Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

FEAST (Appetite by Random House, 2017, 296 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-752971-8, $35 CAD hardbound) is by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller who decided in the summer of 2013 to take a road trip across Canada to experience and write up Canada's food culture. They also turned it into an award-winning blog. And now they have turned it into a book, after 37,000 kilometres through five months, one car, eight ferries, two flights and a 48-hour train ride – all complete through every province and territory. They've got 100 recipes plus stories and eight log rollers (one without ID – somebody named Peter Mansbridge). Over 80 contributors (farmers, chefs, indigenous elders, nanas) shared their regional dishes. It's as diverse as is Canada, or course, and one book to celebrate the 150. (Also: don't forget the stories – they are everywhere in this handsome book). The arrangement is by course: brekkies, apps, veggie mains, meat mains, seafood mains, sides/salads, desserts, and drinks. Contributors are named and an ID given at the back. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Enough here for two meals a week for the rest of the year.
Audience and level of use: Canadian cooks celebrating Canada and 150 years.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: eggs galiano; curried shrimp; sour cherry and ricotta perogies; spicy haddock and snow crab cakes; giant lobster roll; East coast seafood chowder; venison loin; cauliflower steaks with roasted bone marrow butter.
The downside to this book: in line with the new form of computerized guest lists, all contributors are ranked by their first name and not their last name. Pfui.
The upside to this book: a celebration of the great 150.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Event: Marisco NZ Winemaker's Dinner, with Matt Mitchell, General Manager of the Winery.

The Date and Time: Thursday February 23, 2017  7PM - 10PM
The Event: Marisco NZ Winemaker's Dinner, with Matt Mitchell, General Manager of the Winery.
The Venue: Estiatorio Volos, Richmond Street
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are at, or will be at, the LCBO except for the pinot noirs which are private orders through Authentic Wine & Spirits.
The Quote/Background: Matt left us to taste the wines on our own, and to develop their affinities for the food. Then he went around the table and chatted with everybody. The winery is in Marlborough by the Waihopai River. They focus on sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and pinot noir. There is a high end series which includes a viognier but we had so samplings here. The "Bastard" refers to the single chardonnay as out-of-the-ordinary since it is not really prominent in this region. The export model is label "Legacy", but alas, there were no samples here for us to taste. Matt and I covered a lot of ground about New Zealand wines in Ontario, and we discovered that he went to wine school (Roseworthy) with our mutual friend Joe Will of Strewn Winery in Niagara.
The Wines: I had been exposed to Marisco over the years through the annual New Zealand wine show that passed through Toronto every May. I was disappointed that no Chardonnays appeared (I loved The King's Bastard Chardonnay, which the company changed to King's Legacy on the new export label)...
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marisco The King's Desire Pinot Noir Rose 2016, $19.95 +492926 Vintages April 29
-Marisco The King's Wrath Pinot Noir 2015 $26 Private Order
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marisco The King's Ned Pinot Noir 2014 $19 Private Order
-Marisco The King's Thorn Pinot Gris 2016 $19.95 +490300 Vintages May 13
-Marisco The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $16.60 LCBO +470070
 
The Food: we had a small plates menu, with samplings of flaming saganaki (sheep's milk cheese) with The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, and a trio of horiatiki salad, tiger prawn saganaki, and grilled Moroccan octopus accompanied by the Thorn Pinot Gris and the King's Desire Pinot Noir Rose. The main course was surf and turf: grilled Mediterranean filleted sea bass and beef tenderloin riganato. Here we had both Pinot Noirs. The food was well-chosen for engaging the wine.
The Downside: I had to leave early before dessert (alas, there was no sticky wine either).
The Upside: an engaging one-on-one conversation with Matt Mitchell about the New Zealand wine industry.
The Contact Person: nmonoholias@awsm.ca and matt@marisco.co.nz
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for March 18, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  March 18, 2017.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
W+456020    RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH SAUVIGNON BLANC WO Stellenbosch 2015 $14.95      13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+469700    BOECKEL GEWURZTRAMINER    Alsace 2015    $17.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+480889    CHATEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
 
20 under $20
=========
W+946848    PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO    DOC    2015    $18.95     12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+13755    TOMMASI POGGIO AL TUFO ROMPICOLLO    IGT Toscana    2014    $17.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+23325 BORGO SCOPETO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 $18.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+38117    VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING    St. Urban Vineyard, VQA Niagara Escarpment    2015 $19.95  9.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+46508    PUKLUS PINCÉSZET TOKAJI SEMI-SWEET YELLOW MUSCAT 2015    Tokaj-Hegyalja $16.95  12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+70573    14 HANDS WINERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley 2014 $18.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
R+92536    CHÂTEAU LARROQUE Bordeaux 2012    $15.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+148577    ADRO DA SÉ RESERVA    DOC Dão Udaca 2012 $15.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+203364    ERRAZURIZ ACONCAGUA ALTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON Aconcagua Valley 2014    $19.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
W+225557    ERADUS SAUVIGNON BLANC    Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island    2015 $18.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+251116    HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY TREE WHITE    VQA Niagara Peninsula 2013 $17.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+256834    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ESTATE BOTTLED "OLD VINES" PINOT NOIR VQA Niagara-on-the-lake    2012    $19.95      13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+273672    STORIA ANTICA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE 2014 $17.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+488015 QUINTA DO ESPÍRITO SANTO Vinho Regional Lisboa Casa Santos Lima 2014 $12.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+343509    TESSELLAE VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN    IGP Côtes Catalanes    Domaine Lafage, vignobles d'altitude    2014    $17.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+363150    LE FILS DES GRAS MOUTONS MUSCADET SÈVRE-ET-MAINE SUR LIE    AC 2015    $14.95     12% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
R+379768    SCHOLA SARMENTI ROCCAMORA NARDO' NEGROAMARO DOC Nardò     2013 $16.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+380683    CHÂTEAU DU PORT CUVÉE PRESTIGE MALBEC    AC Cahors    2012    $19.95
12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+413237    GÉRARD BERTRAND SYRAH/GRENACHE    AP Languedoc 2013    $16.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+481416    FAUSTINO RIVERO ULECIA SILVER LABEL RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2009 $17.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
 
