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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Re: The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting October 1

93pts!!

Thanks Dean!


Kind Regards,

Mark Cuff
The Living Vine inc.
Organic.Biodynamic.Natural Wines 
**Please note our office has moved**
Twitter/Instagram: @thelivingvine

On Oct 20, 2018, at 7:49 AM, Dean Tudor <dtudor@pathcom.com> wrote:

The Date and Time: Monday October 1, 2018  1PM – 4:30PM
The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting
The Venue: Spoke Club
The Target Audience: wine trade (buyers, sommeliers, media)
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were in stock, a few were private orders. The catalogue booklet (with copious extensive notes on the principals) was accompanied by an order form. The pouring tables were arranged by country.
The Quote/Background: The Living Vine specializes in natural and organic and biodynamic wines from a dozen different countries and multiple regions within. They rep about 100 different wineries with rotating lists of available wines. Mark Cuff, who operates the company, is probably the first "port of call" for many such wines in Ontario. In fact, a decade ago (on February 2008) he was the first one to put on a massive trade show ("Return to Terroir") featuring such wines at the Distillery District. His firm is at www.thelivingvine.ca, and most wines are available through the site.
 
The Wines: I did not try every wine. There were two biodynamic ciders from Bordelet Normandy, Brut Pomme Tendre ($18.95) and Poire Granite ($23.95), and an organic cider from Southbrook (Wild Ferment Cider 2017 $13.30 Lic). In addition, there was a tasting of some 18 wines from Southbrook Winery in Ontario – what I did taste have been folded into the notes below.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BK Swaby Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2016 $49.95
-Brash Higgins CBSV Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun Magnum Adelaide 2017 $112.95 [magnum]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
-Ruggabellus Salumodo Riesling/Semillon Barossa 2014 $75.95 [orange]
-Ruggabellus Archaeus Syrah Barossa 2015 $75.95
-Ghostwriter Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz 2013$103.95
-Hobo Folk Machine White Light Sonoma 2017 $26.95
-Cowhorn Spiral 36 Willamette $37.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Riesling 2016 $19.21 Lic
-Southbrook Biodynamic Bubbly 2017 $25.12 Lic
-Southbrook Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016 $33.60 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay 2012 $43.74
-Southbrook Witness Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  ??
-Portal de Priorat Siuralta Gris Grenache Gris Orange Priorat 2015 $53.95
-Punctum 20,000 Leagues Orange La Mancha 2017 $16.95
-Barmes-Buecher Steingrubler Grand Cru Riesling Alsace 2014 $51
-Fleury Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut NV $67.95
-Grappin Les Greves Burgundy White $98.95  PoW
-Ostertag Jardins Pinot Blanc Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Ostertag Jardins Sylvaner Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Pinte Chardonnay Jura 2015 $36.95
-Ratte Chardonnay Jura $46.95  PoW
-Domaine de la Garreliere Milliard d'Etoiles Touraine $35.95
-Casa Wallace Gold Sauvignon Blanc Piedmont 2014 $27.95
-Cirelli Pecorino Le Marche 2017 $26.95
-COS Maldafrica Cab/Merlot 2014 Sicily $79.95
-Fabio Gea Cul Otte Langhe Nebbiolo Piedmont 2015 $82.95
-Massimago Amarone Veneto $123.99
-Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017 $18.95
-Dry River Gewurztraminer Marlborough $46.95  PoW
-Millton Riverpoint Viognier Gisborne 2015 $31.95
-Valli Old Vine Riesling Otago 2012 $36.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Brash Higgins GR/M Grenache/Mourvedre McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Brash Higgins CHN Chenin Blanc McLaren Vale 2016 $42.95
-Camp Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2016 $29.95
-Camp Chardonnay Sonoma 2017 $29.95
-Cowhorn Viognier Willamette 2015 $52.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2016 $20.90 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rose 2017 $16.67 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Red 2013 $59.93 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Merlot 2016 $25.12 Lic
-Alta Alella Cau d'en Genis Barcelona 2016 $29.95 [xarel.lo]
-Celler Credo Miranius Xarel.lo Penedes $24.95
-Anne de Joyeuse Camas Chardonnay 2017 $13.95
-Batard Langelier Polaris Muscadet Loire $18.95
-Chateau Beru Bourgogne Chardonnay Chablis 2016 $52.95
-Claire Ouzoulias Clos Chantel l'Alouette St. Emilion $39.95
-Ecu Muscadet Classic Loire $22.95 [magnum]  PoW
-Vittorio Bera Moscato d'Asti Piedmont 2017 $29.95
-Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany 2010$288.95 [magnum]
-Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc Gisborne 2016 $29.95
-Millton Crazy By Nature Chardonnay Gisborne $25.95
-Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $34.95  PoW
 
The Food: there was a charcuterie board and a cheese board, plus biscuits and fruit/veggies.
The Downside: I could not taste every wine.
The Upside: It was a good collection, and a chance to catch up with Southbrook Winery (Ontario).
The Contact Person:  mark@thelivingvine.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.

The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting October 1

The Date and Time: Monday October 1, 2018  1PM – 4:30PM
The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting
The Venue: Spoke Club
The Target Audience: wine trade (buyers, sommeliers, media)
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were in stock, a few were private orders. The catalogue booklet (with copious extensive notes on the principals) was accompanied by an order form. The pouring tables were arranged by country.
The Quote/Background: The Living Vine specializes in natural and organic and biodynamic wines from a dozen different countries and multiple regions within. They rep about 100 different wineries with rotating lists of available wines. Mark Cuff, who operates the company, is probably the first "port of call" for many such wines in Ontario. In fact, a decade ago (on February 2008) he was the first one to put on a massive trade show ("Return to Terroir") featuring such wines at the Distillery District. His firm is at www.thelivingvine.ca, and most wines are available through the site.
 
