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Archive for October, 2009

2007 Director’s Cut Pinot Noir

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I was in Lincoln, Nebraska for work for the last couple of weeks.  On my last night there, I went for dinner at a restaurant close to my hotel called Carmela’s Bistro and Wine Bar.  I usually visit this restaurant at least once per trip to Lincoln, so I have been here a few times.  It is a very cozy wine bar with an excellent menu.  In fact, I wish there were more places like this back home in Vancouver.  The first time I came here, I was actually quite surprised that places like this existed here.  But it seems it’s not so unusual here, and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about wine and are quite passionate about it as well.  If you ever happen to find yourself in Lincoln, Nebraska, I highly recommend visiting Carmela’s.

2007 Director's Cut Pinot Noir

Tonight I tried a bottle of Francis Coppola Director’s Cut 2007 Pinot Noir.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

It was an excellent wine.  I really enjoyed this wine!  I am always skeptical ordering a wine I have never heard anything about or read about prior to drinking; however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I will definitely look to pick this wine up again back home to make sure I have the same feelings about it the second time around.  I would love to see how this wine is in another 6 months or a year.  I did have it with a steak and potato soup for starter and a Biorsin cheese and butter seasoned filet mignon with a gorgonzola baked potato.  Absolutely excellent, and complemented the salty meal perfectly.

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Octopus Caught near Nelson Island

October 27, 2009 1 comment

Nelson IslandThis year, my wife and I spent Thanksgiving weekend up on Nelson Island (on BC’s Sunshine Coast) with some good friends.  Each day, we would head out on their boat to check on the prawn traps.  One day, in one of the traps, we found an octopus who had helped himself to most of the prawns in the trap.  He had left their shells and just sucked the insides out of almost every one.  We got the octopus into the boat and out of the trap.  Apparently, this was quite a large octopus for the area, but it is not uncommon to catch them in prawn traps.  I was definitely surprised to see how quickly he moved, as the octopus at the Vancouver Aquarium seems quite slow and lethargic, which is the only other live octopus I’ve ever seen.  We got our octopus into a long square tub to get a good look at him, but he quickly climbed the side, tipped the tub and slid across the floor.   Here is short video clip of our octopus being released back to the depths.

Proposed Vancouver Wine Bylaw

October 27, 2009 1 comment

I’m sure most of you have already heard about this new proposed bylaw; however, thought I should post it just in case you haven’t.  If you live in the Vancouver area and drink BC wine at restaurants, this could definitely affect your nights out.  The bylaw is supposedly up for revisions before becoming official, so no need to panic yet.

The proposed bylaw is aimed at restaurants that operate as bars and requires restaurants to maintain a maximum 50% of their total sales from liquor sales.  However, the unintended impact will be on sales of finer wines.  Say, for example, you go for dinner and order with your spouse and each order a $25 entree and are looking at a $60 bottle of wine on the menu.  In order to be able to order the wine, you would also have to order a $10 appetizer to achieve the 50% maximum requirement.

While the bylaw does not require the 50% maximum to be enforced on a table by table basis, it does require the ratio to be achieved for every 8 hour window.  So if everyone in a restaurant stays within the 50% maximum, and one table orders a $150 bottle of wine and a $10 appetizer, subsequent tables may be limited to below the 50% maximum in order for the 8 hour period to as whole to meet the requirement.

For more information, this article was posted today in the Vancouver Sun today.

Additionally, here is the discussion (on page 10) that was discussed by the City of Vancouver P&E Committee in their October 8, 2009 Agenda.

Wine App for BlackBerry

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve been searching for a wine review / cellar management application for my BlackBerry for quite some time.  With the release of the iPhone, it’s become even more frustrating with the flood of applications of this sort that were developed for the iPhone.  For some reason, however, the BlackBerry was entirely overlooked by developers.  Enter BlackBerry App World.  So now that BB owners finally have a centralized distribution channel to search for BB apps, we are still waiting for certain apps to materialize.

Well, over the last year, I have been contacting a few of these iPhone wine app developers and a few online cellar management companies to see if anyone has plans to develop a BlackBerry version of their app.  And as of today, I finally have some good news to report.

I received an email from an anonymous source today to let me know that Cor.kz has been working on a BlackBerry app that will provide wine reviews and cellar management using data from CellarTracker!.  Currently, they have an iPhone version of the app that has received great reviews and is rated as one of the top 5 wine apps for the iPhone.  I emailed the developers at Cor.kz and received confirmation from them that this is no rumour.

Cor.kz Wine App

The best part of this story is that CellarTracker.com is a great online cellar management tool that is used by 84,000 users already and has reviews/information on over 14 million different bottles of wine already.  It’s a great database to manage your cellar and read reviews.  And it happens to be the tool that I currently use to manage my own cellar.  So it’s great that this is the data the Cor.kz BlackBerry app will be using.

I’ll post an update once I hear anymore information.  But it’s great to be able to say that someone is working on it.  We’re almost there.

Update, December 6: I received an update from Cor.kz saying that they are still working on the app and will let me know as soon as they have a better idea on their timeline.