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Friday, October 20, 2017

The Event: Wine With Spirit Winemaker's Dinner Oct 3 2017

The Date and Time: Tuesday October 3 2017 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Event: Wine With Spirit Winemaker's Dinner
The Venue: Ilhas de Bruma Restaurant, College Street
The Target Audience: consumers and wine press
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available at the Stockyards LCBO store (Destination/Discovery Portugal Wines) or online.
The Quote/Background: Joao Pedro Montes is the Portuguese founder of "Wine With Spirit" a company determined to make wine a lifestyle by embracing specific wine styles with specific foods, and making labels out of them. Pedro Sereno is the winemaker, and together they craft wine blends using mainly indigenous varieties. For example, the white wine that goes with bread and cheese is called "Bread & Cheese", and is made from varying amounts by vintage of fernao pires (50%)/arinto (25%)/viosinho (25%) crafted to being out the best elements of cheese and bread. The red blend for "Bread & Cheese" has syrah/tourigna nacional/castelao in the blend. It is a great concept, to take some of the guesswork out of wine and food matching for unsure beginning consumers and millennials. There is also a red "Meet&Meat" and a white "Seafood&Co". Romantic wines include both a red and a white "Dine With Me Tonight". As Montes says, "we bottle emotions". There are stories to read on each label. And the marketing together makes it all one simple package: there are 14 or so wines all together (two of which are well-oaked), so it is possible to buy a set and use as appropriate. Now, if only they could be packaged as 12 different labels in a case at the LCBO...
The Wines: We tasted the wines separately one by one, with a food course following each wine. The food was buffet-style.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wine With Spirit Bastardo! Black Edition White Tejo [premium] 2015 +341155 $22.75
-Wine With Spirit Meet & Meat Red Tejo 2015 +341163 $17.65
-Wine With Spirit Feijoada & Co Red Alentejo 2015 +327121 $18.50
-Wine With Spirit Dine With Me Tonight Red Alentejo 2015 +327147 $20.20
-Wine With Spirit BASTARDO! Black Edition Red Tejo 2015 [premium] +327196 $25.30
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wine With Spirit Basta! Brut TM Sparkling Wine 2015 +327667 $22.15
-Wine With Spirit Seafood & Co White Vinho Verde 2016 +327675 $17.70
-Wine With Spirit Bread & Cheese White Tejo 2016 +401942 $17.70
-Wine With Spirit Bread & Cheese Red Tejo 2015 +341189 $17.65
-Wine With Spirit Bastardo! Red Tejo 2015 +341130 $17.65
 
The Food: grand buffet-style for Portuguese food, with cornbread, olives, fresh queso, shrimp croquettes, cod, potato, meat croquettes, chorizo, rices (two kinds), steak, chicken, cooked veggies of various kinds, potatoes, etc.
The Downside: I had just come from a Napa tasting and needed to refresh my palate.
The Upside: good looking wines matched very well with the food I ate from the buffet.
The Contact Person: joao.montes@wws.pt; ildefonso_go@rogers.com; leob@tastesenseltd.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Event: Napa Valley Vintners “Taste Napa Valley” trade show Oct 3 2017

 
The Date and Time: Tuesday October 3, 2017
The Event: Napa Valley Vintners "Taste Napa Valley" trade show
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines tasted are available through the LCBO system or by Private Orders.
The Quote/Background: At night, there was a consumer show offered by Vintages, with different wines and foods for the paying public. At least 17 principals attended for both the day and night shows.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine. Prices were listed here and there, I grabbed "papers" for notes and prices where I found them so that I would not tie up the lines of tasters by constantly asking for prices.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Y. Rousseau Wines Le Roi Soleil Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Mt Veeder Napa $140
-Y. Rousseau Wines Le Roi Soleil Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Mt Veeder Napa $140
-Ca' Momi Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa $27.95 Consignment Licensee
-Silverado SOLO Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Stags Leap District Napa $160
-Krupp Brothers Stagecoach Chardonnay 2014 Napa $109 Vintages
-Krupp Brothers M5 Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa $300 Private Order BND Wines
-Baldacci Family Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Stags Leap District Napa
-Cain Five Red Blend 2006 Spring Mountain District Napa $168
-Frank Family Chardonnay 2015 Carneros Napa
-Grgich Wine Estates Chardonnay 2014 Napa
-Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa
-Hall Kathryn Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa
-Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa
-Heitz Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa
-Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa $115
-Paul Hobbs Nathan Coombs Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Coombsville Napa $526
-Signorello Estate Chardonnay 2015 Napa
-Signorello Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Vineyard 7&8 Correlation Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Spring Mountain District Napa
-Somnium Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa $185
-Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Spring Mountain District Napa
-Grgich Wine Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa
-Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Mt Veeder Napa
-Heitz Chardonnay 2015 Napa
-Saintsbury Chardonnay 2014 Los Carneros Napa
-Black Stallion Chardonnay 2015 Napa $30.95 Vintages
-Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa $39.95 Vintages Feb 2018
-Ca' Momi Chardonnay 2016 Napa
-Silverado Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Yountville Napa
-Clos du Val Hirondelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa Stags Leap District $175
-Clos du Val Estate Chardonnay 2015 Los Carneros Napa $44.95 Vintages
-Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa
-Baldacci Family Vineyards Sorelle Chardonnay 2015 Los Carneros Napa
-Buehler Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa
-Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Stags Leap District Napa
 
The Food: Daniel et Daniel provided the generous charcuterie and cheese platters, which included awesome Stilton and smoked duck breast. Veggies and fruits were strewn about, as well as breads and dips and tapenades.
The Downside: I was unable to attend the advance seminar.
The Upside: it was not as crowded as the larger California wine fair, allowing for more mingling and serious tasting.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Event: Annual Portfolio Tasting of Azureau Wine Agency, Oct 2 2017

