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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Event: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, worldwide exclusive preview at The Carlu, June 16/14

The Date and Time: Monday, June 16, 2014  2PM to 5PM
The Event: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, worldwide exclusive preview
The Venue: Carlu (Round Room)
The Target Audience: LCBO product consultants, wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all of the wines are available through private orders or LCBO future offerings or consignment. The catalogue gave a description of what Gran Selezione was all about. 26 wineries were in attendance, and for each the catalogue entry gave a note on the grape composition, a sample label, addresses, plus the Ontario agent.
The Quote/Background: There was supposed to be a presentation, but all the notes were found in the catalogue anyway. Essentially, the GS is another level, above Riserva DOCG, with higher alcohol (13%, no problem in these days of climate change) and 30 months aging. Wine must be produced from a single vineyard or from a selection of best grapes; they are also subjected to a more rigorous chemical-organoleptic test.
The Wines: They ranged in price from about $35 to $200. For some, prices had not yet been set.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Lamole 2010, $44.95 Profile
-Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Badia a Passignano 2009, $45 Halpern
-Vignamaggio Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Castello di Monna Lisa 2010, $49  HHD Imports
-Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Il Puro Vigneto Casanova 2010 [organic] $130  Rogers
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Castelli del Grevepesa Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Panzano 2010, $44.95  Profile
-Ruffino Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Riserva Ducale 2010, $44.95
-Castello di Verrazzano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigneto Querciolina Sassello 2011, $67 Small Winemakers
-Castello Vicciomaggio Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigna La Prima 2010, $80  Signature Wines
-Enrico Baj Macario Bajering Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione VI Filare 2010
-Fattoria Viticcio Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Beatrice 2011 [organic] Majestic
-Vignole Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Crespine 2009
-Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Castello Fonterutoli 2010
Trialto
-Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Sergio Zingarelli 2010, $100 Noble Estates
-Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Castello di Brolio 2010, $60  Churchill
-Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Stielle 2010, $40 – 45 Profile
-San Vincenti Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Tenuta San Vincenti 2011 DB Wine
-Felsina Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Colonia 2009, $200 Lifford
-San Felice Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Il Grigio da San Felice 2010, $49.95 Dandurand
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Lamole 2011, $39.95 TWE
-Luiano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Ottantuno 2010, $65  Tre Amici
-Fontodi Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo 2010 [organic] Rogers
-Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione La Forra 2011  Frontier
-Bibbiano Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Vigna del Capannino 2010, $45
-San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Cellole 2010, $35  Groupe Soleil
-Castello d'Albola Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Il Solatio 2010 Imprese
-Colle Bereto Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione 2010 [organic]
-Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione Colledila 2010, $50  Churchill
-Castello di Ama Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione San Lorenzo 2010, $50  Halpern
 
The Food: Italian cheeses and salamis, dried fruit, focaccia, breads.
The Downside: with no formal presentation, there was no chance for a spoken introduction or for questions.
The Upside: there was a tutorial for LCBO product consultants.
The Contact Person: chianticlassicotoronto@gmail.com and piero@ice.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 19, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 19, 2014
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
 
NOTE: It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them into the Vintages program, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions from my BYOB section, along with point values.
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Campo di Sasso Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +694752, $21.95, 90 points.
2.Steve Bird Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +178319, $18.95: distinctive good quality savvy, with fruit and acid balance in play, 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Domaine Bellevue Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012, +82305, $13.95: good value in savvy MVC, cork finish, 12.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
4.Code Inspiration Viognier 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +380758, $14.95: affordable tropical and plush aromatics with some savouriness on the palate, 13.5% ABV, from a co-op of 167 winemakers. QPR: 89.
5.Dr.Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling 2012 Mosel, +596601, $13.95: another treasure with intense, delicious orchard fruit, twist top, 10% ABV, finishing dry. QPR: 89.
6.Le Monde Pinot Bianco 2012 Fruili Grave, +372417, $17.95: good depth, minerals, orchard fruit, finishes dry but with a kick. Better with food. QPR: 89.
7.Miguel Torres Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay 2012 Penedes, +171660, $15.95: made since late 1960s, amazing value for a barrel fermented chardonnay coming in at 13.5% ABV. Now in twist top. QPR: 89.
8.Paco & Lola Albarino 2012 Rias Baixas, +350041, $18.95: aromatic beginnings, mid-palate check on fruit, lovely lemon and mineral finish. Twist top, 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +216309, $22.95, 89 points.
2.Convento San Francisco 2005 Ribera del Duero, +206409, $21.95, 90 points.
3.Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +118067, $19.95: good whiff of California sunshine here, with plummy black fruit. Unfiltered. QPR: 88.
4.Small Gully Mr. Black's Little Book Shiraz 2011 Barossa, +287979, $17.95: tight aromatics with some mint, smoky on the finish, lots of fruit on the mid-palate. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Haut-Dina 2010 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, +374389, $15.95: underpriced compelling red wine with Bordeaux character in spades. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Vallone Vereto Salice Salentino 2010 Puglia, +379255, $17.95: overwhelming BBQ wine, delicious, 13.5% ABV, Very smooth. QPR: 89.
7.Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva 2009, +969469, $15.95: excellent price for a nicely aged Chianti from anywhere in the region made to the Riserva level. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Abad dom Bueno Crianza 2006 Bierzo, +244699, $14.95: another interesting and valued wine from outside the Rioja area, North American appeal. From mencia grapes. QPR: 89.
9.CVNE Vina Real Plata Crianza 2009 Rioja, +657411, $18.95: it looks as if Spain has the last values in wines under $20. Here is another one, an MVC Rioja at a bargain price, aged 5 years already. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, +566026, $29.95 retail.
2.Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2011 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +33936, $30.
3.Campo di Sasso Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +694752, $21.95
4.Champy Pernand-Vergelesses en Caradeux 1er Cru 2011, +344143, $49.95
5.Chateau Lalande-Borie 2010 AC Saint-Julien, +258772, $39.95
6.Icardi Parej Barolo 2008, +269696, $40.95
7.Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +216309, $22.95.
8.Convento San Francisco 2005 Ribera del Duero, +206409, $21.95
 
