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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for AUGUST 13, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for AUGUST 13,  2022 release.

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 good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on for some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past Little While  ---

--REPORT FROM THE NORTHWEST WINE EXPEDITION TRADE SHOW JUNE 6 2022
The Date and Time: Monday June 6  Noon to 4PM
The Event: Northwest Wine Expedition Trade Show
The Venue: Steam Whistle Brewing, Locomotive Hall, Bremner Blvd
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, agents
The Availability/Catalogue: The BottleBooks catalogue of 192 products was online and accessible by mobile. Information was provided on the name of the product, AVA, types of grapes used, suggested pricing, and the like.
The Quote/Background: The potential usefulness of BottleBooks was shown by the host information on the event and making connections digitally.
The Wines: There were 192 wines (plus or minus, as there were last minute additions and subtractions). Many wineries were seeking representation in Ontario. Few had tech/sales  sheets. I only tasted Chardonnays and Sparkling wines. Among the latter, I certainly enjoyed:   Treveri Cellars Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay) NV   Four Stars 91+
 Treveri Cellars Blanc de Noir (Pinot Noir) NV Four Stars 91+
 Treveri Cellars Brut Zero (Chardonnay) NV  Four Stars  91+
 Sokol Blosser Bluebird Cuvee Sparkling 2019 (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller-  Thurgau, Muscat) Three and a half Stars 88 – 90

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Revana Vineyards Alexana Chardonnay Terroir Series 2020 $46 retail Le Sommelier.
-A to Z Wineworks REX HILL Seven Soils Chardonnay 2019
-Adelsheim Vineyard Staking Claim Chardonnay 2018
-Chateau Ste Michelle Canoe Ridge Chardonnay 2018
-Milbrandt Estates Chardonnay 2018
-Milbrandt Family Chardonnay 2020
-Centerstone Willamette Valley Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2017
-Citation Oregon Chardonnay Cristom Vineyards 2015
-Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2020
-Domaine Drouhin Oregon Roserock Chardonnay 2018 $26.95
-Foris Vineyards and Winery Chardonnay 2019 $23.95  DB Wine and Spirits
-Phelps Creek Lynette Chardonnay 2018
-Sokol Blosser Estate Dundee Hills Chardonnay 2019
-Stoller Family Estate DUNDEE HILLS CHARDONNAY 2020
-The Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay "The Eyrie" 2018
-Chateau Bianca Wetzel Estate Chardonnay 2019

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-A to Z Wineworks Oregon Chardonnay 2021
-Adelsheim Vineyard  2019  Willamette Valley
-Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay 2020
-J. Bookwalter Readers Chardonnay 2020 (Chardonnay, 24% Viognier)
-K Vintners Substance 'Ch' Chardonnay 2020
-Woodward Canyon Washington State Chardonnay 2020
-Division Chardonnay Un 2020
-Phelps Creek Chardonnay Columbia Gorge 2019
-Elk Cove Vineyards Pike Road Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2019
-Westmount Wine Co Westmount Chardonnay 2020

The Food: The Food Dudes provided many samples of hors d'oeuvre, such as reuben sliders, halloumi flatbreads with pears, chimichurri shrimp, tomato toasts with ricotta,  prime steak tartare, seed crusted tuna, and avocados with veggies. Some food was provided by Pacific Northwest suppliers looking for agents. But no one seemed to have any bread or other platform to display the large number of sauces and dips and preserves. Overall, my favourite was Cardamon Hills Chutney which had a variety of chutneys that included apricot, apple-ginger, tomato, mango and quince. Laurel Brand had a great series of hazelnut spreads, macadamia butter, and hazel nut chocolates.
The Downside: BottleBooks was affectionately known as BottleNecks by the Luddites
The Upside: it was a large space and there was plenty of room for elbowing.
The Contact Person: kelly@predhomme.ca  and events@thefooddudes.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92

--Case-Wine.com is...
... a new online platform connecting Ontario VQA boutique wineries to new customers.
They've asked me to review some of the VQA wine bottle products they have listed on their website,
and to let people know about the availability of these wines through Case-Wine.com. I earn no money from the reviews listed below.
They are not resellers but a platform that provides a service to both the local VQA craft wineries and the customers as an intermediary. This should have great appeal to Ontario residents, especially for those who have ever wanted to buy VQA boutique wines (about 17 wineries are currently listed for Niagara, 2 for Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore will be listed soon), but cannot or don't feel like travelling to the individual wineries (such as myself, with no car).

Here is their URL:  https://www.case-wine.com/index

--Konzelmann Estate Winery Gewurztraminer Late Harvest 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
Very aromatic with some tropical tones of melons and lychees, very much in the fruity Alsatian style of gewurztraminer. Yum. Cool fermentation in stainless steel, with typical concentrated gewurztraminer tones of spices, limes, some roses on the mid-palate. Best as an off-dry aperitif by the deck or porch or pool, or with fragrant cheeses, spicy and/or creamy foods, with a tad of bitter on the finish. Great with Asiatic foods. Twist-off closure. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Strewn Premium Riesling Lively 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
Here is a basic, all purpose semi-dry Ontario riesling that is lightly acidic with a smooth sweet tone on the mid-palate, and with some zestiness coming off the tongue. It's got all the elements of stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines) plus the "lively" character of the lime-citrus mineral complex.
11.7% ABV. Residual sugar is 11.6 g/L. Probably best with all manner of light and white food such as white-fleshed fish, cooked pork roast, chicken. And, of course, extremely useful as a drink on the deck/patio/balcony/terrace/pool. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Icellars Estate Rose 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
The current blend contains 9 different unspecified grape varieties from the Niagara Peninsula, which gives the producer much leeway in crafting a final blend. The label says strawberries and burnt sugar, and when I first opened the bottle I was immediately hit with the overpowering aromas of strawberries. Wow. Each of the grape varieties contributes distinctive fruit to the mix. So – depending on the vintage and the grapes available, the blend can change over the years. Very aromatic, emphasizing cherry-berry and orchard fruit layered under a tart bone dry cranberry-ish finish-length. A nice cheese wine from a very hot and dry vintage year. 13.1% ABV. Residual sugar is 5.9g/L. 100 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--2027 Cellars Gamay Rose 2021 VQA Twenty Mile Bench. [$22]
This wine (all Gamay Noir) comes from the Foxcroft Block of the Wismer Vineyard on  the Twenty-Mile Bench. It has undergone a cold fermentation to complete dryness, and exhibits the typical red Gamay character of red berries on the palate, with some aromatics of  violets, black tea and some earthy rhubarb minerality. It is a light and balanced easy drinking wine for the patio/deck. Indeed, it can be an all-purpose free-standing social drink or aperitif or first-course wine.
394 cases. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Leaning Post Rose 2021 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake. [$22]
A first-time production for Leaning Post, and using all Pinot Noir: an immediately overwhelming sensation of strawberries and raspberries on the nose. Almost made me want to douse myself with this "perfume". Undertones of orange and lemons. Some sweetness on the mid-palate. Fermentation was begun in stainless steel before 43% of the wine was transferred to concrete for finishing and roundness (emulating the fired-clay vessels of early winemaking). The porous nature of the storage added to the length of the minerality, and also suggested some sour tart cherries on the finish.  An excellent wine for socializing. Personally, I loved it. Vegan-friendly. 5.5 g/L residual sugar. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Nomad at Hinterbrook Winery Garden Rose 2021 VQA Niagara Lakeshore. [$17.95]
Amazingly enough, this wine comes with a cork finish – very unusual in a sea of Ontario roses that use twisttops/screwcaps for what is basically a fresh quaffing wine. This suggests that aging is ok and might be a possibility, changing the aromatics to bouquets and promoting change to the wine's structure. I only had one bottle, so I might never know for sure. My first sense on tasting was the presence of some petillance, not enough to affect the nosing but enough to suggest that any light carbonation could actually enhance its ageability potential. The prickliness enhanced the cherry-berry basket of fruit flavours, and provided some refreshing melon tones to my palate. A very good wine for the patio/deck. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday August 14--
 
