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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 269 (December 14, 2009)

Monday, December 7: Picked up Pinot the Wonder Dog from the vet. Good to have her home after three days at the vet for pancreatitis. The bill was gob-smacking. In the next life I'm coming back as a vet. Wrote a piece for Lexpert magazine about Sicilian wines, which I contend will be "the next big thing." A meeting with Forefront to discuss the future direction of Ontario Wine Awards and sip&Savour Ontario. Today I have to prepare myself for a routine colonoscopy tomorrow morning. It means not eating anything after breakfast and drinking four pints of water with a powder called Klean Prep that has the taste of vanilla. And boy does it work – like Drano for humans. The problem is I can't even drink four pints of wine in four hours let alone water. Felt very sorry for myself watching Deborah eat dinner.

Tuesday, December 8: The procedure takes place at the Rudd Clinic. Deborah drops me off at 10:15 am. She'll pick me up at noon because the drugs they give you make it necessary to be escorted home. Didn't feel a thing. The last time I had a colonoscopy I could watch the procedure on a monitor rather like that old Raquel Welch movie about a group of scientists who are shrunk so that they could take a submarine ride through a human body. This time I was out seconds after they injected the drugs and didn't wake up until it was over. This evening old friends Chris Coletta and Leeann Clemens Froese from Vancouver are coming to dinner. Menu: leek and potato soup garnished with crisply fried julienne of leek, veal chops with roast potatoes, beans and baby squash, cheeses and bread pudding with ice cream. Wines: Maleta View Old Vines Brut, Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1995, DeMartino Cabernet Sauvignon 1995, St. Innocent Pinot Noir 2002 and Pillitteri Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2007. It felt like a reward for the trauma of the last 36 hours.

Wednesday, December 9: Doris Miculan Bradley, a professor at George Brown in the culinary department, took me to lunch at The Chefs' House to discuss her participation in Grapes for Humanity events. The student chef Hudson Bernard had just returned from a stage in Burgundy and had prepared a Burgundian menu: a soup of purée of Brussels sprouts and chestnuts; roti de porc aux pruneaux and pommes gaufrette. For desert I opted for a mince pie and ice cream rather than the clafoutis on the set menu. The wine: a glass of Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2007. For dinner, with grilled lamb chops, a bottle of Alvento Elige 2006, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Niagara-on-the-Lake. Not as good as the 2005 but a remarkable effort in a poor vintage. Very old world style Bordeaux blend.

Thursday, December 10: Spent much of the day preparing material for Grapes for Humanity's AGM next Tuesday. An email today reminding my of my wine writer colleague Richard Best's books that are available for Christmas: The Frugal Oenophile's Lexicon of Wine Tasting Terms ($9.95) and The Frugal Oenophile's Winegrape Primer ($12.95 from Dinner:  salmon with a bottle of Flat Rock "The Rusty Shed" Chardonnay 2007, a perfect match.

Friday, December 11: An email from the PR firm representing Vincor to say that the menu served to President Obama in Stockholm at the gala banquet after he received his Nobel Peace Prize included Innisikillin 2003 Gold Oak Aged Vidal Icewine served with caramel and chocolate glazed banana mousse and peanut meringue. But it doesn't look as if he got to taste it. According to the National Post this morning (A19) a poll of Norwegians "thought the US President was 'impolite' not to attend the award presentation music concert; 44% thought skipping the state banquet was 'unacceptable'"... Would they have polled asking in theory how the population felt if Obama did not attend these events? This evening Deborah and I drove up to Caledon to celebrate the 50th birthday of our friend Patti-Anne Daley. The event was held upstairs at Gourmandissimo. The menu was all Irish. Much Fuzion Shiraz Malbec 2007 and Beronia Tempranillo 2007 consumed.




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