The Wines: I did not try every wine. There were two biodynamic ciders from Bordelet Normandy, Brut Pomme Tendre ($18.95) and Poire Granite ($23.95), and an organic cider from Southbrook (Wild Ferment Cider 2017 $13.30 Lic). In addition, there was a tasting of some 18 wines from Southbrook Winery in Ontario – what I did taste have been folded into the notes below.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BK Swaby Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2016 $49.95
-Brash Higgins CBSV Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun Magnum Adelaide 2017 $112.95 [magnum]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
-Ruggabellus Salumodo Riesling/Semillon Barossa 2014 $75.95 [orange]
-Ruggabellus Archaeus Syrah Barossa 2015 $75.95
-Ghostwriter Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz 2013$103.95
-Hobo Folk Machine White Light Sonoma 2017 $26.95
-Cowhorn Spiral 36 Willamette $37.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Riesling 2016 $19.21 Lic
-Southbrook Biodynamic Bubbly 2017 $25.12 Lic
-Southbrook Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016 $33.60 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay 2012 $43.74
-Southbrook Witness Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  ??
-Portal de Priorat Siuralta Gris Grenache Gris Orange Priorat 2015 $53.95
-Punctum 20,000 Leagues Orange La Mancha 2017 $16.95
-Barmes-Buecher Steingrubler Grand Cru Riesling Alsace 2014 $51
-Fleury Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut NV $67.95
-Grappin Les Greves Burgundy White $98.95  PoW
-Ostertag Jardins Pinot Blanc Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Ostertag Jardins Sylvaner Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Pinte Chardonnay Jura 2015 $36.95
-Ratte Chardonnay Jura $46.95  PoW
-Domaine de la Garreliere Milliard d'Etoiles Touraine $35.95
-Casa Wallace Gold Sauvignon Blanc Piedmont 2014 $27.95
-Cirelli Pecorino Le Marche 2017 $26.95
-COS Maldafrica Cab/Merlot 2014 Sicily $79.95
-Fabio Gea Cul Otte Langhe Nebbiolo Piedmont 2015 $82.95
-Massimago Amarone Veneto $123.99
-Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017 $18.95
-Dry River Gewurztraminer Marlborough $46.95  PoW
-Millton Riverpoint Viognier Gisborne 2015 $31.95
-Valli Old Vine Riesling Otago 2012 $36.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Brash Higgins GR/M Grenache/Mourvedre McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Brash Higgins CHN Chenin Blanc McLaren Vale 2016 $42.95
-Camp Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2016 $29.95
-Camp Chardonnay Sonoma 2017 $29.95
-Cowhorn Viognier Willamette 2015 $52.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2016 $20.90 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rose 2017 $16.67 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Red 2013 $59.93 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Merlot 2016 $25.12 Lic
-Alta Alella Cau d'en Genis Barcelona 2016 $29.95 [xarel.lo]
-Celler Credo Miranius Xarel.lo Penedes $24.95
-Anne de Joyeuse Camas Chardonnay 2017 $13.95
-Batard Langelier Polaris Muscadet Loire $18.95
-Chateau Beru Bourgogne Chardonnay Chablis 2016 $52.95
-Claire Ouzoulias Clos Chantel l'Alouette St. Emilion $39.95
-Ecu Muscadet Classic Loire $22.95 [magnum]  PoW
-Vittorio Bera Moscato d'Asti Piedmont 2017 $29.95
-Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany 2010$288.95 [magnum]
-Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc Gisborne 2016 $29.95
-Millton Crazy By Nature Chardonnay Gisborne $25.95
-Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $34.95  PoW
 
The Food: there was a charcuterie board and a cheese board, plus biscuits and fruit/veggies.
The Downside: I could not taste every wine.
The Upside: It was a good collection, and a chance to catch up with Southbrook Winery (Ontario).
The Contact Person:  mark@thelivingvine.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Re: FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH: HEALING CANNABIS EDIBLES; exploring the synergy of power herbs.

Thanks dean! Looks good.

 

From: Dean Tudor <dtudor@pathcom.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:55 AM
To: blog1 <dtudor2.epicures@blogger.com>
Subject: FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH: HEALING CANNABIS EDIBLES; exploring the synergy of power herbs.

 

[Pat Crocker  will be appearing at the Whole Life Expo 2018 Nov 9 – 11, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, lecturing on “Healing Cannabis Edibles” – how to make your own. She will share her experiences on how to incorporate cannabis extracts into various recipes to create safe and effective home remedies for relief from pain, insomnia, and more. She will explain how it affects the user and how to make safe edibles with reliable doses for those who want to avoid the risks of smoking.]

 

 

HEALING CANNABIS EDIBLES; exploring the synergy of power herbs (Healing Edibles Co., 2018, 252 pages, ISBN 978-1-7753903-0-5, $27.95 CAD paperback) is by culinary herbalist Pat Crocker (with 22 published cookbooks) and journalist Ellen Novack (who specializes in research on plant medicines that complement Western allopathic health care). Together they work well in presenting a “can-edibles” book that is an educational primer and health-oriented cookbook geared to helping people of all ages make informed decisions about can-edibles to improve their health. Currently, there will be no sales of edibles in Canada until a year from October 2018, so one will have to cook one's own edibles at home. The cookbook icon is still the High Times Cookbook, but that book dealt primarily with just adding cannabis to existing preps. Other powerful herbs are also covered: gentian, hawthorn, rose, mullein,  gotu kola, skullcap, ashwagandha, et al. Eight major medical conditions are covered: appetite loss, athletic enhancement, anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, memory, pain, and sleep. Suggestions have been based on herbal research for best health benefits obtained by consuming food, beverages, tinctures, and spa producers. Bear in mind can-edibles are not yet legal, so you'll have to make the foods yourself. Each prep comes with calculations for a standard dose of THC/CBD in every serving. You can experiment safely with this food, but do avoid buffets. The drawbacks to wine pairing with cannabis is twofold – THC remains in body longer as the liver gives top priority to metabolizing alcohol, and if you have side effects from cannabis consumption, then these are intensified. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart (there is one but only for carrier amounts, and the same one is repeated throughout).

Audience and level of use: those wanting to make can-edibles.

Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: smoothies for a variety of conditions; breakfasts; banana bites; mac and cheese minis; quinoa salmon cakes; no-bake energy bars; nerves buster tea blend; raisin oatmeal cookies; calming jellies; “cannamole”; baked chicken wings with canna hot sauce.

The downside to this book: no discussion on effects when mixed with alcohol.

The upside to this book: there is good material on being cautious with the use of cannabis and other herbs, particularly with side effects that come about because of existing medical conditions.

Quality/Price Rating: 90

 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH: HEALING CANNABIS EDIBLES; exploring the synergy of power herbs.

[Pat Crocker  will be appearing at the Whole Life Expo 2018 Nov 9 – 11, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, lecturing on "Healing Cannabis Edibles" – how to make your own. She will share her experiences on how to incorporate cannabis extracts into various recipes to create safe and effective home remedies for relief from pain, insomnia, and more. She will explain how it affects the user and how to make safe edibles with reliable doses for those who want to avoid the risks of smoking.]
 
