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Friday, June 15, 2018

Re: The Event: The Power of Food – lunch and learn with Jordana Hart of www.ihartnutrition.com May 24 at The Simple Kitchen

Great - is there anyway to profile Simple Kitchen a bit more?!  LOL.

On Jun 15, 2018, at 2:06 PM, Dean Tudor <dtudor@pathcom.com> wrote:

The Date and Time: Thursday, May 24, 2018  1:30PM - 3PM
The Event: The Power of Food – lunch and learn with Jordana Hart of www.ihartnutrition.com
The Venue: The Simple Kitchen
The Target Audience: food media
The Quote/Background: Jordana specializes in helping women create a healthy relationship with food while remaining aware that life is all about moderation. She's an RD and blogger. The Simple Kitchen is a paleo, gluten-free and mostly dairy-free restaurant in Roncesvalles Village. It specializes in boxes, salads, bowls, special coffees, fresh-pressed juices, fresh baked goods, and unprocessed ingredients. It has an active catering business. Hart emphasized mindfulness, the idea of creating a rainbow of colours on your plate so you can be attracted to it, even if it is just greens and tomatoes on a pizza. Mindfulness includes chewing your food (call for Lynn Belevedere!!) and sitting down while you eat. You should have the three macronutrients at every meal (fat, carbohydrates, protein), not necessarily equal in proportions. Try for three meals and two snacks each day.
The Wines: The restaurant has a small number of alcoholic beverages. For wines, there are Pelee Island Cabernet and Pelee Island Pinot Grigio. They make mimosas with fresh orange juice and Moscato d'Asti.
 
The Food: we had a wide-ranging lunch with small versions of bone broth, almond banana smoothie, warm turmeric latte with housemade cashew mylk and cracked pepper, vanilla chia seed bowls with granola and coconut whipped cream, boxes for keto, lean and vegan diets, and avocado toasts with sauerkraut. There were at least four different box cookies in the paleo/keto mode, a variety of triangles and squares.
The Downside: we started late and I was pressed to leave for an appointment.
The Upside: everything was so healthy
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.
 

The Event: The Power of Food – lunch and learn with Jordana Hart of www.ihartnutrition.com May 24 at The Simple Kitchen

The Date and Time: Thursday, May 24, 2018  1:30PM - 3PM
The Event: The Power of Food – lunch and learn with Jordana Hart of www.ihartnutrition.com
The Venue: The Simple Kitchen
The Target Audience: food media
The Quote/Background: Jordana specializes in helping women create a healthy relationship with food while remaining aware that life is all about moderation. She's an RD and blogger. The Simple Kitchen is a paleo, gluten-free and mostly dairy-free restaurant in Roncesvalles Village. It specializes in boxes, salads, bowls, special coffees, fresh-pressed juices, fresh baked goods, and unprocessed ingredients. It has an active catering business. Hart emphasized mindfulness, the idea of creating a rainbow of colours on your plate so you can be attracted to it, even if it is just greens and tomatoes on a pizza. Mindfulness includes chewing your food (call for Lynn Belevedere!!) and sitting down while you eat. You should have the three macronutrients at every meal (fat, carbohydrates, protein), not necessarily equal in proportions. Try for three meals and two snacks each day.
The Wines: The restaurant has a small number of alcoholic beverages. For wines, there are Pelee Island Cabernet and Pelee Island Pinot Grigio. They make mimosas with fresh orange juice and Moscato d'Asti.
 
