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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for April 30, 2016.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for April 30, 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 www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
Hey – it's the Blue Moon release – three Vintages releases in April!  The next Blue Moon release will be in October...
 
The BAD NEWS: Five wines presented to the wine media were corked!!! And there were  not that many wines with a cork  closure since just about everything is screwcap or twist top these days. FIVE wines – a record!! (I've been keeping tabs since 1987).  Only the astute will go down to the Product Consultants tasting on Tuesdays to catch up with the "non-corked" wines.
 
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
 
20 under $20
=========
W- Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2013 Columbia Valley, +366542, $17.95,        MVC/QPR:  91.
R-Hogue Genesis Meritage 2012 Columbia Valley, +443135, $18.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Puklus Pinceszet Szamorodni Sweet Tokaji 2009 Hungary, 500 mL, +179374, $18.95,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2015 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +80234, $16.95, 9.5% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Marisco Vineyards The King's Favour Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Waihopai Marlborough, +374165, $19.95, 12.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Chateau Les Tourelles 2011 Bordeaux, +426247, $16.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo 2012 IGT Maremma Toscana, +13755, $17.95, 13% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Pata Negra Reserva 2010 Rioja, +443804, $17, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Joel Gott Riesling 2012 Columbia Valley, +443143, $19.95, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Wahluke Slope Columbia Valley, +360222, $19.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards Stonecap Syrah 2013 Columbia Valley, +443150, $16.95, 13.9% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Yalumba Organic Viognier 2015 South Australia, +288217, $17.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Wildass Red 2012 VQA NOTL, +86363, $19.95, 13.1% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Souverain Chardonnay 2013 North Coast, +158600, $19.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Ryder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Central Coast [Cal.], +450528, $19.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Zapallar Aconcagua Valley, +389643, $19.95, 13# ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Juan Gil 4 Meses Monastrell 2014 Jumilla, +13656, $16.95, 14.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, +203364, $19.95, 14% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2012 Agrelo Mendoza, +234492, $17, 14.5% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 88.
Rose – Gassier Sables d'Azur Rose 2015 Cotes de Provence, +33621, $15.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
 
20 over $20
=========
W-Nk'mip Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2013 BC VQA Okanagan, 13.5 ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Cloudline Pinot Gris 2014 Willamette Valley, +159988, $24.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Clare Valley/Coonawara, +142398, $24.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau Rombeau Cuvee Elise 2011 Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Roussillon-Villages, +439695, $22.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Lornano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +208447, $26.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Castelli del Grevepesa Panzano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011, +972695, $37.95, 14% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Rendola Brunello de Montalcino 2004, +181412, $39.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Quinta de Couselo O Rosal 2014 Rias Baixas, +440362, $23.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Norman Hardie Unfiltered Chardonnay 2014 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +184432, $39, 12.2% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Sugar Loaf Pinot Noir 2014 Marlborough, +447359, $24.95, 13.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Grillesino Ceccante Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maremma Toscana, +440768, $24.95, 13.5% ABV,
MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Italo Cescon Pinot Noir 2014 Veneto, +439737, $21.95, 12% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau de Gaudou Renaissance Cahors 2012 Cuvee Boisee, +364786, $25.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Vieilles Vignes Madiran 2006, +132415, $38.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Domaine Michel Caillot Beaune Les Avaux 1er Cru 2012, +446344, $49.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin 2010 Listrac-Medoc, +351957, $31.95, 14% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Fielding Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, +355842, $21.95,  MVC/QPR:88.
R-Coyote's Run Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 VQA Four Mile Creek, +116442, $32.95, 12.5% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Meiomi Chardonnay 2014 Monterey/Sonoma/Santa Barbara, +410712, $26.95,  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Vignerons de Buxy Les Chaniots Montagny 1er Cru 2013, +159020, $24.95, 13% ABV,  MVC/QPR: 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: Spring Portfolio tasting of 30.50 Imports April 19