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! * -- Native Grapes of Italy (Univ of Cal Pr)

NATIVE WINE GRAPES OF ITALY (University of California Press, 2014, 621 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-27226-2, $50 US hard covers) is by Ian D'Agata, a Rome-based wine writer (International Wine Cellar, Decanter, Figaro) who has also written The Ecco Guide to the Best Wines of Italy. It is a comprehensive guide to the more than 500 indigenous or autochthonous grapes of Italy. The country grows the largest number of native wines grapes known – almost a quarter of the world's commercial wine grape types. And here they all are, from the red Abbuoto in Lazio to the white Zirone Bianco from Sardinia. D'Agata spent 13 years interviewing and researching, plus tasting wines. He's got material on classifications, clones, soils, genetic evidence, history and local stories about each grape. The first fifty pages covers the primer of varieties in  general. This is followed by three sections: grape groups and families; major varieties; little-known varieties; and crossings. To tie it all together, there is an index plus a grape variety index. The appendix lists tables of planting distributions, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography. Each grape entry tells where it is found, a national registry code, a colour, the descriptions, and a note on which wines to try and why. This book is going to snap up a few awards.
Audience and level of use: Italian wine lovers, reference libraries.
Some interesting or unusual facts: "This book does not discuss obvious international varieties such as Pinot Nero or Gewurztraminer, but it does tackle varieties that have been traditional to specific parts of Italy for hundreds of years and are integral to wines considered archetypal of a region's production." Quality/Price Rating: 93.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Event: Hope Family wines vertical tasting, June

The Date and Time: Wednesday, June 11, 2014  3PM to 5PM
The Event: Hope Family wines vertical tasting
The Venue: SOHO House
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine media, collectors – about 30 in all.
The Availability/Catalogue: most of these were older vintages, some may be available at the winery itself.
The Quote/Background: Austin Hope spoke about his family's winery (founded as vineyards in 1978) in Paso Robles, and about each wine. He makes a number of different lines, from the entry level Candor through Troublemaker and Liberty School. Treana Red and Treana White are top level blends, as is the Austin Hope Syrah level. The winery concentrates on Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Mourvedre. Overall, he believes in longer aging on the skin (30 – 60 days) and more pump-over.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
-Treana Red 2004 [60%cab sauv/syrah/merlot]
-Austin Hope Syrah 2011
-Austin Hope Syrah 2001
-Treana White 2001 [viognier/marsanne]
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, $19.95 Vintages
-Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
-Treana Red 2010 [70%cab sauv/syrah/merlot]
-Treana Red 1999 [cab sauv/syrah/merlot]
-Austin Hope Syrah 2005
-Treana White 2010 [viognier/marsanne]
-Treana White 1999 [viognier/marsanne]
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Liberty School Chardonnay 2011, $18.95
 
The Food: charcuterie, cheeses, dried breads, veggies and dips.
The Contact Person: lindsay.ohmi@trialto.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Cookbooks!! for Summer

