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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 216 (November 24, 2008)

Monday, November 17: Received an email from Steven Spurrier telling me he had passed my name to a brides' magazine in India that was looking for an article about Icewine. A few moments later I got an email from the features editor asking me if I would write 600 words on Icewine as a luxury product and that the fee would be INR 5000. In these calamitous economic times I got quite excited by the figure until I went to the internet to find the exchange rate against the Canadian dollar. It turns out to be something like $123. Oh well, it's good for the resume. Dinner, roast chicken with Tin Horn Creek Merlot 2006 from BC.

Tuesday, November 18: Wrote the Canadian entry for Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Book 2010, really more of updating material already there. Down to the LCBO for a preview tasting of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau and Italian Novellos. As harbingers for the vintage in their regions they don't augur well for the quality of 2008 wines.

Wednesday, November 19: Spent the morning preparing for Grapes For Humanity's AGM, photocopying minutes, agendas, etc. We always have wine at our AGM (I brought along a bottle of Sandhill Three 2006 which was much appreciated by the directors present). Then subwayed up to North York to join Deborah to see Jersey Boys – the Frankie Valli musical, which is just great. I hadn't realized that he had so many hit songs in the 1970s.

Thursday, November 20: Beaujolais Nouveau release day. Got back to work on the cellar book. This move to the condo has been disruptive. Files are still in boxes as the painters are in. Pinot the Wonder Dog has been throwing up and so has Nancy the cat. Must be a reaction to the paint smells. This evening I have to do two seminars at the Gourmet Food & Wine Show for the Independent Wine Education Guild – one with Julia Rogers, entitled "So You Thought Cheese & Wine Matching Was Easy," the other on Beaujolais. The original presenter had to back out because of a family emergency.

The cheeses, all Canadian, are Salt Spring Island Basil Chevre, Riopelle de l'Ile, Chevre Noir Cheddar and Tiger Blue. The matching wines:

  • Chateau des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc 2007
  • Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
  • Tawse Pinot Noir 2006
  • Henry of Pelham Special Select Late Harvest Riesling 2007

The second seminar on Beaujolais:

  • Pisse Dru Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay 2007
  • Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau 2008
  • Albert Bichot Beaujolais Nouveau 2008
  • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2008
  • Pisse Dru Beaujolais 2007
  • Duboeuf Brouilly 2007

Friday, November 21: The cold that I picked up on the plane on Saturday coming back from New York has blossomed into a real doozy. I can't smell a thing and this evening I have a home tasting to conduct for the successful bidder at the WICC Mardi Gras Soiree Silent Auction. The tasting is in Oakville and it takes an hour and a half to get there in Friday traffic. The wines I've brought with me are all from Ontario and BC:

  • Creekside Butler's Grant Riesling 2007
  • Road 13 Honest John's White (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ehrenfelser and Viognier)
  • Inniskillin Pinot Noir Reserve 2007
  • Sandhill Barbera 2006
  • Stratus Red 2005
  • Chateau des Charmes St. David's Bench Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
  • Inniskillin Riesling Icewine 2006

The host brought out a bottle of Siegerrebe 2000 from Cornwall and it wasn't bad at all.

Saturday, November 22: Conducted a tasting seminar on Carménère at the Gourmet Wine & Food Show. Luckily I had my tasting notes from the Chilean event a few weeks ago because my nose is still not working. The tasting order:

  • Viña Tarapacá Carmenère Reserva 2007, Maipo Valley
  • Viña Santa Alicia Carmenère Reserve 2005, Maipo Valley
  • Viña Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère 2007, Colchagua Valley
  • Viña Errazuriz Estate Carmenère 2007, Aconcagua Valley
  • Viña Caliterra Tributo Carmenère 2006, Colchagua Valley
  • Viña Pérez Cruz Carmenère Reserva Limited Edition 2006, Maipo Valley
  • Viña Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenère 2005, Apalta Valley
  • Viña Concha y Toro Terrunyo Carmenère 2005 Peumo Vineyard, Block 27, Cachapoal Valley

Tarapaca was the best value and Terrunyo and Santa Rita the best wines.

In the evening, a private dinner tasting for the successful bidder at a Crescent School fund-raiser event. Great wines supplied by one of the guests:

  • Dom Pérignon 1999
  • Olivier Leflaive Chassagne-Montachet 2003 (with scallops)
  • Château Haut-Brion 1997 (with rack of lamb)
  • Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1997 (with cheeses)




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