[red] Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon +226944, regularly $27.95, now $24.95, save $3
[red] Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Chile +408658, regularly $19.95, now $16.95, save $3
[white] Flat Rock Chardonnay VQA Niagara Peninsula +286278, regularly $19.95, now $17.95, save $2
[rose]      JULIET PROSECCO ROSE DOC Italy +20979 regularly $14.95, NOW $12.95, SAVE $2
[splurge] La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay +962886, regularly $29.95, now $27.95, save $2
[splurge] Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOC Veneto +413179, regularly $52.95, now $49.95, save $3

AUGUST 13 MAJOR THEME:  White Wine Magic
Note: This is what I call a New Moon release...A once-a-month release of physical wines to the LCBO shelves, unlike the Blue Moon releases of three-a-month...I'll cover mostly the in-store wines since the "Online Curated Assortment" has only small quantities...If I do mention an online order wine, then it will have OCA initials and a date in front of it.

OCA July 30, 2022 Sparkling+514323 BERLUCCHI '61 BRUT FRANCIACORTA DOCG Lombardy Italy 49 cases  $39.95. MVC/QPR: 91.

Wines Under $20
=========
W+20599    FEATHERSTONE PINOT GRIGIO    Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021 $17.95
MVC/QPR:  90
W+25613    MARTIN CODAX MARA MARTIN GODELLO    Vegan, DO Monterrei     2020    $17.95        MVC/QPR:  89
Rose+333260    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES CUVÉE D'ANDRÉE ROSÉ     VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake        2021    $18.95  MVC/QPR: 91
R+15763    BON COURAGE ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Robertson 2017    $15.95      MVC/QPR: 89
R+134544    MONTE DEL FRÁ BARDOLINO    DOC     2020    $16.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+424960    CANTINA DI VERONA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE    DOC        2019    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
=========
Sparkling+421032    CHARLES MIGNON PREMIUM RÉSERVE BRUT CHAMPAGNE $47.95
MVC/QPR:  89
R+973214    DI MAJO NORANTE RAMITELLO DOP Biferno Rosso    2016 $25.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+261784    PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP    Varvaglione Vigne & Vini    2017    $21.95 MVC/QPR:  90
R+353201    RUFFINO RISERVA DUCALE ORO GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG     2017    $49.95  MVC/QPR:  89




Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Saturday, August 6, 2022

REPORT FROM The Living Vine Acid Trip: portfolio tasting & try-and-buy, June 15, 2022

REPORT FROM The Living Vine Acid Trip: portfolio tasting & try-and-buy, June 15, 2022
 
The Date and Time: Wednesday June 15, 2022 11AM to 3PM for trade
The Event: The Living Vine Acid Trip: portfolio tasting & try-and-buy
The Venue: Birreria Volo, College Street
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are in stock. There was a two page order list, divided by country (France, Italy, Spain, New World, Hidden Bench).
The Quote/Background: It was a great weather day, so all the tables were set up outside Volo in the street patio area, with umbrellas for shade.
The Wines: There were 66 wines, ciders and no-al; I did not taste all of them. Prices are licensee. Delivery is free in Toronto, $6 a case outside Toronto. Wines listed are either 6 packs or 12 packs.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Clos Roussely L'Escale Sauvignon Blanc 2020, $20.66
-Terres Dorees Beaujolais Le Ronsay, $17.96
-Fattoria Sardi Pet-Nat [sparkler], $23.36
-Massimago Garangega 2021, $26.96
-Raimones Orange NV Spain, $31.46
-Alta Alella Pet-Nat Rose 2021, $27.86
-Portal del Priorat Luno Montsant 2020, $23.36
-Bodegas Comenge Biberius 2020, $19.76
-Nikolaihof Terrassen Gruner Veltliner 2019, $25.16
-Mouflon Muscat 2021 [partial skin contact], $24.98
-Mouflon Pinot Gris+Riesling 2021 [orange], $26.79
-Mouflon Viognier60+Chardonnay20+Marsanne20 [orange, magnum], $56.35
-Bordlet Sidre Brut Tendre [France], $17.96
-Cambridge Road Peche Naturalist 2021 New Zealand, $33.36
-Folklore Chardonnay 2019 Western Australia, $15.99 [Vintages +19905 $17.95 retail]
-Hidden Bench Bistro Riesling 2017 VQA, $15.05
-Hidden Bench Bistro Chardonnay 2019 VQA, $19.71
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Langelier Polaris Muscadet 2020, $18.86
-Terres Dorees Bourgogne Pinot 2020, $26.96
-Orsogna Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio, $19.76
-Cirelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rose 2021, $23.36
-Antica Enotria Bianco 2020, $18.86
-Finca Fabian Sparkling NV [sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay], $15.26
-Alta Alella GX Garnacha 2020, $20.66
-Meinklang Gruner Veltliner, $22.46
-Decideret Hip Hop Cider [dry hopped], $31.46
-Folklore Shiraz Western Australia, $17.65
-Jumpin' Juice Sunset [orange] NV, $33.26
-Jumpin' Juice Riesling NV, $33.26
-Alpamanta Breva Pais Pet-Nat Criolla 2021 Mendoza, $29.66
-Hidden Bench Bistro Pinot Noir 2019 VQA, $20.71
-Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rose 2021 VQA, $19,71
-Hidden Bench Nocturne Rose 2021 VQA, $19.71
-Hidden Bench Sauvignon Blanc Beton Methode 2021 VQA [concrete egg], $22.10
-Rachis & Derma Chardonnay 2020 VQA, $27.88
 
The Food: no food, but there was water.
The Downside: no food (bread cubes would have helped)
The Upside: "taste and try before you buy" – as the song says...
The Contact Person: mark@thelivingvine.ca or danielle@thelivingvine.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

 width=Virus-free.www.avg.com

Friday, July 29, 2022

More Ontario Roses in the Marketplace via case-wine.com...

Case-Wine.com is a new online platform connecting Ontario VQA boutique wineries to new customers.
They've asked me to review some of the VQA wine bottle products they have listed on their website,
and to let people know about the availability of these wines through Case-Wine.com. I earn no money on these reviews.
 
They are not resellers but a platform that provides a service to both the local VQA craft wineries and the customers as an intermediary. This should have great appeal to Ontario residents, especially for those who have ever wanted to buy VQA boutique wines (about 17 wineries are currently listed for Niagara, 2 for Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore will be listed soon), but cannot or don't feel like travelling to the individual wineries (such as myself, with no car).
 