 
HEALING CANNABIS EDIBLES; exploring the synergy of power herbs (Healing Edibles Co., 2018, 252 pages, ISBN 978-1-7753903-0-5, $27.95 CAD paperback) is by culinary herbalist Pat Crocker (with 22 published cookbooks) and journalist Ellen Novack (who specializes in research on plant medicines that complement Western allopathic health care). Together they work well in presenting a "can-edibles" book that is an educational primer and health-oriented cookbook geared to helping people of all ages make informed decisions about can-edibles to improve their health. Currently, there will be no sales of edibles in Canada until a year from October 2018, so one will have to cook one's own edibles at home. The cookbook icon is still the High Times Cookbook, but that book dealt primarily with just adding cannabis to existing preps. Other powerful herbs are also covered: gentian, hawthorn, rose, mullein,  gotu kola, skullcap, ashwagandha, et al. Eight major medical conditions are covered: appetite loss, athletic enhancement, anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, memory, pain, and sleep. Suggestions have been based on herbal research for best health benefits obtained by consuming food, beverages, tinctures, and spa producers. Bear in mind can-edibles are not yet legal, so you'll have to make the foods yourself. Each prep comes with calculations for a standard dose of THC/CBD in every serving. You can experiment safely with this food, but do avoid buffets. The drawbacks to wine pairing with cannabis is twofold – THC remains in body longer as the liver gives top priority to metabolizing alcohol, and if you have side effects from cannabis consumption, then these are intensified. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart (there is one but only for carrier amounts, and the same one is repeated throughout).
Audience and level of use: those wanting to make can-edibles.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: smoothies for a variety of conditions; breakfasts; banana bites; mac and cheese minis; quinoa salmon cakes; no-bake energy bars; nerves buster tea blend; raisin oatmeal cookies; calming jellies; "cannamole"; baked chicken wings with canna hot sauce.
The downside to this book: no discussion on effects when mixed with alcohol.
The upside to this book: there is good material on being cautious with the use of cannabis and other herbs, particularly with side effects that come about because of existing medical conditions.
Quality/Price Rating: 90
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: Galleon Odyssey Portfolio tasting at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Date and Time: Wednesday Sept 26, 2018  1PM – 5PM.
The Event: Galleon Odyssey Portfolio tasting
The Venue: Shangri-La Hotel
The Target Audience: wine buyers (trade and consumer [the latter at night]), media
The Availability/Catalogue: most everything is either an exclusive for ordering that day via LCBO, or PoW. Others were Vintages, Classics or LCBO Online.
The Quote/Background: The tasting booklet was a model, with bottle shots, info on the wine's provenance, some "scores", prices, vintage year, and where it is in the system. The booklet was in table order. Unfortunately, the tables themselves were in random order, so there was much flipping about the booklet. The wines not for sale via LCBO were listed as PoW, but at least they they could be tasted. Many representatives of the principals were pouring.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines. Prices are retail.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Luis Canas Rioja Crianza DO Magnum 2014 +511592 $38.95
-El Esteco Blanc de Blancs 2017 Calchaqui Salta Argentina $24.95
-Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2015 Aconcagua Chile $84.95 PoW
-Errazuriz La Cumbre Syrah 2007 Aconcagua Chile $84.95
-Fontanafredda Barolo Vigna La Rosa DOCG 2012 Piedmont +40105 $75
-Frescobaldi Castello di Pomino Benefizio Chardonnay Pomino DOC 2016 Tuscany $36.95 PoW
-Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Lamaione Toscana IGT Magnum 2007 Tuscany $249
-Champagne Grand Cru JM Labruyere Prologue Brut NV [grower] $67
-Champagne Grand Cru JM Labruyere Anthologie Brut Rose NV [grower] $79
-Joseph Drouhin Nuits Saint Georges 2015 $79.95  PoW
-Fonseca Hexagon Red VR Peninsula de Setubal 2009 $69.95
-Fonseca Jose de Sousa Mayor VR Alentejano 2015 $52 PoW
-Les Cordeliers Prestige Brut Cremant de Bordeaux NV St Emilion [semillon] $24.95
-Les Cordeliers Prestige Brut Rose Cremant de Bordeaux NV St Emilion [80CF/20M] $24.95
-M. Chapoutier Chante-Alouette Hermitage Blanc 2015 +140541 $89.95 Classics December
-M. Chapoutier Monier de la Sizeranne Hermitage 2013 +182725 $118.95 Classics December
-Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2014 Tuscany $42
-Poggio Al Tesoro Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore 2012 Tuscany $52.95
-Poggio Al Tesoro Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore 2014 Tuscany $79.95 PoW
-Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Merlot 2013 Horse Heaven Hills Washington State $48
-Columbia Crest Kiona Vineyards Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Red Mountain Washington State $59.95
-3 de Valandraud Saint-Emilion 2014 $49.95
-Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Laborde Cabernet Sauvignon $49.95
-Neyers Vineyards Carneros District Chardonnay 2014 Napa $61.99
-Neyers Vineyards Neyers Ranch – Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa $114.99
-Champagne Canard-Duchene Cuvee Leonie NV $45  PoW
-Champagne Canard-Duchene Cuvee Charles VII Blanc de Blancs NV $65  PoW
-Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir 2014 Marlborough $59.95 +466060 Classics November
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gorka Izagirre G22 Bizkaiko Txakolina DO 2016 Basque Country Spain $27.95
-Rolland & Galarreta Rueda DO 2016 $24.95
-Rolland & Galarreta Ribera del Duero DO 2016 $29.95
-El Esteco Old Vines Torontes 2017 Calchaqui Salta Argentina $24.95
-El Esteco Fincas Notables Malbec 2015 Calchaqui Salta Argentina $29.95
-Fontanafredda Barolo Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2013 Piedmont Feb 2019 Vintages  $44.95
-Frescobaldi Tenuta Ammiraglia Alie Rose Toscana IGT Magnum 2017 $52.95
-Domaine Nathalie & Gilles Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent 2016 $51.95
-Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut Corton Grand Cru Les Hautes Mourottes 2013 $109
-Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Rose 2017 +409755 $18.95 October 27 Vintages
-Fonseca Hexagon White VR Peninsula de Setubal 2014 $45  PoW
-Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole Bolgheri Vermentino 2016 Tuscany $25.95
-Chateau Valandraud Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2006 $355 PoW
-Torres Sons de Prades Chardonnay Conca de Barberea 2015 Spain $32.95
-Torres Salmos Priorat 2015 +265710 October Vintages $49.95
-Neyers Vineyards Left Bank Red 2016 Napa $74.99
 
The Food: charcuterie and salumi, Ontario and PQ cheeses, veggies and fresh fruit, dips, tapenade, breads, preserves, mustards, nuts, dried fruit – everything was labeled.
The Downside: the tables were not in booklet order so I had to riffle through it.
The Upside: there was room, a patio, and coffee.
The Contact Person: dshing@galleonwines.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, October 8, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for October 13, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for October 13, 2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "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.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
Fizz - +48801 Louis Bouillot Perle d'Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Bourgogne $19.95
12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
Brandy – +271726 G.E. Massenez Vieux Calvados 700mL $52.95  41% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
Port – +264259 Calem Colheita Single Harvest Tawny Port 2000 $46.95 20% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
W+68015      FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485326    ROCKWAY FERGIE JENKINS LIMITED EDITION RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $16.95    10.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+557165    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2017    $19.95    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+575985    LUIGI BOSCA CHARDONNAY Mendoza     2017    $18.95    13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+450668    TE PA SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2017    $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+948182    LA GRIFFE BERNARD CHÉREAU SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE    Sur lie, AP    Chéreau-Carré     2017    $17.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+453639    SERIOUSLY COOL RED    VQA Ontario    Southbrook Winery    2016    $15.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+568873    KADABRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza    Bodega Estancia    2016    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+269464    SISTER'S RUN EPIPHANY SHIRAZ    Epiphany vineyard, McLaren Vale, South Australia        2016    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+744235    WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Clare Valley, South Australia     2016    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+278564    WIRRA WIRRA CATAPULT SHIRAZ    McLaren Vale, South Australia        2016    $19.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+227983    VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER PINOT NOIR    AC Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise        2015    $18.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+478263    DOMAINE LES PINS CUVÉE LES ROCHETTES BOURGUEIL    AP        2015    $18.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+168690    THUNEVIN-CALVET CUVÉE CONSTANCE    AC Côtes du Roussillon-Villages        2015    $18.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+413211    XAVIER VENTOUX    AP    2016    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+370262    GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LA CLAPE SYRAH/CARIGNAN/MOURVÈDRE AP La Clape    2015    $18.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+568220    TEROLDEGO VIGNETI DELLE DOLOMITI    IGT    Cantina Lavis    2016    $13.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+434373    CANTINE DUE PALME ETTAMIANO PRIMITIVO    IGP Salento        2016    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+399907    SAN VINCENTI CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG 2015 $18.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+398933    ALCEÑO PREMIUM 50 BARRICAS SYRAH    DO Jumilla        2015    $16.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+132597    ESCONDIDO TEMPRANILLO    DO Ribera del Duero    Bodega La Milagrosa    2015    $18.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+575571    LOMA GORDA VINO DE PARCELA CERVERA DE LA CAÑADA    DOP Catalunya    Bodega San Gregorio    2013    $16.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+723452    ONDARRE RESERVA DOCa Rioja        2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+336719    LUIS CAÑAS CRIANZA DOCa Rioja    2015    $18.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
 
