C.’s CedarCreek Estate Winery shares a delicious seafood dish that pairs beautifully with a glass of Riesling. He recommends the CedarCreek’s 2011 Riesling.

Tagliatelle with Prawns Provençal

Serves 4


5 oz         Prawns (spotted work best)
4.5 oz      Tagliatelle pasta (or any good quality egg pasta)
5 oz         Heirloom style tomatoes (a variety of colours, diced)
4 fl oz      Extra virgin olive oil
4 fl oz      White wine (Riesling does work well)
1oz           Shallots chopped fine
½ oz        Roasted garlic puree* (about five cloves)
6               Large basil leaves cut into fine strips
2 Tbsp     Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine oil, shallots and prawns in a large sauté pan and cook until prawns become pink.  Add wine and garlic puree and reduce liquid by half.  Combine remaining ingredients except cheese. Cook for about two minutes or until sauce thickens.  Season with salt and pepper, serve over Tagliatelle and top with cheese.

For roasted garlic puree, preheat oven to 375F, wrap each clove in aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes. Then peel the cloves and grind in a food processor, adding some olive oil to arrive at a smooth, creamy paste.


‘Cue Applause: Riesling and roast chicken is only one of many magical matches for the versatile wine

Certain grape varieties go hand in hand with specific foods, but when you think of Riesling there isn’t one single dish that stands out. The possibilities are seemingly infinite.

By no means does this imply the versatile grape is your proverbial jack of all trades, master of none. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Riesling is capable of so many different wine styles, including but not limited to dry, semi-dry, sweet, sparkling, late harvest and Icewine, that it’s ideal for a countless pairings.

The choices are endless: fish, spicy foods, legumes, white meats, salads, pies, tarts and the list goes on. This former pigeonholed grape is breaking free of any pairing stereotypes, so go ahead and mix and match different styles of Riesling with your favourite meals. We’re sure one of them will match perfectly.