A Wine Lover's Diary, part 209 (October 6, 2008)
Monday, September 29: This morning Jan from the Fine Wine Reserve dropped off boxes so I can begin to pack up my cellar ready for the move. I have to remember to pack some wines for the condo in addition to those that will be stored at the Fine Wine Reserve until my cellar is in place. At 4 pm, met with Roger Dagron, a Master Sommelier from New York City, to discuss the wines for the Chinese banquet. This was followed by the meal in Lai Wah Heen that will be the basis for the James Beard event on New York next month. The 10-course menu was served with some 30 wines to find the one that best matched the course. The meal promises to be sensational.
Tuesday, September 30: Spent the morning emailing wineries in Burgundy and the Rhône trying to line up tastings and visits for the Pauwels tour next May. The afternoon spent on writing the wine reviews for 680News and still plowing through emails that accumulated from last week.
Wednesday, October 1: Worked on selecting recipes from The Definitive Wine & Cheese Cookbook for a series of flyers. In the afternoon, down to the Distillery District for the Chilean Wine Festival. Thirty-six wineries were pouring their products. The organizers had created a room off the main space dedicated to Carménère and Carménère blends a smart idea. I started the tasting in this room and worked through 30-odd wines. The best were Concha y Toro Terrunyo Block 17 2005 (an Ignacio Recabarren wine) and Santa Rita Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon Péhuen 2005. Also very good: Perez Cruz Carménère 2006 and Carmen Carménère/Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005. Best value at the show was Terra Andina Carménère 2007 at $9.95 not yet in our market, unfortunately. I was very impressed by the wines of Tres Palacios their Merlot
2006 from Cholqui was a terrific wine. Chile is the new Australia. The wines, both red and white, in the $1015 category are the best value in the market today.
Thursday, October 2: Recorded my 680News reviews and sent around notices for Grapes for Humanity's AGM. This evening a wine tasting event at the Vaughan Estate for Sunnybrook Hospital. My tasting followed a fascinating slide lecture by one of the world's leading cardiologists, Dr. Bradley Strauss, on percutaneous coronary revascularization procedures. Basically inserting a stent into veins to clear blockages. I was going to suggest a glass of red wine a day would do the trick. But I didn't want to put him out of a job. The wines we tasted were:
- 2008 Cono Sur Viognier (Chile)
- 2007 Raimat Vina 27 Chardonnay (Spain)
- 1999 Saxenburg Private Collection Shiraz (South Africa)
- 2005 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
Friday, October 3: A Vintages tasting today. One hundred and eleven wines were put out for us to taste, along with a series of malt whiskies. I skipped the spirits. Tonight with chicken dinner a bottle of Closson Chase Pinot Noir 2006. Winemaker Deborah Paskus has done a fine job with a mediocre vintage. The varietal character is there with the complexity but the wine is a little on the dilute side. Understandable for such a rainy year. But enjoyable nonetheless.