20 over $20
=========
W+609297    SOUMAH HEXHAM SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    Yarra Valley, Victoria        2017    $34.95 12.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+205815    DAVIS BYNUM RIVER WEST VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    Russian River Valley, Sonoma County    2015    $29.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+681056    DOMAINE JEAN-PIERRE SÈVE TERROIR POUILLY-FUISSÉ    AC    2016    $30.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+556373    HENRI DE VILLAMONT BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY    AC Bourgogne        2014    $22.95    % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+593053    BLACK SAGE VINEYARD MERLOT    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2015    $29.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+393827    MORAINE PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2016    $31.95    13.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+673798    RAVENSWOOD OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    Sonoma County 2014    $21.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+416172    CHÂTEAU BEL AIR    Cru Bourgeois, AC Haut-Médoc 2011    $27.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+550327    CHÂTEAU LE TEMPLE    AC Médoc    Denis Bergey, prop.    2010    $27.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+961847    CHÂTEAU PUY-BLANQUET    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru        2009    $42.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+438580    QUERCECCHIO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG        2013    $35.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+173211    ALTO MONCAYO VERATON GARNACHA    DO Campo de Borja        2015    $36.95    15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+246728    TARÓN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja        2008    $22.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+520783    16 MILE CELLAR REBEL PINOT NOIR    Unfiltered, VQA Niagara Peninsula        2014    $22.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+622571    CLOS DE LOS SIETE    Uco Valley, Mendoza    Michel Rolland    2014    $23.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Event: the Annual (18th) Sparkling Wine tasting by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, held Sept 25, 2018

The Date and Time: Tuesday, September 25, 2018  3PM to 7PM
The Event: the Annual (18th) Sparkling Wine tasting by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Venue: WWCC Clubhouse
The Target Audience: members of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Availability/Catalogue: all of the 80 or so wines are available in Ontario through the usual distribution channels, including "consignment" or "Ontario winery only". The intent is to showcase to our members what wines would be available for the upcoming Holiday seasons.
The Quote/Background: The WWCC has been holding this tasting every Fall in order to give its members a chance to taste what is in the marketplace for the upcoming Holiday Seasons (Thanksgiving through New Years and St. Valentine's Day) and to write about them. Writers would turn up over the course of a day for the walk-around and taste at their own speed. We the WWCC would like to thank our industry partners (plus Drinks Ontario and WMAO) for the opportunity to sample these wines.
The Wines:  What follows are grape-based wines; the ratings here are MINE ALONE and NOT those of the WWCC group. Each writer rates or writes separately, and there is no cumulative total or averaged rating. This is not a judging competition. My own system divides all wines into three categories: BEST (91+ points), BETTER (88-90) and GOOD (85-87), usually the ranking range of Gold, Silver and Bronze in various wine shows. The wines are then randomly listed within their categories. In general, where there is no LCBO CSPC, then the wine is at the winery and is available by private order.
 
The BEST VALUE wine (quality for money) is: Sieur D'Arques Sas Grande Cuvee 1531 De Aimery Cremant De Limoux NV $18.95 +428086 Roussillon    (60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin, 10% Mauzac) 12.5%ABV.
 
