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Thursday, June 23, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for June 25, 2016.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for June 25, 2016.
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By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
20 under $20
=========
W-Domaine de la Baume Elisabeth Viognier 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc, +438796, $16.95, MVC/QPR:  90.
R-Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, 13.5% ABV,  +177584,  $15.95, MVC/QPR: 93 – ** FAVE OF THE MONTH **
R-Domaine des Terrisses Grande Tradition Gaillac 2012, 13% ABV, +451922, $17.95,  MVC/QPR:90
R-Chateau Saint-Roch Chimeres 2014 AP Cotes du Roussillon -Villages, 15% ABV, +119354, $19.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Domaine de L'Alba E'Ermite 2013 AC Corbieres, 13% ABV, +446138, $17,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Cave Spring Estate Bottled Gewurztraminer 2013 CSV VQA Beamsville Bench, 13.5% ABV, +302059, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2014 Salta, 14.5% ABV, +389262, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec 2013 Mendoza, 14.2% ABV, +450155, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2013 Casablanca, 14% ABV, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Santa Ema Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Leyda Valley, 13.5% ABV, +443507, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Cousino-Macul Don Matias Reserva Syrah 2014 Maipo, 14% ABV, +443515, $14.95, MVC/QPR:89
W-Jardin Inspector Peringury Chenin Blanc 2014 WO Stellenbosch, 13.5% ABV, +443473, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Corte Medicea Aros 2014 IGT Toscana, 13.5% ABV, +456947, $14.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Vega Moragona La Duna Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2011 DO Ribera del Jucar, 14% ABV, +378877, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Vina Eguia Reserva 2010 Rioja, 13.5% ABV< +325845, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2014,  12.5% ABV, +960955,  $17.95, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Qu Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo, 13.5% ABV, +443531, $16.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Featherstone Four Feathers 2015 VQA Niagara, 12.5% ABV, +341586, $14.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Michele Castellani San Michele Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2013, 14% ABV, +410688, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
 
20 over $20
=========
R-Henry of Pelham Reserve Baco Noir 2013 VQA Ontario, 14% ABV, +461699, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Manus dei du Chateau Sixtine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012, 15% ABV, +719120, $38.95,        MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir 2014 BC VQA Okanagan, 14%ABV, +556613, $40.95,  MVC/QPR: 88
W-Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Chardonnay 2014 Sonoma Coast, 14.1% ABV, +235945, $29.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Russian River Valley Sonoma, 14.5% ABV, +210039, $45.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Napa Cellars Merlot 2013 Napa, 14.2% ABV, +447300, $29.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Columbia Valley, 13.5% ABV, +269357, $20.95,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Blue Pyrenees Shiraz 2013 Victoria, 14.5% ABV, +935890, $23.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2014, 12.8% ABV, +41780, $25.95,  MVC/QPR: 89
R-M Rolland Chateau Fontenil 2008 Fronsac, 14% ABV, +567404, $45.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-St.Urbans-Hof Old Vines Riesling 2014 Mosel, 9.5% ABV, +995746, $21.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Domdechant Werner Hochheimer Riesling Kabinett 2012 Rheingau, 10% ABV, +722413, $21.95, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Gemma Giblin Riserva Barolo 2007, 14% ABV, +185025, $38.95,  MVC/QPR: 91
R-Arpa Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 IGT Toscana, 14% ABV, +455527, $20.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, 13.5% ABV, +216309, $22.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino 2010, 14.5% ABV, +458216, $48.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Monte del Fra Lena di Mezzo Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, 15.5% ABV, +47506, $53.95,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Marques de Vitoria Gran Reserva 2005 Rioja, 14% ABV, +699678, $30.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Podere La Cappella Querciolo Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 Unfiltered, 14.5% ABV, +95893, $38.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Domaine Bott-Geyl Schoenenbourg Grand Cru Riesling 2012 Alsace, 13.5% ABV, +456970, $50.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Tawse Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, 14% ABV, +130997, $31.95, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Event: A Taste of Spain – Rueda wines

The Date and Time: Sunday, May 29, 2016  11AM to 5PM
The Event: A Taste of Spain – Rueda wines
The Venue: Patria Restaurant
The Target Audience: wine trade, and then later, Spanish wine lovers.
The Availability/Catalogue: some of the wines are available by consignment, the occasional one turns up at Vintages. There are four on the General LCBO list, but they were not in this show.
The Quote/Background: Felipe Gonzalez-Gordon, Director of DO Rueda, spoke to the wines, most of which were not represented in Ontario. Ten wines were at the seminar, along with six wine writers. Rueda whites are the number one top quality selling white wines in Spain. They became a DO in 1980, and red/rose Rueda followed in 2008. Verdejo, at 10.5 Hectares, has 80% of the plantings, followed by sauvignon blanc (15%) and other varieties (mostly red). The area, like all of Spain, is tightly controlled in terms of expansion by the EU.
The Wines: I did not try every wine. Retail prices were estimates when available, but most verdejos were in the mid-teens or less, most sauvignon blancs were slightly higher. After 12:30 it became a consumer event, and it was tough to get a wine sample as every booth had lineups (not complainin', just explainin'). Some wines I just did not get to.
As far as I can tell, 36 wines were listed but I know for sure than at least one did not arrive.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Emina Personal Carlos Moro Fermentado en Barrica 2009
-Grupo Yllera Cantonsan Espumoso Reserva Familiar NV MT  $20   John Hanna
-Hijos de Alberto Dorado NV
-Jose Pariente Fermentado en Barrica 2013  $32.35  Cottonwood
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Finca Montepredoso Verdejo 2014  STEM
-Marques de Caceres Verdejo 2014   $14.95 Dionysus
-Finca La Colina 2014 Old Vines
-Sanz Sauvignon Blanc 2014   Wineonline
-Friz Sanz Te NV [semi-sweet]   Wineonline
-Hermanos del Villar Oro de Castilla 2014    ABCON
-Grupo Yllera Vendimia Nocturna 2014   $17   John Hanna
-Robert Vedel Cepas Viejas 2013
-Jose Pariente Cuvee Especial 2014  $32.35  Cottonwood
-Jose Pariente Apasionado 2013  [off-dry]  Cottonwood
-Felix Sanz Vina Cimbron Sauvignon Blanc 2014
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Protos Verdejo 2014  SpainOnly1 Imports
-Marques de Caceres Excellens Sauvignon 2014   Dionysus
-Emina Verdejo 2014
-Sanz Verdejo 2014   Wineonline
-GarciaRevalo Harenna Edicion Limitada 2014
-GarciaRevalo Tres Omios Lias 2014
-Grupo Yllera Vina 65 2014   $13   John Hanna
-Jose Pariente Verdejo 2014  $21.10  Cottonwood
 
