Wines of Provence: 5 Things You Should Know About Rosé Wine

bottle of Rosé wine - bouteille de vin rosé

Wines of Provence – Rosé Wine

Vineyards in Provence are blessed by nature to produce a variety of unique wines from Red to White. Due to the climate, the main production of the Provence region is Rosé wine. From the French Riviera to the Hamptons, Rosé wine is the it wine of the hottest summer parties!

Having recently been invited to a Rosé wine tasting held by Wines of Provence, I had such a great time learning interesting facts about the pink drink in the presence of Marie-Hélène Boisvert (founder of L’Apprentie Sommelière). Let me share with you 5 things you should know about Rosé wine…

wine glasses

Wines of Provence – Wine tasting

1. temperature matters

Warm or chilled? The optimal temperature to serve Rosé is between 8°C and 12°C. Rosé from Provence is light yet rich in aroma which is explained by the diversity of vines used in its making. The assembly of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes gives scents of small red berries, black fruits, citrus fruits, flowers, and spices with mineral and saline notes.

If you have left Rosé in the fridge for many days, do not panic! 20 minutes before serving, put your bottle on the counter so the wine will slowly reach 8°C to 12°C.

2. the newest vintage, the freshest wine

Unlike Red or White, most Rosé wines do not improve over the years so it’s totally fine to drink a bottle from 2015 or 2016. The grapes are picked early to preserve a nice acidity, and the fermentation at low temperature is practiced in order to increase the fruity and floral aromas in the wine. To really experience these flavours, it is recommended to opt for a recent vintage.

3. Drink Rosé with food
food black olive tapenade

Wines of Provence – Black Olive Tapenade

Rosé is not reserved only for cocktail hours! Thanks to its versatility you can definitely bring your bottle to the table. With the crisp side of some dry White, and delicate tannin aftertaste of light Red, Rosé pairs well with Mediterranean dishes including fish and spicy Asian foods. Moreover, due to its acidity, Rosé will balance out the taste of tomato sauce which means you can drink Rosé with pizza.

4. Drink rosé All Year Long
picnic basket with bottle of rosé

Wines of Provence – Picnic

Even if Rosé is your favorite wine for picnics, be aware that Rosé season is year-long! According to SAQ Cellier blog, sales of Rosé slow down in August. That being said, this situation seems to be changing as exports of Provence wines to Canada increased by 38% in 2016. So why not break the gloom of winter with a sunny glass of Rosé?

5. Cook with Rosé
red fruit basket

Wines of Provence – Red fruit basket

Did you know that you can cook with Rosé? Here are 2 recipes to try this summer:

  1. Strawberry salad, kiwi, spinach and Rosé vinaigrette

List of ingredients: local fresh strawberries, fresh kiwis, baby spinach and soft goat cheese.

Rosé vinaigrette: 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Provence Rosé, 1 pressed lemon, half of a pink grapefruit (pressed), finely chopped shallots, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper.

Preparation: cut strawberries, kiwis, and cheese. Put all ingredients in a bowl, add the Rosé vinaigrette, and mix. Leave the salad in the fridge and serve at your convenience.

2. Rosé popsicle

List of ingredients: 1 ½ cups of ripe strawberries and/or raspberries, juice from half of a lemon, white sugar (dissolved in hot water), and 500 mL of Provence Rosé.

Preparation: mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Sieve to remove seeds. Add more sugar if needed. Fill your popsicle molds and leave at least 6 to 8 hours in the freezer. This recipe gives about 8 to 10 popsicles (depending on the size of the molds).

wines workshop, wine bottles and food

Wines of Provence – Tasting Workshop

More than 40 wines of Provence are available at SAQ but if you are not able to find THE Rosé, proceed with a private import. Journalist Ève Dumas explains the 3 easy steps to follow in an article published in La Presse.

Kozu: new Asian brasserie in Plateau Mont-Royal

Kozu Asian brasserie

Recently opened in the heart of Plateau Mont-Royal, Kozu is an Asian inspired brasserie located on Rachel East. This 2500 square foot venue has been designed by the young talented Amlyne Phillips (Kampai Garden, Jatoba, Mayfair) based of chic Scandinavian chalet. The design features noble materials such as marble bar, as well as custom lighting and wallpaper.

The restaurant offers a Chinese and Japanese inspired menu elaborated by Chef Olivier Vigneault (Jatoba) who proposes a unique foodie experience. The sharing style menu showcases modern techniques and traditional flavors from Asian cuisine. Moreover, almost 50% of the menu is vegan and gluten free: Gao Choi dumplings, grilled Maitake mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and much more.