The Date and Time: Monday October 2, 2017  2PM to 5 PM
The Event: Annual Portfolio Tasting of Azureau Wine Agency
The Venue: Le Germain Hotel, Maple Leaf Square
The Target Audience: in the afternoon, licensees and wine writers.
The Availability/Catalogue: wines were available via Vintages, Consignment or Private Order.
The Quote/Background: Nine seminars were offered, which included special wines from Salentein (Argentina), Alpha Crucis (Australian Shiraz), Valdespino 100 point sherries, Gleva Estates (Cava), Roda (Rioja), and Clos Pegase among others.
The Wines: I did not try every wine. Prices are licensee unless Vintages
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bodegas Salentein La Pampa Single Vineyard Malbec 2014 $59.95 Consignment
-Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut Rose 2011 $42.95 Private Order
-Cantine Riondo Amarone 2012 $34.95 Consignment
-Erste Neue Sauvignon Blanc Alto Adige 2016 $22.95 Consignment
-Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Chenin Blanc $31.95 Private Order
-Rioja Vega Reserva 2011 $24.95 Consignment
-Rioja Vega Gran Reserva 2009 $34.95 Consignment
-Paco & Lola Albarino 2016 $18.95 Vintages
-Enrique Mendoza Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 $24.95 Private Order
-Valdespino Manzanilla en Rama 375 mL $21.95 Consignment
-Clos Pegase Mitsukos Chardonnay $34.95 Vintages
-Jose Pariente Barrel Ferment Verdejo 2015 $34.95 Consignment
-Jose Pariente La Provincia 2015 $34.95 Private Order
-Bodegas Castano Casa de la Cera 2013 $49.95 Consignment
-Bodegas Castano Casa Cisca 2013 $61.95 Consignment
-Bodegas Roda Reserva 2012 $47.95 Consignment
-Bodegas Roda Reserva 1994 n/a
-Bodegas Roda Reserva 2004 n/a ?
-Bodegas Roda I Reserva 2009 $79.95 Private Order
-Bodegas La Horra Corimbo $39.95 Consignment
-Bodegas La Horra Corimbo I 2012 $74.95 Consignment
-Gleyva Estates Mont Ferrant Berta Bouzy 2011 $32.95 Consignment
-Gleyva Estates Titiana Pansa Blanca Brut 2012 $32.95 Consignment
-Gleyva Estates Titiana Rose Pinot Noir 2012 $32.95 Private Order
-Gleyva Estates Titiana Brut Nature 2011 $34.95 Private Order
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas Mencia 2015 $37.95 Private Order
-Dominio de Tares Barrel Fermented Godello 2016 $32.95 Consignment
-Bodegas Nekeas Vega Sindos Chardonnay $17.95 Consignment
-Wits End Alpha Crucis Fiano 2016 $24.95 Consignment
-Wits End Alpha Crucis Titan Shiraz $27.95 Private Order
-Kunde Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Private Order
-Girard Old Vines Zinfandel 2014 $39.95 Vintages
-Girard Petite Sirah 2013 $49.95 Consignment
-Pepper Tree Elderslee Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $39.95 Vintages
-Pepper Tree Semillon Sauvignon Blanc $24.95 Private Order
-Enrique Mendoza Estrecho Monastrell 2014 $44.95 Vintages Feb 2018
-Enrique Mendoza Le Quebradas Monastrell 2014 $44.95 Vintages Feb 2018
-Foncalieu Le Giset Pays d'Oc 2015 $15.95 Consignment
-Foncalieu Les Illustres Pays d'Oc 2012 $32.95 Consignment
-Diemersfontein Chenin Blanc $21.95 Private Order
-Bodegas Salentein Pyros Barrel Select Malbec 2014 $25.95 Consignment
-Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Syrah 2015 $25.95 Private Order
-Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $14.95 Vintages Essential
-Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut $32.95 Private Order
-Antica Fratta Franciacorta Essence 2013 $39.95 Private Order
-Antica Fratta Franciacorta Saten $42.95 Private Order
-Paco & Lola Follas Novas Albarino 2015 $19.95 Vintages
-Paco & Lola Ophalum 2016 2016 $18.98 Private Order
 
The Food: platters of international cheeses, berries, veggies, olives, breads and toasts.
The Downside: nine short seminars were offered in three waves of three each, but I could not get to all of them. It was a downside to just me, but a boon to others. These were highly specialized and appropriate to determined buyers and licensees. Kudos to Azureau for putting them on!!
The Upside: the seminars and the spaciousness of the room (there was a paying event with many more people coming in at 6:30 for a fundraiser).
The Contact Person: dan@azureau.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Event: Profile Wine Group 2017 Portfolio tasting Sept 26, 2017 at Liberty Grand