20 over $20
=========
R+958868    BARÓN DE LEY RESERVA DOCa Rioja    2011    $21.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+931600    CORIOLE ESTATE GROWN SHIRAZ    McLaren Vale, South Australia 2014    $28.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+109116    BOASSO SERRALUNGA BAROLO DEL COMUNE DI SERRALUNGA D'ALBA DOCG     2011    $41.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+112607    FANTI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2011 $62.95 15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+206409    CONVENTO SAN FRANCISCO    DO Ribera del Duero     2010    $20.95
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+236927    VIÑA HERMINIA RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    Bodegas Vina Herminia 2010 $27.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+279059    LAURENT GAUTHIER GRAND CRAS VIEILLES VIGNES MORGO     2014    $21.95
12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+353086    CASAS DEL BOSQUE GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley 2014    $22.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+421362    2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2014    $22.95 12.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+429308    SPY VALLEY ENVOY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Johnson Vineyard, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, South Island    2014    $29.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+107383    POGGIO VERRANO DRÒMOS    IGT Maremma Toscana 2007    $39.95
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+189126    JEAN-MAX ROGER CUVÉE GENÈSE SANCERRE 2015 $27.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+340513    BRANDLIN ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON     Mount Veeder, Napa Valley    2013 $59.95     15.6% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+374454    ASTROLABE VALLEYS PINOT NOIR    Wairau Valley, Marlborough, South Island 2014    $23.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+472480    STONEY RIDGE EXCELLENCE MERITAGE    VQA Niagara Peninsula 2014 $24.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+472811    VIÑA HERMINIA EXCELSUS DOCa Rioja 2012    $23.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+481044    JUNIPER ESTATE CHARDONNAY Margaret River, Western Australia    2014    $34.95   
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485219    ROLAND LAVANTUREUX VAUPRIN CHABLIS 2014    $36.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 87
R+660597    FESS PARKER PINOT NOIR Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara 2013  $34.95 14.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+488585    LE G DE CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD  Bordeaux Blanc Sec 2015 $27.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+655399 STAGS' LEAP WINERY MERLOT Napa Valley 2013 $39.95 14.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: Taste Ontario Toronto; VQA Wines of Ontario March 7, 2017