BEER AND FOOD; bringing together the finest food and the best craft beers (Dog 'n' Bone Books, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-909313-23-1, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Mark Dredge, a UK award-winning (four times) beer writer. This is his second book: the first was "Craft Beer World". There is much more of his writing at his blog www.pencilandspoon.com. He looks at different combinations of beer and food, and tells us how best to enjoy them together. The first half of the book covers the making of beers and the different 30 or so styles, with general information on food pairing by tasting what is in the food and what is in the beer. For each style he describes what he would match to it and why, with stories about the food and the beers. About 150 specific beers are mentioned (none from Canada) from around the world, with bottle shots. This part deals with beer matched with food. This is followed by more principles on matching  (this time) food with beer, about 150 different foods. There is an index that pulls all this together. There is also a short chapter at the end for some highlighted 50 recipes on cooking WITH beer (and of course matched to the same beer). Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. But for some reason there are two pages on apple ciders! Which is totally out of place in a beer book. If you have international apple ciders, why not also have international perries? (or is it perrys?)
Audience and level of use: those beer lovers really interested in food matching.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: brewmaster's pie, beer jelly, beer ice cream, BBQ ribs with Belgian beer, Gueuze chicken vindaloo, and chicken and Wit pie.
The downside to this book: I got tired quickly of reading type on a background of feint or pastel colours.
The upside to this book: good matches, and lovely detailed work.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
4.BETTY CROCKER: the big book of breakfast and brunch (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 336 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-24770-3, $19.99 US paper covers) delivers full value at low price – 200 recipes are here, in a book with French covers (which tells me how serious they are). There's nothing stunning here, just comprehensive for families and singles who entertain. While there's the Triple-Threat Antioxidant Smoothie and homemade granola bars, there are also only ten gluten-free baked goods (according to the index). Still, the range is wide and useful: cereals, eggs/bacon, pancakes/waffles, French toast, hearty brunch dishes, and many coffee cakes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. I love the large typeface and white space. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
5.IDIOT'S GUIDES: Gluten-Free Eating (Alpha Books, 2014; distr. DK Books, 318 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-423-0, $18.95 US paper covers) is by Elizabeth King Humphrey and Jeanette Hurt. There is a primer on gluten and the GF lifestyle, plus shopping and menus. Included are tips for marketing, traveling, and eating out at restaurants. There are also about 100 recipes plus substitution lists to convert family favourites. This is a real boon to celiacs. It is a basic book with resources lists and glossary. The preps have yields, prep time, cook time, serving size, and nutritional data. They've got an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (flours of white and brown rice, sorghum, plus starches of tapioca and potato). But of course this lacks the chew factor of a crusty bread. Ah, well...Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
 
6.IDIOT'S GUIDES: the Chia Seed Diet (Alpha Books, 2014; distr. DK Books, 286 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-441-4, $18.95 US paper covers) is by Bud E. Smith (a how-to writer), Paul Plotkin (chef and caterer), and Joesph Ewing RD. The chia seed is high in protein, fibre, antioxidants, and Omega-3 oils. It is also gluten-free and an acknowledged superfood. All of this lowers blood pressure, helps with weight loss, improves heart and brain functions, and reduces glucose levels. There are about 100 recipes (plus menu planning) here for dishes, from breakfast through dessert, with many tips for incorporating chia seeds into vegan, gluten-free, Paleo and other diets. When dining out, just pour out a few onto the dish. Easy enough. There are also menus and shopping lists, and even a few purchasable products. It is a basic book with resources lists of books and the Internet, and a glossary. The preps have yields, prep time, cook time, serving size, and nutritional data. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
7.IDIOT'S GUIDES: Grilling (Alpha Books, 2014; distr. DK Books, 312 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-456-8, $21.95 US paper covers) is by Thomas N. England, a certified chef and former general manager of Chateau Thomas winery. He is now teaching cooking in Indianapolis. In a well-illustrated volume he covers the basics of grilling, with colour photos and tips from his life. It is a step-by-step method, so it is virtually goof-proof. There's data on how to choose a grill or smoker, cooking beef-pork-lamb-poultry-fish (separate chapters), and also veggies and fruit. He also advocates jowl meat over bacon, although prices are creeping up for both now. Hard to go wrong here, as they say "as easy as it gets" in about 100 easy-to-grill recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
8.IDIOT'S GUIDES: The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook (Alpha Books, 2014; distr. DK Books, 290 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-445-2, $18.95 US paper covers) is by Denise Hazime, of Lebanese extraction and owner of www.dedemed.com where she teaches Mediterranean cooking through instructional videos. She's got over 200 preps concentrating on the high consumption of olive oil, fruits, and veggies. Included are legumes and whole grains, a moderate consumption of dairy-wine-fish, and a low consumption of meat and meat products. All of this is combined with daily physical activity. Basically, meat is considered a garnish, and eat your greens. It is one of the healthiest diets in the world. The primer here introduces us to the Mediterranean pantry, followed by the recipes for breakfasts, brunch, lunch, snacks, and suppers. Everything was checked out by Mary Rodavich, a registered dietician. As with all such guides, it is pretty elementary and basic, but also, of course, a useful exploration and explanation. There's a glossary and nutritional tables. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
9.IDIOT'S GUIDES: Canning and Preserving (Alpha Books, 2014; distr. DK Books, 280 pages, ISBN 978-1-61564-460-5, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Trish Sebben-Krupka, a cookbook author and corporate chef for the Viking Culinary Center. She teaches classes in home food preservation as well as catering vegan, vegetarian and eco-friendly meals. She encourages the reader to stock up with veggies and fruits, especially if a deal can be made. Then the reader can get down to doing all kinds of preservation to get through the winter. So there is advice on tools and equipment, the techiques of freezing-drying-pickling, how to prepare raw items for preservation, and making dehydrated foods. Then it is on to step-by-step photos illustrating canning jams, jellies, pie fillings and other fruits. Pickling is largely reserved for veggies, although I also did not see any recipe for cherry pickles. Fermented foods get their section, as well as pressure-canned foods. And there are recipes for chutneys and salsas. A good basic book, with a glossary and a bibliography for additional reading. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
10.EATING CULTURE; an anthropological guide to food (University of Toronto Press, 2013, 324 pages, ISBN 978-1-4416-0465-0, $34.95 CAN paper covers) is by Gillian Crowther, an anthropology prof at Capilano University in Vancouver. It is a primer-guide to the food component of social anthropology: the study of everyday lives of ordinary people anywhere. Food is pretty basic, always, as she says, eaten locally, whether locally produced or globally sourced. The range here is broad, from ingredients to recipes to meals to menus, around the world and throughout all time. She gives it all some structure and management through sections dealing with omnivores, food rules, dietary taboos (and their origins), nutritional concerns (and government mandated regulations), food gathering, evolution of cuisines, agriculture, intensification and commercialization, domestic and restaurant cooking plus street food, recipes, feasts, locavorism, farmers' markets, and takeouts. Other topics include food waste, table manners, food tourism, and sharing. Specifically for Canada, there are details on commercial fisheries, Canada Food Guides, labelling and GMOs, and ethnic restaurants. While ingress is covered for nutrition and balance, there is little if anything on the egress of food through our internal waste system. I suppose there should be a book on sanitation and body waste management. There are black and white illustrations, plus a colour pix section. There's a glossary and a long bibliography, with internal page references within the body of the book. What makes the book really good is that it is a  readable framework for social anthropology. Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
 