The Date and Time: Tuesday April 19, 2016  Noon – 2 PM
The Event: Spring Portfolio tasting of 30.50 Imports
The Venue: Frank (AGO)
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, consumers (later)
The Availability/Catalogue: most items were available by consignment, although some were still coming into the country and others were private stock.
The Quote/Background: It is quite a diversified catalogue, with most countries repped, lacking Latin America and Australia. The sherries and madeiras were phenomenal: Bodegas Tradicion Fino VOS ($55), 20 Year Old Pedro Ximenez ($110), 30 Year Old Amontillado ($105) and Belem's 10 Year Old Sercial ($55.95).
The Wines: I did not try all the wines. Prices are licensee.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chiusa Grande Pecorino Terre Casale Abruzzo, $13.95
-Azienda Agricola 499 Moscato d'Asti 2015 Piedmont, $19.95
-Musella Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 2009 Veneto, 375 mL $40.95  biodynamic
-Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2010 Rioja, $31.95
-Cellier Cesca Vicent Red 2013 Priorat, $21.95
-Emilio Valerio Amburza 2011 Navarra, $24.95
-Chateau Musar Red 2004 Bekaa Valley, $64.95
-Pearl Morissette Chardonnay Cuvee Dix-Neuvieme 2013 Niagara, $32.08
-Pearl Morissette Chardonnay Cuvee Metis 2013 Niagara, $25.33
-Huff Estates Chardonnay South Bay 2014 PEC, $23.90
-Huff Estates Cuvee Janine Rose 2013 MC PEC, $23.90
-Huff Estates Cuvee Peter F. Huff 2011 MC PEC, $29.50
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Huff Estates Pinot Gris 2015 PEC, $15.25
-Huff Estates Cabernet Franc Rose 2015 PEC, $14.55
-Chateau Musar Hachar Pere et Fils Red 2011 Bekaa Valley, $29.95
-Castello di Verduno Barbaresco Faset 2009 Piedmont, $59.95
-Castello di Verduno Barolo Massara 2009 Piedmont, $69.95
-Azienda Agricola 499 Langhe Freisa Selection Coste dei Fre 2012 Piedmont, $32.95
-Castello La Leccia Chianti Classico Bruciagna Gran Selezione Tuscany, $49.95
-Il Paradiso di Frassina Gea Rosso di Montalcino 2012 Tuscany, $34.95
-Il Paradiso di Frassina Brunello di Montalcino 2010 Tuscany, $69.95
-Daniele Pintus Vermentino 2014 Sardinia, $21.95   biodynamic
-ATTIS Bodegas Y Vinedos Albarino Xion 2015 Rias Baixas, $19.95
-ATTIS Bodegas Y Vinedos Albarino Laranxa 2014 Rias Baixas, $27.50
-Finca La Emperatriz Viura 2015 Rioja, $13.95
-Finca La Emperatriz Crianza 2012 Rioja, $19.95
-Bodegas Requiem Tinto 2012 Ribera del Duero, $34.95
-Quinta de la Quietud Corral de Campanas 2014 Toro, $20.95
-Quinta de la Quietud Quinta Quietud 2012 Toro, $32.95
-Valle de Junco Lapa dos Gaivoes Escolha 2011 Alenejo, $32.95
-Douro Prime Inquieto Reserva 2010 Douro, $34.95
-Porta da Teira Ninfa Tinto 2012 Tejo, $20.95
-Prieler Pinot Blanc Leithaberg 2015 Burgenland, $49.95
-Prieler Pinot Blanc Haidsatz 2015 Burgenland, $64.95
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Emilio Valerio San Martin 2012 Navarra, $59.95
-Bodegas Medrano Irazu Tempranillo Joven Rioja, 2014 $13.95
-Bodegas Briego Gran Reserva 2005 Ribera del Duero, $55.95
-Chateau Musar Jeune Rose 2014 Bekaa Valley, $23.50
-Stephen Vincent Chardonnay 2013 Sonoma, $20.95
-Azienda Agricola 499 Langhe Freisa 2012 Piedmont, $24.95
-Chiusa Grande Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Terre Casale Abruzzo, $13.95
-Peter Zemmer Chardonnay 2014 Alto Adige, $17.95
-Peter Zemmer Muller Thurgau 2015 Alto Adige, $19.95
-Castello di Verduno Bellis Perennis Bianco 2014 Piedmont, $22.95
-Castello di Verduno Basadone 2014 Piedmont, $28.95
-Morgassi Superiore Gavi di Gavi Tuffo 2014 Piedmont
-Fattoria di San Quintino Sangiovese La Fagiana 2013 Tuscany, $27.95
-Pearl Morissette Riesling Redfoot 2014 Niagara, $23.64
 
The Food: terrines, charcuterie platters, cheeses, crostini (grilled sliced bread).
The Contact Person: info@3050imports.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Event: Mellecey Wine Group Rose Tasting

The Date and Time: Wednesday April 20, 2016   3PM to 4PM
The Event: Mellecey Wine Group Rose Tasting
The Venue: Fine Wine Reserve
The Target Audience: wine trade and consumers.
The Availability/Catalogue: everything tasted was available, or will be.
The Wines: Two wines were not available for tasting (SI IGP Costa Toscano Rosato Syrah 2015, $55.96, and Txakoli Rosado, $22.95).
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Domaine Pre Semele Sancerre Rosé 2015, $36.95
Champagne Legras et Haas Rosé NV $74.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Lucien Jacob Bourgogne Rosé 2014, $24.95
Domaine La Ligiere Sud Absolu Rosé 2014, $15.95
Domaine Deliance Cremant Ruban Rosé NV $32.95
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Valenciso Rosado Rioja 2014, $35.95
Domaine Tix AOC Cotes du Ventoux Rosé 2015, $23.95
 
The Food: charcuterie, cheese, wafers.
The Contact Person: Cyndi Grossman cyndi@melleceywinegroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Event: Third annual ROSE wine tasting by Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

