I went to Canada last month and oh geez, wouldn’tcha know, I had a dynamite time and everyone went bananas over our wine! Take off your tuque, grab a few Timbits, and read aboot my trip to our neighbor to the north!
Before I left California for Calgary, I was given a scarf. When it was given to me, I smiled at her and said that I wasn’t a scarf kind of guy. She grinned and said that I most certainly would be once I stepped out of my hotel in Calgary. Lesson learned. Always trust the advice of a native, especially when it concerns the Canadian fall -or as I far as I was concerned, the dead of winter. Yes, during that early November week in Calgary I experienced the coldest weather of my life; 22 degrees Fahrenheit -it was in the high 70s back in California. Awfully cold for a native, naive Californian who has taken pride in not being in the snow for over 8 years. While the cold took away my breath, it took nothing from the city.
While lacking an Indian summer, Calgary is rich in great people, an appreciation for fine wine, and a vibrant culinary scene. Restaurants such as Murrieta's are crafting dishes that would compete with many well know Californian restaurants. Ki Sushi pushes the culinary envelope by creating a roll using local staples; meat and potatoes. The ki beef maki has teriyaki-glazed Canadian AAA striploin, sweet potato tempura + asparagus. It was unlike anything I would have expected, though I really should have. Alberta is known for its high quality beef. One of my most memorable meals was an aged ribeye paired with our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
One interesting thing about wine sales in Alberts is that everything is centralized and controlled by the state logistically. They have a number of centralized temperature controlled warehouses with their own fleet of delivery trucks. All inventory is managed online through the state run warehouse. Any restaurant or wine shop in Alberta can simply go online and order a case of wine whenever they wish! This has proven to be fantastic for Jeremy (the owner of North by Northwest Wine Imports) and the other distributors in the area. As our great reviews keep coming in, wine lovers around the world are hearing how tremendous our wines are. In Calgary, all they need to do is go to their local wine shop and the store can order a case right away! Better still, this extends into the province of Saskatchewan! This has allowed a few fine wine shops there to bring in Cornerstone and Stepping Stone with ease.
Keep your eyes out Western Canada. More Cornerstone is heading your way and I will be too. Hopefully for Stampede!