1. The Date and Time: Monday March 6, 2017  11AM to 4PM
The Event: Taste Ontario Toronto; VQA Wines of Ontario
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: wine trade (media at 11, trade at 1)
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available at winery or LCBO. The catalogue had full details with names of contact persons.
The Quote/Background: Over 40 wineries participated, from Lake Erie North Shore, Niagara Peninsula, and Prince Edward County.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine; there were 130. Prices are retail. Scores are added for each wine.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (90+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
90 Stratus Vineyards    Stratus White    Niagara Lakeshore    2013    13.8    +660704 $38
90 Tawse Winery    Tawse Chardonnay    Niagara Peninsula    2013    12.5    N/A     $20.15    
94 Thomas Bachelder    Chardonnay Mineralité    Niagara Peninsula    2014    12.50% N/A     
92+ 2027 Cellars LTD     Wismer Vineyard - Foxcroft Block - Chardonnay    Twenty Mile Bench    2014    12.8    +421362 Vintages     $22.95    
92 Adamo Estate Winery    Oaked Chardonnay Willms Vineyard 2014    Niagara On The Lake    2014    13.8%    N/A     $31
92 Cave Spring Cellars    Riesling CSV    Beamsville Bench    2015    11.5%    +566026 $29.95    
94 Southbrook Vineyards    Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay    Four Mile Creek 2013 13    N/A $50 90 Southbrook Vineyards    Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot '101' Cabernet Franc    Four Mile Creek    2013    12.5    N/A     $34.95    
90 Chateau des Charmes    Rosé sparkling wine Méthode Traditionnelle    Niagara-on-the-Lake    2014    12.5    +78055     $29.95    
94 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery    Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut    VQA Niagara Peninsula    NV    12%    +217505     $33.84    
93+ Icellars Estate Winery    Chardonnay    Niagara-on-the-lake    2014    13.5    $35
90 Icellars Estate Winery    Pinot Noir    Niagara-on-the-lake    2015    13    $45
90 Malivoire Wine Company Bisous Brut Nature Beamsville Bench NV    12    N/A     $34.95    
90 Closson Chase Vineyards    Closson Chase South Clos Chardonnay    Prince Edward County    2014    12.5    N/A     $39.95    
90 Domaine Queylus     Pinot Noir Signature    Niagara Peninsula    2013    13    N/A    
90 Flat Rock Cellars    Pinot Noir    Twenty Mile Bench    2014    13%    1545     $20.20    
92 Flat Rock Cellars    Chardonnay    Twenty Mile Bench    2015    13.5%    +681247     $18.95    
93 Flat Rock Cellars    Riddled Traditional Method Sparkling    Twenty Mile Bench    2010    12%    +383315     $29.95    
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 89.5 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
88 Flat Rock Cellars    Riesling    Twenty Mile Bench    2015    9.5%    +43281     $16.95    
89 Good Earth Vineyards & Winery (The)    Riesling Beamsville Bench 2014 9.6     $21.95    
89 GreenLane Estate Winery Tenacious C[hardonnay] Lincoln Lakeshore 2014 13.2     $19.95    
88 GreenLane Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Lincoln Lakeshore 2012 13.5     $32.95    
88+ Cooper's Hawk Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay Ontario 2015    11%    +453167     $14.95    
89+ Creekside Estate Winery    Chardonnay Queenston Road Vineyard    St. David's Bench    2014    13         $24.95    
88 Creekside Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon    St. David's Bench    2012 13.5 $40
89 Domaine Queylus Chardonnay Tradition    Niagara Peninsula    2014    13    N/A     $24.95    
89+ Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery    Estate Chardonnay    VQA Short Hills Bench    2015    13.5    268342     $22.54    
89 Magnotta Winery G. Marquis Chardonnay Niagara-on-the-Lake 2015    13.6    N/A     $17.95    
89 Magnotta Winery    Magnotta Enotrium Gran Reserva    Niagara Peninsula    2012    15.5    N/A     $60.15    
88 Meldville Wines Meldville Sauvignon Blanc Lincoln Lakeshore 2015 13.8 N/A     $20.20    
89+ Meldville Wines    Meldville Chardonnay    Lincoln Lakeshore    2015    13.2 N/A $20.20 89 Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard    County Chardonnay     VQA Prince Edward County    2014    11.4%    N/A     $45.20    
89+ Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard    Chardonnay    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2014    12.2%    +184432     $39.20    
89 Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard    Pinot Noir    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2015    11.9%    208702     $45.20    
89 Nyarai Cellars    Viognier    Niagara Peninsula    2015    13%         $22.95    
88 Pelee Island Winery    Vinedresser Chardonnay    Lake Erie North Shore    2012    13%    492462     $17.75    
88 Rapscallion Wine Company     Frisky Beaver Shades of Grey Chardonnay    VQA Ontario     2015    12.8%    490383     $14.95    
89 Redstone Winery    Redstone Cabernet    Niagara Peninsula    2013    13    NA     $19.95    
89 Domaine Queylus     Pinot Noir Reserve    Niagara Peninsula    2012    13.5    N/A    $45
89 Fielding Estate Winery     Riesling      Niagara Peninsula    2014    10.5    +146761 $15.95    
88+ Reif Estate Winery    Reif Estate Chardonnay Reserve    Niagara River    2014    13.5 %    +252163     $22.15    
89 Reif Estate Winery    Reif Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve    Niagara River 2014    13 %    +304162     $30.15    
88+ Rosewood Estates Winery    Origin Chardonnay     Beamsville Bench    2014    13 $28.95 89 Chateau des Charmes    Equuelus    St. David's Bench    2012    13.5    319525     $42.00    
89+ Chateau des Charmes    Old Vines Riesling, Estate Bottled    Niagara-on-the-Lake    2014    12    277228     $17.95    
88 Chateau des Charmes    Cuvée d'Andrée Rosé, Estate Grown & Bottled    Niagara-on-the-Lake    2015    12.6    333260     $15.95    
89 Rosewood Estates Winery Origin Cabernet Franc Niagara Peninsula 2014    13.2    $29.95    
89 Southbrook Vineyards    Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay    Niagara Peninsula    2015    12.5    N/A     $22.95    
89 Southbrook Vineyards    Southbrook Triomphe Pinot Noir    Niagara Peninsula    2015    12.5    N/A     $29.95    
88 Stoney Ridge Estate Winery     Excellence Pinot Noir     Niagara Peninsula    2015    12.5%    N/A     $29.95    
88 13th Street Winery    Cuvee Rose NV    Niagara Peninsula    NV    12.5%    147504 $27.95    
88 2027 Cellars LTD    Queenston Road Vineyard' Pinot Noir    St. David's Bench    2013    13    421370     $35.00    
88 2027 Cellars LTD    2027 Cellars Falls Vineyard Riesling    Vinemount Ridge    2016    10    n/a     $18.95    
88 Adamo Estate Winery    Gewurztraminer Wismer - Lakeview Vineyard 2015    Twenty Mile Bench    2015    12.9%    N/A     $19.95    
89 Adamo Estate Winery    Pinot Noir Lowrey Vineyard 2014    St. David's Bench    2014    12.8%    N/A     $34.75    
89 Thomas Bachelder Wismer Vineyard Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench 2012 12.5    $44.95    
88 Thomas Bachelder    Pinot Noir Parfum    Niagara Peninsula    2014    12.5         N/A     
89+ Thomas Bachelder    Wismer-Parke Pinot Noir    Twenty Mile Bench    2014    13    $44.95    
88 Westcott Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay    Vinemount Ridge 2015 12.9 N/A     $32.95    
89 Westcott Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir     Vinemount Ridge    2013    13.5    N/A     $30.00    
88 Two Sisters Vineyards Eleventh Post    Niagara River    2012    14%    N/A     $39.00    
88 Cave Spring Cellars    Chardonnay CSV Beamsville Bench 2014 13%    +529941     $29.95    
89 Cave Spring Cellars    Pinot Noir Estate    Beamsville Bench    2015    13%    +246561 $39.95    
86 Stratus Vineyards    Tollgate Red    Niagara-on-the-Lake    2014    13.5    N/A    $22 88+ Stratus Vineyards    Stratus Red    Niagara Lakeshore    2012    13.8    +131037     $44.00    
89 Tawse Winery    Tawse Riesling    Niagara Peninsula    2015    10    NA     $16.05    
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
86 Fielding Estate Winery     Estate Bottled Chardonnay    Lincoln Lakeshore    2015    12.5    +355842     $21.95    
86 GreenLane Estate Winery    Riesling    Lincoln Lakeshore    2014    10.9         $12.95    
86 Icellars Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Niagara-on-the-lake    2015    13     $50.00    
85 Icellars Estate Winery Arinna    Niagara-on-the-lake    2014    13         $39.00    
86 Creekside Estate Winery Iconoclast Syrah St. David's Bench 2013 12.2         $22.95    
85 Vieni Estates Wine and Spirits    Sauvignon Blanc    Vinemount Ridge    2013    13    N/A
86 Pelee Island Winery    Vinedressers Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot    Lake Erie North Shore    2012    13%    492470     $19.75    
86 Redstone Winery    Redstone Redfoot Vineyard Viognier 2015    Lincoln Lakeshore    2015    13    N/A     $29.95    
86 Stoney Ridge Estate Winery     Gewurztraminer    Niagara Peninsula     2015    13%     N/A     $14.95    
86 Meldville Wines Meldville Cabernet Franc Lincoln Lakeshore 2015 13    N/A     $27.00    
85 Mike Weir Estate Winery    Chardonnay    Niagara Peninsula    2016    12.5    26     $14.95    
86 Stoney Ridge Estate Winery     Excellence Merlot     Niagara Peninsula     2015    13.5%    na     $24.95    
85 Vineland Estates Winery    Cabernet Merlot    Niagara Peninsula    2015    12.5    $15.00    
85 Westcott Vineyards Violette Sparkling Brut Vinemount Ridge NV    12.3    N/A     $25.95    
87 Aure Wines    Viognier    Ontario    2015    11.2         $15.95    
86 Two Sisters Vineyards Riesling    Niagara Escarpment 2015    10.7%    n/a      $35.00    
87 Tawse Winery    Tawse Pinot Noir    Niagara Peninsula    2013    13    NA     $22.15    
86 Rosewood Estates Winery Select Series Merlot Niagara Escarpment 2013    13     $19.95    
 