The Date and Time: Tuesday September 26, 2017  2PM to 8:30PM
The Event: Profile Wine Group 2017 Portfolio
The Venue: Liberty Grand
The Target Audience: wine press, sommeliers, private clients, licensees
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are through the LCBO or by private order.
The Quote/Background: This showcase was last presented in Toronto in 2015. It will be a biannual affair. BTW, this was one of the very few wine shows I have attended that let me choose my own wines to sample and in my own order. Thanks!!
The Wines: I only tasted table wines, and then not all of them:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Finca Las Cerezas Altamira Single Vineyard Malbec 2015 Argentina, $40.95 Private Order (PO)
-Dandelion Vineyards Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz 2015 $65.95 PO
-Domaine des Deux Roches Pouilly Fuisse Plentitude de Bonte 2015 $42.95  PO
-Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Les Ruchets 2014 $99.95 Consignment
-Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Reserve 2016 Alsace $18.95 Vintages October
-Pierre Sparr Riesling Altenbourg 2015 Alsace $18.95 Vintages March 2018
-Casale del Giglio Mater Matuta Rosso 2013 $76.95 PO
-Castello di Querceto Il Picchio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 $74.95  PO
-Castello di Querceto Il Querciolaia 2011 $60.95  PO
-Cesari Bosan Amarone Classico Riserva 2008 $99.95 Consignment
-Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalletto 2013 $66.95 Consignment
-Cordero di Montezemolo Langhe Elioro Chardonnay 2015 $54.95 Consignment
-Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Bricco Gattera 2013 $114.95 PO
-Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Enrico VI 2013 $134.95 PO
-Fattoria Le Pupille Saffredi 2014 $144.95 Consignment
-La Spinetta Barolo Garretti 2013 $76.95 PO
-Mazzei Castello Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezone 2013 $75.95 PO
-Rocca delle Macie Sergio Zingarelli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012 $100 Classics
-Sassetti Livio Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 $144.95.95 Consignment
-Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Gran Reserva 2010  $31.95 PO
-Bodegas Altanza Sorolla 2010  $99.95 PO
-Bodegas LAN Gran Reserva 2010 $36.95 PO
-Bodegas LAN Culmen Reserva 2011 $104.95 PO
-J.Lohr October Night Chardonnay Arroyo Seco 2015 $34.95 Vintages
-J.Lohr Cuvee Series St. E 2013 $80 Vintages
-Miner Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2014 $63.95 PO
-Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $229.95 Consignment
-Peter Franus Coturo Chardonnay 2014 $51.95 Consignment
-Peter Franus Napa Valley Red Wine 2014 $87.95 Consignment
-Somerston Priest Ranch Coachgun Red 2012 $124.95 PO
-Somerston Stornoway 2013 $149.95 PO
-Somerston Celestial Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $199.95 PO
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Palmaz Amalia Chardonnay 2014 $99.95 Consignment
-Palmaz Cedar Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $89.95 Consignment
-Peter Franus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $76.95 Consignment
-J.Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 $55.95 Consignment
-Miner Viognier 2016 California $27.95 PO
-Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 $45.95 Consignment
-Miner Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $99.95 Consignment
-Bodega Iniesta Corazon Loco Premium 2012 $36.95 PO
-Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Sauvignon Blanc 2016  $18.95 PO
-Bodegas LAN Santiago Ruiz Albarino 2016 $27.95 PO
-Velenosi Ludi 2014 $49.95 PO
-San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2012 $71.95 Consignment
-Sassetti Livio Brunello di Montalcino 2012 $87.95 Consignment
-Susana Balboo Brioso 2016 Argentina $45.95 PO
-Wakefield The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Australia $199.95 PO
-Montes Folly 2012 Chile $82 Classics
-Chateau de Nages JT White 2015 France $29.95 PO
-Domaine des Deux Roches Bourgogne Tradition 2015 Consignment $24.95
-Domaine des Deux Roches Macon Villages Tradition 2015  $24.95 PO
-Domaine des Deux Roches Saint Veran Vieilles Vignes 2015 $37.95
-Domaine des Deux Roches Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2015 $36.95 Vintages
-Domaine des Deux Roches Pouilly Fuisse Les Crays 2015 $56.95  PO
-Jean-Luc Colombo Rose Cape Bleue 2016 $19.95 Consignment
-Jean-Luc Colombo Viognier la Violette 2015 $18.95 Consignment
-Jean-Luc Colombo Condrieu Amour de Dieu 2014 $84.95 Consignment
-Auelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2012 $84.95 PO
-Auelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2010 $84.95 PO
 
The Food: the deep and dark espresso coffee came from Barocco Coffee Company; the sparkling and still water came directly from the Dolomites via Dolomia water; Speducci Mercatto and Paganelli co-ordinated the sopressata and salumni and wild board coppa, as well as the local prosciutto; and Cibo provided a penne borghese pasta dish. Breads were also included.
The Downside: it was blazing hot outside, with a slow walk from Dufferin Gates to Liberty Grand.
The Upside: a chance to re-discover the many wines and principals of Profile.
The Contact Person: aprodhon@profilewinegroup.com; jturco@profilewinegroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for October 14, 2017.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for October 14, 2017.
 
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 --
 
** W+324103    BACHELDER SAUNDERS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2013    $44.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
**W+377721    BARON DE HOEN RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER  Alsace 2015 $18.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
**R+511576    ARTESA ORGANIC    DOCa Rioja    Boutinot 2015    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
 
20 under $20
=========
W+999979    BERSANO GAVI DI GAVI    DOCG     2015    $16.95          12.5 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+981019    BENI DI BATASIOLO LANGHE ROSSO    DOC        2014    $16.95   
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+971689    D'ANGELO AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE    DOC        2012    $18.95   
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+286278    FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2015    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+286484    CHÂTEAU D'ANGLÈS CLASSIQUE LA CLAPE MOURVÈDRE/SYRAH/GRENACHE    AC        2015    $18.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+302059    CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED GEWURZTRAMINER Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2013    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+370254    CHÂTEAU DE SÉGURE VIEILLES VIGNES FITOU    Élevé en fût de chêne, AP    Mont Tauch    2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+452789    CONFIDENCIAL RESERVA    Vinho Regional Lisboa    Casa Santos Lima    2013    $13.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+514828    BIG DEVINE RED BLEND    Columbia Valley 2014 $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+515478    LOSI QUERCIAVALLE CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2011    $16.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+521245    BELLVALE ATHENA'S VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    Gippsland, Victoria        2014    $19.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+734798    THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2016    $18.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+79798    SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE MALBEC    Uco Valley, Mendoza        2014    $19.95  14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+207340    13TH STREET WHITE PALETTE    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2015    $15.95 12.4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+251439    FIELDING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $19.95    10.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+512707    ORIGIN STELLENBOSCH DRIVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON/MERLOT    WO Stellenbosch        2015    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+514760    CISPLATINO TANNAT    Progreso    Cesar Pisano    Uruguay 2014    $16.95   
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+520205    STREWN TERROIR PINOT BLANC    Strewn Vineyard, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake        2015    $18.95    14.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+657411    VIÑA REAL CRIANZA    DOCa Rioja    CVNE    2014    $18.95    VON TERRA 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+944181    DARTING DÜRKHEIMER NONNENGARTEN GEWÜRZTRAMINER KABINETT    Prädikatswein        2015    $19.95    105% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+642421    VALPANTENA TORRE DEL FALASCO RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA    DOC        2015    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
 