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Producer    Name    Vintage    Price       LCBO#     Region    Grape Varieties    ABV%
-Taittinger    Brut Reserve    N/V    $61.95    365312    Champagne    Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier    12.50%
-Laurent Perrier    Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne    NV     $99.95     158550    Champagne    100% Pinot Noir    12.0%
-Sieur D'Arques Sas    Grande Cuvee 1531 De Aimery Cremant De Limoux    NV     $18.95     428086    Roussillon    60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin, 10% Mauzac.    12.50%
-Trius Winery    Brut Rose    n/v    32.75    184309    Niagara Peninsula    70% Pinot Noir, 23% Chardonnay, 4% Pinot Meunier    12
-Flat Rock Cellars    Riddled Sparkling    2011    $34.95    383315    Twenty Mile Bench    Chardonnay    11.80
-Henry of Pelham    Cuvée Catharine Blanc de Blanc 'Carte Blanche'    2013    $44.95    315200    VQA Short Hills Banch    Chardonnay      11.90%
-Henry of Pelham    Cuvée Catharine Brut    N/V    $29.95    217521    VQA Niagara Peninsula    Chardonnay / Pinot Noir    12%
-Redstone    Pinot Noir Sparkling Rose 2016 $29.95         Niagara    Pinot Noir    13%
-Ravine Vineyard    Brut    NV    $38.00        Niagara Peninsula    Chardonnay    12.5%
-Thirty Bench Wine Makers    Sparkling Riesling    n/v    38.95    n/a    Niagara Peninsula    Riesling    12
-Tawse    Quarry Road Pinot Noir Sparkling Rose 2016 $29.95 Niagara    Pinot Noir    13%
-Tawse    Cuddy Sparkling Riesling    NV    $24.95     546762    Niagara
-Dr. Loosen Dr. L Sparkling Riesling    NV    $14.95 296095 Mosel Riesling    10.5%
-Francois Martenot    Chartron et Trebuchet Cremant de Bourgogne NV    $20.95    571661    Burgundy    Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 12%   
-Featherstone Winery    Cuvee Joy    2013    $34.95    310334    Twenty Mile bench    Chardonnay    12.2
-Château des Charmes    Blanc de Blancs    2014    34.95    423111    Niagara on the Lake    Chardonnay    12.3
-Cono Sur    Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé     NV %13.95 365205    Chile    Pinot Noir    12%
-Jackson Triggs    Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Brut    2015    $29.95     234161    Niagara Peninsula    Chardonnay & Pinot Noir    12.5%
-Tawse    Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling    2016    $20.95     Niagara Riesling    12%
-Redstone    Sparkling Brut 2016 $24.95 Niagara Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir    13%
-Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc de Blancs NV $21.95 460865 Burgundy Chardonnay  11.5%
-Araex    Villa Conchi    NV     $17.95     577148    Catalunya    30% Xarel.lo
30% Parellada 30% Macabeo 10% Chardonnay    11.50%
-Bottega    Gold    2015    $27.95    621458        Glera      11
-Foss Marai    Foss Marai Extra Dry Prosecco    NV    $19.95  729392 eneto Glera    11.5%
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Producer    Name    Vintage    Price       LCBO#     Region    Grape Varieties    ABV%
-Featherstone Winery    Cuvee Joy Rose    2016    $29.95    450700    Twenty Mile Bench    Pinot Noir    12.5
-Westcott Vineyards    Brilliant Sparkling    2013    $34.95     NA    Vinemount Ridge/Ontario    2/3 Pinot Noir & 1/3 Chardonnay    12.9
-Westcott Vineyards    Violette Sparkling Brut    2017    $25.95     438200    Vinemount Ridge/Ontario    2/3 Pinot Noir & 1/3 Chardonnay    12.5
-Peller Estates Winery    Ice Cuvee Classic    n/v    34.75    284547    Niagara Peninsula    70% Chardonnay 30% Pinot Noir    12
-Peller Estates Winery    Ice Cuvee Rose    n/v    35.75    113035    Niagara Peninsula    70% Pinot Noir, 26.5% Chardonnay, 3.5% Gamay Noir    12
-Trius Winery    Brut    n/v    29.75    284539    Niagara Peninsula    70% Chardonnay 30% Pinot Noir    12
-Trapiche    Trapiche Extra Brut Sparkling    NV     $13.90     262261    Mendoza    Chardonnay (70%), Semillon (20%)  Malbec (10%)    12%
-Segura Viudas    Brut Reserva Cava     NV    15.95    216960           50% Macabeo, 35% -Parellada, 15% Xarel-lo    12
-Freixenet S.A.    Cordon Negro    NV    $15.00     261945    Spain    Macabeo, Perellada, Xarello    11.5
-Pierre Sparr    Cremant D'Alsace Brut Reserve    NV    19.95    388603       Alsace     80% Pinot Blanc, 20% Pinot Auxerrois    12.5
-Pierre Sparr    Cremant D'Alsace Brut Rose    NV    19.95    39016    Alsace    Pinot Noir    12.5
-Bellissima    Prosecco Brut    NV    $24.96    548164    Veneto    Glera    11.5
-Oyster Bay Wines New Zealand Ltd. Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut    NV     $22.95     163634    Hawke's Bay    Chardonnay    12%
-Oyster Bay Wines New Zealand Ltd.    Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rose    NV     $22.95     280172    Hawke's Bay    Chardonnay / Pinot Noir    12%
-Megalomaniac Bubblehead    N/V    $29.95 363655    Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir    12.5%
-Les Grands Chais de France Chateau De Montgueret Cremant De Loire Brut     NV    $19.95    217760    Loire        12%
-Ruffino    Prosecco    NV    $16.95     467811    Veneto    Glera    11%
-Strewn    Sparkler    2017    $24 Ontario    Sauvignon Blanc    12.5    Winery   
-Château des Charmes    Brut Sparkling    NV    25.95    224766    Niagara on the Lake    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir    12.5
Château des Charmes    Rose    2014    34.95    78055    Niagara on the Lake    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir    12
-Henry of Pelham    Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut    N/V    $29.95    217505    VQA Niagara Peninsula     Pinot Noir / Chardonnay     12%
-Ethica Wines    Le Contesse Prosecco NV $17.95    516583    Veneto    Glera    11
-Colio Lily Sparkling NV +418657 $17.95 LCBO
-Colio Lily CEV Sparkling Rose NV +618512 $17.95 Vintages
-Burning Kiln Winery    Sparks    2017    $26.95    N/A    South Coast    Pinot Noir    13.1
-MGM Mondo Del Vino Acquesi Brachetto NV    $13.50 375667    Piedmont    Brachetto    6.5
-Vina Casal S.A.    Fresita NV    $14.95 216887    Chile    Macabeo, Perellada, Xarello    11.5
 
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Producer    Name    Vintage    Price       LCBO#     Region    Grape Varieties    ABV%
-Schmitt Soehne    RELAX Bubbles    n/v    $13.95     488593    Mosel    Blend    11%
-Peninsula Ridge Estates Sparkling Riesling 2017$25.15 582072 Niagara    Riesling 9%
-Ravine Vineyard    Charmat    NV $16.95  Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir    12.5% Licensee
-Megalomaniac Sparkling Personality    2017    $23.95 469007 Niagara Peninsula Riesling    9.5%
-Diamond FRESH Sparkling Riesling NV $15.95 441162 Niagara Peninsula Riesling 11.5%
-Diamond FRESH Possibilities Sparkling Rose NV $15.95    341347    Niagara    60Riesling/40Gamay    12.5%
-Konzelmann Estate Winery    Methode Cuve Close Riesling    n/v    18.95        Niagara-on-the-Lake    Riesling    11.5%
-Langguth-Erben Blue Nun 24K Gold Edition    NV    $14.95    518407 11%
-Arterra Wines Canada    Andiamo    NV    $14.95     577130    Niagara Peninsula    Italian Muscat & Riesling, Canadian Vidal    10.5%
-Jackson Triggs    Reserve Method Cuve Close    2016    $15.95     217679    Niagara Peninsula    Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, & Riesling    12.5%
-Jackson Triggs    Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc    2015    $29.95     353078    Niagara Peninsula    Sauvignon Blanc    12%
-Freixenet S.A.    Carta Nevada    NV    $13.30     216887    Spain    Macabeo, Perellada, Xarello    11.5
-La Marca    La Marca Prosecco    NV    17.95    487694    Veneto    Glera    11.29
-Bottega    Bottega Vino Dei Poeti Prosecco Doc    2017    $15.00 897702 Veneto Glera 11%
-Bottega    Bottega Rose Vino Dei Poeti Sparkling    2017    $15.00     277202    Veneto    Pinot Nero; Raboso    11.5%
-La Gioiosa    DOC Treviso Brut    N/V    $14.95    N/A    Treviso    Prosecco    11%
-Sartori    Prosecco Brut    N/V    $14.95    N/A    Treviso    Prosecco    11%
-Santa Margherita    Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore    NV     $19.95     687582    Veneto    Glera    11.50%
-FIOL    FIOL Prosecco    n/a    13.25    394577    Veneto Prosecco DOC    Glera    11
-Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco DOC, Treviso    NV 15.95 394387     Treviso    Glera    11
-Piera Martellozzo    Blue Giovello    NV    $15.20    85316    Veneto    Glera    11
-Casella    Yellow Tail Bubbles    NV     $14.95     229039    South Australia.    74% Chardonnay, 14% Colombard, 11% Semillon    11.50%
-Casella    Yellow Tail Bubbles Rosé    NV     $14.95     229047    South Australia    Chardonnay 70%, Colombard 13%, Semillon 13%, Sauvignon Blanc 4%    11.50%
-Wagner Family of Wines    Conundrum  Blanc de Blanc    2016    24.95    497735    California    Pinot Gris, Muscat, Viognier, Chenin Blanc    12.60%
-Pelee Island Winery    Secco        $14.95    225946        Ontario    11.5
-Pelee Island Winery    Lola Sparkling Rose    NV    $14.95    450981        Ontario    11.5%
-Thirteenth Street Wine    13th Street Cuvée Brut Rosé    NV    $27.95     147504    Ontario    71% Pinot Noir;  29% Chardonnay    12.5%
-PondView Estate Winery    Lot 74 Sparkling    2017    24.95    n/a    VQA Ontario    Vidal Blanc    12
-Konzelmann Estate Winery    Methode Cuve Close Rosé    n/v    18.95        Niagara-on-the-Lake    Merlot    12
 
