Yukon Liquor Store (Liquor Corporation)

Go Big, Jack

Big Bear Donair shares a parking lot with the old Salvation Army and wouldn’t be the first location many would look to for a new business venture.

The Best Trend in Wine

This is a wine trend that anyone could enthusiastically embrace – wine and chips! Planning a casual night of watching a show or reading by the fire welcomes a glass of wine and a little snack into the evening. But the snack suggestions with wine are often fussy and complicated. Hard-to-find ingredients and instructions that …

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Bourbon and Words to Live By

On a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago I joined 70 other curious souls at a bourbon tasting and barbecue cohosted by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce and the Yukon Liquor Corporation. Seventeen different fine and rare bourbons were set up at three tasting stations in Waterfront Station, while a long table of crispy chicken …

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Cherries for the Delayed Win

Last holiday season I cajoled members of my family into forming teams and entering a contest, invented by me, entitled, “The First Annual Shake-off, Stiroff Cocktail Competition,” to be held on Christmas day just prior to dinner. My 85-year-old mother agreed to be the judge. There were many things wrong with this idea. First of …

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Big House Red

I was in the Yukon Liquor Corporation about six weeks ago, when I was delighted to make the acquaintance of an old friend. Looking for an interesting red, I saw a familiar label on an unfamiliar carton. On the bottom shelf of the American wines aisle, there stood an octagonal, blue and brown cardboard carton, …

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Matching Wine to Cheese Fondue

I’m always interested whether when people choose the foods for dinner first, and then select accompanying wines, or vice versa. I use both methods. Several weekends ago my partner and I hosted a cheese fondue in honour of a friend’s birthday. The recipe called for a white wine to melt the cheese. We don’t really …

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Some New Wines to Look For and Try

Since September there have been some good additions to the Yukon Liquor Corp. (YLC) shelves. October and November seem to be emerging as the wine tasting season in the Yukon. In the span of five weeks, I participated in, or organized, three events: the October Rotary festival in Whitehorse, the second annual tasting held by …

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A Beeline for the Honey Brew

During my frequent beelines to the Fat Tug IPA and other craft beers at the Whitehorse Liquor Store, my eyes catch a glimpse of the solitary bottles of Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew beer, but then they move on. I’m not against honey or Fuller’s, but I do remember trying this beer years ago and deciding …

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A Sexy Fall Surprise

I usually wait until Christmas to lurk around the Whitehorse liquor store in search of sexy new beer products, but September brought a surprise: Guinness Black Lager. Guinness has been throwing some heavy coin into advertising this new product. The U.S. commercials adopt the beautiful-people-cocktail-party-scene to portray the beer as a sleek, sophisticated drinking option. …

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Autumn Brings Renewed Interest in Chiantis

While we had an exceptional summer, part of me welcomes the changing leaves, grey cool days, slower pace, stars, and northern lights. This change of season has brought me back to our kitchen, making pasta, pizza and roast meats. And my partner and I have rediscovered the pleasure of Italian Chianti wines from Tuscany. We …

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What’s in a Name?

A Fat Tug by any other name would be just as hoppy. But the name of your beer can entice or drive your average beer drinker away. I probably wouldn’t pick up a six pack of Camel Squirt if that beer even existed, but a bottle of the Belgian beer Verboden Vrucht (Forbidden Fruit) with …

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The Beer Police are Heroes

A new initiative in the UK’s Somerset County this summer will ensure that beer drinkers are not getting hosed at their favourite watering holes. Trading Standards Officers will be making the rounds throughout the county with beer measuring devices, ensuring that all glassware is certified to hold a true, 100 per cent liquid 20 fluid …

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Fundraising Fun avec Vin

About a year ago, I worked with Yukon Artists @ Work on a project called “Canvas Confidential,” a fundraiser to help Yukon artists if illness prevented them from working. As part of this event, we hosted a wine tasting, and had very specific criteria for the chosen wines. First, we had to order wines from …

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This Beer Really is For You

One of the things that a business in your community can do that companies Outside cannot is treat you like you — as an individual — matter. I have seen tubes of lip balm turn up at meetings or events that have the logo of the event on them, thanks to the efforts of Aroma …

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IPAs explained

I’m an unapologetic hophead, and consider no beer too hoppy to drink. I love the constricting bitterness. I love the resiny, citrusy, nostril-doping snort of a good, hop-filled American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). I wasn’t always this way. If you handed me an Ice Fog IPA 20 years ago I would have pawned it off …

