Wine or beer portions – how much is in the glass?

Henry Yuen – Wine columnist

Is the pint of beer 16-0z full? There have been lots of conversations regarding serving portions – how much is actually in a pint of beer?

Despite the print on the menu that says a pint, the chance of the actual pour being less than 16oz. is high.  The fact is, drinking establishments, be it a bar, a restaurant, a pub or a lounge, do use different sizes of beer mugs, steins and beer glasses that are all labelled as “a pint”.  Controversially, no matter the size and the volume inside, they still charge you the price of a full pint!  Not surprised at all there is a movement nowadays to keep restaurants and pubs pour what they say.  In any business involving the public, honest is always a good thing.

According to the dictionaries and the measurement tables, certain universal standards have been drawn when it comes to liquid measurements.  It is baffling however that in most drinking establishments, a pint of beer does not always equal 16 oz.  What is more baffling is when comes to establishments serving wine, no standards have been set yet on the wine portions! While the size of average beer glasses are more or less common knowledge, consumers can, if paying enough attention, tell how much they are getting or not getting.  But the same cannot be said about serving wine by the glass!  

First of all, there is a lack of uniformity in wine glass sizes.  Secondly, under ‘wine by the glass’ column in the wine list, it does not always tell you what the volume is.  Unless you bring your own measuring cup, it is impossible to find out how much wine has been poured into the glass. Even though the accepted norm should be 5oz pour per glass (or 5 portions per 750 ml bottle), you may be served 4, 5 or 6 ounces, so it is a guessing game. 

The fact is, different sizes and shapes of stem-wares has become the best ally of not having to spell out clearly how much they are pouring into the $10, $12 or $14 per glass of wine. Seems like unless you ask, not every restaurant, pub, lounge – no matter the class, the style they are – care to tell you how much you are actually paying for that glass of wine! To complicate matter further, since the volume of wine poured are often at the mercy of the server or the bartender who usually eyeballs the portion, he or she may not even have the exact answer!  As paying customers, don’t you think it is our right to know what we are paying for?

Lucky for us, and thanks to saving grace, some restaurants take honesty and accuracy seriously and will pour the wine first into a standardized serving container to measure, some even serve and pour into the glass at the table in front of you. Kudos to those noble establishments that clearly state on the wine list how many ounces the glass of wine will contain! From a paying customer’s perspective, it is the proper way for establishments to serve wine by the glass. This will not only avoid confusion, unnecessary misunderstanding and complaints, it is also how the hospitality industry should operate. The restaurant associations should make this an essential rule that all drinking establishments adhere to that rule, proudly and honestly disclose the information for the benefit of both the customers and the integrity of the industry.  There is always the risk that consumers will catch on sooner or later. With the help of social networking these days, the risk is far bigger! Drinking establishments that gouge customers or false advertise will end up paying for it all!

February Celebration – Valentine’s and much more

      

 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will take place Feb 27 to March 4th at Vancouver Convention Centre and various locations.

Burrowing Owl Winery Special Package Sweet Deals

This spring Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is offering visitors three tempting specials. There’s never been a better time to plan your stay at this world-class wine country destination!

Valentine’s Day ‘Dine & Stay’ Package – Tuesday, February 14 2012 From $99 per person includes:

         A romantic dinner for two at the Sonora Room Restaurant

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Add $40 for the “Sweetheart Package”, which includes a bottle of Burrowing Owl wine, long-stemmed red rose, rose petals, and chocolates waiting in your private room

Winter Getaway Package – from $126 per person

(check the website for details – some date restrictions apply)

         A three-course dinner for two at the Sonora Room

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Our fabulous “wine country” breakfast

Spring Blossom Package – from $145 per person

(check the website for details – some date restrictions apply)

         A three-course dinner for two at the Sonora Room

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Our fabulous “wine country” breakfast

         Package available Monday – Wednesday

For more information, or to make your reservations, please call 1-877-498-0620 ext.3.   http://www.bovwine.ca 

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery: Recently named one of the Top 10 BC Wineries by Wine Access magazine the winery is devoted to producing world-class wines using creative viticultural and winemaking processes that are in harmony with the unique ecosystem where the grapes are grown, which includes the northernmost tip of the Sonora Desert. 

Burrowing Owl Guest House:  The winery guest house is nestled in the vineyard and has 10 tastefully-appointed rooms, each with a private deck and fireplace; There is also a 25 metre pool and all-season outdoor hot tub.  The Cellar Lounge is excellent for business meetings and special events.

Sonora Room Restaurant:  Opened in 2004, the winery restaurant overlooks 140 acres of picturesque vineyard from both the patio or inside the warm and inviting dining room. The philosophy of the culinary team is to showcase many of theSouth Okanagan’s local producers of local organic produce, fresh, seasonal fruits and artisan breads and cheeses. An exclusive wine list is changed regularly to include a selection of Burrowing Owl library wines that are no longer publicly available for sale. And, the wine selection is enhanced with alternate premium Okanagan wines chosen to complement the menu.

