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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 40 (June 20, 2005)

Monday, June 13th: A humid, sultry day. Last night I dreamed about Quebec wineries. The book is getting to me – an all-encompassing presence during my waking hours, it's now invaded my sleep. This evening I went over to the house of a woman who is donating a large vertical of Beaulieu Vineyards to Grapes for Humanity – 40 bottles in all, many of them the 1981 vintage but it does date back to the spectacular 1968 vintage. No wine tonight, am feeling lousy. Could be flu.

Tuesday, June 14th: Received an email this morning to tell me that the private member's bill to create Ontario Wine Week during our Ontario Wine Awards' trade and consumer tasting (on Thursday) got third reading and now has Royal Assent. Great news. Made my day, feeling much better. Here's the press release:

For Immediate Release
Ontario government launches Ontario Wine Week
Public invited to taste Ontario's finest wines June 16th

Niagara, ON - June 14, 2005: The provincial government has created Ontario Wine Week to recognize the world-class wines produced in Ontario.

"Ontario wines continue to win international awards and are among the best in the world," said Bruce Crozier, MPP for Essex who introduced the private member's bill proclaiming the third week in June in each year as Ontario Wine Week. The bill was passed in the Legislature last night.

"I hope the public will help celebrate their success by supporting the products produced by Ontario's talented wine makers and grape growers," Crozier added.

Linda Franklin, president of the Wine Council of Ontario (WCO), said the government's support of the Ontario wine industry has been an important part of their success and she looks forward to ongoing co-operation in the future.

As part of Ontario Wine Week, the public is invited to experience first-hand the best of VQA at the 10th anniversary of the Ontario Wine Awards consumer tasting at the Distillery district on Thursday, June 16, 2005 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. For tickets call Sandy Kurbis at 416-398-3335, ext. 2 or email

Tony Aspler, acclaimed wine writer and founder of the Ontario Wine Awards, said the competition was created to provide recognition for Ontario's outstanding wines and to enhance their profile in the world market. To see a list of the gold, silver and bronze medal winning wines of the 10th Annual Ontario Wine Awards, visit

Consumers who buy VQA wine over the next four weeks in select LCBO stores will receive a fold-out version of the 2005 Ontario Wine route map as well as an invitation for a VIP tour of an Ontario winery. Also available in LCBO stores is the new Official Guide to Ontario Wineries. The WCO has made trip planning easy with this handy guide that can also be accessed by visiting

Wednesday, June 15th: I spent the whole day on the Quebec chapter and was meant to go to Hy's Steak House for a tasting of Cave Spring wines. But I was just too tired. Hours at a computer screen are beginning to take their toll – stiff neck, sore eyes, sore back. Added to which the computer is running painfully slow. Not enough memory, I'm told, and not worth adding more RAM. So this means a new computer. God, I hate the aggravation of it all. For dinner, a bottle of Bodega Norton Chardonnay. What a terrific wine for the price, very Burgundian.

Thursday, June 16th: The morning spent on Quebec. The more I get into it, the more admiration I have for the winemakers there – they have a lot to deal with. Growing wine in Quebec really is tilting at windmills compared to other Canadian regions. The Ontario Wine Awards' trade and consumer tasting happens this afternoon at the Fermentation Cellar of the Distillery District beginning with the trade tasting. Thirty-one Ontario wineries are taking part in the trade event and only those who won gold, silver, or bronze medals in the competition will be pouring for consumers this evening. David Rose and Sandy Kurbis of Forefront Communications have done a terrific job in staging this event. The reaction of consumers and producers has been extremely positive.

Friday, June 17th: Worked on Quebec until 5 p.m., then took a conference call about a tasting for Mount Allison alumnae in October. It's going to be at Verity, a women's club on Queen Street. It's a good venue for these events. Kim, the sommelier, knows her stuff. Dinner wine: Vina San Pedro Molino de Castillo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2003; highly recommended for the price.




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