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Opening That Bottle Again

I have a confession. After encouraging friends and readers to participate in Open that Bottle Night, I remembered I had committed to attend the Rotary Club banquet where I found myself sipping the only red offered, a Jackson Triggs Merlot ($8.75). It’s a passable food wine and I will admit to it being infinitely more …

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Law-Abiding Beer

The Liquor Corporation in New Brunswick has created a wee bit of a stir lately (pun intended). It seems it is losing a lot of beer sales in border communities. Not to the U.S., as you might think, but to Québec. Every province and territory in Canada has their own approach to beer pricing. As …

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Winter Reds

As Northerners, we are profoundly touched by the end of winter, the slow return of warmth and the rapid return of light to our lives. Suddenly, we become aware of just how set in our ways we have become, and we resolve to change our lives. We start to put away the hats and mittens and …

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Sipping Rosé Wines for Spring

The return of the light and the steady drip drip drip of the snow melting has re-awakened my yearning for all that the Yukon has to offer us in our other, non-winter seasons. Last week, I stopped at the Liquor Corporation store to look for a couple of rosé wines (rosé meaning “pinkish”) to try …

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Kitchen Sink Wines

With the exception of New Years Eve, I think I drank two glasses of wine in January — not propitious behaviour for a wine writer. I even missed having something nice for my birthday, but I guess the flu followed by pneumonia is a decent excuse. I even managed to lose 10 pounds, which under …

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One Thing We All Agree On …

Heading into summer = a wonderful time. And no matter how much extraneous snow may continue to fall, nothing can dampen the spirit of the truly gung-ho. This is the time when calendars come out, the grand trips are planned and all the winter’s empties head to the recycling depot for a sweet boost of …

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A Great Wine Match for Salmon

I suspect salmon and hospitality have been partners a long time in this part of the world. The salmon makes regular appearances in the artwork of the First Nations peoples all along the Yukon River and across the mountains to the BC Coast. I look at the old black and white photographs of the native …

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The Italian Connection

I guess when most of us think of Italian food, we think spaghetti and those old-school straw-covered flasks of Chianti. I am channelling that scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp where they slurp on opposite ends of the same pieces of spaghetti and then share the meatball. So when I spent 10 days in …

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What do you pair with muskrat?

I, like many wine enthusiasts, love the challenge of finding the right wine to pair with a meal. Many people start with this simple axiom: white wine with white meat; red wine with red meat – not a bad starting place as few things taste better than a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with mussels, or a …

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Winter Beer to Warm the Cockles

The weather outside is frightful but a beer could be delightful — even if it’s not the first drink that comes to mind after a brisk day in a wintery wonderland. Most people don’t crave beer after freezing their extremities. Hot chocolate with Baileys? Maybe. Hot toddy? Yes please. Most beer can’t transition from cold-and-carbonated …

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Reds for a Gathering

It’s always fun to be on the lookout for new wines to try, and this past weekend gave me the opportunity to explore two tasty and moderately priced red wines from Italy. They come from less familiar areas of Italy, that nonetheless are making excellent wines. There’s a wonderful trend in wines from countries around …

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Decoding Wine Names

Several weeks ago, the Rotary Club that I belong to held its 18th annual Fine Wine and Food Festival. We had a record turnout and everyone who attended seemed to have a lot of fun. I was working one of the tables, talking about the wines while I poured them. While there were some number …

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Wine Throughout the Year

As we race toward Christmas and the new year of promise that follows, I can’t help but reflect on the wonderful and poignant experiences that have transpired over these last 12 months. Post-Christmas, last year, began with a wonderful evening among friends at a cabin in Tagish, meeting and making new and special friends and …

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Get Thee to the Brewery

I was lucky enough to “help” Rob Monk tap off a cask ale at Yukon Brewing a few weeks ago. Truth be told, there was a bit of spillage as the spigot flew from my hand, but Rob is quick on his feet and he deftly rectified the situation with minimal loss. The cask was …

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Wine for a Winter’s Eve

So now the rich, velvety darkness of the Yukon winter has descended and the temperatures at my cabin have dropped below minus 20, several evenings. And yet, it is probably my favourite time of year here. The blue lights are strung in the trees along Main Street and are alight by 4 p.m., as the …

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Thai Food: A Delightful Challenge

Last Saturday evening, a friend of mine invited me and several of my co-workers to dinner at her cozy little apartment. My friend is an artist, and her work and her exploratory nature have taken her all over the Pacific Rim. Along the way she washed dishes in tiny island restaurants, trading her scrubbing skills …

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Sugar and Spice and … Bacon

Most people know that beer is made from water, barley, hops and yeast. The big four. If you were to glance around the shelves of the local liquor store, you might of course notice that some styles, such as Hefeweizens, are brewed with a fifth ingredient, wheat. But that’s it, right? Just those five? Luckily, …

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The Ideal Wine Collection?