Burrowing Owl Winery Special Package Deals

This spring Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is offering visitors three tempting specials. There’s never been a better time to plan your stay at this world-class wine country destination!

Valentine’s Day ‘Dine & Stay’ Package – Tuesday, February 14 2012 From $99 per person includes:

         A romantic dinner for two at the Sonora Room Restaurant

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Add $40 for the “Sweetheart Package”, which includes a bottle of Burrowing Owl wine, long-stemmed red rose, rose petals, and chocolates waiting in your private room

Winter Getaway Package – from $126 per person

(check the website for details – some date restrictions apply)

         A three-course dinner for two at the Sonora Room

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Our fabulous “wine country” breakfast

Spring Blossom Package – from $145 per person

(check the website for details – some date restrictions apply)

         A three-course dinner for two at the Sonora Room

         One night’s accommodation at the Burrowing Owl Guest House

         Our fabulous “wine country” breakfast

         Package available Monday – Wednesday

For more information, or to make your reservations, please call 1-877-498-0620 ext.3.   http://www.bovwine.ca 

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery: Recently named one of the Top 10 BC Wineries by Wine Access magazine the winery is devoted to producing world-class wines using creative viticultural and winemaking processes that are in harmony with the unique ecosystem where the grapes are grown, which includes the northernmost tip of the Sonora Desert. 

Burrowing Owl Guest House:  The winery guest house is nestled in the vineyard and has 10 tastefully-appointed rooms, each with a private deck and fireplace; There is also a 25 metre pool and all-season outdoor hot tub.  The Cellar Lounge is excellent for business meetings and special events.

Sonora Room Restaurant:  Opened in 2004, the winery restaurant overlooks 140 acres of picturesque vineyard from both the patio or inside the warm and inviting dining room. The philosophy of the culinary team is to showcase many of theSouth Okanagan’s local producers of local organic produce, fresh, seasonal fruits and artisan breads and cheeses. An exclusive wine list is changed regularly to include a selection of Burrowing Owl library wines that are no longer publicly available for sale. And, the wine selection is enhanced with alternate premium Okanagan wines chosen to complement the menu.

Choucroute Festival – Feb 16 to 19th

Beat the mid-winter culinary blahs and visit GranvilleIslandbetween Feb 16th and Feb 19th for our Choucroute Festival. Join Vancouver’s premiere charcuterie, Oyama Sausage, and Granville Island Brewing and Liberty Wine Merchants to celebrate this time honored winter classic. Choose from an outstanding selection of smoked sausages, salt pork, smoked pork hocks and Oyama’s homemade sauerkraut.  Pair these with a wonderful array of Rieslings, Gewurztraminers and beers. Tips on preparation methods and food and wine pairing are always provided by these businesses.  Come and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge.

About Oyama Sausage: For five generations the family has been dicing, grinding and spicing to make the best sausages, hams and pates inVancouver. Their passion is endless and their belief is that good food balances body and soul.  Locally sourced meats and organic options are always available.

About Granville Island Brewing: In 1984 something happened that forever changed the local beer industry:  Granville Island Brewing opened the doors toCanada’s first microbrewery.

No chemicals or preservatives are used in making their beer.  Granville Island Brewing is constantly creating new local flavours and improving their craft.

About Liberty Wine Merchants: Libertystrives to give customers the best wine experience in theVancouverarea. Often recognized as the most popular wine retailer in the Lower Mainland,Libertyis dedicated to evolving its selection for wine lovers to enjoy.

Choucroute Festival takes place the weekend of February 16th to 19th at these three retailers on Granville Island. For more information please contact Oyama Sausage at (604) 327-7407.

Tasting Plates Vancouver, 2012 – Tantalize your taste buds at over a dozen fabulous downtown Vancouver restaurants!

February 15th from 6-9pm at restaurants downtown Vancouver

$2 from each ticket purchased will go to the Food Bank

Participating restaurants will be offering tasting plates created by their chefs to guests. This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9 PM and is presented by Vancouver Foodster & Taste and Sip Magazine.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different restaurants throughout the evening, meet and greet the chefs and other food loving friends! Learn about each of the participating restaurants.

  • Vegetarian options will be available at most of the participating restaurants.
  • Prize draws will be held at the after party with some great tasty prizes.
  • Participating restaurants include: Phat Deli Yaletown, Notturno Paninoteca, Juice Truck, Bonchaz, Footo Delights, Cosca Restaurant,Soho Road, W2 Media Café and more to come. The event is a roving tour that will start off at a location in the Gastown area (details will be emailed to guests at before the event with the starting location), from there you can Pvisit any or all of the participating restaurants that are located all over downtown including Gastown, Yaletown and the West End by driving, transit or walking.