The Food: Patria went all out for this one with appropriate food. Since there were only two kinds of white wine everywhere, the food went well with whatever one had on a plate. To begin with, there were Patria's well-known spiced nuts, olives, charcuterie/salumi, Spanish cheeses, octopus carpaccio on toasts, breads, meats. Served platters included flatbreads with anchovies and/or cooked red peppers, some deep fried cheeses, more meats. In a very crowded area there was shrimp paella, and some ribs with rice and truffle oil.
The Downside: we started late as we waited for stragglers for the seminar.
The Upside: for years we have had no wine trade events on Sundays. Suddenly, there were two such events this May. A good time, people seem to be available. Wine is always 24/7.
The Contact Person: felipe@parallel36.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

* MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS

3.200 BEST SHEET PAN MEALS (Robert Rose, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0538-0, $27.95 CAN paper covers) is by the prolific Camilla V. Saulsbury, author of about two dozen cookbooks. She's also got powerhungry.com where she develops more recipes. As the publisher notes, sheet pan meals are great alternatives to one-pot meals. There is some heavy competition out there in cookbookland, but there is always room for one more, especially in the well-known Rose format with its metric-avoirdupois listing of ingredients and tips. It is all simple enough: seasoned meats and cutup veggies are drizzled with oil, herbs and spices to taste, and then all is baked/broiled/roasted on a sheet pan in the oven. You can do anything with a sheet pan, although you might want two or more to handle specific sweet desserts and savoury mains. Cleaning up is a breeze too. And of course there is no reason why you could not use both one-pots and sheet pans for meals that feed scores of people at once. The book begins with 25 very easy meals to make from an existing pantry. Then it moves on to breakfast, brunch, meatless, meats, and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: beginner
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: warm kale, tomato and chickpea salad; summer roasted corn, potato and fresh mozzarella; huevos rancheros tortilla tarts; spicy sofrito shrimp and potatoes; sheet pan fajitas; pork posole.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
4.200 BEST SMOOTHIE BOWL RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0533-5, $27.95 CAN paper covers) is by Alison Lewis, recipe developer and author of other Robert Rose cookbooks. Here she works on the smoothie bowl: thick smoothies that you eat with a spoon, mostly at breakfast. It is Smoothie 2.0, with the addition of toppings such as fresh and dried fruits, seeds and nuts. Most of the preps her are gluten-free and vegetarian, and many are also vegan. She's got a section on how to build a smoothie bowl and how to acquire a smoothie pantry. Recipes covered are breakfast, green creations, kid-friendly, coffee and tea smoothies, dessert smoothies, with a concluding section on toppings. There's a great "complete breakfast smoothie bowl" on page 22, with protein, carbos, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. My own breakfast has been emulating these for the past several years: I always have a bowl of nuts and seeds, mostly ground, with yogurt and then a choice of a savoury or a sweet liquid topping. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginners, those looking beyond smoothies.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: breakfast harvest bowl, peachy green bowl, avacolada, green star fruit bowl, orange-banana-coconut bowl, green tea blueberry bowl, honeydew green tea bowl.
The downside to this book: I think that there could have been more recipes.
The upside to this book: usual Robert Rose production with tips and ingredient measurements.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
5.THE SIX O'CLOCK SCRAMBLE MEAL PLANNER (American Diabetes Association, 2016, 418 pages, ISBN 978-1-58040-567-6, $22.95 US paper covers) is by Aviva Goldfarb, author of The Six O'Clock Scramble cookbooks, which help to reduce stress and improve health. She also has a website at www.thescramble.com. Here in this book she has a year of quick meals to help one prevent and/or manage diabetes. One main principle is to plan ahead and shop once a week with a list; there are many such lists in her book. The arrangement is by season, beginning with Spring. 160 recipes require 30 minutes or less to prepare, and there are 32 weekly meal plans of mains and sides. Separate sections cover snacks, dressings and dips, and quick breakfasts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents which is a shame since all the nutritional data is in metric.
Audience and level of use: those who want to manage their diet.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: ruffles noodles with spinach, feta and tomatoes; green salad with grapes; smokey beans and greens over grits; baked red snapper with onions; butternut squash and apple soup; vegetarian enchilada verdes; corn, tomato and bacon salad.
The downside to this book: no metric for ingredients or tables
The upside to this book: a good collection for those wishing to control their diet.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
6.FAST & FEARLESS COOKING FOR THE GENIUS (For the Genius Press, 2016, 287 pages, ISBN 978-1-941050-27-9, $24.95US paper covers, PDF eBook $21.95US) is by Ann Tudor, my wife and head chef at home. A MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS BEING DECLARED...The publisher says: "Home cooking is making a comeback, whether for health, entertainment, economy, or the simple joy of learning. Ann Tudor's cooking philosophy focuses on impromptu, innovative, and improvisational meals. Instead of set recipes, the book emphasizes riffing and playing with food." Here are kitchen secrets, stories, and free-wheeling kitchen moves. For anyone who forgot to learn how to cook, this is a chance to learn. The book is a boon to those who need to get food on the table with no delay. Long-time cooks as well will find new tricks and tips to encourage efficiency and improvisation. This is more than cooking wisdom; it is also a tight little stash of timeless kitchen secrets. Ann Tudor shares her revelations and shortcuts and revolutionary ideas, pulling readers into the warmth of her kitchen and her life. Here are meals and dishes that you can prepare when you get home (exhausted) from work, much less expensive than a diet of take-out and restaurant meals. She teaches you to fly by the seat of your pants, to cook without a net. In short, to riff. She outlines basic and easy principles and techniques for cooking. Using ingredients and methods that are sometimes idiosyncratic, Ann presents her credo: Don't be afraid, have a basic larder with some normal ingredients and some that are new to you, and approach the whole business in a spirit of play. The eBook alone should be a useful cell/reader text when you think of dinner for tonight – while on your way home! Orders at http://bit.ly/fast-fearless-cooking-ftg, use coupon code "fast-fearless-cooking-ftg" (no quotes) for discount. Quality/Price Rating: major conflict of interest.
 