The Food: we had a wide-ranging lunch with small versions of bone broth, almond banana smoothie, warm turmeric latte with housemade cashew mylk and cracked pepper, vanilla chia seed bowls with granola and coconut whipped cream, boxes for keto, lean and vegan diets, and avocado toasts with sauerkraut. There were at least four different box cookies in the paleo/keto mode, a variety of triangles and squares.
The Downside: we started late and I was pressed to leave for an appointment.
The Upside: everything was so healthy
The Contact Person: michelle@lucidcommunications.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! * - When Concord was King (Jim Warren)

WHEN CONCORD WAS KING! (Tellwell Talent, 2018, 163 pages, ISBN 978-1-77370-991-8 $27. 43 CAD Amazon.Ca papercovers) is by Jim Warren, a good friend of mine (hence: a conflict-of-interest). Jim was born in Hamilton, graduating with an M.A. in Roman History. While teaching languages in a local high school, he became an acclaimed amateur winemaker. So: in 1985 with his wife Charlotte he founded Stoney Ridge Winery. In 2000 he joined the faculty of Niagara College and assisted with the development of the Vineyard and Winery Management Program, acting as both instructor and winemaker. In 1997 Jim was selected as Ontario winemaker of the year (Ontario Wine Awards) and 10 years later received the Cuvee Award of Excellence for his contribution to the wine industry. As a consultant Jim has assisted with the creation of numerous new wineries and wines in Ontario. "When Concord was King" is a book exploring the early beginnings of the wine industry in Eastern North America, focusing on Ontario. It's more than just Concord grapes of course – it looks at all the "foxy" tasting grape wines not made from V. vinifera (European varietals). V.labrusca is the most prominent; indeed, it is called the fox grape. Cultivars and hybrids here include Concord, Catawba, Delaware, Dutchess, Niagara, and Isabella. He begins with the "southern fox" – North America's first wine – from Muscadine. He moves through the centuries and arrives in Upper Canada in 1790. A big chunk of the book deals with Ontario developments 1880 – 1980. He walks us through Prohibition, the start of the LCBO, the Depression, the Second World War – and Harry Hatch with Brights. It took until 1951 for vinifera to be planted, when chardonnay was grafted onto phylloxera-resistant root-stock. It was later marketed as Pinot Chardonnay. This is a compelling read, made more vivid by Warren's writing style. He's got his reference material cited, a series of glosses in each chapter, and some critical notes and histories of many early Eastern North American grape hybrids. There is no index, which is unfortunate, but if you can get hold of the PDF or ebook version, then word searching should be no problem for all the names and places. Quality/Price Rating: 90
 
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Event: Orange Crush – tasting of contact wines featuring Mateja Gravner May 22 at Peter Pan Bistro