The Date and Time: Sunday April 17, 2016  11AM to 4PM
The Event: Third annual ROSE wine tasting by Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Venue: Wine Writers' Circle of Canada clubhouse
The Target Audience: WWCC writers
The Availability/Catalogue: wines were generally available either at the relevant Ontario winery or LCBO distribution channels (especially the seasonal release program for rose). Some were private order only.
The Quote/Background: 11 writers had sent in their RSVPs. This was not a competition nor a judging – it was exposure to most of the Roses available in the marketplace in Ontario at this time of year (graduation, Mothers' Day, summer, etc.)
The Wines:  There were some 54 wines sampled, based on an all-call from Drinks Ontario and WMAO. We were disappointed that there were few wines from the rest of Ontario.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Taittinger    Brut Prestige Rose    NV    $73.25    993113    France 12.50%
-Cono Sur    Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose    NV    $13.95    365205    Chile  13%
-Henry of Pelham    Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut    NV    $29.95 217505 Niagara 12%
-Louis Bernard    Tavel    2015    $21.95    450833    France    Rhone Valley 13.5%
-Chateau des Bertrands    Rose Cotes de Provence AOP    2015     $24.95     451229 13.5%
-Les Cercle des Vignerons de Provence - Estandon Vignerons    Terres de Saint Louis Rose AOC Coteaux Varois en Provence    2015    $11.95 Cad    234575 Provence     12.5%
-Malivoire Wine Co. Rosé Moira 2015    24.95     Beamsville Bench    Pinot Noir    13%       
-Tawse Winery    Sketches of Niagara Rose    2015    $16.95     172643 12.5%
-Peninsula Ridge    Cabernet Rose    2015    13.75    177840 Vintages    Beal Vyd
-Peri Bigogno    Peri Talento Rose    2011    $50.00        Italy    Castenedolo    Pinot Nero, Chardonnay    12.5        Private Order    Now & June    Apparition Wines & Spirits www.apparitionwines.com                       
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Featherstone Winery Cuveé Joy Sparkling Rosé 2014 $29.95  450700    20 Mile Bench 12.5%
-Cattin Freres Crémant d'Alsace Rosé    N/V     $18.95     264572    12.0%       
-Rotari Brut Rose    N/V $17.95     362566 DOC Trento    75% Pinot Noir 25% Chardonnay    12.5%   
-Vitcoltori Acquesi    Brachetto D'Acqui    na    12.95    375667    Piedmont 6.5%
-Chateau Gassier    Pas du Moines    2015    21.95    450874    France    Provence 13%
-Ogier    Ventoux Rose    2015    13.95    134916    France    Rhone    13.5%   
-Bacalhoa     JP Azeitao Rosé Syrah     N/A    $8.75     404566 Setubal Peninsula 12%
-Cono Sur    Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rose    2015    $9.95    318014    Chile    San Antonio 13% -Nugan Estate    Third Generation Shiraz Rosé    2015    $10.95     445841    SEA 13% -Jacob's Creek    Moscato Rose    2015    11.9    367276    SEA 7.50%               
-Karlo Estates Inc.    Maddison    2014    $18.00     N/A    Canada    Niagara 11.5%
-Malivoire Wine Co.    Vivant Rosé    2015    21.95     Beamsville Bench    Pinot Noir    12.5   
-Speck Brothers    Pink House Wine Co.     2015    $12.95 324558 Niagara    Chardonnay & Merlot    12.00%               
-Henry of Pelham    Classic Rose    2015    $14.95    613471 Niagara    Pinot Noir & Cab Sauv    11.50%               
-Redstone Winery    Rose    2015    $15.95  Niagara Cab Franc(87%), Pinot Gris (9%) 12.00%
-Featherstone Winery    Rose    2015    $15.95     117861    Canada    Niagara 13.1%
-Gran Feudo    Rosado    2015                Navarra           
-Creekside    Cabernet Rose    2015                                       
-The Foreign Affair Winery    Amarosé    2015    18.95    388702  Niagara Peninsula 12.4%
-Benazzoli Fulvio    Benazzoli Chiaretto Spumante    2014    $27.00        Italy    Bardolino
Corvina, Rondinella    11.5    Private Order    Now & June    Apparition Wines & Spirits                               
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ruffino    Sparkling Rose    NV    $15.95 Friuli Venezia Giulia, Glera, Pinot Noir    11%
-Jacob's Creek    Sparkling Moscato Rose    N/A    13.95    445825 SEA    Moscato    8.40%   
-Gerard Bertrand    Gris Blanc    2015    $16.95    409870 Pays D'Oc    Grenache Gris & Grenache Noir 12.50%               
-Gerard Bertrand    Cote de Roses    2015    $18.95    373985 Languedoc    12.50%
-Chateau de Berne    Terres de Berne Rose    2015    17.95    515894 Provence        12.5%
-Chateau Gassier    Sables d'Azur    2014    15.95    33621    Provence Cinsault, Grenache 13%
-Marqués de Cáceres Rosé    2015     $13.95     622142 Rioja 96% Tempranillo 4%Garnacha -Simi    Dry Rose 2014 $17.95 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec,Syrah 13.5%
-First Cape Winery    Cape Bay Shiraz Rose # 445866    2015    $10.95     512626 12.5%
-Campo Viejo    Tempranillo Rose    2015    11.95    175620    Spain    Rioja    Tempranillo    14%
-PIERA MARTELLOZZO S.P.A.    Giovello Rose    2015    11.95    445627     Friuli    12
-Bodegas Piqueras    Castillo de Almansa Rosado 2015 $11.95 445635 Almansa    Syrah    13.0%   
-Saint Clair Family Estate Pinot Gris Rosé 2014    $16.95 451740 Marlborough 13%       
-Kim Crawford Pansy Rose 2015    $17.95 650325 New Zealand Huapai    Merlot, Syrah    13%
-Nugan Estate     Uprising  Shiraz Rosé    2015    $13.95     445858 SEA    13%       
-Malivoire Wine Co.    Ladybug Rosé    2015    15.95    559088 Cab Franc, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cab Sauvignon    12.5%               
-Speck Brothers Sibling Rivalry Pink 2015 $13.95 171033 Niagara Cab Sauv&Franc 12%   
-Southbrook    Cabernet Rose    2015    Niagara Org & Biodynamic               
-Southbrook Triomphe    Cabernet Franc Rose    2015    Organic                   
-Calamus    Rose    2011    $10.75                                   
-Fielding    Rose    2015                                       
-Andrew Peller Trius Rose 2015 $15.75 341743 Niagara Gamay Noir and Syrah    12%   
-Benazzoli Fulvio    Benazzoli Chiaretto    2014    $20.00        Italy    Bardolino    Corvina, Rondinella    12.0    Private Order June Apparition Wines & Spirits   
-Rapscallion Wine Co.    Frisky Beaver Blushing Beaver    2013    $14.95 Ontario - Port Dover    Cabernet, Chambourcin, Viognier, Baco, Riesling    12.9%   
 
