Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

The chef/proprietors of Trout Point Lodge in remote Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, attended the Acabailles V.I.P. Weekend November 15-16, 2014, as guests of the winery association of one of Bordeaux’s most prestigious regions. The annual event marks the end of harvesting and vinifying each year’s wines. Invitees routinely include chefs & restaurateurs with two or three Michelin stars, as well as a select number of others in the top echelon of the culinary world. Charles Leary and Vaughan Perret stayed as a select few among guests of Chateau Haut-Brion, an acclaimed wine estate whose illustrious history goes back many centuries. This is the fourth year Leary & Perret have travelled to France for the event, but the first time staying at Haut-Brion.


Charles Leary & Vaughan Perret with Mrs. & Mr. Lochlann Quinn, the 2014 Acabailles Soirée

Invitees tasted the complete 2010 and 2012 red and white vintages from the Pessac-Léogan region’s Cru Classés, visited the facilities of Chateau LaTour-Martillac, and had a specially-prepared lunch at Chateau Haut-Bailley. Highlights for the Canadian innkeppers included a private dinner at Chateau Haut-Brion, owned by Clarence Dillon Wine Estates and run by the Prince of Luxembourg, where they tasted highly-vaunted vintages of both red and white wines, including the 1989 Haut Brion, which scored a perfect 100/100 from Wine Spectator magazine. They also sampled 2011 vintage white wines including from neighbour La Mission Haut-Brion, which Leary described as spectacular. The following evening they attended the Acabailles soirée at the table of Mr. & Mrs. Lochlann Quinn, owners of Chateau Fieuzal. Mr. Quinn is Chairman of the National Gallery of Ireland and former Chairman of Allied Irish Banks PLC.


Chateau Couhins-Lurton

The soirée was hosted at Chateau Couhins-Lurtton, and the multi-course dinner prepared by Michelin two star chef and French television personality Philippe Etchebest.

“It’s a great honour to be invited, but also a highly educational experience,” said Perret. “We get the chance to compare notes with some extremely talented and motivated restaurateurs, and to taste fantstic wines.” Trout Point Lodge has several Péssac-Leognan wines on its list, whcih has won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence each year since 2009. Leary and Perret also met with the director of the local hotel & restaurant school in Talence, a Bordeaux suburb, hoping to attract talented students for internships in Nova Scotia. IMGP7520


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Wine Spectator magazine has granted a 2013 Award of Excellence to Trout Point Lodge for its wine list and wine service. Wine Spectator gives the Award for “lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.” Trout Point was noted for its particular strength in wines from France.

2013 is the 5th consecutive year that the Lodge has received the Award.

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Wine Spectator gave the 2005 and 2006 vintages of Bodegas Pinord‘s “+7blend 92 points. Having recently sampled the 2007–a blend of garnacha (50%), syrah (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon  (30%)–this producer of organically-certified wine has excelled again.

Silky tannins and featuring the weight and alcohol (14.5%) so typical of Priorat, +7 has a bit of smokiness, but is not so dense that it requires a lot more aging or lacks in subtlety. Berries, briar, and a bit of green pepper.

The wine is fermented in stainless steel, then blended and oak aged for 1 year.

Pinord has pledged to make quality wines here whilst maintaining a close relationship with more traditional grape growing techniques. From the beginning, the vineyards have been organic, using only permitted natural products on the land. All chemical products such as herbicides and pesticides are avoided.

Pinord has firmly adopted Biodynamic Farming techniques in their Mas Blanc vineyard. They believe that by following their own winemaking practices and by attempting to maintain a balance with the land, they will be leaving it a better place for future generations.

Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia will have the 2007 +7 on its 2012 season wine list, which specializes in organic and Spanish selections.

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Entering its 13th year of offering multi-day culinary vacations, Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia will add 1-day seminars in a series called l’Art de vivre. Consisting of classes with the Lodge’s chef/proprietors, guests will also receive a Saturday night in a main lodge room or suite plus breakfast and 5-course dinner. The series focuses on food and wine appreciation outside of the kitchen.

Art de vivre topics will include:

  • Wines 101 plus themed wine tastings such as Wines of Spain, Bordeaux Regions, or Nova Scotia selections
  • Cheese appreciation
  • Hot & cold smoking techniques
  • Espresso expressions
  • Gourmet mushrooms

Planned for May, June, September, and October, 2012, classes will be limited to 10 participants and encompass about 2-3 hours spent learning about special aspects of food & wine.

The cost is $100/person in addition to the regular Lodge rates for room and Half Board.

The purpose of the Art de vivre series is to provide special insight into the finer aspects of living relative to food & drink.