The Date and Time: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2PM to 4PM
The Event: Orange Crush – tasting of contact wines featuring Mateja Gravner
The Venue: Peter Pan Bistro (upstairs)
The Target Audience: sommeliers and wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are either in stock or by private order through The Living Vine or (for Sperling BC wines) Cru Wine Merchants. Southbrook wines are also available at the winery in Niagara.
The Quote/Background: This was the first major "orange wine" show in Toronto -  the entire contact wine portfolio of The Living Vine, anchored by the appearance of Mateja Graver and her Graver orange wines of Italy (these are made in Georgian amphorae, buried underground with a long maceration with wild yeasts and no temperature control; after pressing, the wine was poured back into amphorae for five more months before the start of ageing in large oak barrels where it was left for six years, and then bottled without fining or filtration). It was also a major achievement for Mark Cuff, owner of The Living Vine – the same Mark Cuff who promoted the biodynamic/organic wine show at the Distillery District a decade ago: Return to Terroir (Feb 8, 2008).
The Wines: Orange wines are an acquired taste, so this was an important wine tasting for me with its major exposure. I tried to embrace its sensibilities. The best wines were very expensive because of the labour and upkeep. But there were some values, especially for the novice orange drinker. All prices are licensee.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sperling Vineyard Amber Gris 2016 BCVQA Okanagan Valley, $34.95  Cru Wine Merchants
-Gravner Pinot Grigio Anfora Friuli IGT Italy $219.95
-Dominio de Punctum 20,000 Leguas 2017 La Mancha Spain $16.95 – I gave this wine four stars because of its excellent entry level value. A great introduction to the fresh tannic steeliness of orange wine.
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2014 VQA Ontario  not available
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2015 VQA Ontario  not available
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2017 VQA Ontario  end of summer
-Denavolo [2016] Lot # L16D Emilia Romagna IGT Italy $49.95 – awesome, my overall FAVE
-COS zibibbo In Pithos 2016 Sicily $62.95  private order
-Turner-Pageot Languedoc Le Blanc [picpoul, marsanne] 2017 $26.95 private order
-Turner-Pageot Languedoc Les Choix Marsanne Orange 2015 $52.95
-Cueva Orange Tardana – Macabeo Valencia Spain 2016  $32.95 private order
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2016 VQA Ontario $25.12
-Gravner Ribolla Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2008, 14% ABV  $109.95
-Gravner Ribolla Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2009, 14% ABV  $119.95 private order
-Gravner Bianco Breg Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2008 15% ABV $109.95 -sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, chardonnay, and riesling italico all fermented separately but aged together.
-Gravner Bianco Breg Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2009 15% ABV $119.95 private order
-Orsogna Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio Abruzzo Italy  $23.95 -in colour, close to rose
-Domaine Ligas Kydonitsa Barique 2015 Pella Greece $44.95 private order
-COS Rami Greciano/Insolia 2016 Sicily $35.95
-COS Pithos Bianco 2015 Sicily $59.95; magnum $94.95
-Fonterenza Biancospino [NV] Tuscany Italy $39.95
-Celler Credo Estrany Xarel-Lo Estrany 2014Penedes Spain $56.95
-Cosimo Maria Masini "Daphne" Bianco 2015 $44.95 private order
-Animacorale L'Audace Grillo 2015 $29.95 some RS
-Animacorale Il Visionario Inzolia 2015 $29.95  private order
-Animacorale Il Visionario Catarratto 2015 $29.95 private order
-Animacorale L'eretico Grecanico 2015 $29.95 private order
 
The Food: orange-coloured snacks (baby carrots, orange pepper slices, BBQ tortilla chips, orange cheddar cheese, orange-tinged popcorn, ritx crackers, cheesies, three orange dips which included hummus).
The Downside: it was really crowded (yeah, a real orange crush) since there was a sommelier seminar at 1PM and it just finished shortly after 2PM
The Upside: a great opportunity to taste a wide range of contact wines.
The Contact Person: mark@thelivingvine.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, June 10, 2018

