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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Annual Dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, Jan 20/14, at Le Paradis, Toronto

The Date and Time: Monday, January 20, 2014  6:15PM to midnight
The Event: the annual dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, attended by members and their partners. It was terrifically well-organized by member Sheila Swerling-Puritt, an event planner/opinion maker who is also a WWCC member.
The Venue: Le Paradis, Bedford Road.
The Target Audience: ourselves – private party, for which we actually pay money.
The Availability/Catalogue: only one wine was available to all – a generous donation of well-received Bottega sparklers: Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti (Prosecco) and their Rose Brut (both at the LCBO) for the reception, accompanied by mushrooms on potato gaufrettes and other canapes.
The Quote/Background: we get together every year in January for a dinner at some great restaurant in Toronto (previously, Edo, Tutti Matti, Mistura, Mideastro Bistro, Senses, Hemispheres, Royal York, etc.). In addition to paying for the dinner, each person is responsible for bringing a bottle of "good to great" wine, which is then shared by all.
The Wines:
There were a lot of good/great wines with the dinner, too many (over two dozen) to sample and to list – but I was struck by the Trius Grand Reds of 2007 and 1999, Neyen Espiritu de Apalta 2006 from Chile's Colchagua Valley, Soalheiro Alvarinho 2011, Art 2009 (Mencia from Bierzo), Comte Armand Pommard 2007, Zebras Brunello 2004, Comte Armand Pommard 2007, Château Pichon Longueville Lalande 1998, Rostaing Côte Rôtie La Landonne 1998, Kangaroo Springs Shiraz 2005, Urla Tempus 2010 (from Turkey: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc), Graham 30 Year Old Tawny Port and Kopke Colheita 1974, the Yatta white wine from Kenya in a tetrapak, and the
copious quantities of different Ontario ice wines.
The Food: there was a set menu of French bistro food with lots of choices and courses (duck, chicken, fish, salads, fricassé d'escargots, betteraves au chèvre frais, entrecôte du boeuf with béarnaise, trio of sorbets, etc.). Everybody got a scrumptious grilled veal marrow bone – it certainly brought out the dogs.
The Downside: it was really cold outside.
The Upside: we were in a room all by ourselves, and comfortably fed by David Currie who also provided a great wait staff.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): A plus, of course.


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