Is On Its Way
By Clarence Jackson
As far as Winnipeg winters go, that wasn’t so bad…was it? Winnipeggers are a hearty bunch, but as much as we take pride in how we’re viewed by those who cannot fathom how or why we subject ourselves to such masochistic winter treatment, we also look forward to putting its memory behind us.
We’ve bid adieu to the parka and boots, tights, long johns, scarves, mitts and toques. No more plugging in the car, scraping the windshield or shovelling snow. Mornings are bright and crisp and the evenings long and pleasant. Spring has sprung and it’s clear sailing for the next months as we look forward to April showers and May flowers.
Like the slow melt of snow or the dimming of the dining room light, we begin weaning ourselves from the hearty options of winter: robust red wines filled with ripe dark fruit, dark berries and lovely tannins. The rich, full-bodied, oak aged whites and those delicious, barrel aged, brown spirit based cocktails.
We’re not quite at the heart-beating, thirst quenching, light-bodied, crisp and citrusy white wine stage, but we are looking for a bit of a change. Perhaps a white blend: two or more varieties, each with complementary characteristics that offer compromise between the two styles. Lighter bodied reds with good fruit and softer tannins; a nice dry rosé. We order a clear spirit based cocktail on our favourite patio.
Another sign of spring is April’s full, or, Pink Moon. Called Pink Moon by various cultures around the world, traced back to North American Aboriginal peoples, it announced the oncoming herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring (according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac), and spring itself.
Paxton ‘The Guesser’ White Blend
McLaren Vale, Australia; $16.49, Manitoba Liquor Marts and beyond
This biodynamically produced wine blends sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and marsanne. The fruit has been harvested to reveal their more tropical personalities and complements the hints of citrus. The palate is fresh yet still shows some creaminess in its aromatic profile to help fill out its textural balance, finishing dry.
Viña De Martino Gallardía del Itata Cinsault
Itata Valley, Chile; $13.99,
Manitoba Liquor Marts and beyond
“…a super-pale pink, almost a blanc de noirs with very little maceration as they want a light, clean, fresh rosé, with faint notes of strawberries. The nose is almost a white, with floral aromas and good acidity that make it appear light on its feet, but then it reveals the weight of fruit. A great rosé.”
The Classic Gimlet
(Ransom Dry Gin – $52.99, Manitoba Liquor Mart)
2 oz Ransom Dry Gin
½ oz *simple syrup or 1 tsp sugar
1/8 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 Chilled water
*To make simple syrup bring 2:1 water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool and use.
From craft spirit distiller Ransom Spirits of Sheridan Oregon, Ransom Dry Gin is handmade and fashioned after Holland’s renowned malt wine genevers. Ransom combines the maltiness and hop aromas of the style with a decidedly more intense botanical infusion, always with tradition in mind. The result is a highly aromatic gin with the most compelling attributes of both genever and dry gin styles. Also excellent for sipping neat, in a dry Martini, or a traditional Collins.
Mix all ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and fine strain into a chilled coupette/martini glass, or over ice in an old fashioned glass. Express three lime zests into glass and discard before pouring drink. Garnish with a lime wedge.