A Wine Lover's Diary, part 53 (September 19, 2005)
Monday, September 12: Worked on the book. This evening we had the annual general meeting of Grapes for Humanity at Sam Sarick's house. Members of both the Canadian board and the US board were there, sixteen of us. Since we started four years ago, we have raised $1,391,000 in Canada for victims of landmines and kids who need prosthetic treatment. We will be making a donation of $25,000 to the Katrina disaster for a specific project which we are currently researching. Sam put on a great dinner with some choice wines from his cellar.
Tuesday, September 13: A meeting this morning with David Rose to discuss a seminar on Chilean wines he has asked me to deliver prior to a big Chilean tasting on October 5th at the Boiler House in the Distillery District. We also discussed sponsorships for next year's Ontario Wine Awards. Worked on the book (Nova Scotia section). A meeting in the evening with Zoltan and John Szabo about how we can interest licensees in Ontario in next year's Ontario Wine Week (third week in June). Zoltan brought some chicken and rice and I opened a Sandhill Viognier 2004, a fantastic Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard 2001, a bottle of Vignoble Coteau St-Paul Sabrevois 2003 from Quebec and a bottle of Long Rail Gully Shiraz 2002 from the Canberra District.
Wednesday, September 14: Recorded six items for 680 News. At 1 pm David Lawrason came over to the house for another Winerytohome tasting. Thirty-five wines. My nephew Mark Boloten picked me up to attend the Gilda's House charity auction at Nocce. I am a "colour commentator" on the lots. A quarter of the way into the auction (we're all standing, about 100 people in Nocce's back room), Todd Halpern decides he's going to take over as auctioneer. Todd is a force of nature and the bidding for some top wines starts getting serious. A 1961 Latour went for $5000. At this event I heard that my friend, Dr. Eli Cass had died and that his funeral was tomorrow. Eli was a member of a wine group I belonged to when I first came to Toronto.
Thursday, September 15: Eli's funeral was held at Benjamin's on Steeles Avenue. The chapel was packed with his relatives, friends, and patients. His three sons, David, Charles and Paul, spoke so eloquently about their father, with great love and respect. Eli died on September 11th after seven weeks in hospital. I didn't even know he was sick. He was 82. A great man. Wrote my Wines of the Week column for the site, worked on the book (Ontario section) and then attended a meeting of Grand Cru, Todd Halpern's fund-raiser for the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. The twenty-five home dinners with a winemaker at a minimum of $10,000 a shot have all been sold. Robert Parker is coming to Toronto for the event, apparently. Dinner, a shrimp dish with Casa del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc 2004 from Chile.
Friday, September 16: Learned today that there is a new winery in Ontario called Cornerstone Estate and one in BC called Stone Boat Winery. Trying desperately to get information on them so that I can get them into the book. (This is driving me nuts.) This evening I'm conducting a charity tasting (a kid's school in the Beach). The winning bidder is having it in his home with five other couples. I'm supplying the wine: Inniskillin Riesling Reserve 2002, Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2002, Stonestreet Chardonnay Sonoma County 2001, Jackson-Triggs Shiraz Okanagan Valley 2002, Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2002 and Greg Norman Estate Cabernet Merlot Limestone Coast 2002. Everyone loved the Jackson-Triggs Shiraz. The Inniskillin showed very well. My favourite was the Boekenhoutskloof (that was my last bottle).