As I mentioned in my last article, I have been invited to develop a wine list for a restaurant that a neighbour of mine plans to open in the next four to six weeks. I was interested, and flattered, that she wanted my input. It also occurred to me that if a reader wanted to …

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Monk-made Belgian Brews

I would like to write about a fabulous bar I went to in Whitehorse that served a wide selection of Belgian beer but, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Instead, I recently went to the Chambar Restaurant in downtown Vancouver and was greeted by one of the best beer menus in miles – all Belgian. Chambar is …

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Chocolate + Porter = Genius

One of the swell new editors of WUY dropped us an email on the weekend inquiring about the status of our column, and casually mentioned that they were sipping on a Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter at the time of writing. You know when someone mentions bacon, and all you can think about is … well, …

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Adios, Corona.

Who isn’t familiar with the concept of the Lawnmower Beer? This is just the one beer, a cool and refreshing drink, the perfect reward for a salty upper lip and grass-stained shoes. The main purpose of this particular beer is to be thirst quenching, and as Stephen Beaumont from the Beer Connoisseur points out, the …

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Open that Bottle of Wine Night!

Last week, I visited the Wall Street Journal website to read the most recent article by my favourite wine writers, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher … it wasn’t there! They retired at the end of 2009. They had my dream job: they are a married couple who, for a dozen years, had written the best …

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Wine on the Go

Last week I was cornered by someone who asked what her options were for taking wine along on a paddling trip. For me, part of the experience of enjoying the outdoors is to end a day with friends by setting up camp with a great view, a good dinner and a glass or two of …

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Great Scot!

As you may have noticed already, Whitehorse has some new beer in town. Our friendly neighbours at Yukon Liquor Corp have sourced four offerings from Russell Brewing Company: Blood Alley Bitter, Black Death Porter, Main Street Pilsner, and Wee Angry Scotch Ale. Three of these (all but the Main Street Pils) are part of the …

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Look What’s Shakin’!

Attention: New beer in town. OK, so it has been around for a few weeks, but if you haven’t yet tried Delirium Tremens on tap at Tippler’s, we suggest you hightail it over there for a liquid lunch. This fantastic Belgian strong pale ale is brewed by Belgium’s Huyghe Brewery in Melle, East Flanders. Since …

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Message in a Bottle

I try to write a wine column every couple of weeks, unless life gets crazy, as it has over the past month or so. In that period of time, I will usually get the chance to have perhaps two or three dinners where I will want to serve a bottle of wine. Because I’m such …

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Add Some Wit to Your Winter

One of the perks of spewing your beer brain onto a white page every couple of weeks is that people occasionally give you beer and suggest you write a column about it. One of my colleagues came back from a trip to Alaska in mid-October with a six-pack of Alaskan Wit, so I figured I’d …

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A Walk Through the YLC Wine Store: Part 2

The third Thursday of November, chalkboards across France announced, Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé! (literally, “The new Beaujolais has arrived!”). This annual event is the first opportunity for wine lovers to taste the first wines made from the 2011 vintage harvest, grapes picked just six to eight weeks earlier. I always look forward to this …

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EA Wine Triple Treat

I was asked by some friends to participate in “An evening of Art, Wine and too much fun” presented by The Artist Relief Fund Society, and I was delighted to get involved. The Canvas Confidential event will be held on Saturday May 14 at the Old Fire Hall, and proceeds from the event will go …

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Washington Comes to Yukon

Most Canadian wine drinkers are pretty familiar with California wines. Their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays have been celebrated in such movies as Sideways and Bottleshock, and their top-of-the-line Cabernet Sauvignons, like the 2007 Screaming Eagle Cab, can command prices of $2,400-3,400 a bottle (US pricing)! A visit to the Yukon Liquor Corporation (YLC) will yield …

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Turning to Argentinian Whites

In the week that followed the holidays, when I returned to earth with a thump to reflect on the fun and parties and food and drink I had consumed over the holiday season, there was a moment when I thought I’d spend all of January eating those boxes of mandarin oranges, and drinking nothing by …

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Why Wines Differ

Last night a friend stopped by for dinner. He brought moose sausages to grill; I boiled up some Yukon grown red potatoes and added butter and rosemary. We washed it down with the better part of a bottle of one of my “go to” bottles of Italian red wine, a 2009 Citra Montepulciano D’Abrruzzo (about …

