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Eatdrink #65 May/June 2017

The LOCAL food and drink magazine serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario since 2007

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44 | May/June 2017 eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag of things that isn’t fully understood. That will always be the case, just to reduce it down to the most basic element is to destroy it.” “The other half is that I like to share the love and passion you can get out of it,” he admits. “And is one of London’s premier fundraising events, supported by the best of the region’s chefs and wineries from around the world — and Londoners who enjoy good food and wine for a good cause. May 4, 2017 Participating Restaurants & Chefs Black Trumpet: Chef Scott Wesseling Blu Duby: Chef Graham Stewart & Chef Cynthia Beaudoin The Church Key Bistro-Pub: Chef Cliff Briden Craft Farmacy: Chef Andrew Wolwowicz F.I.N.E. A Restaurant: Chef Erryn Shephard & Chef Ben Sandwith The Little Inn of Bayfield: Chef Michael Potters London Hunt and Country Club: Chef Michael Stark Restaurant Ninety One: Chef Angela Murphy & Chef Kris Simmons Sixthirtynine: Chef Eric Boyar All ’Bout Cheese: Rick Peori Petit Paris Crêperie & Pâtisserie: Chef Nicole Arroyas & Chef Nathan Russell O-Joe Coffee: Joe Ornato The Tea Lounge: Michelle Pierce Hamilton Tastings benefits the London Health Sciences Foundation Impact Fund, ensuring leading-edge care and research continues. These photos are from the 2016 event at the London Hunt & County Club. All ’Bout Cheese The Springs 2016 Participating Chefs & Sommeliers for that, there has to be a relatively simple starting point. If I were selling wine at the table or talking about a wine to a fresh audience, then I’d start of with just the basics: red or white, dry or sweet. And from there, you enter into other discussions.” “A great way to divide David’s Bistro styles is into fruity or savoury; cleave it into two basic camps. Most are either fruity or predominantly savoury, mushroom type flavours. People can generally grasp that. For instance, they know if they prefer their coffee with lots of sugar and milk, or mostly bitter. If they prefer bitter, then they’re more of a savoury person.” And as for how to pair food and wine together? Well that, Szabo says, takes some practice. “It requires lots of eating and drinking, which is not such a hardship. Although, specifically, I mean you have to be eating and drinking and paying attention.” Normally, once someone has taken their first sip, their attention has already shifted, and that can be the same with food too. “We don’t focus all that much on texture and nuances of flavour. If you want to get the most out of it, you have to stop and think and contemplate it, to assess how your body is reacting. You’ll sooner or later start to pick up on basic interactions between food and wine.” According to Szabo, the dance that takes place on your palate is not between an equally matched pair. The key is anticipating how the flavours will play off one another. “It’s context,” he says. “Most wines don’t dramatically affect the taste of food, but the taste of food does profoundly change the taste of wine. For instance, a dish with a lot of sugar in it — and I’m not talking about dessert, but let’s say a basic southeast Asian cuisine — a sweet substance will make

The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine everything in your mouth afterwards taste that much more bitter, sour and astringent. On the other hand, if you put something really sour into your mouth, then everything after that seems sweeter, softer, rounder and more mellow.” But if you’re the kind of person who has the basics down pat, and is more focused on what’s emerging in the world of wine, Szabo has some insight there as well. “I would say that cool climates are hot, and that’s true, certainly within the trade. And now it’s trickled down to the consumer. It’s not quite mainstream but getting there. Countries like Canada are positioned for success, as are producers who are way out on the far coasts where it’s chilly, or in higher elevation sites like Argentina. And it all comes down to lower alcohol, fresher wines as opposed to high alcohol ‘jammy’ wines. The wines are better balanced naturally.” However, what really has Szabo’s interest is volcanic wines. After all, he recently published a book on the subject, called Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power. “Volcanic wines, generally speaking, tend to be on the savoury side of the spectrum — and I take my coffee black and bitter,” he says jovially. “I’m attracted to them for the taste profile, but also for a number of other reasons. In volcanic regions around the world, there are indigenous grapes that have been preserved because of the soil. Many are positioned on steep inclines, which is not good for viticulture, so they were semi-abandoned Come sail which to Pelee preserved Island! grapes Explore from centuries Pelee past. Island There are by hundreds taking an of Island indigenous varieties Motor that have Tour, survived cycle dirt … it roads offers and amazing through world of the things vineyards to discover.” on a Biking It’s not surprising, given his journey, that Szabo still and possesses Wine Tour, the same walk insatiable up to the curiosity and drive. Lighthouse; Not “just” a catch Master a Sommelier glimpse any of the longer, Old Szabo Vin also Villa now Ruins, owns a stop winery at in the Hungary, local and he bakery, continues grab to consult a glass and of write. wine at the And perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of all is that Pelee Szabo visits Island London, Winery Ontario while regularly. listening to For the some past decade live music; he has been learn a a quasi-guest little history of honour and at London enjoy Health the limestone Sciences Foundation’s and sandy prestigious culinary fundraiser, Tastings, where beaches of Canada's Most Southern he holds a special pre-tasting event. This Inhabited year’s beneficiary Island. is the Stay Impact for Fund, a weekend which helps the or hospital a week acquire getaway! advanced Watch equipment the sunrise and technology, and and the advance sun set new on approaches the Lake to Erie.Turn care. “It’s one of my favourite events of the year,” back the time and enjoy island life at Szabo says. “Not only is it a good charitable cause, but my a mother slower is also pace. from London. I’ve been going there all my life and it’s like going home.” TANYA CHOPP is a storyteller and marketing professional. She enjoys crafting and amplifying meaningful communications across the arts, culture, entertainment, health, wellness, and technology industries. Official Wine of the 2017 Kingsville Folk Festival PELEE ISLAND GETAWAY Customized Tours & Itineraries Biking (& Wine) Tours • Bike Rentals Island Motor Tours • Taxi Service Cottage Rentals Call us for your island getaway! Explore Pelee 519 325-TOUR (8687) explorepelee.com