20 over $20
=========
R+976662    FAUSTINO I GRAN RESERVA  Rioja    2004    $34.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+20966 VILLA CAFAGGIO CORTACCIO IGT Toscana 2008 $48.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+63891    EMILIANA COYAM    Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley        2013    $29.95   
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+130252    TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2012    $21.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+161893    LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ALBERDI RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    Henri Gualco, récolt.    2010    $24.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+265710    TORRES PERPETUAL DOCa Priorat 2014    $49.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+356634    JEAN-MARC BROCARD DOMAINE SAINTE CLAIRE CHABLIS    AC        2015    $25.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+364786    CHÂTEAU DE GAUDOU RENAISSANCE CAHORS    AC        2013    $25.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+393827    MORAINE PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2015    $29.95   
13.4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+395186    NIPOZZANO VECCHIE VITI RISERVA CHIANTI RÚFINA    DOCG    Marchesi de' Frescobaldi    2013    $29.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+496794    BOTTER AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    DOCG        2013    $34.95     15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+516161    CHÂTEAU HAUT-BERGEY AC Pessac-Léognan     2004 $42.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+657874    HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE PINOT NOIR    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2010    $34.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+748434    SOKOL BLOSSER PINOT NOIR    Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley        2012    $35.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+39388    FRANCISCAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley        2014    $29.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+446971    LONE BIRCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Yakima Valley        2015    $23.95    14.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+514182    RITUAL PINOT NOIR    Casablanca Valley    Alto de Casablanca    2015    $21.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+522037    CHÂTEAU DES BARDES    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru        2014    $25.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Event: the Annual (15th) Sparkling Wine tasting by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, Mon Sept 25,2017

The Date and Time: Monday, September 25, 2017  3Pm to 7PM
The Event: the Annual (15th) Sparkling Wine tasting by the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Venue: WWCC Clubhouse
The Target Audience: members of the WWCC
The Availability/Catalogue: all of the 55+ 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. Valentines Day). About a dozen writers turn up over the course of a day. We the WWCC would like to thank our industry partners for the opportunity to sample these wines.
The Wines: Although ciders were also requested, we only received one wine that was apple based: Pelee Island Winery Crèmant de Pomme 2016 Lake Erie North Shore (sample with no label) available at the winery only, which was tasted at the end and rated by me at a good Three and One Half Stars (89 points), and recommended. What follows are grape-based wines; the ratings are MINE ALONE and not those of the group. Each writer rates or writes separately, and there is no cumulative total or average rating. The wines are randomly listed within their categories:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Flat Rock Cellars    Riddled Sparkling    2010    $34.95    383315    Twenty Mile Bench    Chardonnay    12%  ** MY FAVE OF THE DAY  **
-Monmarthe Champagne     Secret de Famille Brut    NV    $51.50 Champagne    Pinot Noir,   Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay    12%        Cru Wine Merchants
-Henry of Pelham Estate Winery    Cuvée Catharine Blanc de Blanc 'Carte Blanche'    2012    $44.95    315200 Vintages VQA Niagara Peninsula 100% Chardonnay    12.5
-Gloria Ferrer     Blanc de Blancs    n/v    $34.95    223792    Sonoma    Chardonnay    12.5
-Chateau des Charmes    Brut Sparkling MT    NV    $24.95    224766    NOTL    Pinot Noir, Chardonnay    12
-Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery    Cuvée Catharine Brut    N/V    29.95    217521    VQA Niagara Peninsula    75% Chardonnay; 25% Pinot Noir     12
-Tawse Winery    Laundry Vineyard Blanc De Noir Sparkling    2011    $29.95     Niagara    Pinot Noir    12.5
-Tawse Winery    Brut    N/V    $    384966    Niagara    Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir    12
-Tawse Winery    Limestone Ridge Spark Riesling    2015    $20.95     370361    Niagara    Riesling    12
-Kew    Blanc de Blancs    2014    $29.95        Niagara    Barrel Aged    12%
-Kew    Tradition    2012    $29.95        Niagara        12.2
-Kew    Blanc de Noirs    2013    29.95        Niagara        12.5
-Cooper`s Hawk Vyds    North Block Sparkling    2016    $21.95    winery only    VQA Ontario    Chardonnay    12.5
-Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery    Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut    N/V    29.95    217505    VQA Niagara Peninsula    75% Pinot Noir; 25%  Chardonnay    12
-Bejot    Laboure Gontard Cremant de Bourgogne Rose    $19.95 460816    Burgundy    Pinot Noir    12%
-Jackson-Triggs    Entourage Grand Reserve Sparkling Brut    2014    $29.95 +538363    Niagara    Chardonnay, Pinot Noir    12.50%
-Yvon Mau Henri Abele Brut Traditional    NV    $54.99     940436    Champagne    Chardonnay,Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier    12
-Piper-Heidsieck    Brut Sparkling MT    NV    $59.95    462432    Champagne        12
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Racentós i Blanc    De Nit Rosé Brut     2013    $34.99        Spain    Conca del Riu Anoia    Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Monastrell    12%        Cru Wine Merchants
-Raventós i Blanc    L'Hereu Blanc de Blanc Brut    2013    $28.95        Spain    Conca del Riu Anoia    Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada    12.10%        Cru Wine Merchants -Gonzalez Byass    Vilarnau Cava    N/A    $14.95     515254    Penedés    50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada 15% Xarello    11.50%
-Chateau des Charmes    Blanc de Blancs MT    2014    $32.95    423111    NOTL    Chardonnay    12.5
-Konzelmann Estate Winery    Methode Cuvee Close Riesling    2015    17.95        Niagara     Riesling    11
-Flat Rock Cellars    Crowned Sparkling Brut    2009    $45.00    N/A    Twenty Mile Bench    Chardonnay    12%
-Jackson-Triggs    Reserve Sparkling Moscato    2016    $19.95     N/A    Niagara    Muscat    12%
-Piera Martellozzo S.P.A.     BLU GIOVELLO PROSECCO     0    14.95    85316        11%
-Pierre Sparr    Cremant Brut Reserve    NV    19.95    388603    Alsace        12.5
-Segura Viudas     Segura Viudas Brut Reserva NV    $15.50     216960    Penedes, DO Cava    50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel.lo    12
-Chateau des Charmes    Rose Sparkling MT    2014    $29.95    78055    NOTL    Pinot Noir    12
-Kew    Rosalie    2010    29.95        Niagara        12.5
-Tawse Winery    Quarry Road Pinot Noir Sparkling Rose    2015    $29.95         Niagara    Pinot Noir    12
-Redstone    Pinot Noir Sparkling Rose    2015    $29.95     Niagara    Pinot Noir    12.5
-13th Street Winery    Cuvee Rose    NV    27.95    147504    Niagara Peninsula    Pinot Noir, Chardonnay    12.5
-Schmitt Soehne    RELAX BUBBLES NV        $13.95    488593    Mosel    Cuvee    12%
-Colio Estate Wines     Lily Sparkling Rose    NV    16.95    536565    Lake Erie North Shore     90% Riesling, 10% Cabernet Franc    12
-Colio Estate Wines     Lily Sparkling     NV    17.95    418657    Lake Erie North Shore     Riesling     12
-Cono Sur Vineyards    Sparkling Brut Rose    NV    $14.15     365205    Bio Bio Valley    Pinot Noir    12
-460 Casina Bric di Viberti Gianluca Barolo    Casina Bric Brut Rose Collezione N8    NV    $29.99     941376    Piedmont    Nebbiolo    12
-Pierre Sparr    Cremant Brut Rose    NV    19.95    39016    Alsace    100% Pinot Noir    12.5
-Pelee Island Winery    Secco    2013    14.95    225946    Lake Erie North Shore    85% Pinot Blanc/15% Auxerrois    12
-Rosehall Run    Indigo Sparkling    2016    24.95    winery only    VQA Ontario    Riesling, etc.    12.2
-Calamus Estate Winery    Starstruck    2014    $28.95    Ontario    85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay    11.5
-Creekside Estate Winery    Backyard Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc    2016    $25    398628    Niagara Peninsula    Sauvignon Blanc    13.20%
-Chateau de Montgueret    Chateau de Montgueret Cremant de Loire    NV    $19.95     217760    Loire    Chenin, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc    11.50%
-Bejot    Laboure Gontard AOC Cremant de Bourgogne Brut     $20.95    401018    Burgundy    Chard/Pinot Noir    12%
-Sorelle Bronca    Brut Superiore Prosecco    NV    $24.50 Valdobiadene    Glera    11%        Cru Wine Merchants
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars Rated by Dean Tudor (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Trapiche    Extra Brut    2015    13.45    262261        Chard/Sem/Mal    12
-Rosehall Run    Ceremony Blanc de Blancs        ??    ??    PEC    ??    12.2
-Bottega    Petalo Il Vino dell' Amore Moscato        $13.95    588780    Veneto    Moscato    6.5
-Megalomaniac     Bubblehead Rose    NV    $23.75 363655    Niagara    Pinot Noir    13
-Konzelmann Estate Winery    Methode Cuvee Close Rosé    2016    17.95        Niagara      Merlot    12.5
-Rosehall Run    Pixie    NV    19.95    492959    PEC    Vidal    11.7
-Pelee Island Winery    Lola Rose    2016    14.95    450981    Lake Erie North Shore    85% Vidal/!5% Chambourcin    12
-Pelee Island Winery    Lola Vidal    2016    13.95    484998    Lake Erie North Shore    100% Vidal    12
-Calamus Estate Winery    Crackle    2016    18.95    NTP only    Ontario    75% Vidal /12.5% Chardonnay / 12.5% Pinot Gris    11
-Jackson-Triggs    Reserve Sparkling Cuve Close    2015    $15.95     217679    Niagara    Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir     12.50%
-Ruffino    Prosecco    NV    $16.75     467811    Friuli & Veneto    Glera    11%
 