The Food: bread, water, olives, bits and bites.
The Contact Person:  deantudor@deantudor.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 94.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Event: California Wine Fair – 2016 Tour in Toronto

The Date and Time: Monday April 11, 2016  1PM to 5PM
The Event: California Wine Fair – 2016 Tour in Toronto
The Venue: Fairmont Royal York
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: wines were variable, but all would be available through LCBO, consignment or private order.
The Quote/Background: The press got a break with its media room – about 60 wines were available for sampling, including my fave red of the event – Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Martha's Vineyard. Other wines I sampled were in the main room, beginning at 2:30 before the crowd was large. Good thing too....
The Wines: I concentrated on Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of California's top varietals. But I did wander off course...
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bogle Vineyards Phantom 2012 California   Abcon
-Ca'Momi Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa   Kylix
-Cline Cellars Big Break Zinfandel 2012 Contra Costa County  Vinexx
-Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Oakville Napa    Noble Estates
-Grigich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2012 Napa   Rogers
-Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard 2005 Napa    Lifford
-Peju Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa, $84.95 consignment Le Sommelier
-Miner Family Winery Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2012 Napa  Profile
-Paul Hobbs Chardonnay 2013 Sonoma County RRV    Authentic
-Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs 2012 North Coast    The Vine Agency
-Trinchero Family Estates Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 California   P Dandurand
-Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Padrone 2012 Napa   Profile Wine Group
-Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Alexander Valley    Halpern
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon SLV 2013 Napa    P Dandurand
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2014 Livermore Valley    Churchill Cellars
-White Hall Lane Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa   The Vine Agency
-Clos du Bois Calcaire Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013
-Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Jane's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Mark Anthony
-Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013 Mark Anthony
-Scott Family Estate Arroyo Seco Chardonnay Dijon Clone 2013  Majestic
-Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2014 Napa  Majestic
-Girasole Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 Mendocino   Hobbs & Co
-District 7 Chardonnay 2013 Monterey  Case for Wine
-Mumm Napa Brut Prestige Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Carneros    Corby
-Dierberg Chardonnay 2013 Santa Maria Valley   Kylix
-Ca'Momi Wines Chardonnay 2014 Napa   Kylix
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay KARIA 2014 Napa,  P Dandurand
-Miner Family Winery Chardonnay 2013 Napa  Profile
-Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2012 Napa     Rogers & Co
-Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2012 Napa     Rogers & Co
-Davis Bynum River West Chardonnay 2013 Russian River Valley    Mark Anthony
-Far Niente Chardonnay 2014 Napa     Noble
-Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 2012 Napa  Treasury Wine Estates
-Stag's Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa  Treasury Wine Estates
-Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa    Small Winemakers Collection
-Artesa Chardonnay 2014 Carneros   A Peller
-Raymond Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 North Coast    Charton-Hobbs
-DAOU Mayote 2013  Paso Robles   The Vine Agency
-Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa   Select Wines
-Esser Chardonnay 2014 Monterey  Dionysus
-Sebastiani Chardonnay 2013 Sonoma County   Select
-Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut NV  Airen
-Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Mt Veeder  Lifford
-Flowers Chardonnay 2014 Sonoma Coast   Rogers
-Huneeus Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2013  Napa   Rogers
-Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa  Profile Wine Group
-Pedroncelli Zinfandel Mother Clone 2013 Dry Creek Valley  Kylix
-Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa Majestic
-Schramsberg J Davies Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa  The Vine Agency
-Twomey Cellars Merlot 2011 Napa  Halpern
-Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Stags Leap District    Kylix
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Robert Young 2012 Alexander Valley Treasury Wine Estates
-Hahn Family Chardonnay 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands   A Peller
-Duckhorn Chardonnay 2013 Napa     Rogers & Co
-Clos du Bois North Coast Chardonnay 2014
-Lander-Jenkins Chardonnay 2013 California   Majestic
-Eos Estate Chardonnay Central Coast 2011, 23.95 Lic  Le Sommelier
-Chloe Chardonnay 2013 Sonoma   Corby
-DeLoach Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 Russian River Valley   Lifford
-Signorello Hope's Cuvee Estate Chardonnay 2014 Napa    Profile
-Benovia Chardonnay 2013 Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast   Univins
-Buena Vista Winery Chardonnay 2014 Carneros    Univins
-Austerity Chardonnay 2014 Arroyo Seco    Airen
 
The Food: pate, cheeses, breads, crackers, veggies and dips.
The Downside: it is always crowded after 3PM, so I was grateful for the media room which allowed me to get ahead.
The Upside: the media room.
The Contact Person: paula@praxispr.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Event: Dinner with California wines from Gnarly Head, Aquinas, Pepperwood Grove, and Sebastiani, all from the Select Wines agency.

