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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 125 (February 19, 2007)

Monday, February 12: Pinot the Wonder Dog has been shorn because of matting. She is not happy and she now wears a turtleneck sweater around the house and boots when she goes outside. They are the very devil to put on and they come off if the runs. My editor at Post City magazines wants me to write the March column on March Break wines – "Wee Dram to forget the shouts of the wee ones" is how he put it. My two children are old enough to present me with grandchildren. I'll have to think back to those days. Wine was a lot cheaper then. Plus he wants a sidebar on my top five tetrapak wines. That's a stretch. A meeting with Amy Huynh to discuss the design for program for the Grapes for Humanity dinner on May 10th. For dinner, Sincerity Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, a biodynamic wine made by Alvaro Espinoza. Rich dark chocolate, blackcurrant and plum flavours.

Tuesday, February 13: Guy's birthday. A 10:30 am tasting of Ontario wines. These are the top-scoring wine from each winery participating in Cuvée, the annual celebration of Ontario wines, this year to be held at the Casino in Niagara Falls. We started off with Cave Spring Cellars Brut 2002, their first sparkling wine, which was very good indeed. I tasted all the dry wines (33) but not the dessert wines because I have to go to a Burgundy tasting this afternoon. Best wines – Niagara College Teaching Winery Warren Classic Chardonnay 2004, Tawse Beamsville Bench Reserve Chardonnay 2003, Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2004, Colio Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Coyote's Run Meritage 2005 and Reif Estates Cabernet Merlot 2002. I wish I had more time to spend at the Burgundy tasting, held at the Royal York. There were 65 producers there pouring wines from 2005 back to 2001. I tasted about 20 producers' wines. My top picks were Michel Juillot Corton-Perrières 2002, Christian Moreau Chablis Les Clos, Clos des Hospices 2005, Parent Pommard Les Chaponnières 2004, Maison Chanson Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 2004, Daniel Rion Vosne Romanée Les Beaux-Monts 2003, Maison Duvergey Taboureau Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes Domaine Jacques Prieur 2004. Home in the snow to pick up Deborah, Guy and Laura for Guy's birthday dinner at the Chef's Table in the kitchen of the Windsor Arms. Michael Pataran – whom I first met when he was the executive chef at Taboo in Gravenhurst – prepared a magnificent tasting menu to match wines that I had brought along with some he donated to the cause. We managed to consume Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris 1998, See Ya Later Pinot 3 2005 from Hawthorne Mountain in BC, Lane Tanner Pinot Noir 1999, Gaja Barbaresco 2001, Chateau Prieuré Lichine 1975 (Guy's birth year) and an Ontario Cabernet Franc Icewine (which I should have noted but just enjoyed.)

Wednesday, February 14: Valentine's Day. Wrote my Wines of the Week for the site before a meeting with the French Trade commissioner. Kacim Kellal has agreed to be the patron of the Grapes for Humanity Dinner on May 10th. A meeting with Lynn Matthews, who is making a large donation of wine for the silent auction.

Thursday, February 15: Visited Don Triggs at his Rosedale home to pick up wine for the Grapes for Humanity auction. We talked about Le Clos Jordanne, which was created under his stewardship at Vincor – and what a great legacy it was for him. Don was guarded about his future plans but I suspect he'll be back in the wine business in the not-too-distant future. Tonight, a dinner at Bangkok Gardens with Deborah – a thank-you gift from the Ontario Wine Society for conducting a tasting of Ontario and BC wines a couple of months ago. We had the tasting menu with a variety of wines. For dinner, Baldivis Shiraz 2004 from Australia. It comes in a litre container that looks as if it should be hooked up to an IV.

Friday, February 16: A Vintages tasting for the march release. Tonight a dinner at 360 Restaurant atop the CN Tower with Harry Drung and the winemaker from Botalcura, Philippe Debrus, a Frenchman whose family owns a winery in the Languedoc. His French background shows in the wines, which are unlike any I have tasted from Chile. If I had had them blind I would have put them in New Zealand (for the lovely Sauvignon Blanc 2006) and the Rhône (for the Syrah Malbec 2004). This latter wine is selling for $14.95 currently at Vintages and is a real bargain. The night was cold and clear and the view from the restaurant over the city was magnificent.

 

 

 

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