The Food: breads, biscuits and water, almonds, olives, cheese.
The Contact Person: deantudor@yahoo.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Event: We Are d'Abruzzo Americas Tour 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC.Toronto was their only Canadian stop

The Date and Time: Wednesday September 12 11:30 - 5PM
The Event: We Are d'Abruzzo Americas Tour 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC. Houston and Boston were the USA cities.
The Venue: George Brown College for the seminar; Terroni for the lunch and walkaround.
The Target Audience: wine trade.
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were not commercially available in Ontario, but wineries were hopeful of picking up agencies.
The Quote/Background: There was a seminar led by Michael Fagan with seven producers showing off their wines (I've folded their wines into the rated listings below). The wine bones of the Abruzzo region were discussed and commented on (32,000 hectares of vines, 3.5 million hectolitres of wine of which 800,000 Hl is Multipulciano d'Abruzzo DOC/DOCG. There are 10,000 producers; most white wine is Trebbiano, but Pecorino is their best white wine. Minor conflict of interest: my Italian grandparents came from Abruzzo.
The Wines: I did not try all the wines. Many prices were vague or lacking.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tenuta Ulisse Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP Amaranta 2015
-Valle Martello Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Prima Terra 2012
-Fontefico Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Riserva Titinge 2014  $50 USD [organic]
-Codice Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Riserva Caroso 2013 $29.95 Authentic
-Collefrisio Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Semis 2011
-Il Feuduccio Colline Teatine Pecorino IGT Feuduccio 2017 $28 Woodman
-Dora Sarchese Colline Teatine Pecorino IGT Mimi 2017
-Tenuta Arabona Colline Pescaresi Pecorino IGT Organic Mia Natura 2017  Vino Allegro
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Azienda Tilli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Lupus 2016
-Cantina di Ortona Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Gustav 2013
-Di Sipio Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP Riserva Di Sipio 2013
-Bosco Nestore Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP Riserva 110 2012  Mavirosa Imp
-Azienda Tilli Terre di Chieti Pecorino IGT Concetto 2017
-Bosco Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP Riserva Pan 2013  Mavirosa Imp
-Casal Thaulero Terre di Chieti Pecorino IGP Mr. Peco 2017 $13.95 Authentic
-Ciavolich Colline Pescaresi IGT Pecorino Aries 2017
-Codice Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP Ferzo 2016  $17.95 Vintages October
-Codice Citra Terre di Chieti Pecorino IGP Ferzo 2017 $17.95 Vintages
-Collefrisio Terre di Chieti Pecorino IGT Vignaquadra 2017
-Fontefico Abruzzo DOC Pecorino Superiore La Canaglia 2017
-Dora Sarchese Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC Mimi 2015
-Tenuta I Fauri Abruzzo DOC Pecorino 2017
-Tenuta Ulisse Terre di Chieti Pecorino IGP Ulisse 2017
-Valle Martello Colline Teatine Pecorino IGT Brado 2017
-Valori Abruzzo DOC Pecorino Organic Valori 2017
 
The Food: most of the stand-up luncheon finger food was also presented at the walkaround function. We were enticed by Italian pre-cut cheeses, croquettes, fish and tomato stew, spiducci (arrosticini) lamb skewers, pate on crostini with caramelized onions, white anchovies on crostini, grilled cheese and tomato open faced sandwiches, fresh fruit,  and more. The breads were from their SudForno bakery.
The Downside: the seminar started late, but as there was another tasting, it ended abruptly by 1PM.
The Upside: a chance to taste many Pecorino wines not normally listed by the LCBO, plus a few red reserve wines.
The Contact Person: p.titone@ice.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Event: Taste Artisanal Salon: Premier Edition, Toronto

The Date and Time: Monday September 24, 2018  11AM to 6PM
The Event: Taste Artisanal Salon: Premier Edition
The Venue: St. James Cathedral Centre
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available through LCBO distribution channels, including Destination stores, plus a few PoW (private order wine)
The Quote/Background: These are foods and drinks made in an artisanal manner (mostly small lots or by hand). There were small quantities of rum and of ciders. Chalk, Slate, Gravel brought in ciders from Normandy, in the $14 - $16 range, all as Private Orders. These were from both Pacory and Pierre Huet, and included perries as well (Poire Fermier, Poire Demi-Sec). Grim de Poire and Pommeau de Normandie were also offered, in the $35 range.
The Wines: I did not try all the wines. PoW is Private Order Wine
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gustave Lorentz Gewurztraminer Reserve 2016 $22.95 Vintages
-Martin Berdugo Verdejo Rueda 2016 $22.60 PoW Amethyst
-Chateau Bel-Air La Royere L'Esprit de Bel-Air La Royere 2015 Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux $25.95  AMV-Whiz
-HGA Altos de Torona Rosal 2015 Rias Baixas $25.95  Spanish Destination Store/online
-HGA Bodegas Regina Viarum Via Imperial Mencia 2015 Ribeira Sacra $21 Spanish Destination Store/online
-Tenuta Montenmagno Monferrato Rosso Violae 2017 $25.90 Lic  Heirloom Vine
-Dogliotti 870 Barolo DOCG 2013 n/a. $51 for the 2014. Lic  Heirloom Vine
-Conte d'Attimis Maniago Sauvignon DOC Colli Orientali 2017 $27.10 Lic  Heirloom Vine
-Foss Marai ROOS Brut Spumante +435610 $19.95
-Rossovermiglio Greco 2015 DOC Sannio $21.40  AMV-Whiz
-Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2015  $15.75  AMV-Whiz
-Zorzettig Cabernet Franc 2016 Colli Orientali $20.85  AMV-Whiz
-Arrocal Passion Ribeira del Duero 2012 $25.50  Royal York Discovery store
-Arrocal Seleccion Ribeira del Duero 2012 $33.40  Royal York Discovery store
-Arrocal Angel Ribeira del Duero 2012 $50  Royal York Discovery store
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Martin Berdugo Barrica Ribera del Duero 2015 $18.65 PoW Amethyst
-Martin Berdugo Rosado Ribera del Duero 2016 $17.45 PoW Amethyst
-Chateau Bel-Air La Royere Gormandise de Bel-Air La Royere 2016 Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux $20.95  AMV-Whiz
-Lacey Estates Inox Unoaked Chardonnay 2017 VQA PEC $20.09 Licensee
-Lacey Estates Inspired Gewurztraminer 2016 VQA PEC $16.72 Licensee
-HGA Bodegas Regina Viarum Via Appia Mencia 2015 Ribeira Sacra $19.80 Spanish Destination Store/online
-Dogliotti 1870 Barbaresco DOCG 2014 n/a. $49.40 for the 2015. Lic  Heirloom Vine
-Castello di Roncade Bianco dell'Arnasa DOC Venezia Chardonnay 2015 $23.40 Lic Heirloom Vine
-Castello di Roncade Raboso dell'Arnasa DOC Piave 2014 $25.50 Lic Heirloom Vine
-Terre di Bruca Syrano Syrah IGT Sicilia 2016 organic $23  Lic Heirloom Vine
-Terre di Bruca Quaranta Nero d'Avola IGT Sicilia 2015 organic$23.50   Lic Heirloom Vine
-Anselmi San Vincenzio 2017 +948158 $17.95
-Villacreces Pruno 2016 +312140 $22.95
-Rossovermiglio Fiano 2015 DOC Sannio $21.10  AMV-Whiz
-Tenuta di Trecciano Daniello IGT Rosso Toscana 2013 $37.25  AMV-Whiz
-Zorzettig Schioppettino 2015 $26  AMV-Whiz
-Arrocal Ribeira del Duero 2014 $19.30  Royal York Discovery store
 