The Date and Time: Tuesday April 12, 2016, 6:30 - 9PM
The Event: Dinner with California wines from Gnarly Head, Aquinas, Pepperwood Grove, and Sebastiani, all from the Select Wines agency.
The Venue: Carbon Bar
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are in the system
The Quote/Background: Reps from each of the wineries spoke on the tasting nuances with each dish, and there was spirited discussion.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sebastiani Chardonnay Sonoma County 2013, $19.80 LCBO
-Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2013, $37.95  Private Order
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2013, $17.95 Vintages
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel California 2013, $13.95  LCBO
-Aquinas Pinot Noir North Coast 2013, $18.95  LCBO
-Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon California 2013, $14.95 LCBO
 
The Food: we had six plates, six wines, plus a dessert of rhubarb sorbet. The first plate was hamachi ceviche, very appropriate with the Sebastiani Chardonnay. Their Cab was remarkable, and still had many years to go, but surprised me with the goat cheese and beet flavours. The Pepperwood was too entry-level for the awesome duck taco, the Pinot Noir was too Californian (off-dry) for the octopus. The Gnarly Heads were excellent with the aged hanger steak and the ribs-brisket-fried chicken!!
The Downside: I was still recovering my palate from the California show of Monday.
The Upside: great chard, cabs and zinfs.
The Contact Person: delucia@selectwines.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for April 16, 2016.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for April 16, 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. This 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
 
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.
 
 
20 under $20
=========
W-Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2014 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268342, $19.95. 13.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 90
R-Ironstone Petite Sirah 2014 Lodi, +361915, $17.95. 14.5% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Chateau des Charmes Old Vines Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, +277228, $16.95. 12% ABV. MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Flat Rock Chardonnay 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +286278, $18.95. 13% ABV. MVC/QPR: 91
R-Alamos Syrah 2014 Mendoza, +183848, $14.95. 13.5% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Vinalba Reserva Malbec/Touriga Nacional 2013 Uco Valley Mendoza, +442459, $18.95. 14.5% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 89.
R-L F Edwards Claro Magnolio Reserve Malbec 2014 Colchagua, +365932, $13.95. 14% ABV MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Highfield Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough NZ, +444380, $19.95. 13% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Chateau Sainte-Marie Vieilles Vignes Entre-Deux-Mers 2014, +447565, $14.95. 12.5%. ABV
MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Cuvee Joseph Talmard Macon Chardonnay 2014, +392712, $16.95. 13% ABV  MVC/QPR: 89
W-J Perrier & Fils Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie Savoie 2014, +320093, $18.95. 11.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Chateau La Rose Vieilles Vignes 2010 Cotes de Bordeaux – Castillon, +444349, $16.95. 13% ABV.
MVC/QPR: 90
R-Couly-Dutheil Les Gravieres d'Amador Abbe de Turpenay Chinon 2014, +446328, $19.95. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Carpineto Chianti Classico 2013, +356048, $19.95. 13% ABV. MVC/QPR: 91.
R-Rede Reserva 2010 Douro, +431262, $14.95. 13.5% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-CUNE Vina Real Crianza 2012 Rioja, +657411, $18.95. 13.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Bodega del Abad Gotin del Risc Mencia 2010 Bierzo, +391581, $15.95. 14% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 90.
W-Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2013 Limari, +342857, $19.95. 13.5% ABV.
MVC/QPR: 88.
R-William Fevre Chile Espino Gran Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Maipo Valley, +444430, $19.95. 13.8%  ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau Nozieres Cuvee Ambroise de L'Her Malbec Cahors 2012, +276055, $17.95. 13.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
 
 
20 over $20
=========
R-Edmeades Zinfandel 2013 Mendocino County, +105924, $23.95. 15% ABV. MVC/QPR: 88.
W-J.Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2014 Arroyo Seco Monterey, +225375, $34.95.  MVC/QPR: 88
R-Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268391 $24.95. 13.5%  ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Kacaba Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +326496, $24.95. 13.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Culmina R&D Red Blend 2014 BC VQA Golden Mile Bench Okanagan, +445494, $25.95. 14% ABV  MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Barossa Valley, +39537, $39.95. 14.5% MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2014 Barossa, +167189, $21.95. 14.5% ABV.
MVC/QPR:  90.
R-Shingleback Davey Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 McLaren Vale, +444455, $23.95. 14.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Special Reserva Carmenere 2009 Curico Valley, +301432, $21.95. 14.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 87.
W-Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2014 Margaret River, +416511, $24.95. 12.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Pirathon by Kalleske Shiraz 2012 Barossa Valley, +130278, $29.95. 14.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 88.
W-Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, +277707, $23.95.  13% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
W-F.Tinel-Blondelet L'Arret Buffatte Pouilly-Fume 2014, +169730, $24.95.  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Chateau Clarke 2009 Listrac Medoc, +503904, $42.95. 14% ABV. MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Darting Durkheimer Nonnengarten Gewurztraminer Kabinett 2013 Pfalz, +944181, $20.95. 10% ABV. MVC/QPR: 92.
R-Patrizi Barolo 2011, +653527, $34.95. 14% ABV. MVC/QPR: 92.
R-Antinori Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato 2013 Bolgheri, +674135, $25.95. 14% ABV.  MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Cune Reserva 2011 Rioja, +417659, $24.95. 13.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino 2010, +121905, $57.95. 14.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-San Felice Il Grigio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011, +403477, $46.95. 14.5% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Domaine de Viaud 2004 Lalande-de-Pomerol, +282475, $31.95. 13% ABV. MVC/QPR: 89.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

* 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"...
 