Here is their URL:  https://www.case-wine.com/index
 
1.2027 Cellars Gamay Rose 2021 VQA Twenty Mile Bench. [$22]
 
    This wine (all Gamay Noir) comes from the Foxcroft Block of the Wismer Vineyard on the Twenty-Mile Bench. It has undergone a cold fermentation to complete dryness, and exhibits the typical red Gamay character of red berries on the palate, with some aromatics of violets, black tea and some earthy rhubarb minerality. It is a light and balanced easy drinking wine for the patio/deck. Indeed, it can be an all-purpose free-standing social drink or aperitif or first-course wine. 394 cases. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
    2.Leaning Post Rose 2021 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake. [$22]
 
    A first-time production for Leaning Post, and using all Pinot Noir: an immediately overwhelming sensation of strawberries and raspberries on the nose. Almost made me want to douse myself with this "perfume". Undertones of orange and lemons. Some sweetness on the mid-palate. Fermentation was begun in stainless steel before 43% of the wine was transferred to concrete for finishing and roundness (emulating the fired-clay vessels of early winemaking). The porous nature of the storage added to the length of the minerality, and also suggested some sour tart cherries on the finish. An excellent wine for socializing. Personally, I loved it. Vegan-friendly. 5.5 g/L residual sugar. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
    3.Nomad at Hinterbrook Winery Garden Rose 2021 VQA Niagara Lakeshore. [$17.95]
 
    Amazingly enough, this wine comes with a cork finish – very unusual in a sea of Ontario roses that use twisttops/screwcaps for what is basically a fresh quaffing wine. This suggests that aging is ok and might be a possibility, changing the aromatics to bouquets and promoting change to the wine's structure. I only had one bottle, so I might never know for sure. My first sense on tasting was the presence of some petillance, not enough to affect the nosing but enough to suggest that any light carbonation could actually enhance its ageability potential. The prickliness enhanced the cherry-berry basket of fruit flavours, and provided some refreshing melon tones to my palate. A very good wine for the patio/deck. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
    Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
    Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Thursday, July 28, 2022

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...
 
 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
CHERYL DAY'S TREASURY OF SOUTHERN BAKING (Artisan, 2021, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-841-0, $55 hardbound) is by Cheryl Day, who has written many other baking books such as "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" (from her place in Savannah, Georgia), "Baking for Breakfast" and "Party Cakes". These preps here are both savoury and sweet baked goods, over 200 of them in a recipe collection that acknowledges the the nature of from-scratch Southern baking. Many are family treasures from Day's great-great-grandmother who was an enslaved pastry cook specializing in biscuits and cakes. It's arranged by category, beginning with hot breads and crackers, moving on to coffee cakes, Bundt cakes, muffins, scones, breads, layer cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, brownies, grits and grains, custards and cobblers, jams and preserves. Southern food is a melange of many cultural influences. She's got three kinds of chess pies – chocolate, buttermilk, and raspberry chess pie bars. She's got a listing, with text, of her Ten Southern Baking Rules. These rules include temperature checks, mise en place, ingredients, measuring, creaming butter and separating eggs. There's a chapter on baking equipment as well. So here we will find the traditional and classic recipes for hush puppies, skillet cornbread, chess pies, calas, popovers, griddle cakes, cheese straws, spoonbread. Preps are scaled in metric weights but there are also American volume measurements. So while preparations have their ingredients listed in either avoirdupois or metric measurements (but not both), there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: for the serious home baker.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: mini baked Alaskas, bacon cheddar scones, lemon blueberry cake, sea salt crackers, benne crackers, cardamom-spiced peach cheese, carmelita bars.
The downside to this book: both metric and American measurements are used, but one is for volume and the other for weight.
The upside to this book: comprehensive.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
 
BITTMAN BREAD; no-knead whole grain baking for every day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021, 244 pages, ISBN 978-0-358-53933-9 $50 hardbound) is by Mark Bittman, author of the "How to Cook Everything" series and participant in many television food shows, and Kerri Conan, a collaborator with Bittman since 2004 developing recipes, testing, producing, et al. Bittman has six Beards and four IACP Awards, plus other honours. Here, the theme is goof-proof breads. As the cover says, "This is the least fussy, most flexible way to make 100% whole grain bread...it's a sourdough upgrade to "no-knead" bread. With simple techniques and starter, the home baker can expand into sandwich breads, baguettes, ryes and seeded breads, pizza, waffles, cookies, beignets, and even tortes. They have created a schedule for the baker to maintain a starter that's almost indestructible. We get the history and the development of whole grain baking since the beginnings (in 2006) of Sullivan Street Bakery's Jim Lahey's manner of making bread with no kneading. This book starts off easily with a starter and making a beginning loaf, transitioning to whole grain baking, and then Bittman bread, and variations. Everything is nicely scaled in grams and easy to produce. You just need a schedule. Quality/Price Rating: 91.
 
 
 
10-MINUTE CHINESE TAKEOUT; simple, classic dishes ready in just 10 minutes (Hardie Grand Quadrille, 2022, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78713-743-1 $30 hard covers) is by Kwoklyn Wan, a UK chef who now teaches and demos Chinese cooking. Here he tells all, how to replicate Chinese takeout food at home in minutes. Alongside a basic pantry of five essentials (salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar and oil), one can make a feast of easy dishes using the bare minimum. All the major favorites are here, from Laksa curry soup to spicy pepper omelette to miso saucy pork to General Tso's chili tofu to sweet soy beef noodles. All ingredients are readily available in local supermarkets. Wan has step-by-step instructions expert tips, and classically good photography. It's all arranged by major ingredient or course, from soups through apps, seafood, poultry, meats, veggies, and desserts. 80 preps in all. Condiments are discussed in then larder section. Do it yourself, stay home, cook at home, and have fun with such as Bang-bang chicken salad, fried fish in Cantonese-style chili sauce, minced pork noodles, boozy scallops with water spinach, or even deep-fried Sichuan king prawns – all done in 10 minutes. Wan has also written CHINESE TAKEOUT IN 5; 80 of your favorite dishes using only five ingredients – it too has 80 different preps. The book could have been improved if it had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
----------------------------------------------------
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Thursday, July 21, 2022

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR JUNE 2022 [published mostly monthly since 2000]

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR MAY-JUNE  2022 [published mostly 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
 
Reviewer Timeline: Cookbook Reviewer, Library Journal, 1969-1974; Cookbook Columnist and Lead Reviewer, The Booklist (American Library Association), 1974-1985; CBRA Cookbook Reviewer, 1975-1985; Freelance Cookbook Reviewer, 1985-1999; Gothic Epicures Writing Lead Cookbook Reviewer, 2000+
 
These food and wine book reviews are always available at www.deantudor.com and http://gothicepicures.blogspot.ca
 
Prices listed below are in US or CAN currency as printed on the cover. I do this because many of my readers are American. CAN prices are inserted for Canadian produced books. In times of US-Canadian currency fluctuations, parity, and online bookstore discounts (plus the addition of GST or HST) prices will vary upwards or downwards every day.
 
* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *
   +++++++++++++++++++++++
 
1.IMPERIAL WINE; how the British Empire made wine's new world (University of California Press,  323 pages, $43.85 CAD hardbound) is by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, an historian at Trinity College in Connecticut. It's full of good material, concentrating on the development of the wine industries in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. She argues that today's global wine industry exists as a result of settler colonialism and that imperialism was central, not incidental, to viticulture in the British colonies. For the large part, the wines were ignored by the landed gentry in the UK. They failed to match up with wines from France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy. Plus they had a long transport from  their origins. Canadian wineries are not covered or even mentioned, which is just as well – because the only wines available from Canada were made from labrusca or hybrids. It was only after World War I that "colonial" wines became popular, and that was mainly because they were "patriotic" wines and plentiful if not cheap because of preferential import tariffs. An excellent read, well-researched. Quality/Price Rating: 91.
 
* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! *
  ++++++++++++++++++++++
 
2.TASTING GEORGIA; a food and wine journey in the Caucasus (Interlink Books, 2017, 2021, 464 pages, ISBN 978-1-62371-8427-8 $28.95 USD softbound) is by Carla Capalbo,  born in NYC, and now working as a freelance food journalist and photographer. This is an updated revised edition making its paperbound debut. She's written 14 books on the culture of producing food and wine, winning awards such as the Andre Simon for "Collio" as best wine book. Her photos of Georgia have won an IACP award. Here she gives us, by the numbers: 70 recipes, 60 restaurants and wine bars, 40 family wineries, 10 regional maps, and 390 original photographs, many of which detail farmers markets and family cooks. She's got top log rolling from Redzepi (noma), Ottolenghi, and Petrini (founder of Slow Food). Georgia lies between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. It is one of the world's oldest winemaking areas, with wines made traditionally in clay qvevri buried in the ground, and searched for by lovers of natural wine. After the section on wine comes the food, beginning with the "supra" buffet-banquet-sharing feast and the elements of Georgian cuisine. Ingredients include ajika (capsicum paste), lobio beans, guda (sheep's cheese), tenili cheese, freshwater fish, gozinaki (honey and walnuts at New Year), jonjoli, khinkali dumplings, matsoni fermented milk, and lots more. There are only a few holiday recipes for sweets. Most dinners end with fresh fruit, nuts, or fruit leather. Preps have English and Georgian titles as well as scrips. Recipes have been edited for home cooks or otherwise simplified with substitutions. Metric and avoirdupois weights and measures co-exist in the preps. There is an impressive listing of sources and travel information, along with websites. The almost 40 page index includes a recipe planner for creating meals, a listing of the various foods by product, a listing of the restaurants and wine bars cited, an index to the wine, plus an index to the 12 regions of Georgia. And of course, there are are recipes by English title. A good book for armchair  travellers, cooks, and culinary historians. Try the eggplant rolls; lobio beans stewed with herbs; beef and chickpea stew; beets with spiced walnut paste; chicken with nut sauce; corn meal with cheese; fermented cabbage and beets; mulberry and goat cheese salad; noodle and yogurt soup; and stewed nettles.  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: 91.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
* MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
3.AMMU; Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul (Interlink Books, 2022, 288 pages, $45 hardbound) is by Asma Khan, owner of London's Darjeeling Express  (from supper club to pop-up to restaurant) which re-creates the food of Calcutta via its all-woman kitchen. She's also part of Chef's Table (Netflix). Partially a memoir, this is Indian home cooking at its best. She had previously written "Asma's Indian Kitchen" (2019) as a guide to Indian feasts. But here she celebrates her mother, her Ammu, and the home-style cooking augmented by memories. She opens with some 15 suggested menus (all with page references to the recipes) covering weeknight suppers, vegan meals, dairy-free with meat, pescatarian, brunch, et al. Each has an appetizer, main and sides, and dessert. She opens with comfort foods from childhood, her cooking sessions and lessons with her Ammu, some material on celebrations, and some more material on quick and modern recipes. Many of the comfort foods use slow-cooking, so they are labour-free. Loaded with stories and photos of both people and finished plates. As she says, "This is the food I cook for my family every day, meals to comfort, restore, and nourish." Quality/Price Rating: 89
 
4.WINE PAIRING PARTY; 16 wine profiles – 80 perfect food pairings. (Chronicle Books, 2022, 160 pages, $28.95 hard bound) is by Liz Rubin. It is a great collection of folded pages, one for each wine, giving some blanket data and pairings. For Champagne, we are to look for citrus pith and red fruit. The four pairing here centre around fatty cheeses, cured meats, fried chicken, and sushi. She's also got a menu for New Year's Eve, with Brillat-Savarin, dried fruit, baguette, and a bottle of non-vintage Blanc de Blancs. There are other sections on prosecco and pet-nat sparklers. Good fun in a book priced under $30. Quality/Price Rating: 94
 
5.ART BOOZEL; cocktails inspired by modern and contemporary artists (Chronicle Books, 2021, 144 pages, $27.95 hard bound) is by Jennifer Croll, with illustrations by Kelly Shami. There's a couple of pages devoted to each artist (Banksy, Warhol, Picasso, Kahlo, O'Keefe, Hockney, et al-- about 60 in all) deftly illustrated  and accompanied by a recipe for a cocktail expressive of that artist. There is the Yoko Ono built upon gin, Lillet Blanc, apricot brandy, grapefruit juice and grapefruit bitters. Or perhaps the Robert Maplethorpe with bourbon, lemon juice, hickory smoke, vermouth, bitters, salt and pepper. It is a good idea for a book, and we can all have fun trying the cocktails, and maybe seeing if there is a chance to mix and match. Quality/Price Rating: 88
 
6.CHEESE, ILLUSTRATED; notes, pairings and boards (Chronicle Books, 2021, 144 pages, $28.95 hard bound) is by cheesemaker-cheesemonger Rory Stamp. He's got 50 of the more popular or accessible  European and North American cheese, with notes on pairings and tastings. There are 15 cheese board suggestions. Popular cheeses include Cheddar, Brie, Gruyere, Roquefort, Epoisses, Parmigiano Reggiano, Emmentaler, et al. The main cheese boards are by country: France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain/Portugal, British Isles, and North America, plus four entitled "Boards without Borders". That allows him to present some mountain cheeses and some dessert cheeses. Another good idea book, with lots of  concise data. Quality/Price Rating: 90
 
