Posted in dining, bermuda

Fourways Restaurant, Bermuda

Fancy dining with top notch wines.

The baroness and I are dining at Fourways in Paget. History is in the walls. The original building dates back to 1727.

Executive Chef, Tommy Poh is considered to be one of the best in Bermuda. We opted for a half bottle chablis to go with grilled salmon and a seafood trio (scampi, scallops, crab cakes).

This restaurant does it the traditional way, with quality in every aspect of the experience, from food to wine to attentive service.

By far the best wine list in Bermuda.


Posted in bermuda, dining

Tempest Bistro, St. George, Bermuda wows us with a top notch wine list & superb dining. Recommended!

The baroness and I are starting our Bermuda visit in St. George. There are a number of dining experiences we wanted to try and Tempest on Water Street is at the top of our list.

The hostess, servers, and proprietor Mark are all very attentive. They are on to some cutting edge styles and techniques here. And the wine list has only the best . She starts with Aix Rosé, Coteaux d’Aix En Provence and I go for the Duckhorn Decoy, Sauvignon Blanc. Both are stunners. 

Duckhorn pairs beautifully with the tiger shrimp and scallops;  the rosé goes nicely with the Rockfish. Both come with very tasty vegetables and mashed potatoes. This restaurant could be in Paris, the food is so good! Both wines are truly memorable. Staff are knowledgable and efficient.

Wonderful location directly on the water in this beautiful UNESCO world heritage site.

Posted in General

Highlights! Want to enjoy my blog to the utmost? Check out these top posts. From a wine introduction to wine regions to dining experiences.

Top Posts by The Wine Barontumblr_nsf2kbZxJ01tfwglto2_1280af5bc6c5da94b8acd7bb141002bfccb9_view78b8e96a3451ecf4fd1529b653416861

Wine Introduction (Wine 101)A short read, starting with “Step 1”

Visiting the Rhone Valley wine region of France – Got to go there at least once in a lifetime!

Visiting Masterworks in BermudaSome of the world’s greatest art, in Bermuda no less!

Wine Pairings at The BriarsGreat cheat sheet for your own fine wine and dining.

Finest restaurant we discovered in ParisHeavenly dining experience, and the wine!

   In addition to the links above, be sure to use “Search This Site” or “Blog Categories” for more great content. They are upper right on a desktop browser, or at the bottom if you use a smartphone browser.


Posted in distilleries, spirits

Dark ‘n Stormy recipe – one of Bermuda’s most popular drinks

Here’s how to make a proper Dark ‘n Stormy

  • Pour 6 oz ginger beer (either Barritts or Gosling’s brand) into a tall glass filled with ice
  • Float 2 oz of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum on top. Stir until it looks like a storm cloud.

Optional garnish: lime wedge. 

There’s a magical quality to every Bermuda visit. This is one fine way to duplicate one of the sweetest Bermudian things you can enjoy, even if you’re back on the mainland. It works! I do it all the time.

The Dark ‘n Stormy is trademarked by Gosling’s, so be sure to use real Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, a truly fine rum.

Posted in art

Chris Bacon’s “Flotilla”


Flotilla by Chris Bacon

‘Flotilla‘ is a beautiful painting! One of the most moving I’ve ever experienced. There is fluidity, movement, emotion, softness, strength, and innocence in this work.  At nearly 30 inches wide, it’s a large piece, with a real presence. The original work of art is available, or as a hand-made print from the artist…

Bacon grew up in many places around the world as his family followed his father’s work relocations. One of Chris’s favourite childhood locations was Bermuda. He returns often. He is equally drawn to the north and camps and canoes often. He was recognized in 2004 with the Master Wildlife Artist Award from Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, in Wausau, Wisconsin.

– The Wine Baron

Posted in Wine

Wine Hackaton: Pinot vs Bonarda — The Wine Culturist

Have you ever met a wine hacker? I have. Last week I found myself in a narrow brightly-lit room in a far-flung corner of the city, rubbing glasses with Argentina’s hippest wine bloggers at the grandiosely-named PinotBonarda Wine Hackaton. Now let me be clear; there were no geeky, unwashed techies in ironic oversized T-shirts here (ok, […]

via Wine Hackaton: Pinot vs Bonarda — The Wine Culturist

Posted in General

Beauty Fades From the Train


Philip Craddock Writing Portfolio

You stand tall in the train, suspended by a solitary rusty metal chain which you clutch in your worn-out hands. The other grey commuters sit in silence, eyes staring straight ahead at nothing in particular, seemingly without anything to look forward to as they are shunted from point A to point B in their black and white lives.

She sits down in the seat opposite you, in Technicolor, and for a moment you allow your eyes to take her in and your imagination to run wild and free. God, she is beautiful. Her pink hair (you guess it may not be her natural colour) drapes down to her shoulders, carefully styled just enough to not look too unkempt whilst still not detracting from that “Don’t give a damn” persona that you imagine she likes to wear most days.

Her smooth skin is still flush with hope, her lips relaxed into…

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Posted in italian wine

Piccini Villa al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010

A Brunello that’s elegant and true

 We enjoyed this beautiful wine last night with sliced baguette and aged cheeses, including parmigiano (a great match).

Brunello must spend at least 2 years in barrels and cannot be released until the fifth year after harvest. A patient investment to produce an outstanding wine.

We immediately noticed its deep dark red. Complex notes of ripe black cherry and spice contribute to an overall classy and delicate wine. It is smooth as silk and yet has more body than many Brunello’s.

It elegantly makes its presence known.

