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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 205 (September 8, 2008)

Monday, September 1: Spent the weekend picking up wine for the October 20th Grapes for Humanity silent auction. A visit to the LCBO to buy wines for two different tastings coming up. One is for a dentist who is throwing a tasting for patients in his office and the other for a group of friends in the west end of the city who meet in each others' houses. The theme for this one is Dalmatian coast wines – Slovenia and Croatia. Slim pickings for these regions at the LCBO. I only managed to find two white wines, so I went with the nearest alternative – Veneto – to fill the list. Meeting with Jackie Davies, a member of Grapes for Humanity's board, to go over items for the silent auction on September 8th at The Miller Tavern.

Tuesday, September 2: Recorded my 680News items (8 as opposed to my usual 6 because on September 18th Deborah and I fly to London to celebrate a significant birthday of my oldest friend). Had an email from the editor of Expressions, Dre Dee, asking if I would write a piece about investing in wine. The magazine is for Acura cars and since my last five cars have been Acuras I could hardly say no given that the deadline was September 8. Drove over with Deborah to my friend and colleague Dean Tudor's house (he lives opposite Mayor David Miller in the High Park area). Dean has donated some old clarets for the Grapes for Humanity silent auction on October 20th. He suggested we dine on Roncesvalles – either at The Silver Spoon or next door at Boho. We opt for Silver Spoon and have a delicious meal (fennel soup and agnolotti stuffed with ricotta and vegetables) with a bottle of Zinck Riesling 2006 from Alsace.

Wednesday, September 3: A tasting at Doug Towers' house. Thirty-five wines, then lunch of pizza on Doug's patio. At 6 pm, on the way to the ballgame with Deborah, we drop in at Sara Waxman's reception for the launch of Dine Magazine. The event is held in the SkyLounge (which is an open-air area on the ground floor. I was expecting it to be at the top of the building). The Jays ended up winning the game against the Minnesota Twins in the eleventh. This new kid, Travis Snider, looks like the real deal.

Thursday, September 4: Wrote up my notes on the Chinese banquet with western wines.

This evening is the Robert Home Smith Private Wine Society Tasting. This is the third in a series of five that I've conducted. The theme is Dalmatian Coast wines. The host served Croatian food, even Croatian bottled water. The wines:

  • Jeruzalem Ormoz Sivi Pinot 2006
  • Zlahtina Katunar 2007
  • Anselmi San Vincenzo 2007
  • Zenato Ripasso Valpolicella 2006
  • Folonari Regata N/V (Cabernet Sauvignon and Corvina)

After the dinner, the host brought our a Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Corvées 1970 and a Shaffer "Relentless" 2004 (a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petit Sirah).

Friday, September 5: A Vintages release tasting for October 11th. They put out 117 wine for us to taste. I tasted 74 and went home. Lindsay Groves tasted the rest for me. For dinner, BBQ steak with Beringer Founder's Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. Was hoping to go to Michael Carlevale's new restaurant On The Bone, just down Yonge Street, opposite Restoration Hardware, for its soft opening tonight. But when Pinot the Wonder Dog and I drop in Michael says he's had to delay and hopes to be ready for Tuesday.

Saturday, September 6: Tonight is a Saintsbury Society dinner at Tony Hirons'. The theme is Veneto and I'm bringing along a 1993 Cantine Valpolicella Negrar Amarone. Jose Montes, the export sales director for Terra Mater in the Maipo Valley, is one of the guests.

Tony and Diane prepared a Venetian menu and we drank the following:

  • La Riva dei Frati Prosecco
  • La Riva dei Frati Spumante
  • Le Fraghe So Ver Pinot Grigio 2007
  • Zeni Bianco di Custoza 2006
  • Le Regase Valpolicella 2004
  • Corte Sant'Alda Valpolicella Campi Magri 2005
  • La Vigilia Ripasso 2006
  • Terra Mater Unusual 2006 (60% Carmenère. 40% Syrah)
  • Zeni Amarone 2005
  • Cantine Valpolicella Negrar Amarone 1993
  • Quinta Nova Reserva 2005
  • Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 1998




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