I am back from an unexpected break due to some new circumstances in my life that require dmy attention. During that time, I have brush up my cooking skills in all aspects. I have been revisiting different cooking techniques including BBQ. Actually, i have to admit that enjoy better barbequing during the winter season rather than the summer.
There is something inviting of the cold Quebec winter that lures me to being outdoors cooking. Problably it is the smell of the cool crisp winter air. It feels so clean that it makes you want to escape from the stuffy indoor environment. However, it takes someone with a high tolerance to cold. Even to this date, I continue to wear shorts while I am outdoors.
There is another reason while I like to being outddors making food in the winter. It permits to have as an aperitif, spirits with the excuse of warming up. It is the best time to enjoy a Spanish brandy. In a BBQ video that I made, an acquintance of my wife suggested that it was a charming setting to have a hot wine. Although, I agree with her, I rather have a glass of Cardenal Mendoza.
For a weekday BBQ meal, why not have a glass of Torres 10 Imperial Gran Reserva.( SAQ # 00094367, $31.00). A great Spanish grape brandy from Torres, made from Catalan grape varieties and aged using a solera made from American oak. Dark topaz colour, with fine old gold tints. Of a pungent aroma, it displays an intense bouquet – more metaphysical sthan spirituous – with hints of spices (cinnamon, vanilla). On the palate it is round and full of tannins, developing a rich and long aftertaste.
If budget permits why not have a glass of Emilio Lustau Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez. ( SAQ # 12467151 ,$77.00). This Brandy brings memories of whisky matured in sherry casks (think Macallan, Glendronach, Glenfarclas…), only more sweeter. There is lots of raisins and figs, milk chocolate, thick caramel and vanilla character. Molasses and tofee complement the nose along crushed almonds. On the mouth, a good dose of dried fruits, mainly dates, chocolate coated figs and with rum & raisins. A bit of candy apple as well.After the initial wave of sweetness, which could be a little overpowering for some, it settles down on nuts such as hazelnuts and spices (pepper, cinnamon) and just the perfect hint of smoked wood. Long, dark with a sweet finish.
After your meat is done, and you are cold enough to go back inside, it is time to eat. I reccomend a bold red to stand the bold flavors of the BBQ. Finca Villacreces Pruno 2015 would do the job just fine ( SAQ# 11881940, $23.20). Dark fruit tones, maple taffy caramel, licorice. On the mouth, good structure with a well acidity and tannis. This classic wine from the Ribera del Duero keeps getting better with time.
Another interest wine to have comes from the Priorat. More powerful than the Ribera del Duero, it will keep you warmer. The Gratavinum 2 Pi R Priorat 2011 ( 11307163, $30.25) has dark chocolate notes, herbs and extracted black fruits. On the mouth, modern and plush, concentrated with a massive tannic charge. Not the style that I favor on a regular basis but once in a while, it is good to have when you are outdoors.