The Food: bread and water, almonds, olives.
The Contact Person: deantudor@yahoo.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Event: Wines of Argentina: Cambalache, at Lena, Sept 21,2017

The Date and Time: Thursday, September 21, 2017   2PM to 5PM
The Event: Wines of Argentina: Cambalache
The Venue: Lena Restaurant
The Target Audience: sommeliers, press
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available through LCBO via Vintages, Classics, Consignment, etc. Some are private order. Familia Schroeder (Patagonia) was at the show looking for an agent.
The Quote/Background: there were 20 wineries with agents, one without. The catalogue gave some brief details about the winery, along with the Ontario agent. Two wineries had US reps here.
The Wines: I did not try all the wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alta Vista Single Vineyard Alizarine 2012, Classics Dec 2017, +119834 $55
-Alta Vista Terroir Selection, Vintages March 2018, +542035 $29.95
-Bodega Catena Zapata Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2015 +450106 Vintages $19.95
-Bodega Catena Zapata High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016 $129.95 Vintages +918805
-Familia Schroeder Saurus Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir 2015 $30
-Familia Zuccardi Concreto 2015 $39.95 Vintages January 2018 +455774
-Finca Agostino Familia de la Cava Malbec 2014 $48.95 Private Order B & W Wines
-Finca Las Moras Gran Syrah 2013 $24.99 Univins
-Kauzo Estates 1853 Old Vine State Malbec Grand Reserve Blend 2012 $32.99 Go Wine USA
-Kauzo Estates Malacara Malbec Oak Cask 2015 $20 $32.99 Go Wine USA
-Manos Negras Teho Malbec 2013 $64.95 Classics +482075
-Mascota Vineyards BB Gran Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $54.99 Univins
-Mascota Vineyards Unanime Gran Vino Tinto 2013 $29.95 LCBO +466938
-Navarro Correas Alegoria Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $30  Kirkwood
-Susana Balbo Wines Benmarco Malbec 2015 $19.95 Consignment Profile
-Trapiche Terroir Series Malbec Finca Ambrosia 2012 $39.95 Vintages +402941
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Navarro Correas Structura Ultra 2012 $44.99 Kirkwood
-Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Historic Rows Malbec 2013 +982355 $49.95
-Bodega Luigi Bosca Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $19.95 Vintages +128629
-Bodega Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC 2013 $29.95 Vintages +74922
-Bodegas Salentein Numina Gran Corte 2014 $34.95 Consignment Azureau
-Bodegas Salentein Portillo Sauvignonm Blanc 2017 $14.95 Consignment Azureau
-El Esteco Ciclos Torrontes 2016 $16.96 Vintages +482976
-El Esteco Serie Finacs Notables Tannat 2014 $28.95 Private Order Philippe Dandurand
-Familia Schroeder Saurus Barrel Fermented Malbec 2016 $30
-Familia Zuccardi Aluvional Altamira 2014 $80 Vintages Spring 2018
-Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $19.95 Vintages +135202
-Luca Malbec 2014 $34.95 Vintages +167312
-Luca Pinot Noir 2014 $32.95 Vintages +175570
-Manos Negras Zaha Malbec 2011 $34.95 Classics +441691
-Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2015 $32.95  Eurovintage
 
