A Wine Lover's Diary, part 251 (August 10, 2009)
Monday, August 3: Spent the day writing about BC wine tours for the Readers Digest book. For dinner Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 with BBQ-ed hamburgers.
Tuesday, August 4: Worked on the BC winery tour and wrote some introductory paragraphs for a booklet on matching Chinese food and wine. The western culinary tradition is really quite simple. You take fresh produce, apply heat and embellish with herbs or spices and maybe a sauce. Then you serve your dishes in a prescribed order. You start with soup, progressing to fish and then meat, then cheese and dessert (or dessert and cheese if you're British). This makes matching your menu with wine relatively easy. You begin with white and switch to red, ratcheting up the weight and concentration as you go, before you serve the dessert wine. But how do you approach Chinese food? The classical Chinese banquet consists of nine or ten courses usually starting with Peking duck or suckling pig, followed by hot appetizers, shark's fin soup and then a range of dishes featuring fish, seafood, pork, chicken and noodles or pasta, ending with dessert.
Wednesday, August 5: Deborah and I went down to the Acura dealer to buy a new car. We're looking at the RDX because it has a back-up feature. Deborah says I'm not good at backing up and the back bumper of our CMX is proof of that. Lunch at Lai Wah Heen with Henry Wu and Chef Patrick Lin to go over the menu for the Chinese dinner at Lai Toh Heen later this month. For dinner: salmon with a bottle of La Cadierenne Bandol Cuvée Grande Tradition 2008, a very tasty dry rosé that went beautifully with the fish.
Thursday, August 6: Wrote my monthly column for Post City Magazines on Prince Edward County. Then looked at wineries to visit in Rioja for next May's wine tour of Spain. Received two Chardonnay samples from Closson Chase. Decided to have one with dinner (roast chicken). Closson Chase South Clos Chardonnay 2007: deeply coloured gold with a lime tint; sweet tropical fruit nose melded with vanilla oak; full on the palate with sweet nectarine and tangerine flavours; soft mouth feel with just enough acidity to keep it in balance. A big, bold wine with a nutty, crème brûlée finish (91 – would have been higher score if there was more acidity to give the wine energy and freshness, but a great effort in a really hot vintage).
Friday, August 7: A Vintages release tasting. Lots of wine out because of the large Ontario release. Ed Madronich of Flat Rock Cellars was there as Chair of the VQA to answer wine writers' questions. In the afternoon worked on the Readers Digest project. In the evening Deborah and I drove out to Burlington for a party thrown by Lindsay Groves to celebrate the release of the Women & Wine calendar (proceeds to Grapes for Humanity).