SOME NEW BEVERAGE SAMPLES SENT TO ME FOR TASTING REVIEWS THIS MONTH –

SOME NEW BEVERAGE SAMPLES SENT TO ME FOR TASTING REVIEWS THIS MONTH –
 
 
1.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Saint Chinian 2015 +370247 May 12 Vintages $17.95: the last vintage here was 2011 at $1 less. Bertrand has a Terroir series embracing the range of Sud de France wines. Here it is older vines in a schist area of Languedoc, specifically syrah and mourvedre. Expect black fruit all over the place (even black olives, mocha and garrigue). The "f" word comes to mind: full, fat, fleshy, fabulous at this price. One third of the wine is aged for nine months in barrel, the rest matured in vats and then blended before bottling. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Gerard Bertrand Terroir Languedoc Red 2015 +413237 May 12 Vintages, $16.95: the last vintage here was 2013. It's a blend of syrah and grenache, promising both black fruit and red fruit tones at an affordable price. Local garrigue is apparent, complemented by some fennel. Part of the wine is transferred over to 225-litre oak barrels where it is aged for roughly 10 months. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.J.B. POLI VACA MORA AMARO VENETO, $39.95 for 700 ml, +662726 Vintages: a grappa-based bitter from the Veneto that is on the dryish side of balanced. You don't find these too often in Ontario (I've had people tell me that even Campari is too sweet): this is a digestif, like Fernet, that is perfect for settling a tummy with its off-menthol tones coupled with fall lashings of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. At the risk of mixing my languages, it is a true "trou Normand". Vaca Mora refers to a "black cow" train that served amaros to the passengers in 1885. 32% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
4.Cantina Valpantena Veneto Chardonnay IGP 2016 $14.95 Consignment Majestic Wine Cellars:  It's a definite antipasto or pre-prandial wine since it was light lemons with lively acidity, some tart apples, 12% ABV, and a longer finish than I was expecting. Quite pleasant. Under composition cork. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
5.Morgan Bay Cellars Chardonnay 2016 California appellation $17.95 Majestic Wine Cellars Consignment:  cork disc closure, well-rounded texture meant to appeal to the US palate. There were lemons and green apples, but also the softness and taste of a creamy caramel. But there is also enough finishing acid for a first course. Otherwise, sip away. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
6.Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2015 Napa $27.95 Private order from Majestic Wine Cellars: a soft wine full of orchard fruit (apple, pear), creamy, bright, some vanilla but a little oak with spices. Aperitif or with seafood. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
7.J.B. Poli Camomilla Elisir Veneto +547927 Vintages $44.95 700 mL: hard to believe that there are actually three different producers of Italian camomilla at the LCBO, all based on the chamomile flower. But they also sell well in Germany. The Poli is a grappa infusion of chamomile, followed by a sweetening to contain and extend the typical chamomile flavours. 30% ABV, best as a digestif if you do not like bitters. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
8.PUKLUS PINCÉSZET TOKAJI SEMI-SWEET YELLOW MUSCAT 2016 Hungary, +46508 Vintages, $16.95: This Yellow Muscat is related to Muscat Blanc. Made from older vines, done up in Late Harvest style, with that peachy complexity, medium-bodied, but with lemons and pineapple acidity on the longer finish. Floral aromatics. 13.5% ABV, a volcanic wine. Serve with later courses (fruity mains, salads, curries, cheeses, off-dry desserts). No price change over the 2015!. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for June 9, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  June 9, 2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FIND --
R+63537    CHÂTEAU HYOT    AC Côtes de Bordeaux Castillon 2014    $17.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
W+89029    TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $18.95    10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+558734    SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE WHITE BLEND    Uco Valley, Mendoza        2016    $19.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+117945    TAHBILK MARSANNE    Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria        2017    $17.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
W+734798    THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2017    $18.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+556365    L'AVENIR FAR & NEAR CHENIN BLANC    WO Stellenbosch        2017    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+488908    DOMAINE DE POIX TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BLANC    AC        2017    $15.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+271940    JUSTIN MONMOUSSEAU VOUVRAY    AC    2016    $19.95    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
W+147975    GÉRARD BERTRAND RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE VIOGNIER    IGP Pays d'Oc        2015    $14.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+556787    JANARE SENETE FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO    DOP        2016    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+261586    LA POSTA ESTELA ARMANDO BONARDA    Mendoza    Laura Catena    2016    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+66738    THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER    McLaren Vale/Padthaway, South Australia        2016    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+11072    THE GOATFATHER    WO Coastal Region    Fairview    2015    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+140012    CHÂTEAU DE LAFAURIE-MONBADON    AC Côtes de Bordeaux Castillon    Baron de Montfort    2015    $19.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+539957    CHATEAU HAUT SOCIONDO    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Blaye        2014    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+272575    GÉRARD BERTRAND  TAUTAVEL GRENACHE/SYRAH/CARIGNAN GRAND TERROIR AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages    2015    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+981175    DOMAINE DE LA MADONE LE PERRÉON BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES    AC    Jean Bererd et Fils, vigns.    2016    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+561803    LES GRANDES SERRES LES PORTES DU CASTELAS    AP Côtes du Rhône        2015    $15.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+276055    CHÂTEAU NOZIÈRES CUVÉE AMBROISE DE L'HER MALBEC CAHORS    AC        2014    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+366955    MASSERIA ALTEMURA SASSEO PRIMITIVO    IGT Salento    2015    $16.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+515494    BANFI STILNOVO GOVERNO ALL'USO TOSCANO    IGT Toscana        2016    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+553743    GANCEDO XESTAL MENCÍA DO Bierzo 2010 $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+976910    ONTAÑÓN CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO/GARNACHA    DOCa Rioja        2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+556100    CHÂTEAU LOS BOLDOS GRAND RÉSERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Rapel Valley, Cachapoal Andes    Viña Los Boldos    2015    $19.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+350108    BLUE MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2016    $28.95    13 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
W+63941    MAHI SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2015    $20.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+155382    MARCHESI DI BAROLO GAVI DI GAVI    DOCG     2016    $21.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+392738    QUEYLUS TRADITION PINOT NOIR    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2014    $29.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+276741    OSOYOOS LAROSE PÉTALES D'OSOYOOS RED    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2014    $29.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+708982    STAG'S LEAP WINE CELLARS ARTEMIS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley        2015    $84.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+269357    CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley        2015    $21.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+323741    ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Margaret River, Western Australia        2016    $20.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526863    CHÂTEAU MARSAC-SÉGUINEAU    AC Margaux        2014    $42.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+444448    DIEVOLE CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2014    $22.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+995910    REMO FARINA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOCG        2014    $42.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+69518    DOMAINE POULLEAU PÈRE & FILS LES MONDES RONDES    AC Côtes de Beaune        2013    $38.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+943613    BARONE RICASOLI ROCCA GUICCIARDA RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2015    $24.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+652438    CASTELLO DI GABBIANO BELLEZZA GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2013    $39.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+346304    GRGICH HILLS ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley        2014    $67.95    MVC/QPR: 91
R+545764    DOMAINE BESANCENOT CENT VIGNES BEAUNE 1ER CRU    AP        2014    $55.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Event: Informal tasting of some Bordeaux wines from Chateau Bel-Air La Royere [Blaye, Cote de Blaye] with owner-winemaker Corinne Chevrier-Loriaud. May 15/2018

