Thousands of wines at your fingertips

Search database of wine reviews
Read about wines BEFORE they hit the stores
Match wines with foods



A gift for the literate wine-lover in your life – who may be you. Tony's murder mystery novels, set in the world of wine, are now available at a discount – autographed.

Find out more...

Listen to Tony

Listen to Tony talk about wine on 680 NEWS radio on Fridays at 10:48 am, on Saturdays at 2:48 am and 9:48 am, and on Sundays at 12:48 am and 1:48 pm.
Tony Aspler
Wine Reviews
Food & Wine Match
Personal Wine Cellar
Pocket Wine Cellar
Gourmet Recipes
Wine Primer
More Tony Aspler
Tony's Books Tony's Books
Ontario Wine Awards
About Us About Us

E-mail Address or
Forget Password?


All about sparkling wine Port wine 101 Pairing food and wine Pairing wine and cheese What wine to serve with chocolate Why we like to visit wine country A wine tour of Italy Germany and German wines Wine touring France: Cognac and Bordeaux Wine touring France: Burgundy A tour of California wine country











More Tony's Blog  

A Wine Lover's Diary, Part 611: El Tenedor (August 30, 2016)

August 21st: Deborah and I went over to Michael and Rosie's for dinner and I brought along four wines from Joie Farm in the Okanagan to taste:

  • Joie Farm Gamay 2014: ruby colour; spicy, cherry nose with a cedary note; medium-bodied, fruity, cherry ,red plum and raspberry flavours with lively acidity and a cinnamon note on the finish. Good mouth–feel. (89.5)
  • Joie Farm PTG 2014: ruby-purple colour; cedary, spicy, cherry pit nose with a light oak note; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and cranberry flavours with a touch of tannin on the finish. Well balanced and firm. (89.5)
  • Joie Farm Pinot Noir 2014: ruby colour; spicy cherry nose with well-integrated oak; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, red plum and cherry flavours, lovely mouth-feel with good length. A charming wine. (91)
  • Joie Farm Pinot Noir En Famille Reserve 2014: deeper ruby than the previous Pinot; spicy, vanilla oak, ripe cherry and red plum bouquet with a thread of minerality; full-bodied, dry, richly-extracted, vivid fruit flavours, beautifully balanced with great structure. (92.5)

August 22nd: Wrote my Lexpert column on the British tonic wine Wincarnis that's been on LCBO shelves since 1958. Then wrote up my 680 NEWS wine reviews for four weeks, as I leave for Tuscany for a week.

In the evening Deborah and I went over to Cesar Penalver's condo to taste his menu dishes for his new 29-seat restaurant, El Tenedor ("The Fork"), to open at 909 Yonge Street in October. Not knowing what the dishes were I brought over two versatile food wines, Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2013 (straw colour with a ime tint; already developing petrol notes above the grapefruit and lime aromas; off-dry, honey and grapefruit flavours in Spätlese style; medium-bodied with a lovely mouth-feel; clean flavours with mouth-freshening acidity (90)) and Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (dense purple-ruby colour; savoury, cedar, black currant, vanilla oak bouquet with a light floral: medium-bodied, dry, elegant and firmly structured (89.5)). A series of dishes arrived:

Ravioli windows – Aged cheddar, cumin and pumpkin seas in a transparent envelope

Tomato tartar

Garden salad with a frozen dressing (which we eat with our fingers, dipping the fresh vegetables into what looks like earth (ground black lentils over a creamy, savoury ice-cream))

Watermelon carpaccio with honey

Zucchini cannelloni stuffed with shrimp

Linguine vongole with baby clams, lemon pepper and garlic

Risotto with scallops, fennel and cauliflower

Lamb sous vide on a pool of pea puree with chicken mousseline

Dessert: Chocolate, orange with a spicy, sweet Marsala

Chef Cesar Penalver working on ravioli windows

(It's going to be a great restaurant.)

Tuesday, August 23rd: Spent most of the day inputting my wine reviews of the September Vintages release, then tasted a few wines to keep the palate in practice.

  • Le Vieux Pin Cuvée Violette Syrah 2014 (Okanagan): dense purple colour with a violet rim; spicy floral blackberry nose with a note of dried herbs; medium to full-boded, dry and savoury blackberry flavour with balancing acidity and a lovely mouth-feel. (93)
  • CedarCreek Platinum Merlot 2013 (Okanagan): dense purple colour; savoury, leather. Spicy, cedar nose with a note of blueberry and pie crust; medium to full-bodied, lively acidity finishing on a savoury note of fresh blueberries. (89)
  • Cape Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz (South Africa): ruby colour; smoky, tarry raspberry nose with notes of cedar and vanilla oak; medium-bodied, dry, lean and sinewy with a flavour of red plums. (87)

Wednesday, August 24th: Recorded my 680 NEWS reviews and spent the rest of the day working on my book. Dinner – pan-fried salmon with San Pedro Gato Nero 9 Lives Chardonnay/Semillon 2015 (straw colour; spicy apple nose with a touch of oak; full-bodied, dry, grassy, apple and pear flavours with a note of green pineapple on the finish).

Thursday, August 25th: Final preparations during the day for a dinner tasting I'm conducting at the Oakdale Golf Club.

Oakdale Italian Winemakers Dinner • August 25th 2016 Ά Menu Ά Hors D'Oeuvres: Grilled Shrimp skewers • Tomato and Bocconcini skewers • Focaccia Pizza with pesto and mushrooms • SANTA MARGHERITA PROSECCO SUPERIORE Ά Dinner: Duo of Panache of Mesculm leaves with ripe figs, goat cheese crostini, with an aged balsamic reduction and amarena cherry vinaigrette • and • Grilled Squid Antipasto with Red peppers, artichokes and black olives • GAVI DI GAVI 2015 LA GIUSTINIANA CRU LUGARARA • GRECO DI TUFO MASTROBERARDINO 2014 Ά Choice Entrιe: Filet Mignon in a porcini mushroom Barolo reduction • Summer vegetable tower, and rosemary roasted potatoes • ALLEGRINI CORTE GIARA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA 2013 • QUERCIABELLA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 • or • Halibut Puttanesca • Tomato, capers, black olive, garlic and white wine ragout • Summer vegetable tower, and rosemary roasted potatoes • PALA FIORI VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA 2015 Ά Italian Trio: Fresh berries with zabaglione, Hazelnut mousse tower, Lemon tart Ά Coffee, tea, decaffeinated and biscotti

The wines:

  • Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  • Gavi di Gavi La Giustiniana Cru Lugarara 2015
  • Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo 2014
  • Allegrini Corte Giara Ripasso Valpolicella 2013
  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2013
  • Pala i Fiori Vermentino di Sardegna 2015

Friday, August 26th: A Vintages release tasting for September 17th. One hundred and twenty-six wines, of which I tasted half. These tastings get bigger and bigger. I've decided that 65 is my limit per day.




More Tony's Blog