July 2020 News from Cambridge Wine Excellence


The Bacchus Report


I guess we should start out with the major news.  Cambridge Wine Excellence is under new management.  We will be taking over from Bert and Amanda and we have some very big shoes to fill (or should we say large wine bottles to fill?).  I have been going to Wine Excellence for about six years and always enjoyed the friendliness and knowledge of everyone that was there.  We hope to build on this and continue the excellent service that Cambridge Wine Excellence customers have come to expect.  

 As to the new owners, we are Kirk Oliver and Peter Tshirhart.  We have been friends for over 25 years, meeting through our wives who have been friends even longer.  

Myself, Kirk that is, started going to Cambridge Wine Excellence decades ago when it was on Hespeler Road.  I moved to London in 1998 for work and started making wine and beer at home in my basement.  Missing the ease and the consistent quality of making wine on premises, I started going to Danny’s Wines in London.  Once I moved back to Cambridge in 2011 I started making wine at Vine Masters until it closed.  It was very close to my house but I was happy to find Cambridge Wine Excellence at the location on Clyde Road.  Been there ever since.

As for Peter, he has been making wine, beer and mead at home for decades.  He has been experimenting with processes and flavours and makes a great beverage.

We are excited to meet you when you come in.


New at the store

We will be starting up again July 17 with new hours.  Tuesday to Friday we will be open 9 to 6 and Saturday our hours will be 9 to 2.  

Also, for all orders purchased during the month of July your name will be entered into a draw for a wine decanter. 


Know your wines

I am going to start off with the wine that I drink, the Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel from California.  I had a wine of this variety given to me by a friend a few years ago and loved it.  Started making it at Wine Excellence a few years ago and have not been disappointed.  This grape variety is grown primarily in California and in Italy, where it is known as Primitivo.  This full bodied wine improves with age and pairs really well with beef and lamb.  


Recipe Corner

Cooking with wine is great.  Not only does it add flavour to your dish, but you probably only use a cup or so in each recipe, so you open the bottle and there is enough wine for you to drink while you are cooking.  That is what I call a win win situation.


This recipe this month is a Portuguese dish that is a staple on our BBQ in the summer.  Galinha com molho de vinho e limao which translates to Chicken in wine and lemon sauce.  It can be made in the over but as I mentioned, tastes great from the BBQ, especially cooking it with a smoke pouch.


1.5 to 2 kg of chicken pieces.

150 ml of dry white wine (a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc would work great)

50 ml of lemon juice

45 ml of tomato paste or Portuguese pimanta paste.

25 ml of softened butter

5 ml Spanish paprika

5 ml piri - piri sauce or tabasco sauce

2 ml of salt

3 minced cloves

1 onion sliced

2 ml allspice


In a small bowl stir together all ingredients and place with the chicken into a bag.  Shake the bag to ensure that it is coated.  (You are smart people, I don’t have to tell you to close the bag first).  Put in the fridge and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.  Start the BBQ and get to a medium heat.  If using a smoke pouch put this over the heat and place the chicken on indirect heat.  It should take about 40 to 45 minutes to cook.  If cooking in the oven cook in a pre-heated 400F or 200C oven for 45 or 50 minutes.


Pairs great with the Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc that you used in the marinade.



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