 
 
7.BREAKFAST FOR DINNER (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-703-4, $19.95 US hard covers) is largely by Carol Hilker, who organized the book and did about 47 recipes. The other 33 preps were chosen from the RP&S stable of cookbook authors; the majority from Hannah Miles and Dan May. It's basically a "cooked" breakfast that is eaten at dinner. The Full English Breakfast would be appropriate here. So it is largely egg- and hash-based. Waffles are useful as platforms for meats or veggies with gravy. Desserts are breakfast goodies such as Danish, raspberry coffee cake, or cinnamon rolls.  Hey, if it all works, then you can have leftovers for breakfast the next day! Ultimately, though, you will spend as much time making a cooked breakfast as you would making some kind of a cooked dinner. Preparations have their ingredients listed in (mostly) metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: pulled pork hash; monte cristo; Nasi Goreng bowl; saltfish buljol; strata; mac 'n' cheese sandwich; carrot cake scones.
The downside to this book: no waffle poutine prep!
The upside to this book: a good book for bachelors!
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
8.THE POWER OF PULSES (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-77162-102-1, $24.95 CDN paper covers) is by Dan Jason, and sisters Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne. It deals with the food category of peas, beans, chickpeas, favas, and lentils. It is a nifty book, with Jason, who owns Salt Spring Seeds, providing home gardening advice. So he has a primer on the variety of pulses and their nutritional benefits. The Malones have 50 vegetarian preps for the reader to enjoy. Pulses are important: they are the best food to eat for nutrition and balance, they are inexpensive whole foods, they have diverse tastes and textures. and for renewable agriculture. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. End notes provide provenance sources and websites; the two separate indexes cover gardening and recipes.
Audience and level of use: vegetarians, those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: crispy chickpea power bowl; lentil and butternut squash salad with kale and blue cheese; almond pesto pole beans with sourdough crumb; lentil and mushroom cottage pie; fava bean and artichoke tagliatelle; butter bean croquettes.
The downside to this book: I would have liked more recipes.
The upside to this book: it is a terrific theme book as you can readily grow pulses in your own backyard.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
9.GARLIC (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-707-2, $21.95 US hard covers)is by Jenny Linford, a UK freelance food writer and multiple cookbook author. Garlic adds immense flavour to dishes; some do not like it, but many do. It's a member of the lilies: leeks, onions, chives, and is used internationally. Here are 65 preps that use garlic extensively as a main component, either for flavour or for textures. It is a full range, divided into areas from "mellow" through to "go wild", and including "comfort" and "fiery" along the way. There is also material about types and use, garlic festivals around the world (Gilroy comes to mind), medicinal and folklore use, and home cultivation. In general, preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and metric measurements (with some inconsistency in treatment), but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginner
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: kimchi pancake with black garlic crème fraiche; toast garlic herbed labneh; Spanish garlic soup; wild garlic cheese scones; tzatziki; ajo blanco.
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes, 65 is not enough.
The upside to this book: good photography and choice of preps.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
10.150 BEST RECIPES FOR COOKING IN FOIL (Robert Rose, 2016, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0532-8, $19.95 CAN soft covers) is by Marilyn Haugen, cookbook writer, working her way through single purpose instruments for Robert Rose, such as cookbooks for spiralizers and sandwich makers. Here, the obvious advantage of cooking in foil is for messy BBQs and camp-outs (especially the latter, but you bring back the foil for disposal). Foil wrap is used at our house for a lot of things, and is always reused before being cleaned and recycled. The only trick is to make sure your packet is tightly sealed to keep in the juices and not dry out – that's the whole point. And promise yourself to recycle the foil since the format is not much reusable as a stainless steel pot would be. Her book is evenly divided among camping, grilling and ovens. Note to completists: she has NO dishwasher salmon recipe. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: beginners, millennials, campers, moist food lovers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: breakfast tacos; blackberry peach crumble; curry coconut chicken; clam bake; grilled lamb with veggies; loaded baked sweet potatoes.
The downside to this book: more emphasis needed to be put on reusing and/or recycling foil.
The upside to this book: useful for new cooks.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
11.CRAFT SPIRITS (DK, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-4384-7, $22 US hardbound) is by Eric Grossman, a spirits writer, principally for USA Today. He writes on over 250 spirits, all made by artisanal small-scale processes. There's a primer on distillation, followed by material on vodka craft spirits, then gin, whisky, rum, brandy, agave, and other liqueurs. Each chapter has some relevant in-depth profiles of artisans (e.g., Hangar 1 Vodka, Grosperin XO Fine Champagne, Hudson Baby Bourbon) plus thumbnail sketches of the other 200 (all with bottle shots). And there are some fine cocktail preps of mainly the classics, deftly illustrated, and with ideas on how to create your own signature drinks. Now he needs to do a book on bitters...
Audience and level of use: knowledgeable spirit imbibers
Some interesting or unusual facts: "give your whisky an earthy yet sweet note by infusing with sweet potatoes".
The downside to this book: I would have liked more cocktail recipes.
The upside to this book: Good detail on how to create your own drinks. And he includes Ungava, the gin from Quebec made with Arctic circle botanicals.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
12.SAVOR (Artisan, 2016, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-666-9, $29.95 US hardbound) is by Ilona Oppenheim, a graphic designer and photographer who owns the Ilona Agency. It's a book on "rustic recipes inspired by forest, field and farm" (subtitle); it comes with logrollers Eli Zabar, Ruth Rogers, and Francis Mallmann. It is also an art/travel book centred around Aspen, with many photos of the area and of the finished plate. It is arranged by area, beginning with the pasture (dairy: yogurt, butter, ghee, ricotta, custards) and moving through the earth (root veggies, kale, zucchini, tomato, pears, apples, peaches), the wild (dandelion, mushrooms, trout, pheasant, berries), the fire (grilled pizza, cheese fondue, smoked salmon, waffles, gluhwein), and the mill (oatmeal, muesli, breads, tarts). At the end, there's a list of resources. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: armchair travelers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: see above. There is also biscotti, ancient grain pancakes, mountain berry marmalade, garlic scape compound butter, kale and feta quiche.
The downside to this book: too many non-food photos for my taste.
The upside to this book: good intro to farm-based food; she also recommends joining a CSA to get quality food.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
13.FRESH FISH (Storey Publishing, 2016, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-337-0, $19.95 US softbound) is by Jennifer Trainer Thompson, food writer and author of other cookbooks. It is a basic seafood book, perhaps assisted by the fact that the publisher and author are both Massachusetts-based. The subtitle is "a fearless guide to grilling, shucking, roasting, poaching and sauteeing seafood". But the only way to get fearless is to do a lot of it, so it becomes almost routine (see above). The book is valuable, but the new "inland" cook may need more coaching for confidence. Just about all forms of meals are covered: tacos, grilled fish, seared fish, baked fish, steamed and/or fired, and the like. The 175 preps also have accompaniments. Note too that "fish" in this context also includes "seafood" The wide range of cooking techniques makes this book valuable, but at the same time there seem to be too many non-food photos that are pretty but not needed. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: fish lovers, those who cook a lot.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: lobster BLT; marinated shrimps with fresh herbs; bourride with homemade garlic aioli; broiled oysters; white clam pizza; shrimp and crab manicotti.
The downside to this book: it is a very heavy book, and outsized as well.
The upside to this book: I loved the last photo in the book.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Event: A taste and buy preview of the 2014 Burgundy vintage via Henriot family (Bouchard Pere & Fils, William Fevre Chablis, and Villa Ponciago Fleurie).