The Food: a range of charcuterie and pate, cheeses, breads, preserves (for cheeses), pestos, all from Vinci caterers.
The Downside:  Desbarres Chocolate, which I did not try, was the only food artisan.
The Upside: Chalk, Slate, Gravel brought in ciders from Normandy
The Contact Person: annep@tastesenseltd.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, October 1, 2018

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR SEPTEMBER 2018 [published monthly since 2000]

 
FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR SEPTEMBER 2018 [published monthly since 2000]
======================================
 
By Dean Tudor, Gothic Epicures Writing, deantudor@deantudor.com
Creator of Canada's leading wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.ca
 
These food and wine book reviews are always available at www.deantudor.com and http://gothicepicures.blogspot.ca
 
 
 
1.SANDWICHES WITHOUT BREAD (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018, 214 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-3236-0 $16.99 USD hardbound) is by Ukrainian food writer Daria Polukarova. It is touted as "100  low-carb, gluten free options". No bread is used, but remember – the original Sandwich from the Earl himself was constructed as a platform to absorb moisture and liquids from the spread itself, as well as give it portability away from a table. Neither works well here except for maybe rice cakes (which when I eat tend to splatter puffed rice). So you will need a fork, a plate and a table. She's got the arrangement right: closed sandwiches; open sandwiches; rolls and wraps; one-bit sandwiches; skewers; and sweet sandwiches. Most of it is meatless. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Unfortunately there is no index, just a table of contents.
Audience and level of use: flexitarians, gluten-free dieters
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: sweet and sour tofu lettuce wraps; halloumi bruschetta; onigirazu nori sandwich; sweet potato bolognese sliders; vegan ramen burgers; potato cakes with creamy mushrooms; peanut butter banana bites; polenta sandwiches; hummus and olives crispy chicory bites.
The downside to this book: no index
The upside to this book: good idea, with a minimal amount of flesh (chicken, salmon, tuna)
Quality/Price Rating: 82
 
 
 
2.LANTANA CAFE BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 144 pages ISBN 978-1-84975-972-4 $14.95 USD hardbound) is by Shelagh Ryan, who set up the Lantana Cafe in 2008. It was London's first Australian cafe, now with three locations. It's a nifty brunch-breakfast book, arranged by preps as at the Cafe: fruit, oats, grains; eggs; mains; sandwiches, salads; breads and bakes; preserves; and drinks. The subtitle is "relaxed recipes to start each day". That may be, but the list of ingredients in most preps says otherwise. For example, the first prep of "toasted muesli" is much like granola, and calls for 17 ingredients. Unless you have them all at hand (as at Lantana) you'll be busy mixing and baking in the morning. Bircher muesli is a lot better. Grilled halloumi with roast shallots, beetroot & vin cotto is adventuresome with its 17 ingredients. My fave is the slow-braised beans with ham hock, but it needs to start a day in advance. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
3.FEED YOUR PEOPLE (powerHouse Books, 2018, 310 pages, $39.95 hardbound) is from too packager Leslie Jonath. It begins with concepts of larger cooking, with dishes by Alice Waters, Dennis Lee, Gonzalo Guzman, and others who know how to feed a crowd. This is big-batch, big-hearted cooking and recipes to gather around. Most preps are scaled to feed groups of 10 – 20, with make-ahead strategies, equipment data, and serving suggestions. A lot here is ethnic and rustic, just perfect for a community gathering: tamales, minestrone, chili, paella (big-pan), gnocchi, Korean bossam, seafood boils, Grand Aioli with roasted salmon,. Gorgeously photographed. Takes sharing plates to a new level.
 
4.COOKING FOR FRIENDS  (Whitecap, 2018, 250 pages, $34.95 paperbound) is by David Wood, who ran the David Wood Food Shop in Toronto between 1984 through 1990. In 1987 he wrote "The David Wood Food Book" (Whitecap), a recipe collection based on his shop's and his catering firm's preps. In 1990 he moved to Salt Spring Island in BC where he eventually co-owned the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. This current tool represents both a re-think and an updating of the earlier work (which I had bought). So there is some duplication or changes in recipes (the tomato, artichoke, and feta salad remains, but the flank steak with red wine aioli is now flank steak with anchovy aioli). The older work had no photos, but this one us loaded with them. And metrics have been added to the 150 classical, regional and domestic recipes. Terrific stuff, just as in 1987 - - 31 years ago.
 
 
5.CHINESE STREET FOOD (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018, 316 pages $42.99 hardbound)  is by Howie Southworth and Greg Matza who have been eating their way through China for over two decades. This giftbook is a collection of small bites, classic recipes, and stories from China, with anecdotes from folklore and culture, and interviews with cooks and vendors. Photographed and printed entirely in China. Logrollers include Chinese cooks such as Martin Yan and Ken Hom who encourage us to eat our way through China street by street. Each prep has a transliterated title, English equivalent, and pictograph, such as the huixiang jiubing (fennel frond garlic chive pancakes), xiangchang juanbing (hand-rolled sausage pancake), and beijing kaoya (Beijing-style roasted duck breasts).  American measurements are used but there are conversion charts.
 
 
6.VANCOUVER EATS (Figure.1, 2018, 240 pages, $38.95 hardbound) is by Joanne Sasuri, food and drink journalist living on the West Coast. It's one of a series from Figure.1; the others have involved Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, et al. There are 100 recipes here from the city's leading chefs and bartenders, all tested for the home cook. These are the signature dishes from Vancouver's fave foodie spots. Included are Araxi, Cibo Trattoria, Dirty Apron Cooking School, The Flying Pig, Guu, Hy's Steakhouse, Ocean Wise, Wildebeest, and 38 others – about 2 preps each. There are descriptions of each restaurant as well as pix of personnel and of the finished plate.
 
 
7.SEATTLE EATS (Figure.1, 2018, 214 pages, $37.95 hardbound) is by Julien Perry, a Seattle-based food and lifestyle writer. It's one of a series from Figure.1; the others have involved Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, et al. There are 100 recipes here from the city's leading chefs and bartenders, all tested for the home cook. These are the signature dishes from Seattle's fave foodie spots. Included are
some 40 restaurants of varying type (.g. Jack's BBQ, Single Shot, ChefSteps, and Oddfellows Cafe – all with about 2 or so preps apiece. There are descriptions of each restaurant as well as pix of personnel and of the finished plate.
 