Kozu Asian brasserie – Dumplings

Kozu Asian brasserie – Food

Montreal’s leading mixologists Lawrence Picard has created an exotic cocktail list using Asian plants such as wasabi, turmeric and Sichuan pepper. During the media opening night, we were invited to taste the Emperor Mule cocktail made of Hennessy, sake, lime, ginger, coriander and kaffir lime leaves….delicious!

Kozu Asian brasserie – Emperor Mule cocktail

“We hope to fill the void in the Plateau for a quality dining experience that is festive yet refined. We are extremely proud of the beautiful melting pot of all the different talents involved from the chef, design, management and creative direction (…)” said young entrepreneur PJ Goupil (A5 Hospitality).

For reservations, please use OpenTable and feel free to leave a comment after your visit to share your experience.

Kozu

500 Rachel E., Montreal

Le Marché des Éclusiers in Montreal Old Port

Marché des Éclusiers

For its second edition, Marché des Éclusiers is open everyday thanks to a partnership between restaurant owners environmentally conscious who want to support Quebec products. Located in Old Port on De La Commune West (corner McGill), Marché des Éclusiers is easily accessible by Bixi and public transit.

Every Thursday from 2 PM to 7 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM, Marché des Éclusiers welcomes 8 kiosks of local producers who sale their seasonal products such as vegetables, fruits, meat, cheese or bread. Among the local producers, you will meet Vega Delishhh, Les Jardins Carya, la Petite Boulangerie, Tout Cru! and many others.

Marché des Éclusiers

This year, restaurants located at Marché des Éclusiers are committed to use biodegradable or recyclable dishes. Moreover, you will have the choice between 5 different menus which will be available to take away or to be tasted on the terraces.

Do not miss Velish salad bar who serves a large selection of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and vegan salad at affordable prices. Also, if you are a real coffee lover, stop at Volcanic Organic micro-roaster who buys its green coffee directly from small producers of Guatemala.

Marché des Éclusiers

Marché des Éclusiers wants to feature the best of local products. The objective is to create a community of producers, retailers and consumers conscious of their food, their ecological footprint and the sustainable development of Quebec products.

Marché des Éclusiers
400 De La Commune W. (corner McGill)

Opening hours: Sun to Wed 8 AM – 11 PM/ Thu to Sat 8 AM – 2 AM

Photo credit: Caroline Thibault

La Champagnerie 4th Anniversary: Make It Pop

La Champagnerie – 4th Anniversary

With a unique concept of Bar à Sabrage, La Champagnerie is a place where bubbles are honored and where they mingle with creative local cuisine. For its 4th anniversary, La Champagnerie invited friends, media and influencers for an evening full of surprises.

In the charm of a historic building that preserves the identity and soul of Old Montréal, everything was set to celebrate the 4th anniversary of La Champagnerie: tartare buffet, hors d’oeuvres, open bar and much more…

La Champagnerie – 4th Anniversary

La Champagnerie – 4th Anniversary

Following the launch last year of Cuvée Champagnerie (Cava Reserva 2011), La Champagnerie just introduced for the first time its own Champagne: Cuvée Sabrée Blanc de Blancs Brut. Made exclusively of Chardonnay, sommelier Pénélope Delorme went to France to develop this Champagne in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Dangin from Maison Paul Dangin & Fils located in Celles-sur-Ource.

La Champagnerie – Champagne Cuvée Sabrée Blanc de Blancs Brut (price: 120$)

Champagne Cuvée Sabrée is characterized by an elegant nose with notes of honey, orange peel and citrus, and a fresh mouth with lemony aromas, mineral and a lingering finish. Only available at La Champagnerie, Champagne Cuvée Sabrée suits for all occasions: afterwork, dinner, desserts and more.

La Champagnerie

343 Saint-Paul E., Montreal

Make it Pop!

Brunch and Bath Sundays at Strom Spa Nordique

Strom Spa Nordique – Île-des-Soeurs

Strøm Spa Nordique combine a Nordic spa with urbanity to provide a relaxing and energizing experience. With several locations in the countryside, only minutes away from city, Strøm Spa Nordique offers a wide range of services including massotherapy, beauty treatments, healthy dining and culinary tasting workshops.

I used to visit Île-des-Soeurs location because it’s close from downtown Montreal (less than 15 minutes) and easily accessible even during rush hours. The site has a moderate size compared to other spas that I visited which tends to create a pleasant intimate atmosphere. Moreover, the passionate team of employees is very professional, cares about your well-being and makes your expectations a priority.