7.MIND AND BOWL; a guide to mindful eating & cooking (Orion Laurence King Publishing, 2022,  160 pages, $25.99 hard bound) is by Joey Hulin a UK writer. It's a book about self-awareness, with the idea that the food we eat is a relationship we have with the planet. It's vegetarian, with some exceptions such as oriental fish sauce or eggs. The first 100 pages concern mindfulness and mindful eating, food and self-awareness, health and food, storytelling and food. This is followed by basics of cooking, and including  breakfast and brunch bowls, simple lunches, main course bowls, and dessert bowls. Well-thought out. Quality/Price Rating: 89
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
8.SIX CALIFORNIA KITCHENS; a collection of recipes, stories, and cooking lessons from a pioneer of California cuisine (Chronicle Books, 2022, 352 pages, $50 hard bound) is by Sally Schmitt, founder of  the French Laundry restaurant of the first to create menus around local and seasonal ingredients – the beginnings of the farm-to-table movement. This is her major work: a narrative cookbook with photos and historic menus for 114 preps that define Northern California cuisine. Her title refers to the six kitchens she has cooked in, including her mother's homestead kitchen, her first cafe kitchen, the Chutney Kitchen, the French Laundry, et al. These include such preps as mustard potatoes, cheese biscuit dough gods, cold cucumber soup with garlic chives and mint, basil eggs, steak a la chicana, bay shrimp and celery with avocado, scallops in tequila lime cream with cilantro gremolata, turnip soup with fresh mustard greens, spicy fig and almond torte, and more.  The range is from breakfast to dinner to snacks, from appetizers to desserts, and from many to few eaters. She has a pantry, of course, and it is all laid out for us to read and to use.  Good sense, and a great addition to the library of California foods and cooking. Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
9.WEEKEND; eating at home: from long lazy lunches to fast family fixes (Hardie Grant Quadrille, 2021, 224 pages, $42.99 hardbound) is from Matt Trebutt, a TV presenter (BBC's SATURDAY KITCHEN) and working chef at The Foxhunter in Wales.  It's a good topic for a cookbook since it goes beyond brunch and lunch to encapsulate all the weekend activities, from casual Friday nights through light lunches/brunches and celebratory gatherings and formal sit-downs. These are relaxing kitchen projects for special meals such as the laid back supper, the lazy breakfast, and (weather permitting) the outdoor grilling and parties. He's got 100 preps plus photography and a chronological arrangement from Friday night through Sunday (with a concluding chapter on desserts and drinks). The index, of course, is alphabetical by ingredient or plate name – so it is easy to find alternative dishes. Friday nights embrace Portuguese chicken, coriander and garlic soup, or a hot and sour soup, or a seared tuna, or mackerel fillets, followed by prawn rolls or prawn dumplings, or the scrumptious cumin-roasted cauliflower with sichuan pepper and peanut dip. 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: 89.
 
* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
10.IN LOVE WITH PARIS; recipes & stories from the most romantic city in the world (Hardie Grant Books, 2021, 176 pages, $25)  is by Anne-Katrin Weber, a chef, recipe developer and food stylist. It was originally published in Germany earlier in  the year, and this is its English language debut. She's also got Julia Hoersch for the recipe photography and Nathalie Geffroy for the Parisian mood photography. The book is about equally split between the recipes and the stories, which makes it a perfect gift for the Paris-lover. There are 50 savoury and sweet preps here, along with culinary walks through the city (and nicely illustrated with photos). It's a good basic books on typically French dishes, with stories behind them: croque madame, coq au vin, madeleines, macarons, romano tartlets, moules marnieres, terrines, oysters au gratin, Parisian onion soup. Ah, the cafe life – right in your kitchen. I've got a friend who swears by its recipe for boeuf bourguignon as the easiest and tastiest that he has ever made.  Quality/price rating: 88.
----------------------------------------------------
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! * Imperial Wine; how the British Empire made wine's new world (review)

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *
 
1.IMPERIAL WINE; how the British Empire made wine's new world (University of California Press,  323 pages, $43.85 CAD hardbound) is by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, an historian at Trinity College in Connecticut. It's full of good material, concentrating on the development of the wine industries in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. She argues that today's global wine industry exists as a result of settler colonialism and that imperialism was central, not incidental, to viticulture in the British colonies. For the large part, the wines were ignored by the landed gentry in the UK. They failed to match up with wines from France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy. Plus they had a long transport from  their origins. Canadian wineries are not covered or even mentioned, which is just as well – because the only wines available from Canada were made from labrusca or hybrids. It was only after World War I that "colonial" wines became popular, and that was mainly because they were "patriotic" wines and plentiful if not cheap because of preferential import tariffs. An excellent read, well-researched. Quality/Price Rating: 91.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JULY 16, 2022 release.


WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for JULY 16,  2022 release.

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 good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past Fortnight ---

Varvaglione 12E MEZZO Primitivo del Salento 2020 IGT Puglia, $14.95 +395053: This full-bodied red has a dried herbal character, and also shows its warm ripe fruit (plums, cherries) and spicy mocha vanilla tones from three months in US oak barriques. It is very smooth in that over-the-top California zinfandel manner, very BBQ friendly. Sip or drink with red-based food such as pasta and pizza, or anything BBQ. Very affordable price. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

KACABA Rebecca Rose VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021+227025 July 16 Vintages, $20.15: a nicely pale-coloured gamay wine (formerly a blend of  cabernets), coming in at 11.7% ABV. Dry (3g/L residual sugar) style red fruits: strawbs, red currant, sweet cherries, cranberry (hey, it's Ontario) with a touch of pink watermelon for added complexity. Stainless steel used for storage. Goes with just about everything. A nicely balanced rose which reminded me of Provence. And it gets high scores at the Wine Writer's Circle of Canada rose tastings. 60 cases at the LCBO, more at the winery. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

KACABA Susan's Sauvignon Blanc VQA Niagara Peninsula 2021 winery and online at kacaba.com, $20.15: another summer series wine, quaffable in its tropicality and lowered zesty herbaceousness. Good mouthfeel, nice dry finish for appetizers on the patio/deck/balcony/porch. Stainless steel storage. No malolactic fermentation, thus the crispness and freshness has been preserved. It has Good Memories of Sauvignon Blanc, making it another social wine for the patio or with first-course food. 3g/L residual sugar. 10.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

Available through Case-Wine.COM --

1.Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay Organic 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $25:
fruit is from two contracted growers, all barrel fermented in oak (2d and 3rd year barrels). Wild fermentation, wild malolactic fermentation, lees aging one year, all vegan friendly. Very soft and engaging, much like the 2016 in its youth, some toast but a longish length. Showing some orchard fruit (such as pears) on the mid-palate. Burgundian in style with citric zest in the mid-palate, long finish. Best tasted in contemplation, underpriced. Do not overchill. Twist top. Try with creamy cow's milk (Brie, Camembert) or Alpine Gruyere; also, simple roasted chicken. 12.7% ABV.
Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


2.King's Court Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2017 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $20.95: there are many different fruit profiles for savvies in the world, ranging from the kiwi herbal zestiness to blowsy fruit-forward flavours. This one is a bit more open and approachable, showing some green orchard fruit, some stone fruits, citric tones on the finish, and a crispness that needs food. It is well-within the range of North American sauvignon blanc wines. But do not overchill when you serve it on the patio/deck/terrace. Try with BBQ, creamy pasta, or grilled sandwiches. 12.5% ABV. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


3.Waupoos Estate Winery Riesling 2021 VQA Prince Edward County {$19.95]: with grapes planted in 2015, still young and fresh, somewhat crisp and dry at this point. Light bodied, with a stainless steel ferment. Various aromatics abound from a young riesling on the green side: fresh apples, lime, nuances of lemongrass. Crisp food finish, but also good for those hot summery days as an aperitif for the deck/patio/balcony. Very food-worthy with assorted seafood (shrimp on the barbee?), light but not spicy pork, chicken in different styles. 5 g/L residual sugar, very dry. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


4.Nomad at Hinterbrook Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2021 VQA Niagara Lakeshore [$17.95]:  bone-dry, light aromas of tropicality such as pineapple, some gooseberry, even grassy or herbaceous. Stainless steel fermentation. Grapefruit and other citric tones on the mid-palate. Apples, finishing with lemons. Great with all manner of veggies, especially green ones. 300 cases made. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