The Food: grilled octopus skewers; creamy cod croquettes; small bite gaucho empanadas; breads.
The Downside: it was really warm outside, and the venue itself was just a bit too small to hold everybody, so it got crowded really fast. I lasted an hour and a bit.
The Upside: a great opportunity to talk to agents with Argentine wines.
The Contact Person: mxa@mrecic.gov.ar
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Event: Mark Anthony's Portfolio Tasting, 5th annual 2017, Sept 20, 2017

The Date and Time: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2PM to 8
The Event: Mark Anthony's Portfolio Tasting, 5th annual 2017
The Venue: Arcadian Lofts
The Target Audience: wine trade, writers, sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: the catalogue had been redesigned over the previous two years – it looked spectacular with all needed details such as name, year, size, price for licensees, availability, and some room for notes. Good clean layout.
The Quote/Background: 41 producers or labels were featured, some with principals. New this year were a lot of wines from the former Treasury Estates in Canada.
The Wines: I did not sample all the table wines. Prices are licensee.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Penfolds 129 Coonawarra Shiraz 2015, $34.95
-Penfolds 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2014, $53.95
-Penfolds 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2014, $69.95  *MY FAVE RED*
-Tenutae Lageder Lowengang Chardonnay Alto Adige 2014, $49.95
-Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza Chgianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012, $39.95
-Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte 2013, $74.95
-Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Red Wine 2013, $54.39
-Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port 500 mL, $38.40
-Hidden Bench Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay 2104 VQA, $39  *MY FAVE WHITE*
-Achaval Ferrer Quimera 2013, $49.95
-Mission Hill Quatrain 2012, $60.27
-Mission Hill Oculus 2012 BC, $115.37
-Rodney Strong Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $101.24
-Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $102.24
-Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $99.95
-Checkmate Capture Chardonnay 2014 BC, $75
-Checkmate Little Pawn Chardonnay 2014 BC, $86
-Checkmate Opening Gambit Merlot 2013 BC, $75
-Checkmate Silent Bishopt Merlot 2013 BC, $75
-Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $43.95
-Beringer Quantum Napa Valley, $79.95
-Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages Sonoma County 2012, $129.95
-Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvigon 2012, $109.95
-Etude Carneros Estate Chardinnay 2014, $39.96
-Stags Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $55.95
-Brumont Chateau Montus La Tyre 2009 Madiran, $125
-Brumont Chateau Montus Cuvee Prestige 2009 Madiran, $74.95
-Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore 2013, $199.95
-Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri 2014 $55.76
-Luce Della Vite 2014, $99.75
-Louis Latour Ch. Corton Grnacey Grand Cru Blanc 2015, $202.65
-Louis Larour Meursault Blagny Blanc 1er cru 2015 $108.45
-Chateau Meyney Hauts de Mayney Saint Estephe 2011 $51.95
-Chateau Cantin St Emilion Grand Cru 2014, $53.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90) in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015, $23.95
-Beringer Luminus Chardonnay Oak Knoll 2014, $44.95
-Stags Leap Napa Valley Petite Sirah 2014, $49.95
-Stags Leap Napa Valley Merlot 2013, $44.95
-Stags Leap Napa Valley Viognier 2016, $34.95
-Symmetry Meritage Alexander Valley 2013, $69.95
-Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Madiran Vieilles Vignes 2006, $39.45
-Lucente IGT Toscana 2014, $30.07
-La Volte dell'Ornellaia 2015, $54.95
-Coldstream Hills Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2015, $32.95
-Coldstream Hills Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016, $29.95
-Acacia Carneros Chardinnay 2015, $26.50
-Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $49.59
-Chateau Lamarque Haut Medoc 2012, $35.82
-Mission Hill Perpetua Chardonnay 2015 $35.12
-Mission Hill Compendium 2012 BC, $57.18
-Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015, $251.85
-Achaval Ferrer Mendoza Malbec 2015, $28.95
-Brotte Domaine de Barville Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015, $49.95
-Schloss Johannisberg Rotlack Kabinett Trocken 2016, $35.95
 
The Food: delicious platters of charcuterie, smoked whitefish & salmon & octopus, international cheeses, salumi, veggies and dips, olives, dried fruit, nuts, from O & B.
The Contact Person: lcatchpole@markanthony.com; jkrueger@markanthony.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

* MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS

GRAZE (Rodale, 2017, 206 pages, ISBN 978-1-62336-753-4 $27.50 USD hardbound) is by food stylist Suzanne Lenzer, author of "Truly, Madly Pizza". It comes with some heavy-duty logrolling via Jacques Pepin and Mark Bittman. The subtitle says it all: "inspiration for small plates and meandering meals." She begins with a larder/pantry plus a fridge and freezer and then moves on to grazing menus (with page references) from simple items to entertaining buffets. There are 15 of these, including the charming "dalliance with North Africa". Most of these are small plates which are simple and expandable. She's got some notes on pairing foods and shopping. Materials range from purchases (such as smoked salmon) to chopping foods and laying them out. For the most part there are a lot of room temperature dishes here, great for the guy cook. She normally just drinks wine, but she does present four cocktails, such as the Negroni Fizz. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: home cooks, guys.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: cheddar biscuits with tomatoes and peaches; zucchini ribbons with herbed goat cheese; lemon-tarragon chicken skewers; Spanish shrimp with chile; lemony hummus; curried carrot and coconut soup; fruit crumble; ricotta-stuffed medjool dates wrapped in bacon.
The downside to this book: I thought that the use of the word "grazing" or "graze" had died a decade ago,
The upside to this book: the menus are very helpful.
Quality/Price Rating: 89
 
