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Harry's Blog

  • Dark Matters

    Dunkel is the German word for dark. Barley is the grain that is commonly used in brewing. In the malting process, the barley is soaked in water and allowed to sprout, converting the grain’s starch into sugars. It is then kiln dried providing the source of sugar and soluble starch for fermentation. The higher the temperature, the darker the malt. Malt contributes to the flavor, color and mouthfeel of the beer. It is interesting to note that a huge proportion of specialty malts used by the world’s quality brewers are sourced from the Weyermann company in Bamberg, Germany. Is it any coincidence then that their “Munich” dark malt is the key ingredient in the Munich-based Hofbräu brewery’s Dunkel or dark lager?   

     In the glass, it’s deep, shimmering copper colored. A lush tan head lasts all the way to the last quaff. Rich aromas of sweet caramel and light toffee burst forth with a solid punch of spicy Munich malt. The silky smooth and seductive caramel and spice flavours lead to a perfect balance between malty sweetness and hop bitterness. Is it any wonder that Beer Consumer Magazine gave this brew a 97 points rating? Until January 28, beer lovers may enjoy a 50 cent saving per bottle found in the imported beer section of your favorite LCBO outlet.

    Hofbräu Dunkel 500ml LCBO # 415950, Regularly $3.55, now $3.05 until January 28.

  • Back to Burgundy Basics

    It’s quite simple, no matter how expensive the wine, or famous the village, red Burgundy wines are made from the Pinot Noir grape. It is the most tantalizing of the world’s noble grapes and achieves unsurpassed heights when at its best. It is finicky, susceptible to spring frosts and winter cold and dislikes excess heat. The berries are blue-black in colour with relatively thick skins. The Cote d’Or, or golden slope, is Burgundy’s ancestral home. One of the most respected Burgundy merchants is the House of Moillard. Shipped from the famous village of Meursault, it was founded in the year 1850 and owns acreage in some of Burgundy’s most famous and expensive appellations where the retail prices can hover in the range of hundreds of dollars a bottle. Don’t let this scare you because Moillard also produces an affordable entry level Pinot Noir for everyday enjoyment. With the Bourgogne (Burgundy) appellation, it’s a blend from a variety of vineyard sites that expresses the best characteristics of the grape. It is ripe and approachable, with bright red cherry-berry fruit underpinned with oak and spice notes. A great food wine, it will compliment and not overpower dishes. BBQing this long May weekend is mandatory as we get ready to nudge into summer. Fish or fowl? Let’s do both and pair this wine with grilled salmon and grilled chicken breasts. It’s now an LCBO Vintages Essentials listing with year-round availability. 

    2021 Moillard Bourgogne Pinot Noir # 28360, $29.95