11.THE CARNIVORE'S MANIFESTO (Little, Brown, 2014, 260 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-25624-7, $26 US hard covers) is by Patrick Martins (owner of Heritage Foods USA and a founder of Slow Food USA) and Mike Edison (a professional writer on the counterculture). Together, they write about eating responsibly and eating well, and also eating meat. The book has some log rolling from Waters and Batali, as well as Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food International. Martins services over 150 restaurants every week, delivering specialty breeds that have been cared for according to Slow Food principles: Akaushi cattle, Columbian Wyandotte chicken, Kiko goat, Bourbon Rd turkey, Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, and many more. Here are fifty short chapters all dealing with a variety of topics involving sustainability and meat – and hey, there is a long index, which immediately makes the book an invaluable read, and a bibliography for further reading. Selected topics include: media campaigns of the industrial farming complex, political correctness, locavores, slaughterhouses, The Whole Earth Catalog, goats, baking, trucking industry, and many more. You could read a couple every night before bedtime.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
12.THE BEEKMAN 1802 HEIRLOOM VEGETABLE COOKBOOK (Rodale, 2014, 276 pages, ISBN 978-1-60961-575-8, $32.50 US hard covers) is by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, founders of Beekman 1802, a lifestyle company centred around their farm in New York. They've authored two other cookbooks for Rodale. Here, the book is arranged by season, beginning with Spring, to celebrate the bounty of food from a kitchen garden on their farm. They aim to create memories around the table with a variety of dishes that follow the seasons. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. There are about a hundred recipes here, two dozen or so a season, along with a listing of some seven seed companies that sell heirloom seeds.
Audience and level of use: budding farmers and slow food consumers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: golden gazpacho with minted cream; veggie cheddar breakfast muffins; roasted cauliflower steaks with orange-olive sauce; penne with roasted salmon, asparagus, peas and ramps; Asian-style pea shoots with garlic, ginger and sesame; collard greens and apple with hot dressing.
The downside to this book: I really missed metric measurements
The upside to this book: good looking photos
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
13.PICKLED & PACKED; recipes for artisanal pickles, preserves, relishes & cordials (Ryland Peters and Small, 2014, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-490-3, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Valerie Aikman-Smith, an LA based food stylist who has done work for films (e.g. Titanic) and TV, as well as authored other cookbooks. She's got the old classics and new contemporaries for us, sorted into five chapters dealing with pickling, relish/mustards, bottled veggies/fruit, candied fruits, and liqueurs. Her short recipes show how to pickle and preserve, while the longer recipes show how to create whole meals. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: the adventuresome.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: spicy kimchi hash browns with poached eggs; west coast crab cakes; salade nicoise with pickled eggs and onions; artisanal cheeseboards; lobster & lemon potato salad; rosemary & thyme mustard; frangipane tart with vin santo plums; barley water.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
14.ASIAN PICKLES (Ten Speed Books, 2014, 200 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-476-4, $19.99 US hard covers) is by Karen Solomon, a food writer and blogger. She's authored other "preservation" cookbooks, including a series dealing with Asian Pickles available as e-cookbooks. So here she concentrates on sweet, sour, salty, cure3d and fermented preserves, arranged by country beginning with Japan. That lead to Korea, China, India and the rest of "Southeast Asia" such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Mayalsia. There's a glossary and a resources list of books and websites. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Her primer deals with unique techniques for Asian pickles and a variety of "quick pickles". There are about 75 recipes in all, and most are photographed. Included, of course, are the classics of Korean kimchi and Indian chutney.
Audience and level of use: adventuresome intermediate cooks.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: apples in mustard with mint; Chinese preserved vegetables; coconut-cilantro chutney; paneer-stuffed pickled chiles; pickled chiles with lime (Thailand).
The downside to this book: nothing, really.
The upside to this book: a great idea for a cookbook.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Event: Wines of Puglia – the heel of Italy's boot. June tasting