The Date and Time:  Tuesday May 15 2018  Noon to 2PM
The Event: Informal tasting of some Bordeaux wines from Chateau Bel-Air La Royere [Blaye, Cote de Blaye] with owner-winemaker Corinne Chevrier-Loriaud.
The Venue: Paris Paris, at the tasting bar
The Target Audience: wine sommeliers, media
The Availability/Catalogue: wines will be appearing initially at the France Discovery store in Ottawa and online, and will also be proposed for Vintages.
The Quote/Background: Assisted by Soline Bossis from Bordeaux, Mme. Chevrier-Loriaud presented her wines with detail. Not in the tasting were their "small lot" sauvignon blanc and their top wine. The top Chateau wine could sell for about $50 in Ontario. It was first made in 1995 with a consistent 55%merlot and 45%malbec composition. Indeed, the Chateau has one of the highest proportions of malbec vines in the Bordeaux; many of them are "old vine" malbec from after WWII. Other vines, such as the cabernet sauvignon, are leased as an addition to the "second vin". The Chateau is in the process of becoming organic, but until certification comes, the grapes are said to be produced by "organic principles". All of the employees here are women.
The Wines: It is a trio of vintages: the top wine is currently 2014, the second wine is  2015, and the Gourmandises is 2016.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
[the top wine is not yet available in Ontario, could sell for $50]
-Gourmandises de Chateau Bel-Air La Royere 2016 Cotes de Blaye $19.95 France Discovery store soon, and also online: a very elegant blend of 100% merlot from 15 year old vines. Good for passing the time as a sipper on the deck/patio or as a lubricant for conversation, and as a first course wine.
-Esprit de Chateau Bel-Air La Royere 2015 Cotes de Blaye $24.95 France Discovery store soon, and also online: this is the "second vin" of the Chateau, currently blended as 90% merlot, with 5% malbec and 5% cabernet sauvignon, but in other years, it has been 80% merlot and 10% the other varietals. Most of the vins are 30 years old but some hearken back to 1947. It punches well above its price (which is what it is also selling for in Quebec: time to load up).
 
