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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 150 (August 20, 2007)

Monday, August 13: My friend Philip Holzberg, the proprietor of Château Franc-Cardinal in Bordeaux's smallest appellation, Côtes de Francs, is in town. He has a tasting tonight at Jingles of his 2002, 2003, 2005 and a barrel sample of 2006. Philip is raising money by getting investors to purchase ten consecutive vintages of his wine which will remain at the same price. The 2005 is a lovely rich wine with sweet fruit and a chunky mouth-feel. The 2006 is more elegant and more representative of what the region produces. For dinner with hamburgers, Mad Dogs and Englishmen Monastrell Shiraz Cabernet 2005.

Tuesday, August 14: A meeting at the construction site of the condo we have purchased (they say it will be ready for moving in next summer). I am buying a space in the parking garage to convert into a climate-controlled wine cellar. We settle on a 9×10-foot area with a 13-foot ceiling. Laird from The Wine Establishment will design it. Am very excited about the prospect, as there is little room in the condo to store wine. Tonight, a BBQ at Penny and Anthony Bourne's, friends who were on the French wine tour in May. They have a Wheaten too, named Lizzie. I bring over Daniel Lenko Unoaked Chardonnay 2005 and a Sandhill Shiraz 2005.

Wednesday, August 15: Ivan Landers, picks me up to drive down to Flat Rock Cellars in Niagara. We are shooting a small TV pilot for a wine show, tentatively called Crush. The script has been written by David Riley, an Englishman who is the son of the late Tommy Reilly, the virtuoso harmonica player. He uses words like "tipple" in the script, which we have to change. My co-host is Sora Olah, an actress and TV presenter of Street Eats. She's great. It takes the whole day and I am lobster-red from the sun even though it was slightly overcast all day. I now appreciate what actors go through. Hurry up and wait and endless takes because the bird bangers are going off or a plane passes overhead. For dinner, lamb chops with Mission Hill Pinot Noir Reserve 2004.

Thursday, August 16: Pinot the Wonder Dog has an infected ear. Deborah and I took her to the vet and had to leave her there as I have meetings today. She has to be on antibiotics and antihistamines twice a day as well as having drops in her ears. For dinner, salmon with Fabiano Pinot Grigio 2006.

Friday, August 17: Today is Deborah's and my tenth anniversary. I have bought her a diamond pendant even though it's meant to be something made from tin. Can't wait for 50 years. Deborah has given me cuff links made from old typewriter keys – the Q and the T. I have a tasting of general list products at the LCBO this morning. At 6 pm we leave to drive up to Caledon, where we are having dinner with two other couples who share the same anniversary – Frank and Patti-Ann Daley and Rod and Bessie Seyffert. Frank has arranged for us to have a chef's kitchen dinner at a local restaurant in Caledon East, called Gourmandissimo. I bring along a bottle of Lanson Black Label Champagne Brut and Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004. We meet and Frank and Patti-Ann's for Bottega Prosecco and nibbles before walking over to the restaurant. Chef Gilles Roche prepared the following menu and we supplied the wines:

  • Tomato Caprese (duo of tomato with fresh mozzarella) – with the champagne
  • Cassolette d'escargot à la crème d'ail et aux champignons, served with Le Clos Jordanne Pinot Noir
  • Coquilles Saint Jacques & Crevettes à la Provençale, with Torbreck Woodcutter's Semillon 2005
  • Canadian Rack of Lamb, pomme dauphin et ratatouille rosemary jus, with Ancien Domaine des Pontifes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999 and Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2004.
  • Beignets aux Pommes

We staggered home and sipped port (Dow Ruby) in front of an outdoor fire before retiring upstairs to bed.




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