The Date and Time: Thursday, May 19, 2016  11AM to 3 PM
The Event: A taste and buy preview of the 2014 Burgundy vintage via Henriot family (Bouchard Pere & Fils, William Fevre Chablis, and Villa Ponciago Fleurie).
The Venue: Canoe
The Target Audience: licensees, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: everything is available through the LCBO or by private order (by the case of six bottles). Luc Bouchard chose the wines (19 burgundy, 7 chablis) for this tasting preview – out of 76 burgundies offered and 21 chablis offered – but all wines are available for ordering through Woodman (see their price list).
The Quote/Background: As tasted, the 2014 reds were mid-weight while the 2014 whites were classics, and of course, I preferred the whites.
The Wines: Everything was from 2014 except a few at the LCBO – Beaune du Chateau 1er Cru 2011 +325142, $37; Montagny 1er Cru 2013 +653683, $30; William Fevre Les Clos 2013 Chablis +641381 Classics, $130.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Greves Vigne Enfant Jesus Monopole 2014, $150
-Nuits St Georges Les Cailles 2014, $147
-Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 2014, $112.
-Chambolle Musigny 2014, $77
-Meursault Genevrieres, $120 – My FAVE of the morning
-Chassagne-Montrachet 2014, $75
-Puligny-Montrachet 2014, $79
-William Fevre Bougros 2014, $97
-William Fevre Beauroy 2014, $58
-William Fevre Fourchaume 2014, $69
-Champagne Henriot Brut Rose NV, $90
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-William Fevre Les Preuses 2014, $123
-William Fevre Montmains 2014, $58
-William Fevre Vaillons 2014, $58
-William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2014, $25 Consignment
-Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain NV, $63 +959643
-Bouchard Pere & Fils Macon Lugny Saint-Pierre 2014, $18 +51573
-Chappelle-Chambertin 2014, $295
-Le Corton 2014, $175
-Beaune Clos de la Mousse Monopole 2014, $77
-Pommard 1er Cru 2014, $89
-Savigny Les Beaune Les Lavieres 2014, $63
-Gevrey Chambertin 2014, $66
-Chevalier-Montrachet 2014, $460
-Corton-Charlemagne 2014, $250
-Beaune du Chateau 2014, $51
-Meursault Les Clous 2014, $65
-Montagny 1er Cru 2014, $37 – best buy, both 2013 and 2014
-Saint Veran 2014, $30
-Pouilly-Fuisse 2014, $29  +56580
 
The Food: house crafted upscale charcuterie/salumi, international cheeses, honeys, nuts, oysters with the Champagne, breads.
The Downside: are you kidding?
The Upside: the "view from Canoe", plus a chance to chat with Luc Bouchard as I do every year.
The Contact Person: info@woodmanws.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Event: Riesling & Co.; wines of Germany.