The Food: typical for Paris Paris – cured sausages, French cheeses (e.g., comte), olives, breads, charcuterie, French fries.
The Downside: it was beginning to get hot in the weather with the rise in temperatures.
The Upside: a great chance to speak with the principal.
The Contact Person: chateau.belair.la.royere@wanadoo.fr; annep@tastesenseltd.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Event: Flavours of New Zealand Toronto Tasting May 10 2018

The Date and Time:  Thursday May 10, 2018  1:30PM - 5PM
The Event: Flavours of New Zealand Toronto Tasting
The Venue: Glass Factory, 99 Sudbury St
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: wines were listed in the catalogue by winery or group, with suggested retail prices. Some of the logos were inconsistently listed along the booths, with out-of-order wineries. I got a lot of exercise walking around.
The Quote/Background: I did the walk-around tasting, folding them into the results below. The wines were served too cold for an "aromatics discovery" tasting (Albarino, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer), but when I returned to re-try or try for the first time (allowing for some warm up), the bottles had been replaced by other too cold wines. Some wines were supposed to be blind tasted, but I could not find them.
The Wines: Many wines are found online or in-person at the LCBO New Zealand Discovery store 1838 Avenue Road in Toronto. I did not try all the wines in the show.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Rockburn Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Central Otago +468157 $19.95
-Nautilus Chardonnay 2016 Marlborough +331652 $27.95 FAVE WHITE TODAY
-Astrolabe Taihoa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Kekerengu Coast Marlborough 2016 $39.95
Rogers
-Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $35.95 Charton Hobbs
-Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $59.95 Charton Hobbs
-Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 $59.95 Charton Hobbs
-Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014 $99.95
-Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 $39.95 Connexion Oenophilia
-Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015 $50 Connexion Oenophilia
-Loveblock Pinot Noir Bendigo Central Otago 2016 $34.95 Vine Agency
-Te Awanga Estate Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2016 $27.95 Azureau
-Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay 2016 $34.95 Azureau
-Quarter Acre Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2016 $34.95 Azureau
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Giesen The August Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013 $54.95 Charton Hobbs
-Cloudy Bay Te Wahl Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 $123.95
-Forrest Albarino Marlborough 2017 $22.95  Abcon
-Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Riesling Martinborough 2016 $26 Select Cons
-Waimea Classic Riesling Nelson 2016 $18.95 Churchill Consignment
-Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer Marlborough 2016 $19.99  Wine Guru
-Lindauer Classic Brut Sparkling Wine North Island NV $19.95  Profile
-Mister Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015 $29.95 Azureau
-Te Awanga Estate Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015 $31.95 Azureau
-Toi Toi Clutha Pinot Noir Central Otago 2016 $29.95  Vonterra
-Villa Maria Cellar Selection Organic Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015 $30.40 P Dandurand
-Vidal Reserve Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2016 $27.95
-Thornbury Pinot Noir Central Otago 2016 $27.95  Airen
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Yealands Land Made Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $15 +425298 Licensee only Trialto
-Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Marlborough 2017 $22.94 Trialto
-Waipara Hills Riesling North Canterbury 2016 $21.99  Southern Glazer's Consignment
-Villa Maria Celler Selection Pinot Gris Marlborough 2017 $21.95 PDandurand
 
The Food: breads and cheeses.
The Downside: I had needlessly rushed to the seminar because the last few seminars were sitdowns. This time the seminar reverted to the past and it was a walkaround, self-pour which I could have joined any time. 
The Upside: So I finished early, marked up the show catalogue, and got into the tasting about a half hour early. So I got home earlier as well, avoiding rush hour.
The Contact Person: events@nzwine.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Event: Tasting/Drinking wine with Frederic Brouca of AOC Faugeres May 10 2018