REPORT ON THE 2022 CHIANTI CLASSICO ESPERIENZE, MAY 30, 2022 --

The Date and Time: Monday May 30, 2022  Noon - 4PM
The Event: 2022 Chianti Classico Esperienze
The Venue: The Globe and Mail Centre, King Street
The Target Audience: wine trade, wine writers, sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: as with all the current wine shows in Toronto, there was no print catalogue – it was all virtual for specific data about terroir, history, DOC coverage, production, etc. (facts and figures). Prices were available but from the sgents in attendance.
The Quote/Background: There were 35 wineries promoting Chianti Classico at three or so levels (regular, reserve, and gran selezione. Also, there were dedicated tables for Vin Santo DOC (12 of them) plus Olive Oil DOP (14 of them). The tables were arranged by the 11 appellations.
The Wines: I did not try every wine, although I did try at least one wine per winery.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza Cavaliere d'Oro San Casciano 2015
-Colli Fiorentini Chianti Classico San Casciano3 Riserva La Verita 2014
-Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico San Casciano Riserva 2017
-Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico San Casciano Gran Selezione 2016
-Carpineto Chianti Classico Greve Gran Selezione 2016
-Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Picchio Greve 2018
-Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Gtan Selezione La Prima Greve 2018
-Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sassello Montefioralle 2016
-Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo Panzano 2018
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2018  $29 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Margone Panzano 2016  $49 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Tenuta Carobbio Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2015
-Arillo in Terrabianca Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio Croce Radda 2019
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Gaiole 2019
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva Gaiole 2017
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva Cultus Gaiole 2017
-Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Millennio Gaiole 2015
-Fèlsina Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Colonia Rancia Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Lecci e Brocchi Chianti Classico Riserva Il Chiorba Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Lecci e Brocchi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Celerarium Castelnuovo Berardenga 2015
-San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio Castelnuovo Berardenga 2017
-Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vagliagli 2016
-Dievole Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna di Sessina Vagliagli 2016
-Casale dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castellina 2018
-Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo Castellina 2019
-Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ser Lapo Castellina 2018
-Cecchi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Valore di Famiglia Castellina 2016
-Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sergio Zingarelli Sergioveto Castellina 2016
-Tenuta Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Nerento Castellina 2016
-Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Donato in Poggio 2015
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Isole e Olena Chianti Classico San Donato in Poggio 2019
-Tenuta Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Riserva Fanatico Castellina 2017
-Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva Sergioveto Castellina 2018
-Lornano Chianti Classico Riserva Le Bandite Castellina 2017
-Lornano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castellina 2015
-Casale dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Riserva Castellina 2018
-Cecchi Chianti Classico Villa Cerna Primocolle Castellina 2017
-Fattoria della Aiola Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Cancello Rosso 2017
-Dievole Chianti Classico Riserva Novecento Vagliagli 2018
-Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna Misciano Vagliagli 2018
-Tolaini Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Montebello Sette Castelnuovo Berardenga
2018
-Tenuta Casenuove Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2017
-Capannelle Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Gaiole 2016
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Panzano 2019  $22 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva Lamole 2017
-Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva Gaiole 2018
-Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Conti Capponi - Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Bastignano Montefioralle 2016
-Fontodi Chianti Classico Filetta di Lamole Panzano 2019
-Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico Riserva Montefioralle 2017
-Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Panzano 2017
-Querciabella Chianti Classico Riserva Greve 2017
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico Riserva San Casciano Clemente VII 2018
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Casciano Clemente VII 2016
-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva d'Oro San Casciano 2016
-Carpineto Chianti Classico Greve Riserva 2017
-Lanciola Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Le Masse di Greve 2016
-Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Greve Riserva 2018
-Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Riserva Agostino Petri Greve 2018
-Lanciola Chianti Classico Riserva Le Masse di Greve 2016
 
 
The Food: Catering was by the always excellent Ascari –
-Crostini neri (chicken liver and fried sage on toast)
-Farinata – rosemary and chickpea pancake, whipped ricotta, sundried olives
-Funghi pizza slices – cremini mushroom, gorgonzola DOP, garlic, chives
-Ribolita – kale and white bean stew on sourdough toast
-Coccoli prosciutto & stracchino – cheese-filled fried dough ball covered with cured ham.
Plus coffee...
The Downside: I had no time to try the vin santo DOCs on offer, nor the olio DOP
The Upside: there was a media room with all the bottles, and there were chairs. So it was relatively easy to taste and appraise.
The Contact Person: kelly@predhomme.ca or amanda@predhomme.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93
 

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday July 17...
 
[red] Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Chile +322586, regularly $19.95, now $16.95, save $3.
[rose] 13th Street Cuvee Brut Sparkling Rose  Trad Method VQA Niagara Peninsula +147504, regularly $29.95, now $26.95, save $3.
[white] Quail's Gate Chardonnay VQA Okanagan Valley British Columbia +377770, regularly $26.95, now $23.95, save $3.
[fizz] Chateau des Charmes Brut Sparkling Trad Method VQA NOTL +224766, regularly $25.95, now $21.95, save $4.
[splurge] Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma +352583, regularly $46.95, now $41.95, save $5.

MAJOR THEME:  Sunny Mediterranean Wines

Note: This is what I call a New Moon release...A once-a-month release of physical wines to the LCBO shelves, unlike the Blue Moon releases of three-a-month...I'll cover mostly the in-store wines since the "Online Curated Assortment" has only small quantities...If I do mention an online order wine, then it will have OCA initials and a date in front of it.

Wines Under $20
=========
W+225557    ERADUS SAUVIGNON BLANC    Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island    2021    $19.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+391987    MIDDLE-EARTH SAUVIGNON BLANC    Vegan, sustainable, Nelson, South Island    2021    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+315119    JEAN GEILER PINOT GRIS    AC Alsace    2019    $17.95    MVC/QPR: 90
W+390625    DOMAINE LA HAUTE FÉVRIE SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE    AC    2020    $15.95     MVC/QPR:  89
W+25703    ORSOGNA ZEROPURO CLOROFILLAE MALVASIA ORANGE    Vegan, IGP Terre di Chieti    2020    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
Rose+515288    RIVAROSE BRUT PRESTIGE SPARKLING ROSÉ    Salon de Provence, IGP Mediterranean, Provence, France        $19.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
R+642421    VALPANTENA TORRE DEL FALASCO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO    DOC    2020    $18.95     MVC/QPR:  89.
R+450155    TAPIZ ALTA COLLECTION MALBEC    Mendoza    2019 $19.95 MVC/QPR:  89.
R+273672    STORIA ANTICA SUPERIORE VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO    DOC    2019    $18.95
MVC/QPR:  90.
R+668780    BISCARDO ROSAPASSO    IGT Veneto    2021    $15.95    MVC/QPR:  90


Wines Over $20
=========
W+20899    CLOSSON CHASE THE BROCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2019    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
W+238642    INNISKILLIN MONTAGUE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY    Single vineyard, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2020    $25.95     MVC/QPR: 89.
Rose+668426    VILLA AIX EN PROVENCE ROSÉ    AP Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence    2021    $20.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
Rose+279117    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ    Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula    2021    $20.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Rose+227025    KACABA SUMMER SERIES REBECCA ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2021    $20.15     MVC/QPR: 90
R+73817    RUTHERFORD RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley, California    2018    $42.95  MVC/QPR: 90.
OCA June 30 R+25678  TUA RITA ROSSO DEI NOTRI    IGT Toscana 2019 $29.95 MVC/QPR: 90                                        

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Recently Reviewed Wines via Case-Wine


Case-Wine.com is a new online platform connecting Ontario VQA boutique wineries to new customers.
They've asked me to review some of the VQA wine bottle products they have listed on their website,
and to let people know about the availability of these wines through Case-Wine.com. I earn no money on these reviews.