The Food: WMAO graciously provided a variety of baguette sandwiches, wraps, salads, and grains – plus some desserts and coffees.
The Downside: I had to leave early for another engagement, but I did spend almost 3 hours tasting what I could.
The Upside: a chance to catch up with VQA wines ahead of the Ontario Wine Awards.
The Contact Person: magdalena@wmao.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Event: New Gems and Old Favourites from Northern Italy

The Date and Time: Thursday, February 9, 2017  11AM to 3PM
The Event: New Gems and Old Favourites from Northern Italy
The Venue: Chef's House, George Brown College
The Target Audience: wine trade, media
The Availability/Catalogue: There were four wines at the seminar and about a dozen more for just the trade. The agents were there to sample wines and perhaps sign up an Italian winery to represent. Reps from the wineries had just arrived from Miami and warmer weather.
The Quote/Background: We began with a short talk on the traceability and regulation of Italian DOC wines from Federdoc, and then moved on to the seminar moderated by Michael Fagan. About 40 attended the seminar and the panel presentation. None of the wines are currently in the Ontario marketplace. The Friuli region is in the process of regularizing its name on the label.
The Wines: Hey, I tried every wine!
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Villa Mattielli San Giacomo Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2014 $25–30 USD retail
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Scusa Ribolla Gialla Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC 2015
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Casa Vinicola Antonutti Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave DOC 2015, $18-29 USD retail
-La Scusa Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC 2015
 
The Food: a light buffet lunch included roast pork loin with mushroom sauce and roasted roots of potatoes, carrots and onions. There was also a vegetarian lasagne and a green salad followed by a dessert.
The Downside: I thought that there would be more interplay with the audience, especially since there were only 4 wines.
The Upside: it was good to sit and break bread with some agents, something we don't normally do.
The Contact Person: p.titone@ice.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, March 9, 2017

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

1.A SPOT AT THE BAR (Hardie Grant, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-174379131-8, $29.99 USD hardbound) is by Michael Madrusan and Zara Young who together run The Everleigh Bar in Melbourne. This is "the art of good drinking in three hundred recipes". The stylish book  covers aperitif hour, beer, wine, savoury drinks, digestifs, nightcaps, and various specialties. There is also memoir material about bar life in Melbourne and about the drinks themselves. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: drinkers looking for a bar book.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: palma fizz; rumble; blue collar cocktail; andy shandy; drowsy girl; fog cutter; diamond fizz; Toronto [rye & fernet-branca]
The downside to this book: a bit too much about Australia, although it is an Australian book.
The upside to this book: a welcome addition to bar literature.
Quality/Price Rating: 86
 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SOME NEW WINES TASTED THIS MONTH --

SOME NEW WINES TASTED THIS MONTH --
 
1.Luigi Bosca Malbec 2013 Single Vineyard Lujan de Cuyo +74922 Vintages, $21.95: aged in new French oak for 14 months with ML fermentation. Highly structured but with red fruit and mocha tones, not light (14% ABV. Oak aging adds some toastiness.
Better with food such as heavy meats. Quality/Price rating is 99 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
2.Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot Estate 2012 VQA Short Hills Bench, +395855 Vintages, $24.95: both cabernet franc and sauvignon are used in this Bordeaux-styled blend which comes across as a mid-Atlantic version of Cali/Bordeaux New World and Old World. It is still in its youth at 4 years of age, and it would be a shame to consume it this young. You could do what I did: open it and drink it over a couple of weeks, exposing it to air gently or speeding up the process by double-triple decanting. You will get several different wines out of one bottle over the course of time. Extended maceration in stainless, followed by French and US oak (40% new) for 18 months. Currently, you could match it with heavy meats. 14% ABV on label. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc 2015 IGP Pays d'Oc +409870 March 18 Vintages, $16.95: from between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees, and from two different grenache varieties (noir and gris). Red fruit all the way, with very pale pink and grey colours. It looks different when viewed from different angles. Aromas of melons are fresh, just almost perfect for lazy summer drinking, so you might want to load up. Twist top. 13% ABV.
Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Languedoc Red 2013 +413237 March 18 Vintages, $16.95: a blend of syrah and grenache, promising both black fruit and red fruit tones at an affordable price. Local garrigue is apparent, complemented by some fennel. Part of the wine is transferred over to oak barrels where it is aged for roughly 10 months. 13.5% ABV.
Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Fess Parker Pinot Noir 2013 Sta. Rita Hills +382333 March 18 Vintages, $33.95: lots of bright red fruit such as raspberries, with spicy-toast woodsy points and some vanilla and pepper. From three different vineyards in the region, finishing off at 12 months in 1/3 new French oak. A whopping 14.2% ABV may still need to be tamed despite its quaffability. Juicy-jammy California wine all the way. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
6.Southbrook Triomphe Pinot Noir 2015 VQA Niagara Peninsula [Organic], +621605, $29.95 Winery only: natural fermentation with 40% whole clusters, aged 9 months in large French oak (12% new oak), 12.5% ABV. It's what a natural pinot noir should be: red fruit dominated by cherries, some forest floor, and a seam of acidity in the finish for food. At a recent cool climate pinot noir tasting with a group that had been tasting wine together for 30 years, I made it a Mystery Wine (the other 10 wines had already been determined for months), and it went up against Burgundy (half the wines), Oregon, New Zealand, and Ontario. In the final vote, seven of the tasters – including me – ranked it in their top three wines; it was exceeded only by a pair of $100 Burgundies. I thought it needed more time, but obviously others were ready to drink it now. Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2014, $26.95 Vintages June 24 or TBD: this wine is cool climate from the coast coolness in the evening and the early morning, and with fruit crafted by an experienced Canadian winemaker who knows cool climate. Expect a combo of black cherry-berry, underbrush and earth, balanced but low oaking, some mocha, fennel spices. Very savoury -- I had it with haggis; it went very well. 100% French oak, 17% being new. Not a heavy pinot noir (only eight months in barrel), unlike many others from California. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2015, +158683 Vintages June 24 or TBD $26.95: this is a Vintages re-order of the Monterey appellation Chardonnay from La Crema, but for the later 2015 harvest. Last time the release in Ontario was at the same price, when the CAD was better. So it becomes more of a bargain now. It is pretty much a cool climate chardonnay and fills a niche in the California Chardonnay landscape. It's angularity stresses brightness in the orchard fruit, with a nice lemony finish and refreshing pineapple acidity. Most of it was aged for 5 months in primarily French oak (20% new), the balance in stainless; the 13.5% ABV is down a bit from the 2013. Nuances of light oaking show with a reduced vanilla feel but still with a full body. A food wine, not a sipper (fish, first course, chicken), Good price. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
9.Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2015 California, +369686 Vintages Essentials $19.95: a killer wine winner since 1982, the KJC is at Vintages Essentials, although given that the brand is sixth in US sales by dollar values (sells for $12.10USD on average) and should be selling equally well here, it ought to be a General List wine. It's always been barrel-fermented in part and exploits a creamy palate and finish. All chardonnay from Monterey (56%), Santa Barbara (27%), Mendocino (15%) and Sonoma (2%) done up sur lie and aged seven months in 44% French and 53% US oak. Good integration of off-dry tropical flavours on the mid-palate with vanilla and cream, followed by slight oak nuances in the finish. A key example of a winemaker's wine blend: consistent from year to year. With a plastic cork there is no need to store – drink as you buy. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, March 5, 2017

* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
...all reflect a boom in cookbook publishing. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
 
20.THE NAKED COOKBOOK (Ten Speed Press, 2015, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-994-3, $24.99 USD hard/softbound) is by Tess Ward. It was originally published in the UK by Quadrille, and this is the North American printing. Ward is a London-based food blogger who has worked at Ricer Cottage and The Ritz. The preps are for you to eat: raw, pure, stripped, bare, nude, clean and thus detox. Even down to the physical book itself (just boards for covers, no spine at all (just stitching) – to emphasize how serious it all is. Clean eating will give you more energy. Help you to lose weight, and ultimately purify (detox) your body. It is a good lifestyle with uncomplicated and simple recipes. Her "naked" yogurts include such as basil yogurt dressing, cumin yogurt dressing, and cilantro yogurt dressing. He naked dips include goat milk ricotta, wasabi crème fraiche, and a cucumber-radish-goat cheese raita. Along with sauces, they add a huge variety of flavours to basic everyday food such as molasses and ginger pork balls with bok choy, or avocado boats with peas-feta-mint. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Lots of pantry advice. Small typeface is used for the index. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
21.THE SOUTH OF FRANCE COOKBOOK (Weldon Owen, 2015, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-68188-053-2, $35 USD hardbound) is by Nina Parker, a London-based chef and caterer. It was originally published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK in 2014; this is the North American printing. It is arranged by meal, from breakfast through lunch, teatime, canapes, dinner and dessert. The subtitle confines it by saying "recipes and stories from St. Tropez", although the dishes are evocative of the region (eg, "le sticky bun", apricot and almond jam, or provencal tomatoes). The stories/memoirs are hers of course. But while the picture of the ruby red roasted duck La Verdoyante (from the nearby restaurant in Gassin) is phenomenal, there are also many pix of just her in various settings.
Preparations have their ingredients listed mostly in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
22.PICNIC IN PROVENCE (Back Bay Books – Little, Brown and Co., 2015, 2016, 368 pages, $15.99 USD soft covers) is by Elizabeth Bard, a US journalist based in Provence. She had previously written "Lunch in Paris", and continues the French theme of memoirs + recipes with this volume about Provence. This is a memoir about love and marriage and family, moving from Paris to Provence and setting up an artisanal ice cream shop. Local recipes are included (and indexed), such as broiled whole sea bass with lemon and herbs, or salade composee au foie de volaille. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
23.VARIETAL WINES (Hardie Grant, 2015, 308 pages, ISBN 978-1-74270860-7, $44.95 CAD hardbound) is by Oz wine critic James Halliday who has been at it for 45 years. He has written or contributed to more than 70 books on wine. This book was originally published in 2004, profiling 84 varieties of grapevines grown in Australia. Since that time, more have been added to the viticulture in Oz, and the book's coverage has grown to 130 varietal wines. Every varietal in Oz still remains set in an international context here. These are the classic (cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, chardonnay, riesling), second tier, and alternative varieties currently grown in Australia. He's got histories for all, along with diversity of regional styles, the best producers, and production stats from Oz and the ROW. Details of the lesser 95 red and white varieties are also given, although a case could be made for also separating these "lesser"  into two tiers by at least name recognition. Aucerot? Biancone? In the same listing as Pedro Ximenez? As Silvaner? Or Prosecco? The public's fancy seems to dominate, as Prosecco will surely ascend in the rankings, which is how Pinot Grigio (a second tier white if there ever was one) got to be a "classic" of the same ranking as chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. And whatever happened to Malbec? There is not a mention of it in his book, yet it has been grown in Australia for decades. Just check out www.vinodiversity.com/malbec.html#inoz
Quality/price rating: 84.
 
 
 
