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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 304 (August 16, 2010)

Saturday, August 7: Up at 6:30. Picked up more wine from the cellar to drive back to the cottage in Creemore. On the way, I stopped by my son Guy's to pick up some videos and a cell phone to replace the one I inadvertently took for a swim in the pool while walking Pinot in the dark.

Happily there was little traffic on the road to Creemore. Deborah's sister Suzanne and her husband Richard had arrived. While they all went into Creemore to visit the farmers' market I stayed behind to walk Pinot and finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the third in the Stieg Larsson trilogy.

At lunch we ate cold pork roast with spinach and lettuce salad with feta cheese and cheeses to follow. The wine: Closson Chase Chardonnay K. J. Watson Vineyard 2008. Read in the British magazine The Drinks Business that Jancis Robinson MW has placed an order for three cases of Château Capbern Gasqueton 2009 for her "next big birthday celebration in 10 years time." Now there's a lady who thinks ahead.

Before dinner I opened a bottle of Jackson-Triggs Méthode Classique 2005, a very well made sparkler with green pear and citrus flavours. Barbecued a leg of lamb cut into steaks, with rice and broccoli, served with Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and McWilliams Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

Sunday, August 8: Awoke to a rain storm. Made a big bowl of fruit salad for breakfast. Cottage life seems to be all about food, what to have for lunch and dinner. Lunch, an omelet with corn, peas and bacon with tomato salad and cheeses, with a bottle of Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Rosé 2009 from Marlborough. Lazy afternoon. Reading Linden MacIntyre's The Bishop's Man. Dinner, corn on the cob, tortellini in tomato sauce with Cusumano Nero d'Avola 2008. Dessert, amazing raisin tarts from Giffen's County Market.

Monday, August 9: Drove into Creemore to let Pinot wade in the Mad River. Ran into Martin Knelman and his wife in the Bank Café. We were both using their wi-fi. Shopped for bug spray and groceries, bought a rhubarb and strawberry pie at the fruit market.

Lunch: Dr. Oetker Casa di Mama pizza with a bottle of The Good Earth Wine Riesling 2009. This is an impressive first wine from the cooking school's winery. It is very Mosel in style – tart grapefruit and lime flavours with just a hint of honey in mid-palate and a mouth-freshening finish. Rained much of the afternoon but cleared up at 5:30 pm in time to set up for dinner: barbecued chicken sausages with boiled potatoes, spinach and peas with a bottle of Serego Aligheri Poderi del Bello Ovile 2007 from Tuscany. Cheeses and then rhubarb and strawberry pie.

Tuesday, August 10: Drove back to Toronto to record my 680News reviews and to have a business lunch – except when I read my email I found the lunch had been cancelled. Drove back to Creemore, had a swim since the weather is hot and then took Deborah and pinot for ice cream in the village. For dinner, barbecued hamburgers, French beans with a bottle of Inniskillin Merlot 2007.

Wednesday, August 11: Bad night. Pinot threw up. I gave her a piece of my ice cream yesterday and I think it was too much fat for her. But it didn't stop her having a healthy breakfast. Drove in to Creemore to catch up on emails at the Bank Café and let Pinot wade around in the Mad River. I think she's going to miss it since we don't let her into the creek in Sherwood Park, which looks polluted. Lunch: fried eggs, bacon and toast with a bottle of Chivite Gran Fuedo Rosado 2009, a perfect Grenache rosé for outdoor drinking.

Robert Ketchin, who lives in Collingwood and is the co-owner of a new winery there called Georgian Hills Vineyards, came to dinner. We started with olive and truffle tapenade and smoked salmon served with Inniskillin Dry Riesling 2009. Robert brought along a few New Zealand wines: the actor Sam Neill's Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling 2008, which we had with the smoked salmon (reminded me of a Rheingau Kabinett), Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir 2007 (for the rack of lamb, boiled potatoes, green peas and corn), and Astrolabe Pinot Noir 2007 (a great wine). Robert showed us photos of the construction stages of his winery, which opens this October although he is already selling 200 mL bottles of Georgian Hills Vineyards Vidal Frozen on the Vine 2008, which we drank with Deborah's peach and blueberry cobbler. He can't call it Icewine because Georgian Hills is not a recognized Designated Viticultural Area yet so he's copyrighted Frozen on the Vine. Apropos Sam Neill, Robert was telling us that he was at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival earlier this year, promoting his wines, and the women were all over him.

Thursday, April 12: Packing up to go home. I think that Pinot the Wonder Dog is as ready to return to the city as I am. She keeps moving towards the car even though she hates traveling in it. This is our annual dinner with two couples who share our anniversary (which is August 17th, but since I am judging in the Canadian Wine Awards in Penticton that day we decided to hold the dinner early). Frank and Patty-Ann and Bessie and Rod Seyffert discovered we had a shared anniversary at a dinner party and for the past six years we have celebrated together. This year it was at the Seyfferts' and we started with Henry of Pelham Brut Rosé 2007 with an assortment of Greek tapas – hummus, stuffed vine leaves and spanakopita. At the dinner we ate grilled shrimp with Lailey Chardonnay 2007, barbecued rack of lamb, potatoes, grilled vegetables and tomato and bocconcini with Tyrrell's Rufus Stone Shiraz 2007, and fruit tart with Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine 2007. Then outside to watch the meteor shower (which never appeared) we drank Taylor's Reserve Ruby Port with cherries.

Friday, August 13: A Vintages release tasting this morning. The Remoissenet wines for the Grapes for Humanity dinner on October 7th arrived and are now safely cellared. Dinner at The Homeway with a bottle of Monte Antico 2006.




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