Westlake Grill

International flavours featuring local producers

Monthly Archives / August 2014

Whiskey Tasting at the Ranch

Whiskey Tasting at the Ranch – How it’s properly done

Whiskey Tasting at the Ranch 

Whiskey tasting at the RanchAt The West Lake Grill, we are no strangers to a great tasting Whiskey. After all what would a Ranch be without it? We pride ourselves in loving and understanding the smells & tastes of every flavour. The scent is the sensation and aromas that you pick up from the whisky before tasting it. Important characteristics can be found and should give an indication as to what the whisky will taste like. Swirl it around and allow oxygen to start the evaporation process. It’s important to savour it in your mouth to get the maximum flavour and benefit. Different parts of your tongue and mouth respond to different flavours, so pass the whisky over all areas of your mouth. Now that’s the taste of Whiskey on the Ranch!

West Lake Whiskey

Jack Daniel’s

This American Blended Whiskey is aged 7 years in the oldest Distillery in the US. It’s smell has charred nut & burnt sugar aromas. It’s palate is a soft entry with a medium body and caramel corn and white pepper notes. It has a hot burning ember finish.

Crown Royal

This Canadian Blended Whiskey is aged for 20 years and has a wooden taste with a golden amber glow. It’s smell, pine tar dark caramel & maple syrup with notes of honey & brown sugar. It’s palate has a creamy taste, lend of 50 distinct full bodied whiskeys matured in white oak barrels.It has a smooth enhanced rich lingering finish.

Gibson’s Finest Gold

This Canadian Blended whiskey is aged for 12 years with a woody, nutty, caramel water fade. It’s palate is a pronounced vanilla warm oak with just a hint of almond. It has a very clean finish with the subtle enduring oak.


Join us for our Annual Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt!

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Overwaitea vs the Pumpkin Patch

It’s a long standing tradition in my house that the night before Halloween we find the biggest pumpkin, carve it, place a candle inside, light it, turn off the lights and take a picture. I’ve been doing it this way since I was a kid and it’s something I am passing down to my son. As a kid, you couldn’t just walk down to the local pumpkin patch and pick the one you wanted. Oh no, we had grocery stores like Overwaitea that boasted some of the grandest pumpkins the world had ever seen, loaded up in these big cardboad bins outside the store kids could dive into and return to the shopping cart five minutes later, giant pumpkin in their grips, a look of victory on their faces like some Chesapeake Retriever returning from the hunt with a prize goose clamped between its jaws. For us, that was our pumpkin patch. Going and picking your own was unheard of. In Red Deer pumpkin patches are all over. We went to our first patch last year and found quite possibly the largest pumpkin our household has ever seen! It was fun cleaning it, carving it, even placing one of our cats inside and taking a picture.

Red-Deer-Pumpkin-PosterBut there was something missing. Something from those days as a kid when I would climb in those combo bins and dig through dregs, hunting for the perfect pumpkin. It was the thrill of the hunt I missed; searching around in near dark to find the ultimate pumpkin.

Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt at Heritage Ranch

In Red Deer pumpkin hunting is as easy as Heritage Ranch. Throughout the month of October, join us for our annual Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt! Bring your flashlight down to the patch for a tractor ride, some hot chocolate, popcorn, and of course a pumpkin! There’s something so satisfying about heading out into the dark, armed with a flashlight, and finding that prize pumpkin, something akin to that childhood nostalgia of letting mom do the shopping while my brother and I searched for the family Jack-o-Lantern.

My son has been talking about it all this month. Even with school looming on the horizon, and the last weeks of summer slipping through his fingers, he’s still overtly excited about the pumpkin hunt. And I don’t blame him. I myself am looking forward to the day when we can grab our flashlights and head out to the Ranch for a good old fashioned Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt. So much so that I’m no doubt going to break tradition and start searching the first week of October! Out with the old, in with the new, that’s what I say.

This is how traditions are born.


Food and wine pairing method

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Ever wonder what wine goes great with chicken? Are you grilling up a steak dinner for family and friends and want to know the perfect red wine to go with it? This article will focus on how you can find the perfect food and wine pairing method.

Today more than ever there is an abundance of information to help you find the perfect flavour combination. When it comes to food and wine paring, there’s one old adage most people stick to: “What grows together, goes together.” For example, you may have tried a Decoy 2010 Napa Valley Red Wine with your steak and found it delightful; or you may have tried Rosso di Montalcino: 2006 Il Poggione with your pasta and loved it. There’s a fair bit of science going on here that makes these flavours go so well together.

So what is a good food and wine pairing method?

When you break a wine down you start to realize that all wine is made up of different characteristics, including acidity, bitterness, alcohol level and sweetness. When you start looking at these flavours as ingredients, it makes it infinitely easier to find a food and wine pairing method that works best for you. For example, Fettuccine Alfredo with asparagus pairs very nicely with forcefully acidic Sauvignon Blanc. The acid has a way of balancing the sauces considerable richness, and the Sauvignon’s earthy tones go very well with asparagus, which can make most wines taste unpleasantly vegan.

Taste is science

food and wine pairing - taste receptorsAt a very young age, children learn that our taste buds are capable of at least four sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty. In recent years, however, scientists have expanded on the traditional tongue map, allowing one, and possibly two, primary tastes into the original four. In the early 1900s, a Japanese scientist sought to detect another taste — that of the savoury seaweed common in Japanese cooking. Kikunae Ikeda eventually isolated glutamic acid as a distinct fifth taste. He named this fifth taste umami, a Japanese word meaning delicious, savory taste. You can taste umami in meats and tomatoes.

Eager to build upon this theory, researchers found a breakthrough in mid 1985 while failing to replicate the taste of MSG using the common four tastes. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that French researchers actually found a potential receptor for fat. Fat very well could be the sixth taste!

How the food chart works

Wine Folly has put together this wonderful chart for food and wine pairing, focusing on the flavours as ingredients.


In this example, they selected a few ingredients and a preparation method to show you how the poster can create guidelines for a successful pairing. Remember to focus on the most important flavours as the key ingredients.