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Archive for December, 2009

Poynt vs. Urbanspoon (score 1 for Poynt)

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

PoyntI posted earlier about my excitement that Urbanspoon for BlackBerry had finally been released (see original post here).  However, I have to put a plug in for Poynt here, based on a vacation I took this week.

I took my wife to Harrison Hot Springs in south-western BC for a couple of days during the holidays.  Once we were settled into our hotel and ready to go for something to eat, I fired up Urbanspoon on my BlackBerry.  I was disappointed to see that the nearest location was Chilliwack (approximately 30 minutes drive away).  This didn’t provide us any useful information as to where to eat.  So while I do use Urbanspoon frequently in a big city, it is completely useless in a small town.

So I opened Poynt and searched using the ‘Restaurants Near Me’ feature, which quickly brought up a list of restaurants, noting each of their distances from my present location.  Poynt uses Yellow Pages listings and Open Table restaurant listings to find restaurants.  Although we could not read reviews or ratings on any of these restaurants, we could find which ones were closest, directions to get there, and an idea on what type of food to expect.

So, while sometimes I like to read a few reviews on a restaurant before dining there, in a small town with 1 sushi restaurant and 1 bar/grill, I only really need to know what’s available and how to get there.  Score 1 for Poynt!  I must also admit that Poynt is one of the most used apps on my BlackBerry.  Everything from movie tickets to a nearby liquor store or gas station can be found.  Incredibly powerful tool, I just never thought I’d also use it to find restaurants in a pinch.

2007 Road 13 Merlot

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

2007 Road 13 MerlotLast night a friend brought over a bottle of 2007 Road 13 Merlot.  I am quite fond of Road 13 wines, so I was quite excited to give this one a go.  I do have a couple of these exact bottles in storage myself, so it was good to see how this one was coming along.  Road 13 is working hard to define BC wines and what makes them unique, and this wine is a great example of their efforts.

This was a good, fresh tasting wine.  Another 6-12 months perhaps, and this one would have been perfect (based on my storage conditions anyway).

Update Jan 31, 2010: I had another bottle of this wine that I’ve been holding on to.  In my efforts to taste more of the wines that I’ve been saving, I opened this bottle tonight and had a couple of glasses.  I did find this wine to be much smoother this time around, and I actually enjoyed it a little bit more.

Overall, it was a great wine.  The flavours have come together nicely.  Good medium body wine.  Not too strong, and has some great flavours.  This wine, to me, is a great representation of what BC wines can be!

2006 Nk’Mip QwAM QwMT Meritage

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

2006 Nk'Mip Meritage

Last night, I cracked a bottle of 2006 Nk’Mip QwAM QwMT Meritage with some friends. My mother-in-law, who lives in Osoyoos, gave us this bottle in the summer after she had visited the winery, which is walking distance from her place. My wife and I had visited Nk’Mip back in May, but picked up the pinot noir instead of this one. For those of you who don’t know, QwAM QwMT is their version of reserve.

According to Nk’Mip, this meritage consists of 50% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon, and 10% cabernet franc. And this is their reserve label. In any case, I think we all enjoyed this wine.

Overall, good wine. Definitely enjoyable and well received by a group with quite varied tastes. Would definitely try it again.

2007 Twisted Tree Six Vines

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

This past weekend, a few friends and I shared a bottle of Twisted Tree’s Six Vines from their 2007 vintage.  I have previously tasted and shared my experience with the 2006 vintage, and was incredibly impressed (see my post here).  That being said, I had high expectations for this bottle.

2007 Twisted Tree Six VinesTo recap from my earlier post,  the Six Vines is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, carmenere, petit verdot, and malbec and each of the wines was fermented in oak barrels.  In this vintage, I noticed much more of the oak than I did in the 2006.

The additional oaky flavour was a bit of a surprise to some of us.  But for those of us who enjoy oaky wines, it was a pleasant surprise.  For those of us who prefer sweeter wines (ie. the ladies), it was not as nice.

I have also found lately that a few 2007 wines have not been as great as their 2006 counterparts.  Not sure if this is a fair assessment, but it appears that 2007 may not have been as great of a year in the Okanagan Valley, while 2006 was possibly one of the best.

By holding this wine to its 2006 counterpart, it was not quite a good.  But overall, still a great bottle of wine.  Perhaps this one just need a little bit more time.

Beers in Northern Europe

December 1, 2009 1 comment

In November, I spent a couple of weeks working in Europe (in the Netherlands, to be specific) and a few days visiting some friends in north-western Germany (Osnabruck area).  During my trip, I kept some short notes on my BlackBerry on some of the beers I tried.  Mostly for my own reference so next time I’m over there I can remember which beers to have again and which ones to avoid.  Some were good and others not-so-good.  In any case, thought I’d share my notes here, in no particular order.

Jupiler: This is a light lager from Belgium. It’s coined as the most popular beer in Belgium. Loved it.

Heineken: A classic light lager. Brewed in Holland. I enjoy a Heineken occasionally at home, but found this Euro version to be quite a bit smoother. Definitely better than back home.

Palm Speciale: One of my favourite Belgian beers. Nice amber coloured ale. Excellent.

Dobbel Palm: Similar to the one above but slightly darker and with a bit of a nuttier flavour. Slightly heavier than the Speciale. According to Wikipedia, the Dobbel is only sold in December to replace the Speciale. Guess I got an early edition.

Dommelsch: A very popular pilsner beer from the Netherlands. Good after a big meal, as it is quite light. Excellent.

Brand Pilsner: Good beer. Another light pilsner brewed in the Netherlands. Quite popular and easy to enjoy.

Brand Dubbelbock: Quite a dark ale that is labeled as an autumn seasonal beer. I found it far too nutty and too sweet. Not for my tastes.

La Chouffe: A Belgian “strong ale”. Had a burnt nutty flavour. Again, not for my tastes.

Becks: A popular pilsner from Bremen, Germany. A staple when in Germany and one of my personal favourites when over there. However, similar to Heineken, it tasted quite different over there than it does back home. There version being the better. A great beer.

Becks Gold: Same as the pilsner, but slightly darker. I would liken the difference to Kokanee vs Kokanee Gold. But again, another great beer.

2007 Road 13 Syrah

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

I bought this wine at Road 13 during our wine tour this past May. I am a big fan of Road 13 wines (previously Golden Mile Cellars), so I have been anxiously awaiting a reason to taste this one. With the recent engagement of my best friend, I figured the time had come to twist the cap off.

I have to start off by saying that I was extremely disappointed. But I also must admit that we questioned whether the wine had turned or not. Additionally, I am not consistently a fan of Syrah wines. This wine was sitting in a wine rack in my dining room for the last couple of months, while I waiting for the time to drink it, so I’m not sure if the light maybe had an effect. If you have a different experience, please let me know how your experience was.

Perhaps I anticipated too much, but I still think it should have had more to it.  I intend to try this wine again in the future to be sure.

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