The Date and Time: Wednesday, May 18, 2016  11AM  - 4PM
The Event: Riesling & Co.; wines of Germany.
The Venue: Arcadian Loft
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: the catalogue was fairly detailed, although it did lack prices.
The Quote/Background: The seminar was conducted by John Szabo and the current German Wine Queen, Josefine Schlumberger. It focused on food and wine matching as in previous years, but this time the foods were all Asiatic: Thai, Japanese, Chinese, India.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine as I had a time conflict. The seminar wines were folded into the list below.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Schloss Reinhartshausen Riesling Brut Deutsche Sekt NV MC, $26.95   PMA
-Schloss Schonborn Risling Auslese 2005 Hattenheim Pfaffenberg   HHD Imports
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Spatlese Monopol 2003 Josephshoefer  HHD Imports
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Auslese Mosel 1999 Josephshoefer  HHD Imports
-Winzergenossenschaft Konigsschaffhausen-Kiechlinsbergen Spatburgunder Blanc de Noirs 2014, $16.95 PO  HHD Imports
-Winzervereinigung Freyburg-Unstrut Riesling Sekt 2012 Extra Brut   Angyal
-Pinot Sekt Brut Alde Gott eG Baden 2013
-Domdechant Werner'sches Weingut Kirchenstueck Riesling GG Dry Rheingau 2008 HHDImports
-Leitz Ruedesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spatlese Rheingau 2004  Hobbs & Co
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Josephe
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Schmitt Sohne Beerenauslese 2015 Rheinhessen    HHD Imports
-Hiestand Gewurztraminer 2014 Rheinhessen Guntersblum     Univins and Spirits
-Solter Brut Pinot Cuvee Sekt Sekthaus Solter Rheingau
-Rappenhof Pettenthal Riesling GG Dry 2014 Rheinhessen     Churchill
-Divino Alte Reben Silvaner Dry Franken 2014
-Helmut Doennhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett Nahe 2014    Soleil
 
The Food: at the seminar we had twelve wines, but I just concentrated on the inner eight dry table wines. They were paired with Thai (humbold squid, nam prik, mango: a young silvaner and riesling), Japanese (red miso tofus, hens egg, shiitake: a young silvaner and an older riesling), Chinese (sweet & sour pork, bok choy, long bean: riesling kabinett and 2004 spatlese – best set of pairing in the lunch), and Indian (lamb sirloin, kaffir lime and cilantro, spiced tomato: young pinot noir wasted, inspired 1999 riesling auslese). It was a very instructive seminar.
The Downside: I had to leave early for another commitment on my time.
The Upside: a chance for the food match.
The Contact Person: lisa@androscom.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, June 9, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for June 11, 2016.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for June 11, 2016.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at www.deantudor.com
 
BONUS:  La Guita Manzanilla Sherry, 15% ABV, +337022, $15.95, MVC/QPR: 93.
 
20 under $20
=========
R-Rosenblum Zinfandel 2012 Paso Robles,  14.1% ABV, +450544, $19.95, MVC/QPR:  89.
W-Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2013 CSV VQA Beamsville Bench, 13% ABV, +256552, $18.95,  MVC/QPR: 90
W-Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2014 VQA Niagara, 10% ABV, +89029, $17.95, MVC/QPR:91
R-Chateau des Charmes Estate Bottled Old Vines Pinot Noir 2011 VQA NOTL, 13% ABV, +256834, $18.95, MVC/QPR: 91
R-Rainier Wine Diversion Majestic Red 2013 Washington, 13.6%, +446997, $18.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Zonte's Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Whiraz 2013 Barossa, 14.5% ABV, +212936, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Jardin Sauvignon Blanc 2014 WO Stellenbosch, 13% ABV, +663302, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Cave de Beblenheim Heimberger Reserve Sylvaner 2014, 12% ABV, +446443, $13.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Sourdais Chinon 2014 Loire, 13% ABV,  +451898, $16.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau Grand Moulin Vieilles Vignes 2012 Corbieres, 13.5% ABV, +440842, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Domaine Les Verrieres Les Sept Fonraines 2009 Langedoc, 13.5% ABV, +362913, $18.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling 2014 Mosel, 8.5% ABV, +599274, $13.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Lopez de Haro Crianza 2010 Rioja,  13.5% ABV, +377481, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Fielding Estate Riesling 2014 VQA Beamsville Bh, 10.5% ABV, +251439, $19.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Creekside Estate Laura's Red 2012 VQA Niagara, 13.5% ABV, +117960, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Seven Falls Merlot 2011 Wahluke Slope Columbia Vly, 14% ABV, +420711, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88
R-Balbo Crios Pinot Noir 2014 Uco Vly, 14% ABV, +450098, $14.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-San Felice Chianti Classico 2013, 13% ABV, +282996, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88
R-Concha y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Ribera del Tinguiririca Machigue Central Valley Chile, 14% ABV, +256693, $17.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Byron & Harold Rose & Thorns Shiraz 2013, 14% ABV, +453183, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
 
