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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 189 (May 16, 2008)

Monday, May 12: My birthday. Happy birthday, me. A meeting with Paul Kostoff and Pat De Meester to discuss the website and plan to expand it. This evening Deborah is cooking my favourite dinner. Veal chop with mushroom risotto and sugar snap peas, cheeses and – being a chocolate freak – the Aga Khan III's favourite custard (a hot and cold chocolate dessert). I opened a bottle of Status White 2002 and Guy brought over a bottle of Coudelet de Beaucastel 2005.

Tuesday, May 13: A meeting for Grand Cru in October, a few days after Grapes for Humanity's Jadot dinner. Todd Halpern has arranged a DRC tasting and a vertical of Le Pin from its first vintage to 2006. The guy's incredible. A dinner tasting of La Crema wines at Reds. The associate winemaker, Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, is presenting her wines. She was in the original CCOVI graduating class in 2000. Some six years ago I visited La Crema and tasted with her and Melissa Stackhouse. We started off with La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2006 – toasty, apple and citrus nose with a note of white flowers; minerally, pear flavour, full on the palate. This was followed by La Crema Russian River Chardonnay 2006 – a much broader wine, oaky, tropical fruit; full-bodied, sweet melon flavour with a caramel finish. I preferred the less expensive Sonoma Coast – more Burgundian. Next a Pinot Noir Rosé. Elizabeth says they make only a few cases of this and sell it at the winery only. (Raspberry and rhubarb flavours, thick mouth feel.) Then we had four regional Pinot Noirs, all from the 2006 vintage: Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Carneros and Russian River. Generally I found the wines to be heavy with a cherry cola note. The best for my palate was the Carneros, which had more definition with its minerally, pencil lead notes giving complexity to the black cherry fruit.

We ended the meal (which cheese) with a half bottle of Edmeades Late Harvest Zinfandel 2004, which tasted like a cross between port and Recioto della Valpolicella.

Wednesday, May 14: A desk clearing day as Deborah and I leave for the Alsace and Champagne tour tomorrow afternoon. My colleague Dean Tudor sent me a news item from the BBC website:

Music 'can enhance wine taste'

Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes, research by psychologists suggests... (click to read the article on the BBC website)

The article summarizes findings that listening to certain kinds of music can set up the brain to respond in certain ways, actually altering the taste perceived from the wine.

This goes one better than Willi Opitz, who recorded the sounds of his various wines fermenting and issued it as a CD. I wonder what wine goes best with "rap." Something corked perhaps.

For dinner with tilapia, a bottle of Joie Rosé 2007 from BC. One of the best rosés I've tried in Canada. Some late night drama. The carbon dioxide meter in the bedroom began beeping. It showed a reading of 70, which meant we should evacuate the house. Deborah called the fire brigade and the fire engine came roaring up the street, lights flashing, moments later. On inspection there was no carbon dioxide but the unit was faulty and has to be replaced.

Thursday, May 15: Final preparations to leave for Paris. Dropping Pinot the Wonder Dog off at a dog sitter in Burlington.




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