Flavours

The Dish

Drinks

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Nine vibrant, refreshing rieslings that make for perfect patio sippers

(Illustration: Jack Dylan)

There’s nothing quite like the crack of a crisp riesling on a bright spring evening. That bolt of vibrant, citrusy acidity, followed by a flood of peach, pear, honey and wildflowers. But wait, what’s that odd scent—is it flint? Or diesel fuel? Riesling disciples use the term “petrol” to describe its unusual aroma. Although I would argue for the grape’s virtues—as a versatile food wine and as the world’s best cellaring white—riesling has never gained a mainstream following. Not just because of its idiosyncratic bouquet, but because attempts to mass-produce it on the cheap have often resulted in limpid, overly sweet wines. Recently, however, better rieslings have made in-roads on wine lists across the city, thanks in large part to the excellent bottles produced here in Ontario. The LCBO also carries many refreshing, off-dry examples in the over-$15 range that make superb patio sippers and offer extraordinary value—just check out the point-to-price ratios on the following bottles.

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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President’s Choice vows to kick the artificial colour and flavour habit

(Image: Like_the_Grand_Canyon)

Loblaws has a new enemy and no, it’s not Metro or Sobey’s (those are old enemies): the supermarket conglomerate is now banishing artificial colours and flavours from its President’s Choice products. The move is in response to more consumers clamouring for natural goods in the wake of concerns about dyes and colouring leading to hyperactivity in children and even some types of cancer—or perhaps it’s an attempt to muscle in on the granola-happy customer base of places like Whole Foods. In terms of roll out, all artificial colours in the PC line (which includes Blue Menu, Organics and Green products) will be removed by the end of the year, and the flavours should follow suit by the end of 2013. Sure, there are reasons for skepticism about the health claims associated with “natural” colours and flavours, but as long as this move does nothing to change the taste of their Decadent chocolate chip cookies (whose chocolate chips do contain artificial flavour), we’re not complaining. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

The Dish

Drinks

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Why Greek wines are about to become the next big thing

Greek wines are as intriguing as their popular French and Italian counterparts, and they’re half the price

(Illustration: Jack Dylan)

Pine-scented retsina has left a bitter taste with many wine drinkers, but Greek wine has moved on, and it’s poised to become the next big thing, with more Greek labels making their way into trendy restaurants beyond the Danforth. More than 300 indigenous grapes are grown in the country’s 28 wine-growing appellations, which are home to more than 650 wineries. And the quality and value has only been getting better over the last 10 years. The new Greek wines combine the firm acid and mineral structure of many European wines with the ripe, bright fruitiness often found in hotter New World regions. The country’s core strength is aromatic yet steely whites, like moschofilero and assyrtiko, that will appeal to riesling and gewürztraminer fans. Lighter-weight, complex reds like xinomavro and agiorgitiko are similar to pinot noir and Italian nebbiolo. The LCBO’s selection is still meagre, but Vintages carries some excellent-value bottles, while Kolonaki Group, an Ontario-based Greek wine specialist, offers great buys by the case. Here, nine bottles worth trying, even if you’re not serving souvlaki.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2011: Six of Toronto’s tastiest treats and where to get them

Best of the City: Tasty Treats

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

Whoopie pie Wings Ice cream Fries Marshmallows Cask-conditioned ale

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2011: The city’s most interesting dishes, places to eat them and, yes, hot sauce

Best of the City: Dining

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

Baguette Pasta Fad Hot Sauce Lobster reinvented Carnivore cure Roast chicken Devilled eggs Patio for dessert

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to eat lunch this week: Flavours Fine Food

A former Scaramouche consultant has set up this bustling Bay Street restaurant, which serves gourmet classics at food court prices

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