Cheese appreciation will cover the different types of cheese—from soft bodied, surface-ripened ones like Livarot to hard, grating cheese like Reggiano Parmigianno—as well as how to store, age (affinage), and serve cheeses, including the cheese course within a multi-course meal.

Espresso expressions will explore the basics of coffee cultivation, quality, and roasting and then demonstrate how to make the perfect cup of espresso and cappuccino. How to select and operate an espresso machine—including a comparison of 4 different machines at the Lodge—will conclude the class.

The Smoking class will introduce the techniques for infusing seafood and meats with savoury smoke flavour, naturally, including how the Lodge makes its own acclaimed smoked salmon. In the Gourmet mushrooms session, guests will learn about the different kinds & qualities of edible mushrooms—wild & cultivated—as well as how to select and store them.

Trout Point Lodge proprietors Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary operated an award-winning, diversified organic farm before moving to Nova Scotia. They were among a handful of North Americans inducted into the French Guilde des fromagers in 1994 and operated an acclaimed New Orleans restaurant that featured their farm’s organic vegetables, cheeses, and exotic mushrooms. They have cooked at Trout Point since 2000, which has won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence each year since 2007. This year, Departures magazine chose the Lodge among the world’s top 10 foodie getaways.

The Lodge has also announced dates for its 3-day, 2-night Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School program. This all-inclusive culinary vacation including accommodation, meals, hands-on instruction, and field trips will be held May 18-20, 2012: Mediterranean Cuisine with an emphasis on seafood as well as June 15-17 and September 28-30, 2012: Seafood Cookery.

About Trout Point Lodge Nova Scotia’s only member of Relais & Chateaux, the Lodge consists of 7 deluxe guest rooms, 2 suites, and 2 cottages. Trout Point has achieved a 4 1/2 star rating from Canada Select since opening in 2000 and won the inaugural Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award.

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Wine Access–Canada’s wine magazine–has selected the Lodge’s cooking vacations for its list of 10 holiday gifts for those with a culinary bent. Written by Canadians and covering international and Canadian wines from a Canadian point of view, the magazine’s Allison McNeely compiled the list for foodies, gourmets and people who love to cook.

A perfect way to give a Trout Point gift is through Gift Certificates purchased online!

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Trout Point Lodge is expanding the dining experiences offered to guests and local residents with the opening of the new Chez la Tousquet scheduled for June 1, 2011.

Entering its 12th season of operation, the Lodge has always emphasized gourmet food in table d’hôte menus focused on local produce & world-class seafood. Trout Point often features products from its own 5,000 square foot vegetable, herb, & flower gardens.

Chez la Tousquet will offer candle-lit dining in an intimate space with walls of blue-granite blocks and painted wood panelling. A focal-point hand-cut red sandstone fireplace will compliment views of the Tusket River, the restaurant’s namesake. A hewn hemlock-wood wine bar provides a spot for pre-dining beverages, including 140 selections from a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning list.

Guests will have the option of the classic The Dining Room, with its rustic wood furniture, or the new venue for dinner. Chez la Tousquet’s will offer some options of appetizers and main dishes versus the purely fixed menu of The Dining Room. Home-made pastas and vegetarian options will be served alongside local seafood. Trout Point emphasizes the importance of local ingredients and sustainable practices. It is among only a handful of properties in the country holding a 5 Green Key rating and won the inaugural Green Restaurant Award from the Nova Scotia Restaurant Association.

Chef-proprietors Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary will oversee both restaurants. Authors of The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine from New Orleans to Nova Scotia (Random House), the duo steered the Lodge to membership in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux Association in 2009. An grouping of boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants around the world, Relais & Chateaux members hold more than half of all the stars for cuisine awarded by the Michelin guide. Perret & Leary are featured in the 2010 cookbooks Chefs at Home and 85 Inspirational Chefs alongside the likes of The French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington, and Daniel Boulud of New York’s Daniel.

Chez la Tousquet will require reservations and will have a single seating each evening starting June 1.



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For the second year in a row, the wine list at Trout Point Lodge has won an Award of Excellence from New York-based Wine Spectator magazine.

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Since 1981, Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards has honored the world’s best wine lists. A total of 3,743 restaurants earned awards in 2010. Of them, 579 offer inexpensive prices (with many bottles under $50 and below-normal markups), and 719 are located outside the United States, in 60 different countries.

2,880 restaurants carry the Award of Excellence, the program’s basic award, which honors a wine list of at least 100 well-chosen selections that are clearly presented and appropriately paired with the restaurant’s cuisine.

The complete list of the 2010 award winners is featured in the August 31 issue of Wine Spectator. All of the restaurants can be found in WineSpectator.com’s Restaurant Search, along with more extensive details about their wine selection, cuisine, prices and key staff.

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