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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 212 (October 27, 2008)

Monday, October 20: today is the "Me & My Jadot" dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel, a find-raiser for Grapes for Humanity. In the morning I went over to Steve Campbell's house to lot the wines for the silent auction. Then down to the hotel to set up. Pierre Henry Gagey has flown over from Burgundy to speak at the dinner (a similar evening was held on Friday last in Sarasota for the American arm of Grapes for Humanity). The MC is Ken Shaw, the news anchor at CTV. Here is the menu with accompanying wines:

Hors d'oeuvres

Mini Tuna Nicoise in a Spoon
Confit de Canard with Truffled Pomme Purée
Crab and Chive Croquette
Ratatouille Vegetable Tartlets
Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rose Brut NV

Dinner Menu

Quenelles de Poisson, Sauce Hommard
White Fish and Scallop Quenelles with Lobster Bisque Sauce and Chervil
Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Folatières 2000

Blanquette de Veau
Veal Ragout with Mushrooms, Butter Lettuce and Celery Root Salad with Carrot Vinaigrette
Jadot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 1992

Chevreuille a la Sauce Moutard
Roasted Venison, Juniper Mustard Sauce, Brussel Sprouts and Glazed Carrots
Jadot Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 1997
Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 1985


Laguiole, Ossau-Iraty and Comte
Petite Baguette and Dried Pears
Jadot Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 1969


Tart Citron
Red Currant Sauce
Inniskillin Riesling Icewine 2006

The silent auction raised $40,000 and the live auction (a Jeroboam of Louis Jadot Chambertin Clos des Beze Grand Cru 1993 with dinner for six at Pierre Henry's house in Beaune) went for $10,175. A very successful evening, coupled with the event at The Miller Tavern in September, raised enough to buy two ambulances for HALO's demining operations in Nogorno Karabakh.

Tuesday, October 21: Packing up my office. I didn't know I had so much stuff. Dinner at Grano for past members of the tour groups to France in May. Hoping they will join us for the tour of Burgundy and the Rhône next May.

Wednesday, October 22: Another day of packing. Dropped into the new LCBO store on Avenue Road. It's on two floors with a parking garage underneath. A very striking building. In the evening dropped into the Carlu for Vintages' pre-tasting of wines coming under the hammer at their annual auction this weekend. Best wine I tasted: Margaux 1959.

Thursday, October 23: Packing. Our lawyer, David Alexandor, came over with a bunch of papers for us to sign relating to the sale of the house and the purchase of the condo. In the late afternoon I dropped into the Halpern tasting conveniently held at the event theatre around the corner from our house.

Friday, October 24: The Grand Cru vertical tasting of every vintage of Château Le Pin, held at a private house, in aid of the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. Twenty-four places, $12,500 a seat. I was there to help out but I did manage to taste some of the vintages that ranged from 1979 to 2005 (none made in 2003). Francois Thienpont and Pierre Rovani conducted the tasting. The best I tasted was the 2000 in double magnum.

Tony with Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud and Martin Kouprie cooked lunch:

Canapés: Tarter Flambé (Daniel), Empanada with Pear and Foe Gras (Martin), with 2005 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive

Amuse bouche: Mosaic of Venison and foe grass (Daniel)

Tandoori cured Striped Bass with Daikon Radish, Lettuce Wrapped Tartar, Caviar d'Aquitaine (Daniel), with Château du Puligny Montrachel Puligny Montrachet 2005

Ravioli of Oxtail with Salsify Foam and White Truffles (Martin), with Castell di Ama 2005 Chianti Classico Castello di Ama

New Brunswick Lobster Civet with Parsnip (Daniel), with Castello di Ama 2005 Chianti Classico

Duck with Apple Braised Napa Cabbage and Chanterelles (Martin), with Dujac 2006 Chambolle Musigny Villages

Quebec & Ontario Artisan Cheeses with Tears of honey (Martin), with Tommaso Bussola 2000 Amarone Vigneto Alto

Seasonal Tarts, served in the wine cellar (Martin), with Domaine Zind Humbrecht 1998 Pinot Gris Jebsal Selection de Grains Nobles

A note about the cellar: it is really an extraordinary place with steel racks and a waterfall that flows down a glass wall to keep the room humidified. It is filled with blue-chip wines. I felt like stringing up a hammock and just staying there with a corkscrew.

Sommeliers uncorking Le Pin vertical

Aubert de Villaine of DRC drinking claret   Todd Halpern with a double magnum of Le Pin

Eddie Milstein holding court behind the bar

This evening, Todd Halpern's annual party for all those involved in Grand Cru. Todd's friend and partner in Remoissonet, Eddie Milstein, flies up from New York to act as sommelier, pouring the most outrageous wines from magnums and double magnums. It is, without question, the best wine party of the year. The guest list includes Étienne Hugel, Nicolas Jaboulet, Paolo di Marchi, Aubert de Villaine, Armando Fumanelli, Francois Thienpont, Bernard Repolt, Romano dal Forno, Franco Conterno. Outside, there is an elephant, courtesy of Todd's zoo.

Saturday, October 25: This evening Deborah and I are picked up in a Mercedes van and driven to our host's house in Hockley Valley for a Grand Cru dinner prepared by Christopher Palik, the chef at Paese, matched with the wines of Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli.

After a hurried glass of Gosset champagne (we arrive late because the address is not on the GPS) we sit down to dinner.

Atlantic Lobster with a Lobster Béarnaise, Nova Scotia Bras d'Or Oyster with Blood Orange Jelly, Wild British Columbia Spot Prawn with Fennel Zabligioni (?), West Coast Salmon with Abitibi Caviar, served with 2003 Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli Terso Bianco (Trebbiano and Garganega – oak aged, delicious)

Ravioli Filled with Local Rouen Duck Egg Served with Braised Duck Leg and Butternut Squash, with 2001 Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli Squarano Valpolicella Classico Superiore (one of the best Valpolicella I have tasted from this vintage)

Canadian Elk Loin with Pancetta and Agro Dolce Sauce with Pan Seared Parsnip Gnocchi and Local Heirloom Root Vegetable, with 2004 Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli Amarone Classico

A Tasting of Quebec Benedictine Bleu with Local Honeycomb and Honey, Organic Almonds and House Made Rosemary Crackers, with Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli 2003 Amarone Riserva Octavius

Valrhona Dark Chocolate Torta with Whipped Tiramisu and Chestnut Sauce, with Isole e Olena Vin Santo 1998

I ended the evening with a glass of Gaja Grappa. Turns out that my host owns the construction company that built my first cellar when I lived on Keewatin Avenue.




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