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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 229 (February 23, 2009)

Monday, February 16: Family Day. I am meeting the owner of an Indian restaurant in Delisle Court called Vivah about the possibility of doing an evening of Indian food and wine. The owner wants to get an Ontario winery to donate the wines. Interesting if she can pull it off in these bleak economic times. Picked up Deborah from the airport after her girls' weekend in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 17: Still working on final edits for the cellar book. This afternoon, a tasting of Friuli wines at Grano. Thirteen producers showing mainly Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Cabernet Franc and Refosco. I've not been exposed to much Refosco since my last visit to Friuli about twelve years ago and am impressed by its fruity, black cherry character. Especially Le Due Torre Refosco dal Peduncolo 2006 and Plozner Refosco dal Peduncolo 2006. For dinner, opened a bottle of Château des Charmes Rosé Méthode Traditionelle – a deeply-coloured sparkler with a lovely raspberry flavour.

Wednesday, February 18: Spoke with Jeff Baker in New York about the computer program for the Ontario Wine Awards. Jeff sent me the updated database but am having trouble transferring the files from my PC to my laptop. I'm a computer twit – the original meaning of the word. Stopped in at the Chefs' House, run by George Brown Culinary students, for a tasting of New York State wines. Robert Ketchin, who handles the PR and marketing account for NY wines, had laid them out by variety. Twenty-two wineries altogether from Finger Lakes, Long Island and Hudson River.

My top wines were:

  • Riesling – Hermann Weimer Riesling 2007 (elegant, floral, minerally grapefruit flavour, off dry) and Paumanock Vineyards Riesling  2007 (Spätlese style, sweet honeyed grapefruit)
  • Chardonnay – Macari Vineyards Chardonnay 2007 (mango and citrus flavours with lively acidity)
  • White blends – Bedell Cellars Taste White 2007 (Chardonnay,  Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Gewürztraminer – spicy apple and pear flavours)
  • Gewürztraminer – Lamoreaux Landing Gewürztraminer 2006 (dry, grapefruit and lychee flavours)
  • Merlot – Macari Vineyards 2004 (well balanced, richly extracted, blueberry flavour with nicely handled oak)
  • Cabernet Franc – Macari Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2004 (fine red berry flavour, firmly structured, well balanced)
  • Red Blends – Osprey Dominion Vineyards Meritage 2005 (elegant, Bordeaux style), Bedell Cellars Musée 2005 (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot – rose petal, redcurrant, blackcurrant), Macari Sette N/V (Merlot, Cabernet Franc – cherry-berry flavour with white pepper).
  • Dessert wine – Penguin Bay Valvin Muscat 2007 (a hybrid crossing of Muscat Ottonel and Couderc Muscat – intense honey and orange flavours).

That evening Deborah and I dropped into Gurth Pretty's "A Cheesy Soirée" at the Bata Shoe Museum, which featured seventeen raw milk cheeses. Peninsula Ridge wines and Woodbridge wines.

Thursday, February 19: Today my email box is full of stories about what food and wine was served at lunch when President Obama lunched with Stephen Harper in Ottawa. Then menu was politically correct, hitting all the provinces for product where possible.

Pacific Coast tuna with a chili and citrus vinaigrette
Maple and miso cured Nunavut Arctic char
Lightly pickled vegetables and an organic beet relish
served with Quails' Gate Chenin Blanc 2007 (British Columbia)

Applewood smoked plains bison
Winter root vegetables and local mushrooms
Cauliflower and rosemary purée
Juniper and Niagara red wine jus
served with Stratus Red 2002 (Ontario)

Saugeen yogurt pot de crème with a lemon and lavender syrup
Wild blueberry and partridgeberry compote
Acadian buckwheat honey and sumac tuile
served with La Face Cachée de la Pomme Neige 2005 (Quebec)


Friday, February 20: A meeting of the Wine Writers circle to taste some 55 products – all California wines above $18 (although three were below this figure and one Chilean wine crept into the party).




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