 
 
21.FROM INDIA (Thunder Bay Press, 2013, 2015, 232 pages, ISBN 978-1-62686-523-5, $29.95 US,  blue padded fabric bound) is by Kumar and Suba Mahadevan, both from India and relocated to Australia. In 1987 Kumar opened Abhi's in Sydney Australia. The book was originally published in 2013 by Murdoch Books in Australia; this is the North American release. It opens with a chapter ("Vannakkam") that's a Tamil saying meaning "welcome"; the Madadevans are from that state. The 100 recipes are complemented by a memoir tale of his family's journey from India to Australia. The book is a blend of contemporary food and classic cooking, covering rava methi machi (seafood), gutti venkai koora (vegetarian), and many traditional curries (akoori scrambled eggs, madras prawn vendaki, lamb kozhamdu curry), organized in chapters according to the tastes: salt, bitter, sour, spice, and sweet. Their journey, with roots in Ayurvedic principles, takes the reader from the regional fare of India to the streets of Australia. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
22.MAPLE SYRUP COOKBOOK 3rd ed. (Storey Publishing, 1989, 2001, 2015, 178 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-664-7, $14.95 US paper covers) is by Ken Haedrich, a Child Cookbook Award winner and author of a dozen cookbooks. This is the 3rd edition of a book originally published in 1989. It has been revised to be up-to-date in nutritional coverage plus a dozen more recipes and full-colour photos. There are more than 100 preps, covering such as maple sticky buns, buttermilk-maple spice cake, crispy maple spareribs, and French Canadian maple syrup pie. There's a primer on history and culture and techniques of "sugaring off", plus profiles of leading personnel in the field. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
23.A TURKISH COOKBOOK (Grub Street, 2015, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-909808-24-9, $29.95 CAN hard covers) is by the late Arto der Haroutunian who opened several Armenian restaurants in the UK. He had written many cookbooks for Ebury Press, and these are now being re-released by Grub Street in the UK. This current book is full of stories and anecdotes, memoirs, and such devoted to Turkish food. It was one of the first in English. Haroutunian had written cookbooks on Middle East and North African food, so it was logical to maintain the connection to Turkish food which is, of course, related, and forms a bridge to Greek food and onwards through the upper side of the Mediterranean. It is arranged by course (hors d'oeuvre, pilaus, salads, veggies, kebabs, stews, boregs, mains, breads, pickles, desserts and drinks). He's also got a glossary with recipes and a bibliography, sadly not updated after 1976. Try parcelled boregs (small pies), stuffed mint veggies, Topkapi palace-style chicken, bread topped with meat and cheese, or the ever popular shredded pastry with nuts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. It is good to have this book back in print once again. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
24.THE APPRENTICE; my life in the kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Mariner, 2003, 2015, 319 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-65749-6, $17.95 US paper covers) is by Jacques Pepin. It was originally published in 2003, and has now been reissued in paper covers twelve years later. It is a straight reprint of the original edition. There are 40 of his recipes here, all indexed along with the text which recounts his career through 2003 or so. It is a masterful read if you haven't already done so. The long index is easy to us, especially with its large print. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
----------------------------------------------------

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Event: Alvear Family wine tasting – Bodegas Alvear DO Montilla Moriles and Bodegas Palacio Quemado DO Ribera de Guadiana with Maria Alvear.

The Date and Time: Monday April 4, 2016, 2 – 4 PM
The Event: Alvear Family wine tasting – Bodegas Alvear DO Montilla Moriles and
Bodegas Palacio Quemado DO Ribera de Guadiana with Maria Alvear.
The Venue: Mideastro Yorkville
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: there are a few items at the LCBO, but the rest would be private orders from Kirkwood Diamond.
The Quote/Background: The Alvear family established their original bodega in Montilla Moriles, near Cordoba in 1729, now guided by the 8th generation. The Alvear wines from Montilla share similarities with Sherry some 211 kilometres to the south-west — but the two regions are distinct. In the Sherry region the Palomino Fino is used, and in Montilla the Pedro Ximenez is grown to create the same styles of bone dry or semi dry. And the Pedro Ximenez in Montilla, as in Sherry, is used to create unctuous and world renowned ultra-sweet wines. Palacio Quemado wines are New World in style with a focus upon the personality of the grape types Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, with experimentation involving other local varieties. For the most part, oak aging takes place in 500 litre Fr barriques and less so in US barrels.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alvear Fino en Rama 2008 DO Montilla Moriles. $19.95 500mL bottle, cases of 6: unfiltered, unfortified Fino from Pedro Ximenez grapes aged under flor for three years. -Palacio Quemado Reserva 2011 DO Ribera de Guadiana, $21.95, cases of 6: all Tempranillo from oldest vineyards, aged 70% in Fr oak and 30% in US oak for 16 months. -Palacio Quemado, Los Acilates 2013 DO Ribera de Guadiana, $25.95, cases of 6: single plot field blend with different varieties depending on the vintage, aged a year.
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alvear Fino DO Montilla Moriles, +112771, $12.45.
-Alvear Medium Dry Amontillado DO Montilla Moriles, +112789, $12.45.
-Alvear Solera 1927 Pedro Ximenez DO Montila Moriles 375 mL, +383422, $15.55 (moving to Vintages)
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Palacio Quemado, La Zarcita 2014 DO Ribera de Guadiana, $16.95, cases of 6: Tempranillo, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 8 months in Fr oak.
 
