A Wine Lover's Diary, part 151 (August 27, 2007)
Monday, August 20: Got an assignment to write a wine column for a national lawyer's magazine called Lexpert. Took me a while to catch on to the Latin pun. Thought the introductory column should be about cellaring wines. Lawyers like wines. Grant Burge, the Barossa winemaker, is holding a winemaker's dinner at Vertical Restaurant on September 11th. $25 from the sale of each $175 ticket goes to Grapes for Humanity. Here's the menu:
Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Grant Burge Barossa Vines Sauvignon/Semillon
Grant Burge Barossa Vines Shiraz
Oysters and fried Zucchini blossoms with a spicy tomato-paprika dressing
Grant Burge Thorn Riesling
Gnocchi with roasted tomato and braised oxtail
Grant Burge Barossa Vines Cabernet Merlot
Roasted Elk loin with a potato and wild mushroom tiella, truffle jus
Grant Burge Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon
Seared Duck breast with sour cherry mostarda, braised chicory
Grant Burge The Holy Trinity
Roaring 40's blue cheese with honeycomb and grape skin crostino
Grant Burge 20 year Old Tawny
Reservations please contact Joe Alberti (@ Vertical) 416 214 2252
Location First Canadian Place (Mezz. Floor), 100 King St West, Toronto
Our dinner was more modest lamb chops with Daniel Lenko Meritage 2004.
Tuesday, August 21: A Vintages make-up tasting for the Friday I missed while I was away fishing. Then over to a dermatologist appointment. Excused myself for breathing alcohol over him even though I brushed my teeth. Pork loin for dinner with a forgettable Riesling.
Wednesday, August 22: On the way over to record my 680News reviews I saw the following bumper sticker on a meat shop van: "Eat Ontario Lamb Can 20,000 coyotes be wrong?" Who thinks these things up? Would this make you want to buy lamb? A meeting with Forefront Communications to discuss sponsorships for next year's Ontario Wine Awards. This will be the thirteenth year. Didn't feel like cooking so Deborah and I went around the corner for a Chinese meal. No wine.
Thursday, August 23: Lunch at Grano with Ron Fiorelli of the German Wine Institute. He tells me how upset the importing agents are. I'm hearing from other agents that the LCBO are raising the prices of some wines by two dollars. The agents don't get any of this money to help promote sales. The LCBO is keeping it all. A tasting after lunch put on by Rob Groh of The Vine at Globe Restaurant on the Danforth the wines of Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles and Von Strasser in the Diamond Mountain District of Napa. I like the rich, fleshy style of the Justin wines, especially the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and the immaculate 2004 Isosceles. Surprising that his Cabernet Franc Merlot blend called Justification is significantly more costly than the Cabernet. The wines carry their alcohol very well. And the Chardonnay 2003 is delicious. I wish I had tried the Von Strasser wines before the Justin. The best for my palate was the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon with its floral note, lively acidity and firm structure. Dinner, chicken Marsala with Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 a big raspberry-flavoured wine with enough guts to stand up to the curry.
Friday, August 24: A Vintages release tasting today for September 29th. This makes three releases in that month, the first time the LCBO has done this. Packed for South Africa. I fly tonight to Frankfurt and then on to Cape Town to judge in the Michelangelo International Wine Awards. More next week.