A Wine Lover's Diary, part 219 (December 15, 2008)
Monday, December 8: Arrived back from Chile yesterday, leaving behind 28 degree Celsius weather for minus 6 here. A great welcome from Pinot the Wonder Dog. Loads of emails to respond to and a message from my publisher Random House that the manuscript for the wine cellar book is due December 29th. I'm about 20,000 words off finishing it so it will be head down for the rest of the year.
Tuesday, December 9: Wrote an article about New Zealand wine for the BC liquor Board's magazine. Booked the date for the next Grapes for Humanity fund-raiser dinner at the Four Season Hotel. It will be October 8th, 2009 a chocolate-inspired banquet, seven courses all cooked with Lindt chocolate and matched with the appropriate wine. Chef Ashley James from the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles will be flying in with his pastry chef Frederico to prepare the dinner.
Wednesday, December 10: Lunch with my old friend Ron Fiorelli at Grano. He tells me he is retiring as director of the German Wine Information Bureau. I'll miss him. This evening I'm invited to the MediResource staff Christmas party. Lisa and Paul Heath have selected the wines and I am to give a seminar on how to taste. The wines:
- 2001 Schloss Schonborn Riesling
- 2007 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc
- 2005 Viña Morandé Gran Reserva Chardonnay
- 2006 Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2004 Kim Crawford Sp Te Awanga Vineyard Merlot
- 2004 Poole's Rock Cockfighter's Ghost Shiraz
Then the staff was invited to test their blind tasting skills by identifying the variety in the following wines served from decanters:
- 2007 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc
- 2004 Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2004 Franciscan Merlot
This concept should be incorporated into every job interview to ensure you hire discerning staff.
Thursday, December 11: Spend the morning working on the Chile section of the cellar book. In the afternoon I drive to Hamilton for a tasting event in a new housing development. The wines:
- Bottega Vino Dei Poeti Prosecco
- Errazuraz Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008
- Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages "Combe aux Jacques" 2007
- Henry of Pelham Cabernet Merlot 2006
Friday, December 12: Today, I devoted entirely to the cellar book. Finished the Chile section and started work on Argentina. Interesting that Chile has the roughly the same vineyard surface as the Bordeaux region but only some 200 wineries. And that Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer after France, Italy, Spain and the US and consumes 90% of its own wine. This evening, a dinner party at Deborah's niece Nadine and her husband Gary's in Caledon. I bring along a load of opened bottles of New Zealand wine I've been tasting for an article. Deborah is the DD.