The Food: bread and water
The Upside: we had a chance to sample the wonderful Brandy Alvear Presidente Gran Reserva Brandy (nutty, pungent) $59.95 bottle, cases of 6.
The Contact Person: Barry Brown  <info@spanvino.com>; Rsandham@kirkwooddiamond.com; maria.alvear@alvear.es
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW

3.HOMEGROWN; celebrating the Canadian foods we grow, raise and produce with 160 recipes (Whitecap, 2015, 407 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-232-1, $39.95 paper covers) is by Mairlyn Smith, madcap TV personality and author of six award-winning cookbooks. She is also a Professional Home Economist (PHEc). Her book contains recipes from a variety of her  sources, such as the Ontario Home Economics Association, some of her students, and her own files, and 17 others which had been previously published. All preps have been acknowledged. She begins with breads and quick-breads, moving on to eggs, cheese, grains, soup, veggies, salads, legumes, pork and lamb, fish and seafood, poultry, beef, and fruit for desserts. So it is a good but basic cookbook in salute of foods grown in Canada (except for a few condiments such as black pepper or capers): lentil soup from Saskatchewan, BC blueberry pie, Nova Scotia scallops, Albertan barley flour pancakes with Quebec maple syrup. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Recipes are sourced as to who was responsible for the prep along with accompanying stories and tales.
Audience and level of use: patriotic and local cooks
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: pumpkin oatmeal muffins; gluten-free toasted walnut pear muffins; apple sage cheddar bread; maple pulled pork; Canadian cassoulet; chickpea and cauliflower curry; Asian-style eggplant.
The downside to this book: Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. If it is made with beef, it is called Cottage Pie and not "Shepherd's Pie with Beef".
The upside to this book: a good swing through the food countryside from the east coast to the west coast.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
4.SIR JOHN'S TABLE; the culinary life and times of Canada's first prime minister (Goose Lane Editions, 2015, 228 pages, ISBN 978-0-896492881-8 $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Lindy Mechefeske, a Kingston ON free lance writer and food columnist, author of the cookbook "A Taste of Wintergreen". She's been fascinated by local legend Sir John A. Macdonald and tells his story through his culinary life from the rations on his passage to Upper Canada through his boyhood of stealing fish, to the political high teas, campaign picnics, and dinner parties. It's a journey from eating hardtack biscuits to drinking Champagne biscuit flavours. As she says, "These are the food stories of Sir John...a character who loved his family, surrounded himself with lots of company, and adored a party. This is not a cookbook but a tale of our gastronomic past, found in old recipes books, tales of pioneer life in Canada...and the context of nineteenth-century society in Upper Canada." Each chapter has "receipts" of the era, chosen against three criteria: authentic, feasible and edible. All preps are in the original form, lacking directions in many cases. But updates can easily be found through Internet searches and something comparable prepared at home. Recipes are indexed in the general index by ingredient or theme, but there is also a separate recipe title index (which does not appear in the general index).  Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements. There are also a timeline for Sir John's life, end notes, and bibliography. A very readable book.
Audience and level of use: Canadian culinary historians.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: toad in the hole; wedding cake; fried oysters; artificial asses milk; classic Montreal tourtiere; gooseberry pie; parsnip soup.
The downside to this book: the food entries in the general index are just run ons, with page numbers only. So there are 17 refs to Champagne, and 14 to vegetables with no clarifications. And "champagne" as used in the book is not capitalized.
The upside to this book: lots of historical photos.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
5.WE LOVE KALE (Taunton Press, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-63186-362-2, $16.95 US soft covers)
 
and
 
6.WE LOVE QUINOA (Taunton Press, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-63186-361-5, $16.95 US soft covers) are being co-published with Quantum Books from the UK. Taunton Press, of course, also publishes Fine Cooking magazine. These books have been written by five bloggers and recipe developers. KALE is led by Kristen Beddard; QUINOA is led by Karen S. Burns-Booth. Both are set-up the same way, with different preps of course: 50 recipes plus 50 variations. There is introductory material about kale or quinoa, followed by meal divisions: breakfast, brunch, snacks, appetizers, drinks, mains, soups, salads, sides, desserts. The recipes are not meatless, but many have been coded for being gluten-free or dairy-free, wheat-free, vegan, vegetarian. Each book has 10 ways to pump more kale or quinoa into your body; each recipe has prep and cook times, tips, and instructions. And yes, I did check the indexes: there are no kale preps in the quinoa book and no quinoa preps in the kale book. Still, one of my fave dishes is eggs/kale/quinoa at breakfast. That should have been mentioned somewhere in the two books!! Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those looking for healthy food, millennials.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: risotto-style quinoa with caramelized onions and mushrooms; vegetable paella-style quinoa; quinoa pizza with blue cheese and eggplant; kale summer roll variations; kale and chorizo tortilla bites; kale and sweet potato dosas with coconut chutney. 
The downside to this book: just the bit about combining kale and quinoa with a few recipes..
The upside to this book: good preps, nice and tasty, and the variations just seem to keep coming.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
7.THE PLANTIFUL TABLE (The Experiment, 2015, 311 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-247-2, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Andrea Duclos, a top rated family blogger at ohdeardrea. It is a book about simple and natural living, with over 125 dishes for children and adults. Its subtitle is easy, from-the-earth recipes for the whole family. It is a vegan cookbook, although her family is mostly veganish. The title indicates that only plants are used. There's a glossary that can serve as a shopping list, and a bibliography. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. International themes are stressed, injecting more flavours into the dishes.
Audience and level of use: vegans, vegetarians, those with families.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: aloo gobi; pad thai; ramen; arepas with corn and avocado; bahn mi chay; burger bean and quinoa salad; heart of palm patties.
The downside to this book: there is still a tendency to make a vegan dish out of a classic comfort food (e.g., mac and cheese, cottage pie)
The upside to this book: kid-friendly tips to that one meal can feed everyone.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
8.THE VEGETABLE BIBLE; the complete guide to growing, preserving, storing and cooking your favorite vegetables (Thunder Bay Press, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-62686-436-8, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Tricia Swanton, a NYC writer-researcher with her own upstate New York garden.
 
