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Thursday, February 7, 2013

March 2013 California Style Thematic

The Date and Time: Wednesday, February 6, 2013  11AM to 2:30 PM

The Event: Media pre-tasting of the LCBO March California Style Thematic

The Venue: LCBO Event Kitchen Scrivener Square

The Target Audience: wine media

The Avail ability/Catalogue: all wines are available at the LCBO or Vintages Essentials.

The Quote/Background: The thematic will run in more than 630 stores from March 3 through March 31. It will be assisted by free air miles and LTOs on 52 wines, running from $1 to $2. Many different wines will be part of the Thematic: red, white, rose, sparkling. There are special releases of 35 premium wines through Vintages March 2 and March 16. There will be adverts and articles, special dinners, videos, a  trade and consumer tasting on March 21, and more.

The Wines: We did not taste all 87 wines in the thematic, and indeed, I did not taste all the wines presented to us today.


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

-Sebastiani Merlot 2006, $17

-Ghost Pines Chardonnay Winemaker's Blend 2010, $19.95


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Firestone Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Ynez 2010, $19.95

-Aquinas Pinot Noir Napa Valley 2010, $17.95

-Hahn Chardonnay Monterey 2010, $16.95

-Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2011, $16.95

-7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2010, $24.95

-Menage a Trois Red 2011, $17.95

-Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, $14.95

-Menage a Trois White 2011, $17.95

-Sterling Vintner's Merlot 2009, $15.95

-Big House Cardinal Zin 2011, $12.95

-Cupcake Chardonnay 2011, $14.95

-Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel 2010, $n/a

-Kitchen Sink California Red NV, $12.95

-Entwine Pinot Grigio Livermore Valley, $14.95

-Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, $12.95

-Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel 2011, $14.95

-Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay, $26.95


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Cline Zinfandel 2011, $13.35

-Ironstone Obsession Symphony California 2011, $14.50

-Zinfatuation Zinfandel 2010, $16.95

-Big House The Birdman Pinot Grigio 2011, $12.95

-Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, $14.95

-Project Paso Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, $17.95

-181 Merlot Lodi 2010, $16.95

-Sterling Vintner's Pinot Noir 2011, $15.95

-Hess Select Chardonnay 2010, $15.95

-Bonterra Chardonnay 2010, $18.95

-Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010, $19.95


The Food: great roast turkey sandwiches, beef Thai rolls, chicken wraps, beef sandwiches, wild rice and edamame salad, and more…from Stephen Clarke of Nibbles Nosh.

The Downside: it was difficult to match the wine being tasted with the list of participating wineries. There was no order to the listing. Unfortunately, some of the larger wineries were missing from the media promotion; I was so looking forward to tasting them.

The Upside: a chance to re-connect with California – it has been 10 months since the big California show.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade):89.

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