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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 42 (July 4, 2005)

Monday, June 27: It's a sweltering day today and the third floor is hot in spite of the old air conditioner I have in my office. Guy came over for dinner and we opened a bottle of Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 2002, which we all enjoyed. Deborah and I had lamb chops on the bbq and Guy a steak. We matched it with a bottle of Chateau des Charmes Equuleus 2002, a Meritage blend. Great match.

Tuesday, June 28: Another scorcher. Worked on the final part of the Quebec section and now it's done. A meeting with Zoltan Szabo at the house. Over a bottle of Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2003 we discussed his initiative to give wine training to restaurants under the auspices of the Ontario Wine Council. The idea is to train the serving staff in the wines with the hopes that the restaurant will buy more Ontario products. With dinner a bottle of Errazuriz Don Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. Deborah made a great pasta dish with bacon and spinach.

Wednesday 29th: Another hot day. Ran into Josh Josephson at the club this morning. He told me about his annual steak-off. A group of guys, foodies and chefs, blind taste steaks from different suppliers to find out who brings in the best meat. Michael Carlevale apparently cooked his steak in a dry frying pan on top of the stove. The smoke set off the fire alarm at Josh Josephson's house, but since the event was being filmed for TV the phone had been turned off. They heard fire engines with sirens blazing and didn't realise that it was for them until the firefighters were pounding at the door. Am starting on the rewrites of the BC chapter. Had to check out the blue box to get the vintage of that Don Max we had last night. Time was when I could remember every detail about the wines I've consumed. Getting old, I guess. I've been spending too much time in front of a computer screen.

Thursday, June 30: This is my deadline day to hand in the final sections of the atlas manuscript. The first draft is done. Now the rewrites begin in earnest. The whole project has to be finished by September or the book will be delayed. A party at our neighbours up the street. I brought along a half dozen wines I had tasted for my notes and then put under gas. The best of them was the Wolf Blass Rose 2004. A little on the sweet side but refreshing strawberry and watermelon flavours when well chilled.

Friday, July 1: Canada Day, but I am working on the book. The dog is sleeping at my feet. The phone is not ringing. The email is silent. Bliss. The Jays thrashed Boston 15–2. Life doesn't get better than that.

Saturday, July 2: Tonight we've invited our friends Ladka and Gerry Sweeney to dinner. It's Gerry's 39th anniversary of his arrival in Canada from Dublin. His accent sounds as if it were yesterday. Decided on an all-Canadian line-up of wines in honour of Gerry's day (his first night he told me he had to sleep on the floor of his brother's apartment so every year on this day he sleeps on the floor). Gerry is a beer drinker and rarely touches wine, but he's a decent fellow notwithstanding. I stocked up on Moosehead but he brought along his own non-alcoholic beer from Loblaws. He calls it his "rubber beer." I made a fennel and Ouzo soup, grilled filet steaks; Deborah made her wonderful potatoes baked in the oven with lemon and black olives and her lemon tart for dessert. The wines were Peninsula Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (this is Jean-Pierre Colas' best wine, even though he makes terrific Chardonnay), Inniskillin Pinot Noir Montague Vineyard 1999 (held up beautifully, very Burgundian and turned out to be the wine of the night), followed by CedarCreek Pinot Noir 2002 (one of BC's best) and Pillitteri Vidal Icewine 2003 with the lemon tart. A great evening. We showed the Sweeneys our photos of the Irish trip.




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