24.VEGETABLES; the essential reference (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 516 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-71528-8, $35 USD hardbound) comes from the editors of Eating Well magazine. I was once a charter subscriber while the magazine was part of the Canadian cooking landscape situated in Vermont. It is now owned by Meredith Corporation, home of Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Martha Stewart Living, and many others dealing with home life. Most of the preps here have appeared in Eating Well, and contributors are noted. You could try Bruce Aidells' Bavarian leek and cabbage soup or pork & shrimp stuffed eggplant, Lidia Bastianich's braised greens and cannellini bean panini, or Mario Batali's penne alla primavera. Alice Waters contributes a sauteed Brussels sprouts with bacon and onions, while Deborah Madison encourages us with roasted sweet potato wedges. Even Toronto's own Naomi Duguid is here (fish sauce with chiles). Even an impressive book such as this one required some log rolling. There are 101 veggies, arranged A – Z with 200 recipes (some use meat too, so the book is not all vegetarian). There are basic descriptions, cooking technique styles, nutritional data, colour photos and recipes for each. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. There are special interest indexes for gluten-free, heart-healthy, and vegan. There is even a short section on how to read an Eating Well recipe! Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
25.BROOKS HEADLEY'S FANCY DESSERTS (W.W.Norton, 2014, 2016, 273 pages, ISBN 978-0-393-35238-2, $24.95 USD paperbound) is by Brooks Headley, former executive chef at Del Posto now chef-owner of Superiority Burger. He has also written food articles for the press. The preps here were created while he was running pastry at Del Posto's. This is the paperbound reprint of a 2014 hardbound book; he has left Del Posto in the meanwhile. Still, he won a Beard while at Del Posto. His approach: fruit is king, veggies can be used in desserts, acidity is the key, and simplicity is the goal. So he has 50 pages on such as cucumber creamsicle, candied cucumber, avocados and strawbs, carrot sauce, and: fried Roman artichokes with ricotta gelato, honey and matzo chocolate. He's got tips, photos of techniques, stories about other pastry chefs in NYC, and a variety of eclecticisms. As Bill Buford said, Headley is "brave, extreme and wacky. It is the best anti-cookbook cookbook I have ever read."  Throughout, there is a trail of salt, vinegar and breadcrumbs. In true baker style the ingredients are scaled: preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
26.THE HAPPY COOKBOOK (St. Martin's Griffen, 2015, 2016, 248 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-09227-4, $24.99 USD paperbound) is by Lola Berry, an Australian nutritionist who devised a 20/20 Diet based on her years of experience helping people to shed excess pounds. Her book was originally published in Australia last year by Pan Macmillan, and this is its US debut. The subtitle says it all: 130 wholefood recipes for health, wellness, and a little extra sparkle. Some preps are sugar-free, others are gluten-free, and there are some paleo delights as well. It is all arranged by form, with chapters on smoothies, loaves, salads, veggies, brekkies, surf and turf, and ending with desserts and sweets. It concludes with a series of festive menus, and the dishes listed have page references. Her biggest contribution is the happy thoughts that one needs for a stress-free existence. The 20/20 diet, not really given here, is a way to lose 20 kilos (44 pounds) over 20 weeks. I think all the preps here are part of that diet, but there is no rigour involved. Typical are spiced roasted sweet potato with pecans and creamy tahini dressing, quirky carrot salad, poached chicken salad with maple-roasted pumpkin, feta and pepitas, and broccoli and chickpea patties with tahini and lime dressing. But too many pix of Lola deter from an interesting book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
27.POSH – EGGS (Quadrille, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-788-6, $19.95 USD hardbound) is one of a publishers cookbook series. Here it celebrates upscale uses for eggs, ranging from advocaat to zabaglione. The publisher says that the egg is the original superfood, and they are right. Here are over 70 recipes: kedgeree at breakfast, green shakshuka at lunch, crab souffle at dinner (with iles flottantes for dessert). Preps are mainly quick, come with a photo, have a somewhat British/Australian twist, and easy to read instructions. Lucy O'Reilly did the writing and the food styling. It's arranged by mealtime. Try bacon salad with beetroot and quail eggs, or sole maltaise. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
28.POSH – TOAST (Quadrille, 2015, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-700-8, $19.95 USD hardbound) is one of a publishers cookbook series. Here it celebrates upscale uses for toast, which it claims is the ultimate fast food. Platforms will vary, but toasts can be made from sourdough, corn tortilla, spelt, seeded, rye, and then made into open faced sandwiches, crostini, even panini. Over 70 recipes are arranged by mealtime, from breakfast through snacks to dinner. Preps are mainly quick, come with a photo, have a somewhat British/Australian twist, and easy to read instructions. Emily Kydd did most of the the recipe writing and the food styling. The range is from anchovy spread to white bean puree. You may want to try mozzarella and kale pesto, spiced potted crab, or chipotle prawns and corn avocado crème tostada. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
29.THE ILLUSTRATED KITCHEN BIBLE (DK Books, 2008, 2016, 544 pages, ISBN 978-
1-4654-5155-2, $24.96 USD paperbound) is by a book packager, with Victoria Blashford-Snell as editor-in-chief. She runs her own catering firm, teaches, acts as a presenter on UK TV, and has written eight popular cookbooks. Here she assembles 1000 preps plus some 3,000 colour instructional photos for techniques. She has menu planners, shopping lists, easy step developments, an idea of what can be made ahead, and ideas for both leftovers and holdovers. All courses, all foods, and all seasons are covered here. Each prep has an indication of serving numbers, prep times, and equipment needed, and storage time lengths. Each of the three categories (starters, mains and sides, desserts) has a special table of contents that lists the title of the recipe, a short one or two line description, a small picture, prep times, and storage times, and of course the page reference. Sub-categories for the three
larger groups include a breakdown by topic. For example, for starters, there are topics like seafood starters, snacks on toast, weekend brunch, healthy snacks, party bites, hearty soups, etc.  Some interesting or unusual recipes include herbed fish goujons, anchovy and olive bruschetta, sesame shrimp toast, sausages with lima beans,  and ginger cream sauce. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
30.CANADIAN LIVING MAKE IT AHEAD! (Juniper Publishing, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-988002-27-9, $19.95 CAD paperbound) continues the mega-output from this magazine: I think that this is the 24th book in the series. There are 100 plus recipes for batch cooking, freezing, and other storage. Their Tested-Till-Perfect approach ensures a consistency for a variety of situations, such as weeknights or emergency entertaining. This is stuff you could always have on hand. But of course it also depends on the right storage containers. There are good tips her to prevent freezer burns. It's arranged by course, from apps through pastas, burgers, mains, sides, condiments, and desserts. Each prep has nutritional data and some tips, along with timings. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois for volumes and metric for weight measurements, but there is no table of  equivalents. Try cheeseburger spring rolls or mini Cubanos. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
31.POSTCARDS FROM GREECE (Hardie Grant Books, 2014, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-061-3, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by food and drink writer Rebecca Seal, who has also written "Istanbul: recipes from the heart of Turkey". Her Greek tome was originally published in 2014 as "Islands of Greece" , and for some reason was re-titled on its reissue. So all of the preps here come from places such as Milos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, and other islands. These are regional specialties, presented in order of breads, mezedes, seafood, meat, veggies, and desserts. It is also part travel too with some memoir-type material and photos from her life partner. I was disappointed that Greek wines were not covered since they are approaching now on the mainstage...Try sweet Ester bread, olive oil chocolate mousse, volcanic lamb with egg and lemon sauce, and salt cod fritters. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
32.GRAIN BOWLS (Hardie Grant Books, 2016, 192 pages,  ISBN 978-1-78488-048-4, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Anna Shillinglaw Hampton. It was originally published in hard covers; this is the paper cover reprint. She says that the only tools you will need for this book are: bowl, wooden spoon, knife, frying pan, and saucepan. She introduces "grain bowls", which are (as in the subtitle) mainly bulgur wheat, quinoa, barley, rice,  and spelt. And then she tells how make the perfect grain bowl by layering. Other grains employed include the now-popular  cracked freekeh, buckwheat groats, and kamut. It is a "build-a-bowl", similar to other books which also deal with salads and soups in this build fashion. 80 recipes cover salad grain bowls, vegetarian grain bowls, meaty grain bowls, and diverse dressings and toppings. Well-worth a look for its variety.  Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of  equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
33.SOUPS (Hardie Grant Books, 2015, 2016, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-038-5, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Anna Helm Baxter. It was originally published in hardbound; this is the paperbound reprint. It's a companion book to Grain Bowls (above). These are quick and easy soups for every season and every occasion. The opening chapters deal with  soup design and construction, so then it all becomes a technique. There are sections on quick toppings and quick garnishes. The arrangement starts with chilled, moves on to smooth, to stock-based, and then to hearty. Over 80 recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of  equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
34.BEST DIPS, APPS, & SIDES (The Countryman Press, 2015, 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-581-57421-0, $14.95 USD paperbound) is by Monica Sweeney, a food writer/editor who had previously written "Best Dips & Apps Ever" and "Best Side Dishes Ever" for Hollan Publishing in 2015. This paperback reissue is a selection of preps from those two books, combined for paperbound packaging. There are over 50 recipes here, featuring a spinach/bacon dip, savoury pinwheels, and beef lettuce wraps. It is arranged by function: dips and breads, hearty eats, salads and veggies, and more substantial (but still small plate-sized) pasta-potatoes-casseroles. Each is illustrated and the typeface is great for seniors. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating:  85.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for March 4, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for March 4, 2017.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
R+209874 COLUMBIA CREST H3 MERLOT Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley 2014 $20.95 14.5
% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+472720 VIÑA BUJANDA GRAN RESERVA DOCa Rioja 2009 $27.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+480020 LA GARNACHA SALVAJE DEL MONCAYO    DO Navarra Proyecto Garnachas de España 2014 $14.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
 