Strom Spa Nordique – Île-des-Soeurs

During Victoria Day long weekend, I was invited to Brunch & Bath Sundays event at Strøm Spa Nordique at Île-des-Soeurs location. This monthly event starts at 9 am and continues until 2 pm where clients enjoy thermal experience, gourmet brunch buffet, glass of mimosa (or fresh juice) and relaxation.

The buffet is served from 9 am to 10:30 am where you have plenty choices of pastries, fresh fruits, cheese, homemade bread, salmon, yogurt and granola including drinks and much more. To enhance your experience, you have the option to book a Swedish massage. Please note that the number of places is limited so it’s highly recommended to book your ticket in advance online or by phone with the customer service.

B&B Sundays – Strom Spa Nordique

B&B Sundays – Strom Spa Nordique

In 2018, Strøm Spa Nordique will open a new location at Brown Bassin in Quebec city with unique and innovative experiences such as inside baths with windows overlooking the river. Visit Strøm Spa Nordique website to receive exclusive news and promotions.

Strøm Spa Nordique

Île-des-Soeurs/Mont St-Hilaire/Sherbrooke/Québec

Le Blumenthal: new Montreal brasserie in Quartier des spectacles

Le Blumenthal

On May 15th, Le Blumenthal opened its doors at the Maison du Festival in the heart of Quartier des spectacles just right on time for summer season. This new Montreal brasserie hot spot is well located for a pre-show drink and meal.

We were invited last week for the opening cocktail to taste a glimpse of the menu headed by chef Rémi Brunelle (Leméac, Albert Bistro) and a selection of wine chosen by sommelier Jean Benoit Hinse. Le Blumenthal is the oasis of Quartier des spectacles and here are three reasons to try it!

1. THE DESIGN

You can’t miss the tree in the center of the dining room and the leaves all around the lounge, it’s so refreshing! This decorative touch where the city meets the countryside has been conceived by the Gauley Brothers, the ones behind places such as Foiegwa and Atwater Cocktail Bar.

Le Blumenthal – Dining Room

Le Blumenthal – Lounge

2. THE VIEW

Just steps from the Place des Festivals, the Blumenthal offers a stunning view day and night in the heart of the action. Moreover, during summer, the terrace has a capacity of 150-seat to welcome you!

Le Blumenthal – Place des Festivals

3. THE MENU

You can enjoy “a cuisine that reflects our values” said chef Rémi Brunelle! In fusion with the green design, the menu includes choices of vegetarian dishes from starter to main course.

Le Blumenthal – Starter: beets, ricotta and cress

Le Blumenthal – Main course: Vegetarian Hambourgeois

Countdown to summer time has officially begun, see you on the terrace 🙂

Le Blumenthal

305 Ste Catherine Street West, Montreal

Open everyday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m

Photo credit: Patricia Brochu

Cannes Film Festival: Opening Cocktail at Mouton Cadet Wine Bar in Montreal

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar 2017 – Cannes Film Festival

For this 2017 edition of Cannes Film Festival, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA opened the doors of Mouton Cadet Wine Bar. Until May 28th, the terrace of the Palais des Festivals will be once again the meeting place for the cinema and also the place to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the festival, in a decor entirely conceived and decorated by the French decorative artist Mathias Kiss.

At this occasion, restaurant Le Richmond located in Montreal Griffintown neighborhood transformed its terrace by using the decor of Mouton Cadet Wine Bar to celebrate the opening of the Cannes Film Festival.

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar 2017 – Le Richmond

We were invited to plunge into the Cannes Film Festival universe while tasting hors d’oeuvres and limited edition of Mouton Cadet wines. Note that Mouton Cadet Red wine 2014 (15,65$) and Mouton Cadet White wine 2016 (14,65$) are both available at SAQ.

Le Richmond

377 Richmond, Montreal

Photo Credit: Myriam Frenette

Tartarefest: Vote For The Best Tartare of Montreal

Tartarefest 2017

Restomania launched the 4th edition of Tartarefest at Rosewood restaurant on May 19th. More than 20 restaurants have created tasty tartares for the occasion, and you are invited to vote for the best tartare of Montreal by May 28th.

Tartarefest offers the chance to enjoy a gourmet fine dining experience at participating restaurants without the hefty bill: a tartare plus drink from 10$. Among the restaurants competing in the Tartarefest, Êat and Caribou Gourmand are innovating this year by offering vegetarian tartares.