The Date and Time: Thursday May 10 2018 Noon to 3PM
The Event: Tasting/Drinking wine with Frederic Brouca of AOC Faugeres, repped in Ontario by Nicolas Pearce.
The Venue: Paris Paris
The Target Audience: licensees, wine writers, pr.
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are here or will be here (see below)
The Quote/Background: Domaine Frederic Brouca has several different bottlings of his organic wines from the region. He explained them (all were red), but also began with some wines from his association with Mure in Alsace, for that white wine component of the afternoon. We tasted eight wines in all. He has markets in Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, New York – with Paris as his largest overall market. 80% of his business is in the USA. He discussed each wine in detail; it was a great learning experience.
The Wines: All the wines are organic, prices are licensee.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Frederic Brouca Champs Pentus AOC Faugeres [GSM] 2016 $21.95 Cons
-Domaine Frederic Brouca Samso Seuille VDF Faugeres [100% cinsault] 2015 $19.95 Cons
-Domaine Frederic Brouca Clos Sauveplane AOC Faugeres [70%mourvedre,30%syrah] 2013 13.5% ABV $34.95 old vines Consignment
-Mure Pinot Gris Alsace Signature 2015 [Demeter} $26.95 Cons
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Frederic Brouca Clos Sauveplane AOC Faugeres [70%mourvedre,30%syrah] 2016 13.5% ABV $37.95 old vines Consignment Fall arrival
-Domaine Frederic Brouca De Facto Rose AOC Faugeres [45%mourvedre/55%grenache] 2017 $21.95   June arrival
-Domaine Frederic Brouca Vermouth 16% [organic grapes and botanicals} $27 Fall arrival
-Mure Sylvaner Alsace Signature 2015 [Demeter} $19.95 Cons
 
The Food: there was a selection of charcuterie, sausages, three French cheeses (including Comte), breads and French fries.
The Downside: I had to leave immediately for the New Zealand Wine Show, a 20 minute walk away. The NZ seminar was slated to start at 1:30PM.
The Upside: there was a chance for a quick chat with Frederic Brouca.
The Contact Person: frederic@brouca.com; np@npwines.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Event: Eradus Wines and the Essence of the Awatere Valley Toronto May 9 2018

The Date and Time: Wednesday May 9 2018 12:30AM to 3PM
The Event: Eradus Wines and the Essence of the Awatere Valley
The Venue: Kost, in the Bisha Hotel
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: some of the wines are finding their way into Ontario through the Consignment program of the Kolonaki Group. Currently, only the Sauvignon Blanc is available at Vintages; it is regularly re-ordered.
The Quote/Background: Michiel Eradus, owner of Eradus Wines, was in town for the New Zealand Wine Show the next day. He hosted a lunch for a dozen, and presented his wines (not all were showing at the next day's trade event). Along the way, he described his winery and the Awatere Valley growing conditions. And he had some great insights into the New Zealand wine industry.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Eradus Sauvignon Blanc Awatere 2017 $19.95 +225557 (2016)
-Eradus Chardonnay Special Reserve 2015 Awatere, $20 – 25 14.5% ABV [very ripe] MY FAVE
-Eradus Sjacrri Special Reserve Pinot Noir Awatere 2015 14% ABV  magnum N/A
-Eradus Stickey Mickey Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2014  12.5%ABV 500 mL $40
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Eradus Pinot Gris Single Vineyard Awatere 2017, 13.2% ABV, $19.95
-Eradus Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Awatere 2016 14% ABV, $24.95
-Eradus Ana Sauvignon Blanc 2017 13% ABV  $17.95 Consignment Licensees
 