 
4.BERRIES (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-4459-0, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Eliza Cross. Although the book doesn't say anything about her, she's the author of thirteen books, including "101 Things To Do With Bacon" "101 Things To Do With Beer". She also writes about food for magazines. Berries have long held a reputation as choice ingredients for delicious jams, pies, muffins, smoothies, and cobblers (the book is arranged this way). Berries the theme of every course, and thus savoury dishes are included as well. Recipes feature tart cranberries, sweet strawberries, tender blueberries, raspberries, and boysenberries. Many recipes are interchangeable. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginner level
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: raspberry-lime sparklers, warm brie with blueberry mango salsa, boysenberry-ginger glazed salmon, huckleberry buckle, and blueberry cheesecake fudge,
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes.
The upside to this book: a good single product cookbook.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
5.POSH KEBABS (Quadrille Books, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-995-8 $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Rose Reynolds, a UK recipe writer and food stylist with chef credentials in magazine and BBC TV work. This book is one of a series – entitled POSH – and dealing with TOAST, EGGS, and RICE (they have been reviewed here before). KEBABS is new. Here are 70 easy recipes for everything from brochettes to shawarmas to skewers to shashliks to souvlakis – the whole range. Chapters deal with gloabal meat dishes (lots of lamb), poultry, seafood, veggies, and even sweets. Plus, there is a range of sauces and flatbreads. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart (which it doesn't).
Audience and level of use: beginners, those who love skewered food, BBQ, grilling.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: classic Moroccan spiced lamb; curried goat with rice and beans; jerk pork with apple slaw; harissa sardines; kale crisps and zucchini; fig and halloumi skewers.
The downside to this book: I wanted more
The upside to this book: lots of lamb dishes (10).
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
6.ADD A PINCH (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-49641-3 $25 USD hardbound) is by Robyn Stone (from the state of Georgia) who blogs at the eponymous website, specializing in Southern US food. These are fresh and fast new takes on Southern cuisine. In previous years, the southern US kitchen was awash with "helpful" processed foods such as canned soups. Stone encourages us to lighten the load and be quick about it, emphasizing slow cooker meals, casseroles, one-dish dinners, plus the usual salads, soups,snacks, desserts. Some classics, such as pimento cheese, have been totally redesigned, using Greek yogurt for mayo and cauliflower "rice". Chapters cover the courses plus biscuits, breads, and sides. And there are 20 pages on the southern patry, loaded with freezer jam, spicy BBQ sauce, dill pickles, sweet tea concentrate, and the like. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: home cooks, intermediate level.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: buttermilk praline cheesecake; Georgia peach crisp; apple raisin slaw; roasted okra; one-pan parmesan crusted chicken with broccoli; white chicken enchilada stuffed shells; slow cooker honey glazed ham.
The downside to this book: I didn't see any chess pie.
The upside to this book: separate categories have been highlighted in the index – those preps with fewer than 10 ingredients, 30 minutes or less cooking time, freezer friendly, and slow cooker faves.
Quality/Price Rating: 87
 
 
7.THE LITTLE BOOK OF CRAFT BEER (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-115-3 $14.99 USD hardbound) is by Melissa Cole, UK beer and food writer. Here she guides us through about 100 of the world's finest craft brews. He range begins with lagers, moves through session beers, wheat, ambers, spice, fruit, farmhouse, wild ferments, stouts and porters. There are a few recipes here for accompanying foods or cocktails.
But unless you are in the country of origin, just about all of these beers exist only in bottle and not "on draught" which is where I find all the action.
Audience and level of use: beer lovers
Some interesting or unusual facts: she also has a few no alcohol, low alcohol, and gluten-free beers.
The downside to this book: for each beer, she mentions alcohol content, but does not give IBUs (International Bittering Units scale), a guide to hops and bitters. IBUs on the label are the hottest thing in North America.
The upside to this book: the index lists beers by name and by country. So for Canada she's gotm three beers (Dieu du Cief Peche Mortel, Gluentenberg APA, and Unibroue.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
8.OVER EASY (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-385-34575-0 $27.50 USD hardbound) is by Joy Wilson, blogger since 2008 at "Joy the Baker". Her content recipes have been floated about on many sites. This book is a good collection of her preps, arranged by course or format: cocktails and coffee (great openers, lovely way to start the day); eggs; griddle; sides; sandwiches and salads; and then baked goods. She's got 125 or so recipes, all appropriate for brunch. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginners, those with time on their hands to enjoy the food.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: banana bread granola; buttered grits and toppings; jam pinwheels; beer-braised kielbasa, potatoes and onions; waffle sandwiches of fried chicken and maple; shortcake doughnuts; dill pickle bloody mary; quiche.
The downside to this book: the emphasis is on leisurely days, but the dishes are good for dinners too.
The upside to this book: good craftsmanship.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
9.PIMP MY NOODLES (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 144 pages $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Kathy Kordalis, a London-based food stylist and recipe writer. Here she tries to turn instant noodles and ramen into comparable dishes. You can pimp your noodles by using condiments, adding peanut butter or Nutella, some veggies, some protein or tofu, quick broths, and eggs. She tells you how to get a quick meal by adding some of these extras in just a few minutes. She's got 50 recipes. And you don't really have to use the instant noodles if you wanted to start from scratch, but maybe that could only happen on the weekend …. depends on your time available. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois volume measurements with some metric for weights, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: butternut noodle pancake; lime dragon rice noodles; bang bang chicken; miso salmon with ribbon-cut veggies and cellophane noodles; Korean wonder pots; lemongrass larb; nuoc cham vermicelli salad; mugestroni.
The downside to this book: too short – I wanted more
The upside to this book: a good idea, easy to carry over to other foods: the act of dressing up! Tart it up! Pimp the food!
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
10.PARTY FOOD TO SHARE (Ryland Peters and Small, 2017, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-862-8 $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Kathy Kordalis, a London-based food stylist and recipe writer – and also author of book number 9 above. Her she gives us small bites, platters and boards for sharing. It is food for a gathering, with some emphasis on purchased items such as cheese, cold cuts, nuts, diary products, and the like. Party planning is important, and so it too is covered from the basics through to pantry development and the larder: what to have on hand. You'll also need a variety of platters (which can be rented or borrowed from friends). Menu topics include brunch bonanza, vegetable fiesta, craft beer and cheese night; fish fest; pizza party; banquet Parisien; and others. And, of course, drinks are included. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, for the most part.
Audience and level of use: millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: kale and sweet potato frittata; buttered mushrooms; orecchiette with brussels sprouts and burnt butter; sundae station; fruit and nut spice soda bread; griddled shrimp and baby leek skewers with tamari lime glaze.
The downside to this book: I wanted more
The upside to this book: menus are given, but you could plan others on your own.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for September 30, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  September 30,  2017.
 