The Date and Time: Friday, June 6, 2014  5PM to 7PM
The Event: Wines of Puglia – the heel of Italy's boot.
The Venue: Bata Shoe Museum
The Target Audience: wine writers and consumers
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available through LCBO or consignment, as noted.
The Quote/Background: It was appropriate to hold the tasting at the Bata Shoe Museum, which was used once before for a Puglia event. Sommelier Antonio Mauriello led a seminar presentation which described seven of the wines that we tasted.
The Wines: We began with a tasting of Tormaresca Chardonnay IGT Puglia 2013, +751882 $13.95 (rated: 3 stars, 85 - 87), coming soon to the LCBO. Otherwise, all the other wines were red.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Varvaglione Vigne & Vini Zinfandel Primitivo del Salento IGP 2012, $15 Caliber
-Varvaglione Vigne & Vini Il Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria DOP 2010, $19.95 Vintages
-Leone de Castris 50 degrees Vendemmia Salice Calentino DOP Riserva 2010 [negroamaro, malvasia nera], $19.95 Halpern
-Duca Carlo Guarini Boemondo Salento IGP 2010 [primitivo], $14.80 A Mano Import
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tormaresca Torcicoda Salento IGP 2012 [primitivo], $21.95 Oct 11 Vintages
-Tormaresca Neprica Rosso 2011 Puglia, +692771, $14.95 Aug 16 Vintages
-Tenute Emera Sud del Sud Salento IGP 2012 [negroamaro, primitivo, merlot, syrah], 6.5E FOB, no agent
-Carvinea Sierma Salento IGP 2009 [aglianico], $16 Cavinova
-Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte DOP Riserva 2008 [nero di troia, montepulciano], $23.90 Lifford
 
The Food: Italian cheeses, fresh cheeses, breads, bread sticks, crackers, fresh fruit, veggies.
The Downside: it was late on Friday night, and there were a lot of consumers crowding the tables.
The Upside: a chance to taste some Puglian wines and the informative seminar.
The Contact Person: dsanzone@rogers.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Event: Generation Riesling - German Riesling wines at the Arcadian Loft

The Date and Time: Tuesday, May 20, 2014  11:30AM  to 3:30PM
The Event: Generation Riesling
The Venue: Arcadian Loft
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available through consignment or private orders.
The Quote/Background: there was a seminar on German wine and food pairing at 11:30, followed by a walk-about tasting of wines poured by agents.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines, preferring just Riesling
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Weingut Runkel Bechtheimer Spatburgunder Pinot Noir 2011 Rheinhessen
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Piesporter Riesling Spatlese 2008 Mosel
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese 1999 Mosel
-Schloss Schonborn Erbach Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett 2008 Rheingau
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Riesling 2013 Mosel [old vines]
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Wiltinger Alte Reben Riesling 2012 Mosel
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling 2012 Mosel
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling 2006 Mosel
-Weingut Walter Briedeler Schaeferlay Riesling Spatlese 2012 Mosel
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Fritz Muller Perlwein NV Rheinhessen [crackling wine]
-G.H. Von Mumm Riesling 50 degrees 2013 Rheingau
-Prinz von Hessen Riesling Dachsfilet 2012 Rheingau
-Prinz von Hessen H-Riesling 2012 Rheingau
-Prinz von Hessen Riesling Kabinett Royal 2012 Rheingau
-Ruppertsberger Winezerverein Riesling Nussbien Dry 2013 Pfalz
-Weingut Bollin-Lehnert Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese 2012 Mosel
-Weingut Bollin-Lehnert Dhron Hofberger Riesling Spatlese 2011 Mosel
-Weingut Burg Ravensburg Riesling 2013 Baden
-Weingut Burg Ravensburg Lochle Spatburgunder GG 2011 Baden
-Weingut Willems Hofmann Riesling vom Muschelkalk 2013 Rheinhessen
-Weingut Willems Riesling Schiefer 2013 Saar
-Weingut Willems Riesling Auf der Lauer 2013 Saar
-Weingut Klumpp Weissburgunder QbA trocken 2013 Baden
-Schloss Schonborn Riesling QbA 2013 Rheingau
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Saarfeilser Riesling 2012 Mosel
-Weingut St.Urbanshof Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling GG 2012 Mosel
-Weingut Walter Riesling Kabinett 2012 Mosel
-Stefan Winter Dittlesheimer Riesling Kalkstein 2012 Rheinhessen
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Weingut Bergdolt Reif & Nett Riesling Black Edition 2013 Pfalz
-Weingut Bergdolt Reif & Nett Riesling Trocken Tradition 2013 Pfalz
-Weingut Dreissigacker Riesling Organic 2013 Rheinhessen
-Meyer-Nakel Pinot Gris Hand in Hand 2013 Baden
-Weingut Burg Ravensburg Pinot Noir 2010 Baden
-Weingut Burg Ravensburg Husarenkape Riesling GG 2012 Baden
-Weingut Klumpp Pinot Noir 2011 Baden
-Schloss Johannisberg Gelblack 2012 Rheingau
-Schloss Johannisberg Rotlack Kabinett 2012 Rheingau
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Riesling 2013 Mosel
-Stefan Winter Riesling 2012 Rheinhessen
-Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Wiltinger Riesling 2013 Saar
-Koenigschaffhauser Steingrueble Barrique Aged Pinot Noir Regnum 2009 Baden
 