20 over $20
=========
R-Ca' Momi Zinfandel 2014 Napa, 13.9% ABV, +396168, $22.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Paul Dolan Zinfandel 2013 Mendocino, 15% ABV, +46342, $29.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Candor Lot 7 Zinfandel Lodi, 14.5% ABV, +133389, $22.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Vly, 13% ABV, +585760, $27.95, MVC/QPR:88
W-Casa Lapostelle Cuvee Alexandre 2013 Atalaysa Vyd Casablanca, 14.5% ABV,+947937, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Forest Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Great Southern Western Australia, 14% ABV, +380840, $29.95, MVC/QPR: 89
W-Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, +735043, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Alain Geoffroy Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru 2014, 13% ABV,  +733501, $31.95, MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Chaumeau-Balland & Fils Domaine La Grande Maison Sancerre 2014, 13% ABV, +452532, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiller Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 2013 Mosel, 8.5% ABV, +339150, $26.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Cafaggio Basilica Solatio Riserva Chianti Class 2010, 14.5% ABV, +441279, $39.95, MVC/QPR:88.
R-Poggio Stella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011, 13.5% ABV, +444810, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 88
R-Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino 2010, 15% ABV, +212837, $42.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Brunelli Amarone dell Valpolicella Classico 2012, 15% ABV,  +439745, $51.95,  MVC/QPR:  90.
R-Caparzo Rosso di Montalcino 2013, 13% ABV, +333575, $20.95, MVC/QPR: 87.
R-Olivier & Lafont Gigondas 2013,  14.4% ABV, +452300, $29.95, MVC/QPR: 87.
R-Domaine Belle Les Pierrelles Crozes-Hermitage 2012, 13% ABV, +451880, $27.95. MVC/QPR: 87.
R-Chateau Maurac 2013 Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc, 13.5% ABV, +365817, $26.95,  MVC/QPR: 87.
W-Paquet Chateau de Chaintre Pouilly-Fouisse 2014, 13.5% ABV, +445239, $27.95, MVC/QPR: 87.
W-Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2015 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, 9.5% ABV, +578625, $24.95, MVC/QPR: 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com
 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Event: Savour Australia Toronto

The Date and Time:  Monday, May 16, 2016  11:30AM to 4PM
The Event: Savour Australia Toronto
The Venue: Verity (seminar) and George (trade show)
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: as always, some wines are at the LCBO, others are by private order or consignment, etc. The catalogue was arranged by producer, and retail prices were noted.
The Quote/Background: The seminar stressed historical evolution and modern changes in new grapes and techniques. Twelve wines were presented, and their ratings were folded into the listing below. John Szabo and Oz winemakers commented.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine (there were over 100 of them).
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Kilikanoon Mort's Reserve Watervale Riesling 2006 Clare Valley, $50 Charton Hobbs
-Cirillo 1850 Steingarten Shiraz 2014 Barossa, $35  Bokke
-Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2013 Margaret River, $96  Terra Firma
-Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Margaret River, $68 Terra Firma
-Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 Margaret River, $39.95  Terra Firma
-Alpha Box & Dice Xola Aglianico 2011 McLaren Vale, $45
-Ulupna Royal Phoenix Shiraz 2009 Goulburn Valley Victoria, $55   United Stars
-Ulupna Late Harvest Shiraz 2012 Goulburn Valley Victoria, $29   United Stars
-Alpha Box & Dice Apostle Shiraz Durif 2012 McLaren Vale, $50
-Moss Wood Chardonnay 2014 Margaret River, $64.95  Terra Firma
-Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2013 Margaret River, $45   Vinexx
-Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 Margaret River, $70   Vinexx
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2013 Margaret River, $36  Terra Firma
-Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2015 Margaret River, $26.95  Terra Firma
-Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 Margaret River, $26.95  Terra Firma
-Moss Wood Pinot Noir 2014 Margaret River, $55  Terra Firma
-Moss Wood Amy's 2014 Margaret River, $37.95  Terra Firma
-Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 Margaret River, $30  Terra Firma
-Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc 2015 Margaret River, $20   Vinexx
-Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2013 Margaret River, $45   Vinexx
-Voyager Estate Girt by Sea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Margaret River, $28 Vinexx
-Kilikanoon Mort's Block Watervale Riesling 2015 Clare Valley, $19.95  Charton Hobbs
-Hollick Bond Road Chardonnay 2014 Coonawarra, $25.95  Lifford
-Cirillo 1850 The Vincent Grenache 2015 Barossa, $30  Bokke
-Hollick Cabarenet Sauvignon 2013 Coonawarra, $35  Lifford
-Hollick Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Coonawarra, $75
-Fowles Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2012 Strathbogie Ranges Victoria, $34.95
-Ochota Barrels I Am The Owl Syrah 2015 Adelaide Hills, $60
-Ulupna Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Goulburn Valley Victoria, $23   United Stars
-Ulupna Limited Edition Shiraz 2014 Goulburn Valley Victoria, $32   United Stars
-Ulupna Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Goulburn Valley Vic, $32  United Stars
-Franklin Tate Estates Alexander's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Margaret River, $41.95  Wine Guru
-Franklin Tate Estates Alexander's Vineyard Shiraz 2014 Margaret River,$41.95 Wine Guru
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Franklin Tate Estates Chardonnay 2015 Margaret River, $17.95 +453373
-Cirillo 1850 Ancestor Semillon 2011 Barossa, $36  Bokke
-d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2012 McLaren Vale, $35
-St.Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2013 Barossa, $80  Select
-Soumah Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Yarra Valley, $34.95    Von Terra
-Soumah Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Yarra Valley, $34.95    Von Terra
-BK Wines Skin 'n' Bones White 2015 Adelaide Hills, $50
-Jauma Like Raindrops Grenache 2015 McLaren Vale, $60
-Brash Higgins Nero d'Avola Amphorae Project 2015 McLaren Vale, $55
-Fowles Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay 2014 Strathbogie Ranges Victoria, $34.95   Von Terra
-Stonier Chardonnay 2015 Mornington Peninsula Victoria  $35  Select
 
The Food: cheese, breads
The Downside: the red wines in the seminar, at my table at least, were served too cold.
The Upside: a good chance to taste Oz wines that sell for over $20 in Ontario.
The Contact Person: anne.popoff@wineaustralia.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Event: Taste of Greece Grand Tasting: brilliant wines