The Food: A sea of starters with Hawaiian kanpachi seviche (squid ink), fried calamari, ahi tuna ceviche, avocado and spiced farro flatbread, red beet salad, green chorizo and salsa balls, salad of pumpkin and persimmon and black quinoa, char-grilled octopus and pumpkin seed. The mains were off the menu, so I had steelhead trout with fennel salad and potato fingerlings. It was the best item on the menu that could accompany all of the wines.
The Downside: music was very loud, made it difficult to hear at first, and it only softened after 2PM.
The Upside: we were on the 44th floor, with a view out over the lake, on a totally white sunshine day. Almost like the Mediterranean, and we had that cuisine too
The Contact Person: steve.kriaris@kolonakigroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, May 24, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for May 26, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for May 26,  2018
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
20 under $20
=========
W+207340    13TH STREET WHITE PALETTE    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2016    $15.95        11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+431262    REDE RESERVA  Douro Quinta da Rede    2011    $14.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+718999    CASTAÑO HÉCULA MONASTRELL    DO Yecla        2015    $13.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+461301    EL GUARDIÁN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja        2011    $16.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+552901    LORCA MONASTRELL    DO Bullas    Bodegas del Rosario    2009    $15.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+546184    MARQUÉS DE VALPARAÍSO CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO    DO Ribera del Duero        2014    $19.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+283630    LOMA LARGA SAUVIGNON BLANC    Casablanca Valley        2017    $15.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+446419    BARON DE HOEN RÉSERVE PINOT BLANC    AC Alsace        2016    $13.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+541516    NURAGICO JUSTU VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA    DOC    Cantina Sociale di Dolianova    2016    $14.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+549832    ALMA AUSTRAL BARREL SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Uco Valley, Mendoza        2014    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+37937    MONTES LIMITED SELECTION PINOT NOIR    Casablanca Valley        2015    $14.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+18721    VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley        2015    $17.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+556092    VIU MANENT VIBO VIÑEDO CENTENARIO    Colchagua Valley        2014    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+269464    SISTER'S RUN EPIPHANY SHIRAZ    McLaren Vale, South Australia        2015    $16.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+546242    QUANTUM SYRAH/CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Regional Wine of the Thracian Lowlands        2015    $14.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+343509    TESSELLAE VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN    IGP Cotes Catalanes    Lafage    2015    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+475251    LUNAROSSA CAMPOREALE AGLIANICO    IGP Campania        2016    $13.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+538140    PELLEGRINO GAZZEROTTA NERO D'AVOLA    IGT Terre Siciliane    Carlo Pellegrino    2014    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+540898    CASTELLO DI GABBIANO DARK KNIGHT    IGT Toscana        2016    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+220830    ZENI MAROGNE SUPERIORE VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO    DOC        2014    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+68015    FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+552042    VERUM CHARDONNAY    Alto Valle Del Rio Negro, Patagonia        2016    $16.95 13.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+282731    TAR & ROSES SHIRAZ    Heathcote, Victoria        2016    $19.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+537969    MARRENON VERSANT NORD LUBERON    AC        2015    $15.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+127753    DOMAINE MOURÉOU MADIRAN    AP    Famille Laplace    2014    $17.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
 
20 over $20
=========
W+275552    RODNEY STRONG CHALK HILL CHARDONNAY    Sonoma County        2015    $26.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+337048    MARCHESI DI BAROLO SARMASSA BAROLO    DOCG        2013    $77.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+268391    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE PINOT NOIR    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2015    $24.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+360222    SEVEN FALLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley        2015    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+559872    VASSE FELIX FILIUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Margaret River, Western Australia        2015    $26.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+527002    LES BRULIÈRES DE BEYCHEVELLE    AC Haut-Médoc    Château Beychevelle    2014    $37.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+474643    GIACOSA SCARRONE VIGNA MANDORLO BAROLO    DOCG        2010    $57.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+542688    LUIGI BAUDANA DRAGON LANGHE ROSSO    DOC    2015    $22.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+51771    LUNGAROTTI MONTICCHIO RUBESCO TORGIANO ROSSO RISERVA    DOCG        2010    $46.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+672931    ALLEGRINI PALAZZO DELLA TORRE    IGT Veronese    2014    $24.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+552133    FRANKLAND ESTATE SHIRAZ    Frankland River, Western Australia    2015    $26.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+540971    VILLA ANTINORI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG    Marchesi Antinori    2013    $29.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+415463    KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCELS FAVOURITE HOMESTEAD PINOT GRIS    Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island        2016    $24.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+974527    VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2017    $21.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com