The Food: at the seminar, we had wine pairs (Riesling and Pinot noirs, one Pinot gris) with food. We opened with scallop crudo, followed by poached egg and smoked bacon. The next course was grilled salmon, and then braised short ribs (here we had one of Riesling and one of Pinot noir). The cheese course featured Ontario's Nosey Goat Camelot and Comfort Cream, both with Pinot noirs. The pairings were largely successful in that each wine was of a heavier weight that the one before it, and this stood well with the food. Overall, the Rheingau and Rheinhessen wines were the best matches to the food.
The Downside: I was wait-listed for the seminar because my email program lost the invite before I could read it. But at the event itself, there were a few vacant seats from attendees that never bothered to cancel. This can be infuriating, and seems to be getting worse this year. I go to many trade seminars and see at least a half dozen seats empty despite wait-listing.
The Upside: I got to participate in the food matching.
The Contact Person: lisa@androscom.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Event: International Sauvignon Blanc Day, May 16, New Zealand Division

The Date and Time:  Friday, May 16, 2014  2PM to 5 PM
The Event: International Sauvignon Blanc Day, New Zealand Division
The Venue: Starfish
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: according to the card we were given, 21 wines are available for tasting and buying.
The Quote/Background: "shucking with savvy" is a great theme for Sauvignon Blanc Day, and some of the oysters came from New Zealand, so that was a real treat.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Te Pa Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-900 Grapes Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012
-Forrest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Hunter's Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Matua Regional Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay 201
-Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Ten Sisters Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Marisco The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-The Ned Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand NV
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Brancott Estate Letter Series "B" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Middle-Earth Sauvignon Blanc Nelson 2013
-Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
 
The Food: fries, bread, plenty of diverse oysters.
The Downside: there were several Savvy Day celebrations, and I had to miss them all except for this one, which fitted nicely with the LCBO Vintages tasting that AM.
The Upside: a chance to compare wines with oysters.
The Contact Person: nzwine@ketchin.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Some New Wines tasted Recently