AND
 
9.THE BEANS & GRAINS BIBLE; the ultimate resource from kidney beans and black beans to modern superfoods such as quinoa and farro (Thunder Bay Press, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-62686-437-5, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Emma Borghesi, a food writer-researcher in Melbourne.
 
Both books are unusual in shape: 6 inches wide, more than 11 inches high, and 2.5 pounds in weight. It may or may not be convenient to hold them. The first 270 pages of the veggie book deals with listing the vegetables; there are almost 175 of them, arranged by category (leafy, fruits (eg olives, tomatoes), pods, bulb and stem, root and tubes, sea vegetables. The book concludes with a growing guide. In between there are a dozen pages of recipes, about four to a page, so let's say 50 preps. These are indexed, but only under their title, and not their ingredients. So the index shows "Satay Chicken" but nothing under "chicken". But then you don't go looking under chicken in a book dealing with veggies...maybe. Each veggie is covered in a page or two with photos, descriptions, history, cooking style, medicinal uses (if appropriate), and the like for directory data. The beans & grains book is similarly structured, with the divisions being cereal grains, ancient grains, pseudograins (buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, chia, flaxseed), beans (dry and fresh). It goes to page 286, and the the recipes begin, arranged as 7-day meal plans (vegetarian and vegan, gluten-free). Again there are about 50 preps, and again they indexed under recipe title (e.g. Roast Pumpkin but not also under "pumpkin"). Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: mostly vegetarians and vegans
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: carrot and lentil soup, basil pesto, bell pepper and cannellini bean wraps, pickled sunchokes.
Quality/Price Rating: 82.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Some wines sampled this month ...

1.La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2013, [2014 is now at Vintages, +962886, $29.95, but a new Vintages release of the 2013 will be in August 2016; it is now available only by consignment via Jackson Family Wines]. It is a fairly consistent wine from year to year, with bottle aging being the main difference. Cool climate (as much as California would allow) from the coast in the evening and the early morning. Expect a combo of lemons, toast and orchard fruit tones, with a smooth finish from secondary malolactic fermentation. One of my really fave Cali chards. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
2.La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013, +719435, $31.95 Vintages, [also as 375mL +732040, $17.95; 2014 is expected at Vintages over the winter of 2016/17, God willing and the crick don't rise]. This is wine is cool climate (as much as California would allow) from the cool coast in the evening and the early morning. Expect a combo of cherry-berry, underbrush, balanced but low oaking, some mocha, spices. I had it with salmon; it went very well. Not a heavy pinot noir (only seven months and a bit in barrel), unlike many others from California. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Chateau des Charmes Riesling "Old Vines" 2013 Estate Bottled VQA NOTL, +277228, $16.95 Vintages: Made from vines largely planted in 1978, now a mature vineyard.
12.1% ABV. Succulence like you would not believe, but off-dry Alsatian character (citric tones, spices), with now two years plus of aging. A beaut. Twist top. Price has been held steady at this level for years with no compromise for quality levels. Quality/price rating 90 points by Dean Tudor.
 
 
4.Chateau des Charmes Cabernet Franc 2013 VQA NOTL, +162602 LCBO, $13.95: it has been many years since I tasted the entry level Cab Franc from Chateau des Charmes (I usually have access to their St David's Bench Vineyard Franc wines, costing twice as much), and they have another winner. Made in a warmer-than-usual Fall, it has some over-the-top full-bodied black fruit (cassis, blackberries, black cherries) while still retaining some Ontario cranberries and bell peppers. Reminds me of their 2007 Cab Franc. Aged for 9 months in French oak with some toast. Price has not changed in years. Sip or with first course food. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Baron de Hoen Riesling Reserve 2014 Alsace, +446427, $14.95 Vintages: a classic straight-up Alsatian Riesling in the MVC dry mode, 12% ABV, twist top, fairly priced. Orchard fruit dominates, with a nice lemony citric finish meant for fish. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
6.Chateau Haut Philippon 2014 Entre-Deux-Mers, +445171, $14.95 Vintages: yet another classic and affordable white wine from France. Here it is the classic blend of white Bordeaux – 70% sauvignon blanc, 20% semillon, and 10% muscadelle – which leads to a savouriness perfectly suitable to fish or seafood. Lemony nose, some grass, citric finish tempered by aging on lees for several months. 11.5% ABV, cork finish. Gold medalist.
Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.Waterkloof Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc 2014 WO Stellenbosch, +443382, $16.95 Vintages: from a biodynamic producer, here emphasizing the cool climate nature of dry chenin blanc as found in the Loire. 40 year old vines, with plenty of orchard fruit bouquets, citric finish, cork closure. Best with white meats (13.5% ABV).
Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah/Carignan/Mourvedre 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc, +370262, $18.95 Vintages: the bargains continue at the LCBO with this southern Rhone clone emphasizing aromatic red fruit and garrigue. Nice long finish for that heavy meat dish. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
9.Torres Salmos 2012 Priorat, +450734, $30.95 Vintages: a delicious red fruit concoction like Chateauneuf-du-Pape with its carinena, garnacha and syrah blend. 14.5% ABV. Expect meatiness and berries, and extremely long finish. Aged in French oak for 14 – 16 months. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com