They are not resellers but a platform that provides a service to both the local VQA craft wineries and the customers as an intermediary. This should have great appeal to Ontario residents, especially for those who have ever wanted to buy VQA boutique wines (about 17 wineries are currently listed for Niagara, 2 for Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore will be listed soon), but cannot or don't feel like travelling to the individual wineries (such as myself, with no car).

Here is their URL:  https://www.case-wine.com/index


1.Icellars Estate Rose 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
The current blend contains 9 different unspecified grape varieties from the Niagara Peninsula, which gives the producer much leeway in crafting a final blend. The label says strawberries and burnt sugar, and when I first opened the bottle I was immediately hit with the overpowering aromas of strawberries. Wow. Each of the grape varieties contributes distinctive fruit to the mix. So – depending on the vintage and the grapes available, the blend can change over the years. Very aromatic, emphasizing cherry-berry and orchard fruit layered under a tart bone dry cranberry-ish finish-length. A nice cheese wine from a very hot and dry vintage year. 13.1% ABV. Residual sugar is 5.9g/L. 100 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


2.Konzelmann Estate Winery Gewurztraminer Late Harvest 2019 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
Very aromatic with some tropical tones of melons and lychees, very much in the fruity Alsatian style of gewurztraminer. Yum. Cool fermentation in stainless steel, with typical concentrated gewurztraminer tones of spices, limes, some roses on the mid-palate. Best as an off-dry aperitif by the deck or porch or pool, or with fragrant cheeses, spicy and/or creamy foods, with a tad of bitter on the finish. Great with Asiatic foods. Twist-off closure. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


3.Strewn Premium Riesling Lively 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula.
Here is a basic, all purpose semi-dry Ontario riesling that is lightly acidic with a smooth sweet tone on the mid-palate, and with some zestiness coming off the tongue. It's got all the elements of stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines) plus the "lively" character of the lime-citrus mineral complex.
11.7% ABV. Residual sugar is 11.6 g/L. Probably best with all manner of light and white food such as white-fleshed fish, cooked pork roast, chicken. And, of course, extremely useful as a drink on the deck/patio/balcony/terrace/pool. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.


Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

REPORT FROM THE NORTHWEST WINE EXPEDITION TRADE SHOW JUNE 6 2022

REPORT FROM THE NORTHWEST WINE EXPEDITION TRADE SHOW JUNE 6 2022
 
The Date and Time: Monday June 6  Noon to 4PM
The Event: Northwest Wine Expedition Trade Show
The Venue: Steam Whistle Brewing, Locomotive Hall, Bremner Blvd
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, agents
The Availability/Catalogue: The BottleBooks catalogue of 192 products was online and accessible by mobile. Information was provided on the name of the product, AVA, types of grapes used, suggested pricing, and the like.
The Quote/Background: The potential usefulness of BottleBooks was shown by the host information on the event and making connections digitally.
The Wines: There were 192 wines (plus or minus, as there were last minute additions and subtractions). Many wineries were seeking representation in Ontario. Few had tech/sales  sheets. I only tasted Chardonnays and Sparkling wines. Among the latter, I certainly enjoyed:   Treveri Cellars Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay) NV   Four Stars 91+
Treveri Cellars Blanc de Noir (Pinot Noir) NV Four Stars 91+
Treveri Cellars Brut Zero (Chardonnay) NV  Four Stars  91+
Sokol Blosser Bluebird Cuvee Sparkling 2019 (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller-  Thurgau, Muscat) Three and a half Stars 88 – 90
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
 
-Revana Vineyards Alexana Chardonnay Terroir Series 2020 $46 retail Le Sommelier.
-A to Z Wineworks REX HILL Seven Soils Chardonnay 2019
-Adelsheim Vineyard Staking Claim Chardonnay 2018
-Chateau Ste Michelle Canoe Ridge Chardonnay 2018
-Milbrandt Estates Chardonnay 2018
-Milbrandt Family Chardonnay 2020
-Centerstone Willamette Valley Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2017
-Citation Oregon Chardonnay 2015
-Cristom Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2020
-Domaine Drouhin Oregon Roserock Chardonnay 2018 $26.95
-Foris Vineyards and Winery Chardonnay 2019 $23.95  DB Wine and Spirits
-Phelps Creek Lynette Chardonnay 2018
-Sokol Blosser Estate Dundee Hills Chardonnay 2019
-Stoller Family Estate DUNDEE HILLS CHARDONNAY 2020
-The Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay "The Eyrie" 2018
-Chateau Bianca Wetzel Estate Chardonnay 2019
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
 
-A to Z Wineworks Oregon Chardonnay 2021
-Adelsheim Vineyard  2019  Willamette Valley
-Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay 2020
-J. Bookwalter Readers Chardonnay 2020 (Chardonnay, 24% Viognier)
-K Vintners Substance 'Ch' Chardonnay 2020
-Woodward Canyon Washington State Chardonnay 2020
-Division Chardonnay Un 2020
-Phelps Creek Chardonnay Columbia Gorge 2019
-Elk Cove Vineyards Pike Road Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2019
-Westmount Wine Co Westmount Chardonnay 2020
 
The Food: The Food Dudes provided many samples of hors d'oeuvre, such as reuben sliders, halloumi flatbreads with pears, chimichurri shrimp, tomato toasts with ricotta,  prime steak tartare, seed crusted tuna, and avocados with veggies. Some food was provided by Pacific Northwest suppliers looking for agents. But no one seemed to have any bread or other platform to display the large number of sauces and dips and preserves. Overall, my favourite was Cardamon Hills Chutney which had a variety of chutneys that included apricot, apple-ginger, tomato, mango and quince. Laurel Brand had a great series of hazelnut spreads, macadamia butter, and hazel nut chocolates.
The Downside: BottleBooks was affectionately known as BottleNecks by the Luddites
The Upside: it was a large space and there was plenty of room for elbowing.
The Contact Person: kelly@predhomme.ca  and events@thefooddudes.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Friday, July 1, 2022