1.Schuchmann Wines Georgia Tsinandali 2013 Georgia (AMZ-Whiz Trading), about $16.95: Tsinandali is a wine region in Georgia; it is the home of Rkatsiteli (possibly once the world's most widely planted white wine grape variety) and Mtsvane, both white wines that are used in this blend. The former, also made into wine in New York's Finger Lakes, is highly acidic, lending citric and apple tones. The latter is fairly fruity and aromatic. The blend is complementary: the green attack of the Rkatsiteli seems to be perfectly balanced by the orange stone fruit (peaches, apricots) of the Mtsvane. The upfront fruit and flowers on the nose and entry is mellowed by the stoney character on the mid-palate, and it finishes refreshingly citrus. A pretty good sipper and even better with seafood as a first course. This particular wine has a pale clear colour emphasizing its fresh nature; it is only six months old, from the 2013 vintage. It should be served chilled. It reminds me of a new style Ontario Vidal or a Vermentino from Italy. 13% ABV, with a cork closure. Stainless fermentation and storage at the winery, which is a tourist destination with name recognition; it appears to be worth a visit. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
2.Huff Estates Chardonnay South Bay Vineyards 2011 VQA Prince Edward County, $29.95 at winery: a year in French oak, about 25% new. Slightly smokey, citric tones and some minerality, good balance and nuances between the elements. Long finish, needs buttery food. Not really a sipper, and don't overchill. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
3.Huff Estates Cuvee Janine 2012 Sparking Rose VQA Prince Edward County, $29.95 at winery: all pinot noir, with a year on lees (first made in 2010 with two years on lees). Traditional method as in Champagne. Dark rose colour, just a shade paler than most Alsatian still pinot noirs! Good brisk refreshing bubbles accent the black fruit tones. Long dry finish suggests food as well as sipping. 12.5% ABV. 220 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
4.Huff Estates Gamay 2012 VQA Ontario, $24.95 at winery: with 14 months in French oak (15% new), the body has suggestions of black fruit and cherries, done up in a North American appeal style. A bit heftier than Beaujolais but still suggestive of casual food. 13.5% ABV. 530 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
5.Huff Estates Pinot Noir 2012 VQA Prince Edward County, $29.95 at winery: another wine with 14 months of French oak (40% new) showing off plenty of strawbs, cherries and other red fruit. Some forest floor in evidence (suggesting earth food), with finishing acidity integrating well with dark chocolate (even mocha) tones. 12.5% ABV, 200 cases made. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
6.Angry Orchard Cider, $14.95 for a six pack, +374520: from Ohio but from a variety of apples (including France and Italy plus America), it reflects American tastes of apple peels and sweetness. Good but soft fizz, appealing for summer. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.Radio Boka Tempranillo 2013 Valencia, +376145, $11: a ripe and voluptuous red from Spain, good MVC for tempranillo, and a great price. Fleshy and fruity, with medium consistency all the way in its body, dryness, colour, and aroma intensity. Vines are 12 – 25 years old, and the wine was partially aged in French oak for softness. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.Rockway Vineyards Patio 9 Vidal Spritz 2011 VQA Ontario, $12.95 Winery:  a good wine for summer at 9% ABV, meant for the patio (obviously, by the name alone). Some tropical and orchard fruit, light and fizzy, grapey, finishes with citric tones. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
9.Rockway Vineyards The Outcast Small Lot Syrah 2011 VQA 20 Mile Bench Niagara, $19.95 winery: Rockway's Small Lot series emphasizes few cases. Here, there are just 49 cases of this 13% ABV wine that has been augmented by adding 5% riesling for verve, in the tradition of adding viognier in the Rhone. Expect black fruit and berries, coffee and chocolate tones. It is a big plummy wine with barrel aging of 18 months. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
10.Rockway Vineyards Rose 2013 VQA 20 Mile Bench Niagara, $13.95 winery: this is like a small lot, with 88 cases and being all merlot. Previous editions were cabernet; this time it is merlot. Fresh and compelling, sip or food, 12% ABV, twist top. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
11.Rockway Vineyards Riesling Fergie Jenkins Series 2012 VQA 20 Mile Bench Niagara, $14.95 winery: A good basic MVC Ontario riesling with citric flavours, apples, some peach, and a bracing finish. Off-dry on the mid-palate.  A portion of the proceeds go to the charity of Fergie Jenkins Foundation. 10% ABV, twist top. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
12.Rockway Vineyards Cabernet Franc Small Lot Block 11-140 2011 VQA 20 Mile Bench Niagara, $24.95 winery: expect black fruit, herbs and peppers, some vanilla in a typical franc mix. 13% ABV, 170 cases in total. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
13.Rockway Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Small Lot Block 12-120 2011 VQA 20 Mile Bench Niagara, $22.95 winery: Plums, mocha, bright colours, a wide range of palette flavours on the palate. 99 cases, 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, June 30, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 5, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 5, 2014
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
 
Santa Ema Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Casablanca Valley, +369462, $15.95: if this price holds, then this is great value in a wooded chardonnay – toasty and warm, rich and ripe butter tones, tropicality too. But it may overwhelm subtle food. Long length lingers. 13.5% ABV. Snap it up, the deal of the summer, only 369 cases for the whole province...but leave some for me. QPR: 93.
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
 