20 under $20
=========
W+246140 DIRTY LAUNDRY WOO WOO VINES GEWÜRZTRAMINER BC VQA Okanagan Valley     2015 $18.95    13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+388363 HÃHÃ SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island 2015 $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+408443 PIETRO MARINI TORRONTÉS Salta 2015 $13.95  MVC/QPR:  89
W+464495 DOMAINE BOYAR QUANTUM TRAMINER 2015    $15.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+470955 DOMAINE A DEUX SAUVIGNON BLANC    IGP Val de Loire 2015 $13.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+477737 LUNGAROTTI CABERNET SAUVIGNON IGT Umbria  2014 $14.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+480996 MAYU RESERVA CARMENÈRE/SYRAH Elquí Valley 2014    $15.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+481002 CONCHA Y TORO CASILLERO DEL DIABLO PRIVADA RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON Maipo Valley    2015 $17.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+694737 SPINYBACK SAUVIGNON BLANC    Nelson, South Island    Waimea Estates 2015    $19.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+739995 VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC WO Stellenbosch The Winery of Good Hope    2015 $15.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
R+973271 CHÂTEAU LAMARTINE PRESTIGE DU MALBEC    AC Cahors Alain Gayraud, Prop., Vign. 2013 $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+86106 ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC Margaret River    2016 $18.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+265983 MCMANIS CHARDONNAY River Junction  2015 $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
W+65997 DASHWOOD PINOT GRIS Marlborough, South Island 2015    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485326 FERGIE JENKINS LIMITED EDITION RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    Rockway Vineyards    2014    $15.95     10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+350041 PACO & LOLA ALBARIÑO    DO Rías Baixas 2015    $17.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+353177 SALENTEIN RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Uco Valley, Mendoza    2014    $19.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+467290 ANTON BAUER GMÖRK  GRÜNER VELTLINER    Wagram/Osterreich 2014 $18.95  12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+477976 BARONE MONTALTO COLLEZIONE DI FAMIGLIA PASSIVENTO NERO D'AVOLA IGT Terre Siciliane 2015    $17.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+482455 S. DELAFONT LANGUEDOC    2015    $17.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+483909 PIEDRA NEGRA RESERVA MALBEC    Uco Valley, Mendoza    François Lurton 2015    $17.00
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
20 over $20
=========
R2+4430 CHÂTEAU CANTENAC    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru  2012    $34.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+64329 MEERLUST RUBICON    WO Western Cape 2010 $43.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+74922 LUIGI BOSCA D.O.C MALBEC    Single vineyard, DOC Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza 2013 $29.95    14 % ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
W+140525 DOMAINE BONNARD SANCERRE    AC 2015 $24.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+142240 LOIMER LANGENLOIS GRÜNER VELTLINER DAC Kamptal 2015 $21.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  87
R+142398 WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON Clare Valley/Coonawarra, South Australia 2014 $24.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+204792 BOLLA LE ORIGINI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOC 2009 $47.95 16.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+229781 A TO Z WINEWORKS PINOT NOIR Oregon    2014    $25.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
W+275552 RODNEY STRONG CHALK HILL CHARDONNAY Sonoma County 2014 $26.95 14.5
% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
W+377770 QUAILS' GATE CHARDONNAY BC VQA Okanagan Valley 2014 $23.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+382945 IL MOLINO DI GRACE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2009 $24.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+437681 12 LINAJES RESERVA    DO Ribera del Duero    Bodegas Gormaz 2009 $32.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+438580 QUERCECCHIO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2011 $33.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+472977 VALDEMAR INSPIRACION LAS CANTERAS DOCa Rioja  2012    $34.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+480061 VIÑA OLABARRI RESERVA DOCa Rioja 2011 $21.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+485342 CHÂTEAU DE LAVERNETTE CUVÉE JEAN JACQUES DE BOISSIEU POUILLY FUISSE 2013    $37.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+585737 BURROWING OWL MERLOT    BC VQA Okanagan Valley 2013 $40.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+642496 BARÓN DE LEY GRAN RESERVA DOC Rioja  2010 $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+344416 CASTELGREVE RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG    Castelli del Grevepesa 2011 $21.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
W+461640 WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS 2015 $23.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
 