THIS IS THE BLUE MOON RELEASE!! (third release of the month)
 
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).
 
20 under $20
=========
R+71332    MAN FAMILY SKAAPVELD SHIRAZ    WO Coastal Region    2015    $13.95             14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+166512    VALDEMAR INSPIRACIÓN SELECCIÓN    DOCa Rioja    2012    $19.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+177444    MIGUEL TORRES SANTA DIGNA RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC    Fair trade certified, Central Valley    2016    $14.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+310151    TARIMA MONASTRELL    DO Alicante    2015    $14.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+343509    TESSELLAE VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN    IGP Cotes Catalanes    2015    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+438796    DOMAINE DE LA BAUME ELISABETH VIOGNIER    IGP Pays d'Oc    2016    $16.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+444703    MONTGRAS ANTU CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley    2015    $17.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+494930    ST. MARY'S SHIRAZ    Limestone Coast, South Australia    2012    $19.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+511527    TORRES HABITAT GARNACHA/SYRAH ORGANIC    DO Catalunya    2015    $19.95
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+514067    G7 RESERVA SYRAH    Estate bottled, Loncomilla Valley, Maule Valley    2015    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+520197    TIE MERLOT    VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula    2014    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+232744    COFFIN RIDGE BONE DRY RIESLING    VQA Ontario    2015    $17.40    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+246579    CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ    Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula    2015    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+294041    2027 FALLS VINEYARD RIESLING    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula    2016    $18.95    2027 10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+739995    VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC    WO Stellenbosch    2016    $15.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+963124    JACKSON ESTATE STICH SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2015    $19.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+729962    DELAS SAINT-ESPRIT CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AC    2015    $16.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+519884    TE PA PINOT GRIS    Marlborough, South Island    2015    $17.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+517177    CUNE RUEDA VERDEJO    DO Rueda    2016    $13.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+23325    BORGO SCOPETO CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG    2014    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+68825    HIDDEN BENCH FUMÉ BLANC    Rosomel Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2015    $29.45 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+82180    VIÑA VILANO CRIANZA    DO Ribera del Duero    2012    $23.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+82255    ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE    AC    2016    $28.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+129676    TORRES MAS LA PLANA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    40th vintage, DO Penedès    2010    $59.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+159970    CLOUDLINE PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley    2015    $26.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+208694    BURROWING OWL ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2015    $33.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+247023    TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING    AC Alsace    2013    $30.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+331603    KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER'S RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Sonoma County    2014    $22.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+384248    FINCA DEL MARQUESADO GRAN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2009    $21.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula    2012    $24.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+488825    DEUX ROCHES VIEILLES VIGNES POUILLY-FUISSÉ    AP    2014    $31.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+512517    CHÂTEAU RIVES-BLANQUES OCCITANIA    AP Limoux    2015    $25.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+520403    BACHELDER WISMER VINEYARD #1 WINGFIELD BLOCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula    2013    $44.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+959627    CHÂTEAU MONT-REDON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    AC    2012    $45.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+931006    HAMILTON RUSSELL CHARDONNAY    WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay    2016    $43.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+226944    RODNEY STRONG SONOMA COUNTY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Sonoma County    2014    $24.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+348839    KWV THE MENTORS CANVAS    WO Coastal Region    2014    $24.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+360222    SEVEN FALLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley    2014    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+421370    2027 CELLARS QUEENSTON ROAD VINEYARD PINOT NOIR    VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2013    $24.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+515510    TREROSE SANTA CATERINA VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO    DOCG    2013    $24.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, September 22, 2017

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! -- OFFAL GOOD: cooking from the heart, with guts (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 304 pages)

OFFAL GOOD: cooking from the heart, with guts (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-7704-3512-7 $40 USD hardbound) is by Chris Cosentino, chef-owner of Cockscomb in San Francisco. Log rollers include Harold McGee, Rene Redzepi (Noma), and Anthony Bourdain. It's a big book arranged by animal, to wit: cow, pig, sheep, and fowl, with adaptations according to species. Specific forms include pig ears, lamb head, calf brains, cow liver, cow foot, duck head, lamb tongue, chicken heart, and lamb sweetbreads. Generically, there is also skin, lungs, blood, stomach, spleen, kidney, fat, feet, bones/cartilage/tendons, tail, and intestines. Even more animal-specific are cow udders, testicles, gizzards, and cockscomb. There's a small primer on each. You are not going to find most of these in supermarkets, but rather you can find some at butchers or by special orders. But I've gone to specialized butchers and even some of them cannot get things like pig tails, pig and chicken livers, even pork hocks. You'll have more luck if you deal with an organic farmer, and I personally wouldn't touch any organ meat unless it is organic and free of chemicals. On p132-3 there is a fabulous picture of a cooked head-to-tail pig split in half and including lentils and chiles strewn about the kidneys, blood sausage, red sausage from pig stomach, brain and brainaise, and tongue. The closest to regular meats here are pig feet (10 preps), jowls, and lamb necks (pork necks have a rich history in Korean cuisine). The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: adventuresome cooks, reference tool, libraries.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: fried pig's tails, Marco Polo style; oxtail and skate; bloodtarga; smothered lamb's head with onions and lamb fat; pig stomach a la tauntaun; cordedda, peas, mint and sheep's milk polenta; pig's head and snails.
The downside to this book: nothing really, except perhaps more detail on "bridge meats" (necks, feet, jowls).
The upside to this book: a very good reference work, even if you don't cook from it.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com