Vina Olabarri Gran Reserva 2005 Rioja, +329102, $24.95
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Cave Spring Estate Chardonnay 2012 Cave Spring Vineyard VQA Beamsville Bench, +256552, $18.95: loaded with charm, 13% ABV, smoky and Ontario apple, some citrus, fruit on the mid-palate. QPR: 89.
2.Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +89029, $17.95: orchard fruit shines here (apples, pears, peaches) with off-dryness supported by a modest 10.5% ABV. Excellent sipper or with food, maybe a spritzer. QPR: 89.
3.Jean Bousquet Cameleon Torrontes/Chardonnay 2013 Tupungato Valley Mendoza, +375469, $13.95: a nifty torrontes, coupled with chardonnay (I suspect new vines, for more intense acid), to produce a dryish but highly fruity sipper or food wine. 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Leyda Valley, +375212, $18.95: an excellent savvy hit, 13.5% ABV, twist top, very fresh, very food oriented on the finish. QPR: 89.
5.Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2011 Marlborough, +60129, $19.95: good gewurz with typical refreshing bitterness on the finish, twist top, 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Chateau Salmoniere Vieilles Vignes Muscat Sevre & Maine 2012 Sur Lie, +142380, $13.95: good depth from the vieilles vignes. The LCBO should be expanding this VV category of Loire wines. Twist top, 12% ABV, gold medalist. QPR: 89.
7.Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 PGI Florina Greece, +368464, $19.95: another excellent savvy, this time from Greece. Gold medalist, 13.5% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Vizcarra Senda del Oro Roble 2011 DO Ribera del Duero, +331249, $19.95: rare to find value from Ribera under twenty bucks. Here it is dense and chunky with North American jammy appeal, 14.5% ABV, organic tempranillo grapes. QPR: 89.
2.Muruve Roble 2011 DO Toro, +280404, $13.95: a fruity and juicy joy with nine months of oak, and a blast at 16% ABV. BBQ definitely. QPR: 89.
3.Peique Tinto Mencia 2012 DO Bierzo, +219204, $15.95: with no oak, the delicious fruit stands out with some licorice tones. 14% ABV, affordable. QPR: 89.
4.Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mendoza, +143206, $16.95: a delicious Euro-style fruity wine, with "gran reserva" on the label but not spelled out in the catalogue. 14.5% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Syrah 2011 Single Vineyard Cachapoal Andes Chile: good Rhonish syrah hit from the older vines, 14.5% ABV, lovely finish for BBQ. QPR: 89.
6.De Martino Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2011 Maipo, +371096, $14.95: an excellent blend for the BBQ with the cab sauv being filled out by the malbec. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Barossa, +203158, $16.95: tops out at 15%, good cabby from Australia, twist top. MVC all the way. QPR: 89.
8.D'Alfonso del Sordo Guado San Leo Uva di Troia 2006 IGT Daunia Puglia: tasty, off-dry with dissolving tannins, one year in barrel, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Coltibuono Cancelli Rosso 2011 IGT Toscana, +920173, $15.95: a good value quaffer to stock up with, 14% ABV. Sangiovese and syrah tones shine through. QPR: 89.
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Faustino V Reserva 2008 Rioja, +22798, $22.95 retail.
2.Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench, +268391, $24.95
3.Red Rooster Reserve Meritage 2011 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +366187, $24.95
4.Hidden Bench Terroir Cache Meritage 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, +505610, $38.20
5.Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Shiraz 2007 Barossa Valley, +971705, $39.95
6.Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2012 WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, +931006, $34.95
7.Cave des Vignerons de Buxy Montagny Les Chaniots 1er cru 2010, +159020, $24.95
8.Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2006 IGT Toscana, +270256, $27.95
9.Masi Grandarella 2010 Appassimento IGT Refosco dell Venezie, +606921, $25.95


Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: a pre-launch promotion dinner at Pastizza, Esplanade and Market Street

The Date and Time: Monday, June 9, 2014   6PM to 9PM
The Event: a pre-launch promotion dinner at Pastizza, Esplanade and Market Street
The Target Audience: members of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
The Availability/Catalogue: all of the wines at this new restaurant are from Thomas George Estate Winery in Healdsburg, California with vineyards in the Russian River Valley.
The Quote/Background: This is an upscale casual dining establishment in the St. Lawrence district, emphasizing a variety of great pastas and pizzas (hence, its name). There are other mains as well, of course, including short ribs, branzino filet, duck, salmon, chicken and others. Paolo Paolini (of Centro, Splendido, Mistura, and Sopra), the COO, wants it to be a flagship operation with a few other places in the GTA, and then some nationally. It is a big restaurant, with a huge wine cellar rack floating in the air (or so it seems) over the bar. This location will supply the other GTA restaurants with housemade pasta and pizza dough. There will also be take away offerings. One of the owners is Thomas George Estate Winery in Sonoma – they will be supplying all of the wines through their Ontario agent B & W. Some of the wines for the "by the glass or bottle" program will feature the Pastizza name on the label, selling for around $40 or so at the restaurant, and then later to consumers via the agent. Paolo expects to have about 40 different wines, including a California Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Viognier, and Zinfandel (which may be rebranded as Pastizza Primitivo) – they are all in the California style, with lower acid levels. The restaurant is aiming for under $40 a head with wine, or about $100 a couple with taxes and gratuities.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pastizza North Coast Brut Sparkling Wine NV
-Thomas George Estates Zinfandel 2011 Russi Vineyard Russian River Valley
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pastizza North Coast Viognier 2012
-Thomas George Estates Chardonnay 2010 Russian River Valley
-Thomas George Estates Pinot Noir 2011 Russian River Valley
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pastizza North Coast Pinot Grigio 2012
-Pastizza North Coast Tempranillo 2010
 
The Food: we started with many different thin crusted pizzas, beginning with the classic margherita, followed by pizzas with Kobe pastrami, cheeses, giardiniera, wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, and more. With these we had the sparkler which was much in the prosecco vein. This was followed by a communal sitdown dinner beginning with all semolina casarece pasta and clams in a yellow tomato sauce (Viognier and Pinot Grigio for this: good matches). Next up was a beef raviolone (large ravioli) with a wild mushroom sauce and the intriguing Tempranillo and Zinfandel wines. A more classic pairing came with the main, an Irish organic pistachio encrusted salmon filet, with asparagus, bitters salad, organic chicken, scalloped potatoes, and boneless short ribs: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Russian River estates. There was something for everyone as we all picked and chose what we wanted to eat off platters. The culmination was an excellent housemade sticky pudding (made with date sugar) and espresso. No dessert wine, but who had room anyway? Certainly the kitchen was accomplished.
The Contact Person: spuritt@sympatico.ca and/or paolo@pastizza.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com