Vegetarian Tartar – Caribou Gourmand

Vegetarian Tartar – Caribou Gourmand

At the restaurant Caribou Gourmand, the vegetarian tartare, made of fennel, apples, goat’s cheese, walnut, honey and lemon, comes with a generous portion of homemade French fries. I recommend a glass of Pinot Gris Leon Beyer (2014, France) to accompany the vegetarian tartare. As a foodie, I always have space for starter and dessert: here are my choices…

Quebec Cheese Plate – Caribou Gourmand

Blueberry Crumble – Caribou Gourmand

As you can guess, my vote goes to Caribou Gourmand for this 4th edition of Tartarefest. During the final day on May 27th, the Best Tartare of Montreal 2017 will be announced at the Fish Market La Mer. All the profits of this day will be donated to the Douglas Foundation (Mental Health University Institute). Visit Tartarefest to vote and Restomania to reserve your tickets. Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Food: 3 restaurants to try in New York City

Gallow Green Rooftop Bar (Chelsea, NY)

New York City is one of our favorite destination for a weekend getaway near Montreal (1 hour flight away). We recently spent an amazing journey in the Big Apple and would like to share with you 3 must-eat vegan restaurants.

1. Seasoned Vegan

Seasoned Vegan (Brunch and Dinner)

Seasoned Vegan (Raw Appetizers)

Cuisine: Soul Food (organic/gluten free options)

Menu: Brunch and Dinner

Our choices…

Fried Fermented Soy “Chicken” Drumsticks with Old Fashioned Pancakes

Pizza Quesadilla (marinara & vegan mozzarella on a flour tortilla, extra mushrooms)

Stuffed Avocado (sliced, pitted and filled with almond meat and topped with cashew cheese and pico de gallo)

Baked Mac & “Cheese”

Nori Roll (almond meat, tomatoes, avocado, onion and greens wrapped in a nori seaweed roll with side of peanut sauce)

Seasoned Vegan

55 St. Nicholas Av., Harlem (NY)

2. Délice & Sarrasin

Délice & Sarrasin – Starters

Délice & Sarrasin – Main Courses

Cuisine: French

Menu: Dinner

Our choices…

Homemade “Foie Gras” (tahini based) with fig jam

“Cheese” (cashew based) Plate served with bread

“Poulet” Basquaise (vegan chicken legs slowly cooked with vegan chorizo, melted peppers, onions & tomatoes served with couscous)

Tagliatelle aux “fruits de mer” (tagliatelle with vegan squid, shrimp & scallops made of tapioca and potato starch with Mediterranean olive oil)

Délice & Sarrasin

20 Christopher St, West Village (NY)

3. Blossom restaurant

Blossom Restaurant – Country Breakfast

Blossom Restaurant – Blossom Benedict

Cuisine: International (organic)

Menu: Brunch

Our choices…

Country Breakfast (tofu scramble with onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, and bell pepper, served with seitan sausage and mesclun greens)

Blossom Benedict (steamed tofu, soy ham, Hollandaise, whole wheat English muffin, roasted rosemary potatoes, grilled asparagus)

French Toast (strawberries, bananas, maple syrup and tempeh bacon)

Blossom Restaurant

187 Ninth Ave, Chelsea (NY)

Club Soya: New Sushi Restaurant in Montreal

Club Soya – Photo credit: Myriam Frenette

Club Soya is the newest restaurant in Montreal Quartier des Spectacles inspired by Japanese, Hawaiian and local cuisines. Opened few months ago, Club Soya invited us earlier this week to taste its menu and to celebrate the opening of its terrace.

Elaborated by Chef Geneviève Everell (Sushi à la maison), menu features sushi, maki-burrito, poke bowls and salads. Recipes change with seasons depending ingredients availability at local markets. During the launch event, we chose vegan poke bowls and vegetarian sushi.

Vegan Poke Bowls – Photo credit: Myriam Frenette

Vegetarian Sushi – Photo Credit: Myriam Frenette

While waiting to receive its alcohol license, Club Soya offers a menu of mocktails signed by Étienne Bernard (founder of Bar Co) and well harmonized with plates served at the restaurant.

Mocktail – Credit photo: Myriam Frenette

Club Soya has a small capacity (perfect if you are looking for intimacy) but you can still enjoy the menu by ordering on Foodora  and be delivered right to your door.

Club Soya

225 Sherbrooke West, Montreal