Winevision

There is a sentimental legacy to the name Winevision. The original company that I worked for and managed was New World Kitchens.  Then when I bought it, it became New Vision. So here we are: the “vision” continues. Years ago I thought that it would be my future in wine. Sausages got in the way!

Here I will post featured wines not regularly available from the LCBO, introduce small importers that bring in interesting wines, and feature wines available through the winery only.  If there is a very special buy from the LCBO then I will make an exception. From time to time I might feature a particular wine-related article.  As I will not be able to taste the bi-weekly Vintages releases, I would like to direct you to my friend and neighbour Billy Munnelly’s website where he posts regularly about LCBO and Vintages wines.  Billy has a particular way of describing wines that is unique, original, but most of all, really down to earth and fun.  Check it outRead more

Life in the County

The process of buying property in Prince Edward County (PEC) lasted almost a full year. After seeing beautiful century homes without a basement, we opted for a more modern house with a solid basement to house my lab and curing room for my salumi.  The two acre lot is full of tall mature maple and beech trees.  I plan to cultivate mushrooms, have a little vineyard in the back, herb garden, a couple chickens with their own pen, build a full size jerk pit (after seeing the real thing in Jamaica, I will have no peace until I have my own – the good thing is that it can double as a smoke house) …will this lifetime be enough?  The location is on Christian Road in the vicinity of County Roads 1 and 2, very close to the wineries in Hillier.  I plan to have a tent/booth ready for featuring my sausages at wineries and events during the summer. Read more

Salsiccia Ubriaca (drunken sausage) & Salumi

This blog will report on the development of my unique way of infusing alcoholic beverage in sausages and food. Also, it will report on the progress of my personal production of Salumi.

It all started many years ago when some food producers claimed that there had wine, beer or spirits in food – they were stretching the truth by a mile! A teaspoon of wine in a sausage equals a wine sausage? Spirit flavours from little plastic bottles from the supermarket?  Dehydrated powder in Salami that is called Chianti?  Local/natural/artisanal were mentioned on many products in huge supermarkets, but real local/natural/artisanal food is more expensive than commercial food, and has integrity.

So I started by making sausages using  only heritage pork shoulder and infusing the meat with quality wines.  I put in as much as the meat mass would take and then began reducing the wine to double up the flavour.  I did not worry about the cost. I am a supporter of the Ontario wine industry, so I started to use VQA wines, reducing them by Cryo extraction, a method inspired by our Icewine production. It works quite well as the flavours remain intact.  It is a time-consuming process that I believe gives me a leading edge in the production of wine-infused sausages.  I did a tasting in the past with the local media to prove the point that you can actually taste and differentiate the wines in different sausages. Read more

The New Beginning

Change is the spice of life.  I am spicing up my life for the third time.  Some people spend their whole life doing one job without having a passion. I always manage to have two passions at a time. I started as a cabinet maker and wine geek. Then, wine/product consultant for the LCBO and moonlighting as a sausage and salumi maker. Now, I will be an artisan sausage maker and freelance wine expert. Underlying passion was and is present throughout all these changes! Life is good!

The last 13 years with the LCBO have been a good experience. Tasting an enormous amount of wines a year is definitely a dream come true for a wine lover.  Teaching, presenting, evaluating, judging, consulting, and continuously learning were the highlights. The customers at the Summerhill store made my job a perfect example of the saying, “do what you like and never work a day in your life”. Some of them are now close friends! I will miss the action but will keep in touch with them.

During this time I went through some health and personal problems.  With the help of my family, friends, colleagues, and the LCBO, I survived. During this time I started to take seriously my passion for cooking, making salumi and sausages, and supporting the local food industry. Read more