A Wine Lover's Diary, part 119 (January 8, 2007)
Monday, January 1: After the excesses of last night we got to be at around 3 am. We've learned to leave the glasses until the morning, having broken innumerable Riedel stems trying to wash them after several bottles of wine. Pinot the Wonder Dog wanted her customary walk at 7:15 am. Managed to delay her until 7:30 am. No work today, just sending emails wishing friends a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. My resolution is to drink my old wines. Still no snow. Dinner, a bottle of Jackson-Triggs Meritage 2005.
Tuesday, January 2: Am working on the proposal for the book on wine cellars. Hard to concentrate. The weather is very mild and there is growing concern among the winemakers in Niagara about the crop that is still hanging on the vine for Icewine. A sustained temperature of minus 8° Celsius is needed to freeze the grapes. It's a good 1015 degrees above that now. For dinner, a bottle of Hunter's Pinot Noir 2003 from Marlborough, with lasagna.
Wednesday, January 3: Have a deadline for an article for Wine Business International, a magazine published out of Germany. The subject is the LCBO as a monopoly. The editor, Joel Payne, wants to compare it to the situation in the Ukraine. Can't see that going over very well with Bob Peter and the boys. For dinner, pasta with Mission Hill S.L.C. Merlot 2003.
Thursday, January 4: Finished off the piece for Wine Business International. Still no snow with temperatures around 810° Celsius. It feels like spring. News that the ski hills are in trouble and golf courses are still open. The sap is rising in Quebec maple trees, which could spoil the harvest if there is a sudden freeze - which there will be. In 2002 they didn't pick Icewine grapes until March, but picking that late doesn't make for a great vintage in terms of quality. A dinner meeting of the directors of the Independent Wine Education Guild. I brought along a bottle of Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2001. Pilar Randolph, who looks after Spanish wines in Canada, brought a Civite Coleccion 125 Reserve 2001.
Friday, January 5: A Vintages tasting day for the February release. Another huge tasting but Zoltan Szabo was there to help me out. A lot of Argentinean and Chilean wines in this release. Lunch at Grano with Jack and Stephen Pauwels to discuss the tour of Loire, Cognac and Bordeaux in May. We leave the day after Mother's Day. There is only space for a few more bookings on the trip. In the evening I put together the list of the wines for the Blind Tasting Award next week three whites, three reds from around the world. For dinner, with beef stroganoff, a bottle of Hagafen Pinot Noir 2004 from Napa Valley flavours of ripe black cherries and dark chocolate.