For further details please log onto:

http://vancouverfoodster.com/2012/01/03/tasting-plates-vancouver-february-15/

Advance Tickets are available for purchase online only at http://tastingplatesvancouver.eventbrite.ca   

Pardon the Winterruption: Celebrate of West Coast and International Arts Scene and Heard on Granville Island

February 24 to 26

Winterruption on GranvilleIslandis celebrating its seventh annual, truly unique Vancouverwinter festival, February 24 – 26. The magic is in the mix as the Islandonce again hosts a celebration of local and international artists of all disciplines.

From kid-friendly theatre to jazzy tunes, enlightening foodie tours to inspirational artisan open studios — the all-ages appeal ofGranvilleIsland’s Winterruption Festival cannot be beat!

Playful
There is no shortage of family-friendly activities on offer over the three-day festival. Bring the kids to Carousel Theatre`s classic tale of Aesop’s Fables or visit the Kids Zone where Vancouver International Children`s Festival presents the rhythmic soul of Kutapira; Arts Umbrella showcases their theatre program with Theatre Fix; and the internationally renowned Indigenous company, Red Sky, returns with The Great Mountain. Or, have a go on the T-Shirt Spin Bike Art by creativity-driven Make; a great activity for all ages, participants human power the bike to create one-of-a-kind artwork with paint for their t-shirts. It’s affordable too! $10 includes a t-shirt, paint, and a ‘spin’ on the bike.

A Walk on the Artsy Side
Artists and artisans fill the galleries, nooks and crannies ofGranvilleIsland. There are exhibitions and open studios around every corner! ReVision at the Creekhouse is exhibiting recycled, salvaged, or found materials transformed into amazing art. Dalbergia Wood + Fine Objects Studio in Railspur Alley is presenting Woodenough, a wood exhibition, sharing techniques and exploring new frontiers in the world of wood. Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design is offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the University as well as a Drop-In Life Drawing workshop.

Musical Notes
Coastal Jazz and Blues Society presents a diverse line-up of musical acts, with shows at Performance Works at various times during Winterruption. Expect easy listening from a variety of musicians including Michael Bernard Fitzgerald with special guests Acres of Lions; Aidan Knight with special guests The Belle Game; Celso Machado; and Aeroplane Trio.

Theatrics
Visit the Granville Island Stage where the Arts Club Theatre Company is presenting Intimate Apparel, a richly textured love story by Lynn Nottage. Or, expect the unexpected as some ofVancouver’s favourite dancers pop up in unusual spaces all over theIsland.

Locavore Movement
On Saturday and Sunday during Winterruption, Edible Canada presents a Guided Culinary Market Tour, a Canadian Beer/Wine Tasting, and a three-course dinner. Experience the flavours of Granville Island Market with a guided two-hour tour for $30. Then enjoy a tasting of Canadian beer and wine prior to a market inspired three-course dinner at Edible Canada Bistro. Buy tickets separately or buy as a package for $70 per person plus tax.

For more information about GranvilleIslandmerchants and events, visit granvilleisland.com.

Playhouse International Wine Festival – An excellent venue to upgrade your wine appreciation

  Henry Yuen

A better understanding of things in life often help elevate our appreciations of them. Be it arts, music, sports or merchandize. Tiny as jems and watches and large as automobiles and carvings, once you develop an interest in them; you’ll likely want to learn more to enhance the joy of understanding and appreciating them. When it comes to food and wine, there is no difference.

As far as I’m concerned, wine appreciation takes time to fine-tune. But it has a humble beginning! From not interested, to taking a small sip, to having a small glass with food, to the keen interest of finding out what it is with white, rose and red wine. It can become a hobby to many whose level of understanding advances through the timid attempts to pour a bit more, go shopping for wine, try different labels, and put in the effort to acquire more wine knowledge. Whether it is formal learning through wine classes and accredited programs, or self-taught through reading and drinking different wines with an open mind, they are all approaches to arrive at the same objective as a result of ones’ endeavour -  to enhance the elated enjoyment of sipping wine!

Similar to a lot of disciplines, appreciating wines takes time and effort. It is very much an individual thing where different person will achieve different satisfaction from the same effort or undertaking.  As long as you show initial interest and take the first step, the process will take care of itself. More often than not, there is no right or wrong. However, there are always venues to smooth that process to satisfy one’s own desire in wine enjoyment.

If you are in the same mind frame of mine, the upcomingVancouverPlayhouse International Wine Festival is one function where there are amply events to proliferate the appreciation of wines. Grab a friend or two who want to learn more about wine and wine-pairing, pick one or two winemaker’s dinners to attend.  Join wine tasting sessions and seminars to capture the opportunities to discuss wines with famous winemakers, winery proprietors around the world.  Touch not just the wines, but the philosophy of winemaking, the ins and outs of grapes and vines, the soils and terrain. 

Once you understand how the vines are tended to carefully; how the viticulturist takes the appellation and climate into consideration; how the winemaker use their experience and skill to craft the wine, you will enjoy that particular bottles of wine more dearly!

http://www.playhousewinefest.com