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A Wine Lover's Diary, Part 575: OWA Planning (December 14, 2015)

Guy and Sasha at Cibo

Sunday, December 9th: Guy and his wife Sasha came to dinner with Deborah's sister Suzanne, newly returned from Paris. I made spaghetti with meat sauce. We consumed the following wines:

  • Foss Marai Prosecco Extra Dry (Veneto – $19.95): creamy, minerally, apple and pear nose; medium-bodied, dryish with good persistence on the palate. (88+)
  • The Entertainer Red Blend (South Australia – 56% Grenache, 44% Shiraz: $15.95): A well-priced red blend. Deeply coloured with a bouquet of black raspberries and plums; medium-bodied and dry, fruity, jammy with herbal notes. (88)
  • Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Napa Valley – $34.95: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc): deep purple-ruby colour; blackcurrant and plum nose laced with cedar and vanilla oak notes; richly extracted, full-bodied, herb-tinged flavour of cassis and black fruits. Best held for a couple of years. (89–91)

Monday, December 10th: A 10 am meeting at George Brown to go over plans to hold the judging of the Ontario Wine Awards there on Saturday, May 7th, and a consumer tasting event in their atrium in June as a prelude to Ontario Wine Week. Then on to lunch at Queen Mother Café on Queen Street with Angela Aiello of the iYellow Wine Club to talk about a strategic alliance. Came home to write my Lexpert column on how dog shows resemble wine judging.

Tuesday, December 11th: Wrote my invitation email to prospective judges for the 22nd annual Ontario Wine Awards. I will need 24 judges on a single day. Got down to some tasting.

  • Stratus Red 2012 (Ontario29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and 3% Tannat: $44.40): dense purple-black colour; savoury, leather and black fruits on the nose; full-bodied and dry, mouth-filling with a dark chocolate finish. (90)
  • Beringer Founder's Estate Chardonnay 2013 (Napa – $16.95): pale straw colour with a buttery, sweet apple nose enhanced by a light oak spice; medium to full-bodied, with an apple flavour and a touch of oak. A well-made wine for the price. (88)
  • Lakeview Cellars Syrah 2012 (Ontario – $14.95): deep ruby colour with a savoury, red berry, herbal nose; medium-bodied, dry, herby, raspberry flavour. A touch of sweetness in mid-palate but nicely balanced. (88)

Wednesday, December 12th: Spent the morning paying bills and then went back to the novel.

Thursday, December 10th: Honoured my deadlines for my monthly article in On the Go magazine and my Wines of the Week recommendations. Lunched at The Chef's House with Rebecca MacKenzie, the Executive Director of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. Ran into several old friends and colleagues there – John Higgins, James Chatto, Peter Mielzynski, Charles Grieco. Obviously, the place to eat – and very reasonable since it's a training facility for George Brown's culinary students.

Friday, December 11th: Did some accounting for Grapes for humanity and then spent the rest of the day (blissfully) working on the novel. Sasha and Guy come over and we opened a bottle of Bottega Vino Dei Poeti Rosé (Veneto – $13.45): an easy-drinking sparkling wine with flavours of raspberry and cranberry and dry enough to be interesting (88). Then we walked over to Cibo on Yonge Street for dinner. We ordered grilled portobello, oyster + cremini mushrooms, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar to start and pasta to follow (mine was Orcchiette with rapini, spicy Italian sausage, fontina, parmigiano, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil) and a bottle of Vignetti del Salento I Muri Negroamaro 2012.

Cibo dinner wine




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