 
8.CASABLANCA (Firefly, 2018, 224 pages, $39.95 hardbound) is by the UK food writer Nargisse Benkabbou, a native of Morocco (www.mymoroccanfood.com), and features 100 preps for family and entertaining. The primer has elements for ras el hanout spice mix, preserved lemons, harissa paste, couscous, Moroccan tea, and, of course, the tagine.  Typical are sweet potato and feta maakouda, artichoke and baby potato and preserved lemon tagine, zucchini and thyme and beef shin tagine, kefta and olive toast, and chicken mchermel. Great photography of the finished plates with (thankfully) few or no touristic photos.
 
 
9.APERITIF (Quadrille, 2018, 160 pages, $33.99 hardbound) is by Kate Hawkins. It's a guide to the drinks, history, and culture of the aperitif, with index. Also included are some 33 chic drinks, such as the martini, the manhattan, boulevardier, and cardinale. In a true sense, each drink is only consumed once – after all, it is an aperitif before a meal. You don't need to drink any one of them all night long.  They refresh the palate, and include gin (of course), Campari, Champagne, pastis, vermouth, sherry, and other palate cleansers. A very smart book.
 
 
10.THE BOOK OF VERMOUTH (Hardie Grant Books, 2018, 208 pages, $42.99 hardbound) is by bartender Shaun Byrne and winemaker Gilles Lapalus. It's a fairly comprehensive survey about the aperitif vermouth. As they say, there are five things to know about vermouth: it is a wine, it tastes great neat, it's the essence of a Negroni, it's not a martini without it, and it should be kept in the fridge. There's some great text here on the history and cultural appreciation, as well as vermouth from around the world, the rules of production, the use of sugar and wormwood, plus traditional botanicals. It has an Australian slant, so there is material about Oz botanicals and finished products.  The preps are arranged by season, beginning with spring, and then moving on through pre- and post-dinner activities. A bibliography finishes it all off. Great stuff.
 
 
11.FLAWLESS (University of California Press, 2018, 226 pages, $38 hardbound) is by renowned wine author and features writer  Jamie Goode. He looks at the main causes of faults in wine, ranging from (as indicated in the contents page) brettanomyces through oxidation, volatile acidity, cork taint, and others – about 13 in all.  Some faults are more like taints – it all depends on your tasting palate's level of enjoyment. Even good tastes have their limits – too much oak? Too much sugar? Too much acid? So they can not realistically be called faults, but rather "flaws" or "taints" or weaknesses. I love a good dose of brett, but I've had it at times where it is overwhelming and off-putting. I love oak – my neighbour abhors it and claims to smell it on my breath. I like oxidation too, but there are limits. However, definite flaws are corkiness, heat damage, volatile sulphur, ladybug and mousiness. So far as I can tell, nobody likes even a smidgin of these flaws. Goode does a good job of explaining; it's also great breakfast reading.
 
 
12.RECIPES FOR VICTORY (Whitecap, 2018, 216 pages, $24.95 paperbound) has been edited by Elizabeth Baird and Bridget Wranich, with research and testing by the Volunteer Historic Cooks at Fort York National Historical Site. This is "Great War" food from the front and the kitchens back home in Canada; it grew out of a Fort York-Culinary Historians of Canada symposium in 2014 which was called  for the centennial of the start of the War. This cookbook has been published (with much added research and preps) in time to celebrate the 1918 conclusion of that War to End All Wars. The teams deal with three distinct kitchens: the war front, the gifts from the home front in the trenches, and the kitchens at home. They cover the role of the army cook, alcohol, food packs from home, problems of surplus, home gardens, and some special topics such as the Children's Potato War Plot Fund. Of course,  there are recipes: each has an original taken from a notebook and a modern equivalent. Usually there are illustrations of drawings and photos. A dynamic work, well-written and well-worth reading over the holidays. Bravo!
 
----------------------------------------------------

Chimo! www.deantudor.com
AND http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
AND https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://winewriterscircle.ca
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com
AND http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
AND https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://winewriterscircle.ca
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for September 29, 2018

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for September 29, 2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "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.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
Rose +71712 Wildass Rose 2017 VQA Niagara $18.95  12.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
Sparkling +460832 Wolfberger Brut Cremant d'Alsace  $19.95  12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
Port +583013 Sandeman Vau Vintage Port 1999 [375mL] $12.95  20%% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
W+590760    CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA CHARDONNAY    DO Casablanca Valley        2016    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+714295    WAIMEA SAUVIGNON BLANC    Nelson, South Island        2017    $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+539965    DOMAINE DE LA BAUME ELITE D'OR CHARDONNAY    IGP Pays d'Oc        2015    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+573683    CITRA FERZO ABRUZZO SUPERIORE PECORINO    DOP        2016    $17.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+370247    GÉRARD BERTRAND SAINT CHINIAN SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE    AP        2015    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+493643    CHÂTEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS    2011    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+948059    PERRIN NATURE CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AC        2016    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+297317    XAVIER CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AC        2016    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+278150    NIRO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO    DOC        2015    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+421388    CASTELLI DEL GREVEPESA CLEMENTE VII CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2015    $18.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+574251    FANTI POGGIO TORTO ROSSO    IGT Toscana        2015    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+574616    CLOS DE TAFALL    DO Priorat    Clos Berenguer    2015    $19.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+43281    FLAT ROCK RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95    11% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+361220    BORTHWICK VINEYARD PADDY BORTHWICK SAUVIGNON BLANC    Wairarapa, North Island        2017    $19.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+577213    LA VINICOLA DEL TITERNO PIEDIROSSO    DOC Sannio        2012    $17.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+126847    MAN FREE-RUN STEEN CHENIN BLANC    WO Coastal Region        2017    $14.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+469775    DOMAINE DE LA VIEILLE CURE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE    AC    Nelly Marzelleau    2016    $12.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485656    LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC    AC    M. Chapoutier    2016    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+443721    CHÂTEAU KSARA RÉSERVE DU COUVENT    Bekaa Valley        2015    $16.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+561282    FERRATON LA TOURNÉE ROUGE    IGP Pays d'Oc        2016    $13.95 13.5 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+421362    2027 WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $22.95    12.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+979344    WENTE RIVA RANCH SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    Arroyo Seco, Monterey County        2016    $27.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+61176    DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER KESSLER RIESLING    AC Alsace Grand Cru        2015    $29.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+324103 Bachelder Saunders Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 VQA Beamsville Bench 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+609123 Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2015 Washington 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+406314 Pascal Bouchard Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru 2011 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+129676 Torres Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Penedes 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+73098    BURROWING OWL ESTATE BOTTLED CABERNET SAUVIGNON    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2015    $44.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+222323    BEST'S BIN NO. 1 SHIRAZ    Great Western, Victoria        2015    $21.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+469536    CHÂTEAU CLOS DU LOUP CUVÉE PRESTIGE    AC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux        2010    $23.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+404285    CHÂTEAU PLAISANCE    AC Bordeaux Supérieur        2006    $20.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+330704    BENI DI BATASIOLO RISERVA BAROLO    DOCG        2008    $39.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+515460    TENUTA DI BURCHINO IL BURCHINO    IGT Toscana        2010    $24.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+149302    FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $21.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+317131    ST. FRANCIS CHARDONNAY    Sonoma County        2016    $22.95 14.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+276576    POGGIOTONDO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG        2013    $44.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+441279    CAFAGGIO BASILICA SOLATÌO RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2010    $39.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com