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Trying Some Malbecs

After more than a month of grey skies and rain, the sun finally made a re-appearance over my lake. Still, it feels like it is too late for summer, with the first trees turning yellow, the underbrush taking on reddish hues, and falling leaves starting to mass on my road. I am trying to find …

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Wine Money Diet: Part 2

One of the delights of wine is that there are always surprises to be found and bargains to be enjoyed, if you are open to trying new things or going off the beaten path. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the Yukon Liquor Corp selection until I went on my “money diet”, …

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Planning a Wine Tasting

Several months ago I was asked by my friend Wendy in Dawson City to plan a wine tasting at her B&B, Bombay Peggy’s. We’ll be doing it over the May long weekend, so by the time you read this it will have been completed. I was explaining to a friend the thinking that I was …

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The Joy of Yeast

That Louis Pasteur was onto something. Seriously. People were harnessing the power of yeast to make beer for thousands of years before they actually knew what it was. Louis Pasteur figured out how it worked in the mid 1800s. He proved that fermentation was not just a chemical reaction but caused by an organism: yeast. …

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Eight Men in a Canoe

In these dying days of summer, we often turn away from light and refreshing beers and choose to drink something with a bit more oomph. With fall in full swing, there are few more oomph-y beers available from the Whitehorse liquor store than Unibroue’s Maudite. The Name, the Legend, the Label The word maudite is …

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New Finds from Italy (in time for Thanksgiving)

A recent article on the consumption of Italian wine pointed out that, for the first time, the value of Italian wines exported was greater than the value of that consumed by Italians at home. In 2010, Italy exported 3.93 billion euros ($5.3 billion in Canadian dollars) worth of wine, while spending 3.89 billion euros ($5.25 …

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Two Fine, Big Reds

This is a funny time of year in the Yukon. The return of the light and the moving forward of the clocks speaks to the impending arrival of spring. The other day I stood outside my cabin and heard birds calling their songs out, and thought… am I just noticing these calls, though they have …

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Beer Cocktail, Anyone?

Beer adulteration. It sounds dirty. But it’s a way to make an otherwise pedestrian beer seem wildly exotic. So-so wine can be made into sangria. So-so beer can be mixed with clamato for a great hangover remedy and an inscrutable flavour combination. However, I suspect people who drink this abomination are either caesar drinkers in …

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A Beer Snob Confesses

I admit it, I’m a beerist. Not quite so harsh a thing as being a nihilist or a sexist, but I have high expectations for the beer I drink – beer snob, maybe. I recently ordered the “Mystery Can” on the beer menu at a barbecue joint in Vancouver’s Gastown. I was encouraged by the …

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Near Beer: Part 1

Perhaps the most unspeakable adulteration of beer is the complete, or near-complete, removal of alcohol to make those sad, non-alcoholic shadows-of-their-former-selves near beers that men drink during sympathetic pregnancies, women drink during actual pregnancies, people drink when they have some bad genetics that make them incompatible with alcohol, or for a myriad of other reasons. …

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And the Winner Is …

I was reminded again recently of the role that sharing wine can have in igniting enthusiasm and making new friends. As I mentioned in my last column, I had been invited by the staff of the Yukon Arts Centre to help them offer up a wine tasting as part of the launch of their new …

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A Taste for the Arts

Love of (and interest in) wine has opened wonderful doors for me in my life. Tasting wine has been the lens through which I have experienced lessons in history and geography. Friends have mailed me bottles from places such as Malta, and I have had the chance to sit with vineyard owners and chat over …

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Treats for Summer Evenings

It took until the middle of July, but it seems (I don’t want to jinx us) that summer has arrived in the Yukon! The past two weekends have actually been HOT, and I’ve been lucky enough to spend two Saturdays nights kayaking, swimming and sitting outside with friends, enjoying picnic dinners and treats off an …

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We Have Your Beer

When I travelled to Toronto for work in March, my first impression was how I desperately needed new shoes and maybe a decent city coat not covered in lint and dust. My second impression of Toronto was that of a beer wasteland. Beer selection is controlled by the good people of the Ontario Government. You …

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Tasting the Money Diet

It wasn’t until I moved to the Yukon six years ago that I heard the term “money diet”, but I immediately liked the concept. Sometimes we diet because our life circumstances require it in order to restore or maintain our health. Other times we do it just because we are feeling a little beyond what …

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Looking off the beaten path

Searching for wines is a little bit like a scavenger hunt at times, and sometimes it calls for looking at the outliers of the wine world for new and exciting finds. Here in the Yukon, we’re well familiar with French, Italian, American and Australian wines. More recently Canadian, Argentinian and Chilean wines have become more …

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