A past star in Vintages, it has now moved into General List (LCBO # 434696). About $35. 10 Bonus Air Miles in April 2016. Great time to buy. Highly recommended.

Posted in distilleries, spirits

The next hot trend – Ontario about to burst forth with micro-distilleries


Spirits Start To Emerge in My Consciousness

I’ve been a wine aficionado for a long time. But I haven’t been able to resist the lure of spirits either. They’ve gradually tugged at my attention and they’re winning me over. They’re fascinating and equally full of culture and lore. So with this post, I am embarking on an undiluted journey into the wonderful world of spirits.

My first notice of distilled liquor was of Single Malt Scotch. I remember working on a major project and going to the neighbourhood bar after hours. They had a display of Scotches set up on the counter. I decided to order one of each over the next several days. I liked the different flavours, personalities and histories. From there I branched into blended whisky, Irish whiskey, gin, and absinthe, among others. Ah, so many to encounter. A delightful quest!

Dramatic Growth in the U.S. – Emerging Now in Ontario

As reported at a recent American Distilling Institute (ADI) conference, micro-distilleries have grown from 50 in 2005 to around 300 today (in the US), and that number could grow to 1,000 in less than 10 years. “The renaissance has happened to wine, beer, bread and vegetables,” ADI President Bill Owens says of the craft revolution. Now, he says, is simply the time for spirits. The industry is set to enjoy similar growth to that of craft beer in the ’90′s. There is no similar organization in Canada. The boom is just starting in the Great White North. There are a few micro distilleries in Ontario right now, but according to one industry proprietor, he’s hearing of 2 or 3 potential startups per week. The trend is rising rapidly!

There are many types of spirits to explore. Visit your local micro-distillery to discover. According to Time, whiskey is the quickest growing micro category in production in the US and that seems to be the initial trend in Ontario as well. The range of products made by craft distilleries goes far beyond standard spirits. There are so many different types a craft distillery can make, so many creatively cool ingredients to add for personality, and a myriad of techniques that can be tried to add to products’ artisanal appeal. They’re making pear-based eau de vie in Pennsylvania, artisanal moonshine in Arkansas, and brandies in Napa Valley. Ontario’s doing some very innovative stuff too.

Here’s a list of the better known craft/micro distilleries in Ontario:

66 Gilead, Bloomfield –
Dillon’s, Beamsville –
Magnotta Distillery, Vaughan –
Mill Street, Toronto –
Still Waters, Concord –
Toronto Distillery Company –
Vieni, Beamsville –
Waverley Spirits, Perth –

I visited 3 of these craft distilleries to see what’s going on. Here are my findings:

Still Waters Distillery, Concord, Ontario

Barry and Barry of Still Waters
Barry and Barry of Still Waters

Still Waters Barrels lovingly aging whisky
Still Waters Barrels lovingly aging whisky
Launched in January 2009, this is Ontario’s first micro-distillery, founded by Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein. They make everything by hand in small batches with a beautiful custom made pot still from Germany. Every batch is hand made right from the grain to the bottle. They proudly produce whisky, vodka, gin and brandy. Each product has that distinctively clean and characterful taste that you can only get from a small producer. Excellent products! You can find some of them in LCBO, but most of them are available only from the distillery in Concord Ontario or via their online shop. I particularly enjoyed their Single Malt, Rye, and Cask Strength Whisky.

And it’s great that they now have true 3 year aged Canadian whiskies. Their patience has paid off (and their barrel cellar is expanding rapidly).

Dillon’s, Beamsville, Ontario

Geoff Dillon
Geoff Dillon

sampling of Dillon's products
Sampling of Dillon’s products
Dillon’s is a cool place to visit, even on a hot day! The people here are cool, the products are gorgeous, and they’re here to make an impact in the enjoyment of spirits. Going to Wine Country? Then add Dillon’s to your itinerary.

Geoff Dillon gives a terrific distillery tour. Lauren Huggins and her co-workers will look after you at the tasting bar. Everyone at Dillon’s will make you feel welcome.

The vodka (essentially Grappa, because it’s made from Niagara wine grapes) has far more interesting flavour than regular vodka. This is a great spirit.

The gin is the best I’ve ever had to this point. It makes the perfect Gin and Tonic.

And here are my notes for “The White Rye”.

dillonryesm THE WHITE RYEColour: perfectly clear

Nose: Grain mash, Asian pear, rock candy, white pepper, hint of licorice and an almost wisp of ginger

Flavour: same, with hint of vanilla

Finish: lingering

Overall Impression: A beautifully crafted white rye that’s a delight to enjoy straight or as base for a cocktail

Vieni Estates

Vieni Wine and Spirits from Wine Baron on Vimeo.

Vieni opened in 2013. Situated on 175 acres, 190 meters above sea-level on the brow of the Niagara Escarpment, Vieni combines centuries of tradition with modern technology. As well as offering a large range of whites, reds and icewines, winemaker Mauro Salvador will be releasing a selection of Charmat Method sparkling wines. And the big news is that Vieni is the first craft winery in Ontario to make Grappa and other spirits distilled from local fruit. Visitors can taste the range at the winery, picnic in the vineyard, hike the property’s section of the Bruce Trail and enjoy a stay in the beautifully updated B&B where every room has a stunning view of the vineyard.

Concluding Thoughts:

So get out there people, and discover the wonderful world of craft distilleries. You thought you knew spirits from going to the liquor store? There’s so much more. The small producers are the ones that will welcome you warmly, educate you, provide innovative and highly interesting products, and they’re nearby. Drop me a line and let me know how you make out … @thewinebaron