The Date and Time: Sunday May 15, 2016   12:30 PM to 2PM
The Event: Taste of Greece Grand Tasting: brilliant wines
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: the wines were available through the LCBO, at the Danforth LCBO "Greek" store, Consignment, Private Order, etc. Some wineries were looking for agents. The catalogue was sorely lacking in details on terms of availability and prices, but it did have the names of agents.
The Quote/Background: I had a minimal amount of time since I was committed elsewhere later in the day (it was Sunday: who has a wine trade show on Sunday?). Consequently, I decided to skip all the wineries who were looking for agents and concentrated on the others. Even so, many of the agents were vague about prices.
The Wines:  I did not try every wine; I just sampled the ones that I thought would be the best.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Monemvasia Winery 300 Red [mavroudi, agiorgitiko]2006, $40   Celebrity Wines
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Amethystos Red 2012 [cab sauv, merlot] $23.95 +724831 Vintages
-Alpha Estate Red 2012 [syrah, xinomavro, merlot], $26    Eurovintage
-Domiane Glinavos Dryades 2007, $23.75    Intravino
-Papaioannou Estate Microclima 2005 Agiorgitiko $75  Kolonaki
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Semeli Nemea Reserve Agiorgitiko 2012, $26 PO  Artisanal Wine Imports
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Oenodea Red 2012 [cab sauv, syrah] $19.95  Dionysus
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Amethystos White 2015 [sauv blanc, assyrtiko] $19.95 +984864 Vintages Jan 18, 2017
-Hatzimichalis Estate Chardonnay 2015     Dionysus
-Hatzimichalis Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 +538074, $17.95 Vintages
-Alpha Xinomavro 2012, $18 Eurovintage
-Alpha Axia 2012, $17.75  +392282
-Domaine Porto Carras Ruby Heart 2013, $16.95  PO   Intravino
-Ktima Theopetra Tsililis Theopetra Red 2012, $26  Intravino
-Ktima Theopetra Tsililis Theopetra Limniona 2012, $28  Intravino
-Domaine Vassiliou-Nemeion Estate Hgemon Agiorgitiko 2007 $29.95 PO Intravino
-Mediterra Winery Mirambelo 2011 $16  Kolonaki
-Papaioannou Estate 2010 Agiorgitiko $21.95  Kolonaki
-Papaioannou Estate Old Vines 2010 Agiorgitiko $32.95  Kolonaki
-Domaine Papagiannakos Kalogeri Malagousia 2015  Majestic
-Domaine Sigalas Santorini 2015  Majestic
-Domaine Mercouri Estate Red [refosco, mavrodaphne] 2014 $18.90   Rubaiyat Wines
-Gaia Wines S 2014 [agiorgitiko, syrah]    Small Winemakers Collection
-Cavino Nemea Grande Reserve 2009 Agiorgitiko $17   United Stars Corp
 
The Food: Daniel and Daniel put out their usual charcuterie platter with international cheeses and dips, smoked duck breast, and other items.
The Downside: I was unable to taste most of the wines.
The Upside: the place was packed – who knew people were free on Sunday?
The Contact Person: gathanas@allaboutgreekwine.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Event: The Great New Zealand Wine Tiki Tour, Toronto 2016.

The Date and Time: Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 1PM to 5PM
The Event: The Great New Zealand Wine Tiki Tour, Toronto 2016.
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available through the LCBO, Consignment or private order. Once again, the New Zealand catalogue was a model, with great notes on the industry, styles of wine, contact pages, names of wines and prices, where available, etc.
The Quote/Background: Canada is now #4 in receiving exported Kiwi Savvy. We learned this, as well as differing terroirs, in the seminar which featured 17 wines. Those wines have been folded into the notes below.
The Wines: I did not taste all wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Te Mania Sauvignon Blanc Nelson 2015, $19.99 PO Small Winemakers
-Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015, $38.95  Family Wine Merchants
-Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013, $39.95 PO Connexion Oenophilia
-Te Pa Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $19.95  +450668 Vintages
-Pasquale Pinot Noir Waitaki Central Otago 2012, $49 Trilogy
-Wither Hills Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012, $34.95  Select
-te Pa Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014, $24.95 PO Family Wine Merchants
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon Waipara Valley 2013,  $32   Woodman
-Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay 2014, $33.95  PO Lifford
-Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $21.95   Vinexx
-Ara Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Waihopai, $21.95 PO Charton Hobbs
-Villa Maria Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $29.95 P. Dandurand
-Stoneleigh Wild Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Wild Ferment, $18.95 Corby
-Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013, $23.95 PO  Charton Hobbs
-Forrest Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013, $25.95 Abcon
-Pasquale Chardonnay Waitaki Central Otago 2012, $39 Trilogy
-Wither Hills Rarangi Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $24.95  Select
-Squealing Pig Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014, $24.95 +427211 Vintages
-Waipara Hills Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013, $23.95  Mondia Alliance
-Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014, $24.75 +66803 Vintages
-Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $24.95 +912337 Vintages Sept 3/16
-Sacred Hill Orange Label Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014, $21.95  Family Wine Merchants
-Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013, $24.95 +734681 Vintages
-Spy Valley ENVOY Johnson Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014,$29.95 +429308 VCat
-te Pa Oke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $24.95 PO Family Wine Merchants
-Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke's Bay 2014, $29.95 PO P Dandurand
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Villa Maria Private Bin Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $17.95 +429969 GL
-Forrest The Doctors' Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 [Low Al] Abcon
-Whitehaven Greg Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Awatere, $24.95  E & J Gallo
-Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 Awatere, $24.95  Trialto
-Tiki Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Upper Wairau, $16.95 PO Churchill Cellars
-Saint Clair Wairu Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, PO PMA Canada
-Ngatarawa Stables Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015, $22.95 PO EPIC Wines
 
The Food: from the ubiquitous Daniel et Daniel – charcuterie plates with smoked duck breast; international cheeses; breads; veggies; sandwich quarters [tea?], pate and terrines.
The Downside: there seemed to be a lighter attendance than in previous years.
The Upside: a good seminar presentation.
The Contact Person: nzwine@ketchin.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: Ontario's Southwest City Fare 2016