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Event: 2017 Wines of British Columbia Toronto Trade Tasting

The Date and Time: Wednesday February 8, 2017  11AM to 3PM
The Event: 2017 Wines of British Columbia Toronto Trade Tasting
The Venue: Arcadian Loft
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: Twelve wineries participated, geared to an audience of mainly sommeliers but also wine writers.
The Quote/Background: Ten wines were poured at the seminar led by David Lawrason; the same wines were also in the show itself, along with about two dozen other wines.
The Wines: I was unable to taste all the wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Church & State Wines Lost Inhibitions Red Blend Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot 2015 N/A BC only  **BEST RED TODAY**
-Dirty Laundry Woo Woo Gewurztraminer 2015 $19.99  HHD Imports  March 4 Vintages
-Dirty Laundry Cabernet Merlot 2014 $25.95  HHD Imports
-Joie Farm En Famille Reserve Pinot Noir 2014 $39.90
-Laughing Stock Portfolio Red Blend Merlot, CS, CF, Malbec, PV 2014 $54.95 Licensee Rogers
-Poplar Grove The Legacy Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 +353110 $52
-Sperling Vineyards Chardonnay Vision 2014 +378570 $32    **BEST WHITE TODAY**
-Cipes Brut NV Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc $24.90   N/A
-Cipes Blanc de Noir Pinot Noir Brut 2008 $32 N/A
-Cipes Ariel Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier Brut 1998 $77 N/A
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Burrowing Owl Chardonnay 2014 +208694 $33.95
-Church & State Wines Lost Inhibitions White Blend Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc 2015 N/A BC Only
-Burrowing Owl Merlot 2012 +585737 $40.95
-Laughing Stock Blind Trust Red Malbec, Merlot, CS, CF 2014 $36.95 Licensee Rogers
-Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 2015 +137348 $44.25
-Burrowing Owl Malbec 2014 +284256 $44.25
-Moraine Estate Cliffhanger Red Malbec and Merlot 2014 +464131 $24.95
-Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2016 +467555 $23.95
-Poplar Grove Syrah 2013 $44.95 Trialto
-St. Hubertus Riesling 2014 $17.95  Terroir
-Cipes Rose Brut NV Pinot Noir $26 N/A
-Therapy Vineyards Freud's Ego Merlot, Cab Sauv, Syrah, Cab Franc 2015 $24.95 Dionysus
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Joie Farm Pinot Noir 2014 $26.95
-Joie Farm A Noble Aromatic White Blend 2015 $24.95
-Mission Hill Chardonnay 2014 +281212 $15.95
 
The Food: It was a great idea – amuse bouche style food right in front of each pouring table – smoked fish crostini, pastrami and other meats on some kind of platform, chicken samosas, beef in choux paste. Kudos!
The Downside: I was at the dentist, so I could not make the seminar.
The Upside: a good chance to reconnect with BC VQA wines.
The Contact Person: Lkittmer@winebc.com or Tnykilchuk@winebc.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Event: Wine Australia Winter Trade Tasting with Mark Davidson

The Date and Time:  Tuesday February 7, 2017   11AM to 4PM
The Event: Wine Australia Winter Trade Tasting with Mark Davidson
The Venue: Verity
The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: there was a catalogue with prices indicating availability or N/A. There were 55 wines.
The Quote/Background: Tables were arranged by type – alternative varieties, aromatic whites, chardonnay, pinot noir and grenache, cabernet blends, and shiraz blends (largest). There was a seminar of 14 wines led by Mark Davidson and a team of six local sommeliers. Sixty people attended this seminar; the names of the wines have been folded in to the listing below.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines, and some I could not get to because of the tables and crowds.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tahbilk Goulburn Valley Marsanne 2010  **BEST WHITE TODAY** [not listed at LCBO]
-Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  $32.95
-Kalleske Pirathon Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013 $33.42
-Henschke Keyneton Euphonium Barossa Valley Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2012 N/A
-Vasse Felix Heytesbury Margaret River Chardonnay 2015 +111368 $69.95
-Cullen Diana Madeline Margaret river Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2010 N/A
-Luke Lambert Yarra Valley Syrah 2012  N/A   **BEST RED TODAY**
-Rockford Basket Press Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008 +195254 $94.95 [oldest wine today]
-Bindi Quartz Macedon Ranges Chardonnay 2015  $121.23
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tahbilk Goulburn Valley Marsanne 2016 +117945 $18.95
-Jansz Premium Tasmania Cuvee NV +566828 $26.95
-Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  +489906 $22.95
-Vasse Felix Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 +686543 $43.95
-Tahbilk Glulburn Valley Viognier 2016 $18.95
-Vasse Felix Filius Margaret River Chardonnay 2015 +106103 $24.95
-Bindi Dixon Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2012 $84.65
-Ringbolt Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 +606624 $21.95
-Ulupna Limited Edition Goulburn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $36.95
-Ulupna Royal Phoenix Goulburn Valley Shiraz 2015 $45.95
-Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Heathcote Shiraz 2013 $102.11
-Kay Brothers Hillside McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 $52.92
-Mitolo GAM McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 $52.95
-Langmeil Valley Floor Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014 +140912 $27.95
-Glaetzer Bishop Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015 +627869 $39.95
-Ochota Barrels Sense of Compression Adelaide Hills Grenache 2015 $86,95
-Yalumba The Octavius Barossa/Eden Shiraz 2012 $129.95
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-O'Leary Walker Polish Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2015 $27.55
-Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 $32.95
-Alpha Box & Dice Golden Mullet Fury McLaren Vale Semillon Viognier 2014 +237446 $20
-Tyrrell's Vat 1 Hunter Semillon 2012 +930495 $55.95
-By Farr Tarrside Geelong Pinot Noir 2014 $82.72
 
The Food: platters of international gourmet cheeses, crispbreads, preserves, and grapes.
The Downside: once the seminar was over, the tables were moved back. But there was still so little room that it was difficult to get to all the wines, pour and then spit and dump.
The Upside: most of the discussion came from the sommelier panel, and this was very refreshing.
The Contact Person:  anne.popoff@wineaustralia.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com