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  1. nanuq

    South African Wines

    Another ex-South African here. The Platter guide is essential. There are loads of wines in SA that do not make it to export, so, find a good wine store, and ask them for advice. The Platter guide does list selected wine shops. Many of the wines are also very reasonably prices, so experimenting is fun. Woolworths, which is one of the stores I wish I could shop at regularly, sells some very decent wine. I was very surprised to find Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc in a tetra-pak container at Woolies. I look forward to the van Zyl's eGullet appearance, that's excellent news.
  2. nanuq

    Stemless Wine Glasses

    We bought the O's for the long drive home to Toronto, from the San Francisco area. Much better to drink from then the tasting room / wine show glasses we would normally use on a camping trip, or long road trip, and allowed to enjoy the wine we carried as well.
  3. I'm hoping (selfishly!) that they somehow did not meet the residency regulations, which seem to be about where you intended to live all along This is definitely worth checking out - but I fear that this is going to be dependent on your intended province of residency. We re-rentered Canada in B.C. and all the guy was interested in was that we had the inventories, and then said talk to the LCBO. When the goods arrive, I'm pretty sure we will have to go to a bonded warehouse somewhere and that's when it may all get interesting. (This is the same thing you do with your household goods). While temptation was strong, we did not greatly undervalue our wine, figuring it may be asking for trouble. But this may get interesting. Or scary. I'll report back when we actually move our wine - when the house and cellar are built...
  4. Check with the LCBO, maybe there's still an exemption. We were away for 10 years, so did not ask about less. In general, you have to have owned all your stuff more than six months, but are exempted from duties for your furniture and so on if you have recently purchased it, but have been away five years. Fingers crossed the exemption applies.
  5. If you have been out of Canada more than five years you qualify for a returning resident exemption, avoiding 45% plus duty/tax. You still have to pay $1 plus PST and GST (so $1.15) per bottle. Then there is additional PST on the declared value of the wine (you do need an inventory). Finance and Admin is the group at the LCBO you need to talk to. We recently returned to Toronto from California, our wine is still "goods to follow" but this is the cost as we understand it.
  6. We're building at the moment, Appliance Canada was recommended to us as well. Also look at Tasco on Dufferin south of Lawrence. I came across a place called Caplan's today that seemed to have the usual lines plus Gaggenau, AEG and so on. Have not visited them. For appliances, what our builder has told us is, it's a very competitive business so make sure you get quotes from all of them. If you are looking for design ideas, visit Canac, Paris Kitchens and Downsview Kitchens - between them you get a pretty good idea of what's out there. Downsview are at Yonge and Eg, Canac and Paris somewhere along Hwy 7, if memory serves. Enjoy the reno! Tracey
  7. I just found a bag of dried cranberries in the back of the cupboard, labeled Dec '03 (Thank you to the person who said "tape the marker to the fridge" - if not for you none of my bags would be labeled.) The cranberries are as good as the day they were sealed. I love my Foodsaver! We've also had great service from Tilia - the little nozzle on the machine where the hose for canisters attaches cracked, and they sent us a replacement unit at no charge, with no proof of purchase date.
  8. The Amazon gourmet food store has Piment d'Espelette. This one or This one Hope I got the links correct and eGullet friendly!
  9. Just back from a weekend in Sonoma, mainly the Healdsburg area, excellent dinner at the Farmhouse Inn, highly recommend this place. Also very good food at Willy's Wine Bar - small plates to share and great wine by the glass. Try the Inman Family Pinot Gris. Also a good lunch at Ravenous, though service is a bit slow. They make a great burger and BLT. At Taylor's, make sure you have a milkshake.
  10. The last time I went, I phoned about 3 weeks ahead and asked to be waitlisted for anytime in the week, and they called us back a few days later with a reservation for the Monday. So I think that if you can be a little flexible it may help.
  11. nanuq

    Bad cafe culture?

    We stopped at a few cafe's on our recent trip to Paris, mainly around St Germain. I had no issue with service, but the food was unexciting. Mediocre Salad Nicoise ( I had a better one at a tourist trap in Montmartre) or Croque Monsieur, with very few other options at lunch, unless you want a steak and frites. Mind you, I noticed that Steak Tartare was the special at many of them, and most of the locals were ordering that, so maybe we just needed to broaden our lunch horizons.
  12. nanuq

    Back from Paris

    It was expensive... I don't have any precise numbers, but we had the 180 euro meal - why not when we may never get there again. Wine prices were varied, from affordable to crazy. Many aged wines, so they were fairly priced, we thought. Given that gratuity is included, and we got a better bottle of wine than we would have in California for the same price, we thought it comparable to French Laundry pricing.
  13. My husband and I were in Paris for about ten days, he was working for about two thirds of the time. We were disorganised this trip, so much of the eating was done at old favourites. Many places were closed in the first part of the visit, it was August after all. Old faves visited included Willi's Wine Bar and Aux Lyonnais. Both remain good, I think my quenelle at Aux Lyonnais was not quite as good as last year, but I still like the place, it looks to me like the quintessential Paris bistro. Willi's was good also, I have found it very consistent year to year and the wine list is great. This year we ended up on another night at Maceo, same owners, a few doors down. We ate twice at Bistrot d'A Cote - Flaubert, which was initially recommended by the concierge at the hotel on our first Saturday night. This is one of several owned by Michel Rostang, his restaurant is next door. We had two excellent meals there, and the service was friendly and efficient. The molten chocolate cake is highly recommended, as is the grilled chicken for two, but go hungry. Undoubted highlight, and a truly memorable meal, was Taillevent - we managed to get cancellations for Thursday night, and had an excellent meal. I neglected to save a menu , so I don't have full descriptions, and these sound so much better in French, but briefly, here is the menu: Gaspacho with a mustard cream that will have me not eating gaspacho anywhere for years. It was sublime, a thin texture with a few bits of cucumber and a buckwheat straw. Langoustine ravioli in a deadly creamy seafood sauce Grilled John Dory with baby veg, inclusing a roasted garlic that was unlike any other I've had. Foie gras grilled in some kind of leaf. That was the menu, I subbed for lamb, which was fabulous. Roquefort - that was intensely creamy and salty, very mild flavour A wonderful pineapple plate - mille feulle layered with a cream that was lemony as well as pineapple-y, pineapple ice cream and a dried piece of pineapple. Wow. Hard to describe, but really good Then a chococlate dessert - 2 cigars of a chocolate cream in a hard chococlate shell with a cream on the side that had flicks of intense chococalte in it. Excellent We also had a very fine Sunday dinner at Le Reminet, as recommended elsewhere on this board, that will be a Sunday night staple for us, next time... Paris remains a wonderful city to eat in.
  14. Thanks John for the Le Reminet recommendation. My husband and I ate there Sunday night, it was great. I looked for someone who could be Janice, thoroughly confusing an American lady dining on her own in the process I'll post later in the week on the other great meals we had. Tracey
  15. nanuq

    Wine Storage Facilities

    We use Wine Bank in Menlo Park, down the peninsula from SF. Not sure if they will accept for you. I have also heard good things about 55 degrees.
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