The Date and Time: Thursday, May 26, 2016  4PM to 6PM
The Event: Ontario's Southwest City Fare 2016
The Venue: 99 Sudbury
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: there was a passport to keep track of where you were. It was all organized by iyellow Wine Club.
The Quote/Background: over 40 wine, beer and culinary vendors were present, along with actual chefs, brewmasters and winemakers. So I made three pasts, starting with wine, then beer, and then food (I had lunch earlier in the day).
The Wines: I was most interested in wines, but I did not try them all. All wines are from Southwest Ontario, all are VQA.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-North 42 Degrees Cabernet Franc 2013 $20.95
-Muscadere Merlot 2014  $20
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-North 42 Degrees Riesling 2012 $17.95
-North 42 Degrees Gewurztraminer 2013 $19.95
-North 42 Degrees Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $20.95
-Oxley Wowza 2014 [white] $16.95
-Oxley Rose 2013 $15.95
-Oxley Cabernet Merlot 2013 $18.95
-Muscadere Cabernet Sauvignon 2012  $30
-Cooper's Hawk Chardonnay Unoaked 2013  $14.95
-Cooper's Hawk Cabernet Merlot 2013 Reserve  $18.95
-Cooper's Hawk Touche Gewurtztraminer/Riesling [2014]  $18.95
-Colio Lily Sparkling   $16.95
-Sprucewood Shores Riesling 2015   $13.95
-Sprucewood Shores Lady in Red Cabernet Merlot 2013   $14.95
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-North 42 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $17.95
-North 42 Degrees Pinot Noir 2013 $19.95
-Quai du Vin Amore Muscat Petillants 2015  $14
-Oxley Cabernet Franc 2013 $18.95
-Muscadere Riesling 2014  $16
 
 
BEERS: There were so many to sample, and just about everybody could not believe that I only wanted half an ounce to tasting (no swallowing). There is a Ontario's Southwest Ale Trail map, compiled by Blue Elephant Craft Brew House (with beer on site such as North Shore lager). I sampled, and enjoyed among others, Dead Elephant ale (Railway City Brewing), Dubbel and Belgian Blond (New Limburg), Troll Toll (Refined Fool), 1815 Gluten-Free ale (Strathroy Brewing), Dakota Peach [potato] ale (Ramblin' Road).
 
There were also hard apple ciders: Bonnie Heath Estate produced a good regular and an apple-cherry cider.
 
The Food: such a huge variety – Teresa and Tony's Original Kettlecorn (made from a "mushroom" variety of popping corn, with smooth rounded globes and low husks); Philippe Lehner's Habitual chocolate (wafer chocolate 56%); Pauline Bucek's Sixthirtynine (maple glazed goat meatballs) in Woodstock for casual fine dining; Elmhurst Inn's BBQ pulled Berkshire pork; Mountainoak Cheese's Gouda, flavoured with wild nettle, or smoked, or with black truffle; Debb's cuisine (Bourbon Street Caesar, chicken breast with fried goat cheese) on Queen in Dunnville; the Windsoreats Traveller Mobile Bar; marshmallows from the Arts and Cookery Bank; Cindy Walker's Chocolatea bacon chocolate, lavendar drops, and vanilla bean chocolates; Smackwater Jack's Taphouse and the pig rinds with bacon cream; the smoked duck on cinnamon with Stilton at Pickles Please; and queso fresco at Local Dairy.
The Downside: it got crowded really fast
The Upside: a chance to takes Ontario Southwest, which appears all too infrequently in Toronto.
The Contact Person: info@iyellowwineclub.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, May 30, 2016

SOME NEW WINE BEVERAGES TASTED THIS MONTH –

1.Maison Saint Aix AIX Rose 2015 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, +451906, $21.95 Vintages: Made from the promising grapes of grenache, cinsault, syrah and counoise. Expect fresh orchard fruit tones with a soft finish, best as a sipper or with salads and simple pan- fried or grilled fish. Great colour. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2014 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $13.95, +57349 LCBO: medium-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais (same grape variety). Easy drinking of (sour) cherry-berry flavours with occasional nuances of spices. No oaking. Best for patios, parties, BBQ. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. 12.7% ABV, cork closure. A very popular wine (about 2500 cases made). Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
3.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir Old Vines 2011 VQA NOTL, +256834, $18.95: A re-order from Vintages (112 cases)– quite a powerful wine (the 2007 was a Cuvee winner), lots of forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red fruit. Could still use some time. 13% ABV. Considering its age, extremely good value. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
4.La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2014, +158683 Vintages, $26.95: this is a Vintages re-order of the Monterey appellation Chardonnay from La Crema, but for the later 2014 harvest. Last June the release in Ontario was at the same price, when the CAD was better. So it becomes more of a bargain now. It is pretty much a cool climate chardonnay and fills a niche in the California Chardonnay landscape. It's angularity stresses brightness in the orchard fruit, with a nice lemony finish. Most of it was aged for 5 months in primarily French oak (15% new), the balance in stainless; the 13.5% ABV is down a bit from the 2013. Nuances of light oaking show with a reduced vanilla feel but still with a full body. Good price. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir 2014 VQA Ontario, +459966, $19.95 LCBO General List: low yielding grapes come from 1984 and later plantings in Short Hills Bench area. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $20. Both new and older (one/two year old) US barrels are used for 14 months aging. It is still needs another year or so for proper aging, but with decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13.5% ABV. One of the top bacos at the LCBO. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork, lamb, farmed or wild game – all either braised or grilled. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
6.Puklus Pinceszet Tokaji Dry Furmint 2014 Hungary, +445718 Vintages, $16.95: a solid Hungarian wine, the basis for Tokaij, but here done up in a dry style. The apricot tones still shine through, although muted without the sugar. A good wine for summer quaffing, very pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable. Try with a fish salad. 12% ABV, cork finish. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 

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