REPORT FROM The Event: 2022 Chianti Classico Esperienze May 30, 2022

The Date and Time: Monday May 30, 2022  Noon - 4PM
The Event: 2022 Chianti Classico Esperienze
The Venue: The Globe and Mail Centre, King Street
The Target Audience: wine trade, wine writers, sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: as with all the current wine shows in Toronto, there was no print catalogue – it was all virtual for specific data about terroir, history, DOC coverage, production, etc. (facts and figures). Prices were available but from the sgents in attendance.
The Quote/Background: There were 35 wineries promoting Chianti Classico at three or so levels (regular, reserve, and gran selezione. Also, there were dedicated tables for Vin Santo DOC (12 of them) plus Olive Oil DOP (14 of them). The tables were arranged by the 11 appellations.
The Wines: I did not try every wine, although I did try at least one wine per winery.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza Cavaliere d'Oro San Casciano 2015
-Colli Fiorentini Chianti Classico San Casciano3 Riserva La Verita 2014
-Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico San Casciano Riserva 2017
-Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico San Casciano Gran Selezione 2016
-Carpineto Chianti Classico Greve Gran Selezione 2016
-Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Picchio Greve 2018
-Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Gtan Selezione La Prima Greve 2018
-Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sassello Montefioralle 2016
-Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo Panzano 2018
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2018  $29 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Margone Panzano 2016  $49 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Tenuta Carobbio Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2015
-Arillo in Terrabianca Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio Croce Radda 2019
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Gaiole 2019
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva Gaiole 2017
-Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva Cultus Gaiole 2017
-Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Millennio Gaiole 2015
-Fèlsina Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Colonia Rancia Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Lecci e Brocchi Chianti Classico Riserva Il Chiorba Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Lecci e Brocchi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Celerarium Castelnuovo Berardenga 2015
-San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio Castelnuovo Berardenga 2017
-Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vagliagli 2016
-Dievole Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna di Sessina Vagliagli 2016
-Casale dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castellina 2018
-Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo Castellina 2019
-Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ser Lapo Castellina 2018
-Cecchi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Valore di Famiglia Castellina 2016
-Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sergio Zingarelli Sergioveto Castellina 2016
-Tenuta Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Nerento Castellina 2016
-Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Donato in Poggio 2015
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Isole e Olena Chianti Classico San Donato in Poggio 2019
-Tenuta Villa Trasqua Chianti Classico Riserva Fanatico Castellina 2017
-Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva Sergioveto Castellina 2018
-Lornano Chianti Classico Riserva Le Bandite Castellina 2017
-Lornano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castellina 2015
-Casale dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Riserva Castellina 2018
-Cecchi Chianti Classico Villa Cerna Primocolle Castellina 2017
-Fattoria della Aiola Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Cancello Rosso 2017
-Dievole Chianti Classico Riserva Novecento Vagliagli 2018
-Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna Misciano Vagliagli 2018
-Tolaini Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Montebello Sette Castelnuovo Berardenga
2018
-Tenuta Casenuove Chianti Classico Riserva Panzano 2017
-Capannelle Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Gaiole 2016
-Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Panzano 2019  $22 Le Sommelier Licensee
-Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva Lamole 2017
-Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico Riserva Gaiole 2018
-Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia Castelnuovo Berardenga 2018
-Conti Capponi - Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Bastignano Montefioralle 2016
-Fontodi Chianti Classico Filetta di Lamole Panzano 2019
-Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico Riserva Montefioralle 2017
-Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Panzano 2017
-Querciabella Chianti Classico Riserva Greve 2017
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico Riserva San Casciano Clemente VII 2018
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Casciano Clemente VII 2016
-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva d'Oro San Casciano 2016
-Carpineto Chianti Classico Greve Riserva 2017
-Lanciola Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Le Masse di Greve 2016
-Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Greve Riserva 2018
-Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Riserva Agostino Petri Greve 2018
-Lanciola Chianti Classico Riserva Le Masse di Greve 2016
 
 
The Food: Catering was by the always excellent Ascari –
-Crostini neri (chicken liver and fried sage on toast)
-Farinata – rosemary and chickpea pancake, whipped ricotta, sundried olives
-Funghi pizza slices – cremini mushroom, gorgonzola DOP, garlic, chives
-Ribolita – kale and white bean stew on sourdough toast
-Coccoli prosciutto & stracchino – cheese-filled fried dough ball covered with cured ham.
Plus coffee...
The Downside: I had no time to try the vin santo DOCs on offer, nor the olio DOP
The Upside: there was a media room with all the bottles, and there were chairs. So it was relatively easy to taste and appraise.
The Contact Person: kelly@predhomme.ca or amanda@predhomme.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Re: Report on tasting wines vis Case-Wine.com

This is great, thank you! 

Claire

On Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 12:44 PM Dean Tudor <dtudor@pathcom.com> wrote:
Case-Wine.com
 
Case-Wine.com is a new online platform connecting Ontario VQA boutique wineries to new customers.
They've asked me to review some of the VQA wine bottle products they have listed on their website,
and to let people know about the availability of these wines through Case-Wine.com. I earn no money on these reviews.
 
They are not resellers but a platform that provides a service to both the local VQA craft wineries and the customers as an intermediary. This should have great appeal to Ontario residents, especially for those who have ever wanted to buy VQA boutique wines (about 17 wineries are currently listed for Niagara, 2 for Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore will be listed soon), but cannot or don't feel like travelling to the individual wineries (such as myself, with no car).
 
Here is their URL:  https://www.case-wine.com/index
 
They raise the queries: Have you ever thought about placing an online order at a VQA winery, but not gone through with it because you don't meet the minimum order requirement? Do you ever wish you could order VQA wine online and enjoy an affordable shipping rate? On www.case-wine.com, you can select any kind of wine from any participating VQA boutique winery, enjoying a favourable shipping rate and quality customer service. To ensure wine lovers across Ontario are exposed to a balanced local wine experience, Case-Wine.com offers a transformative platform that breaks the barrier between different brands. You can create your own 12-bottle case with VQA wines from various wineries and, at the same time, support the local Ontario VQA wine industry. You can even mix the case so that you get 12 VQA wines from 12 different wineries. The final price is the retail price of the wines and a favourable shipping rate for the case. And you do not need to order a full case of wine.
 
Now available through Case-Wine.com.....
 
1.Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay Organic 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula [$25]:  fruit is from two contracted growers, all barrel fermented in oak (2d and 3rd year barrels). Wild fermentation, wild malolactic fermentation, lees aging one year, all vegan friendly. Very soft and engaging, much like the 2016 in its youth, some toast but a longish length. Showing some orchard fruit (such as pears) on the mid-palate. Burgundian in style with citric zest in the mid-palate, long finish. Best tasted in contemplation, underpriced. Do not overchill. Twist top. Try with creamy cow's milk (Brie, Camembert) or Alpine Gruyere; also, simple roasted chicken. 12.7% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.King's Court Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2017 VQA Niagara Peninsula [$20.95]: there are many different fruit profiles for savvies in the world, ranging from the kiwi herbal zestiness to blowsy fruit-forward flavours. This one is a bit more open and approachable, showing some green orchard fruit, some stone fruits, citric tones on the finish, and a crispness that needs food. It is well-within the range of North American sauvignon blanc wines. But do not overchill when you serve it on the patio/deck/terrace. Try with BBQ, creamy pasta, or grilled sandwiches. 12.5% ABV. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Waupoos Estate Winery Riesling 2021 VQA Prince Edward County {$19.95]: with grapes planted in 2015, still young and fresh, somewhat crisp and dry at this point. Light bodied, with a stainless steel ferment. Various aromatics abound from a young riesling on the green side: fresh apples, lime, nuances of lemongrass. Crisp food finish, but also good for those hot summery days as an aperitif for the deck/patio/balcony. Very food-worthy with assorted seafood (shrimp on the barbee?), light but not spicy pork, chicken in different styles. 5 g/L residual sugar, very dry. 11.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Nomad at Hinterbrook Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2021 VQA Niagara Lakeshore [$17.95]:  bone-dry, light aromas of tropicality such as pineapple, some gooseberry, even grassy or herbaceous. Stainless steel fermentation. Grapefruit and other citric tones on the mid-palate. Apples, finishing with lemons. Great with all manner of veggies, especially green ones. 300 cases made. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com
AND http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
AND https://twitter.com/gothicepicures
Dean Tudor, Professor Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
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.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


--

info@case-wine.com


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