The Date and Time: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 6PM to 10PM
The Event: Colio winetasting with Lawrence Buhler, winemaker, in celebration of the new releases in the Bricklayer's series.
The Venue: Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, Queen St West
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are now in distribution except for the Syrah
The Quote/Background: Over 30 years ago, three Italian bricklayers arrived at Lake Erie to create a winery. They ran into a PREDICTAMENT when their backers pulled out but they persevered and created Colio Estate Wines. They later had REWARDS for their hard work, and ultimately had winemaker Lawrence Buhler create a CACHE for the wines produced only in the finer vintages. This dinner was a celebration of the new launch of wines. Buhler spoke to the wines at each course. We did not have a separate tasting since these are mainly food wines anyway.
The Wines: accompanied by food. Lily Sparkling was the aperitif before dinner. The Predicament series is entry-level, Reward series is small batches, and Cache is only made in better years. All wines are VQA LENS except the Vidal.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Lily Sparkling Wine, $16.95. [Riesling, cuvee close]
-Bricklayer's Reward Bookends Chardonnay 2013, $17.95
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bricklayer's Predicament Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio, +371567, $13.95
-Bricklayer's Reward Six Rows Riesling 2013, $15.95 8% ABV 150 cases
-Bricklayer's Reward Block 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $19.95 300 cases
-Bricklayer's Reward Old Farm Cabernet Franc 2012, $19.95 400 cases
-Bricklayer's Reward Block 3 Merlot 2012, $19.95 300 cases
-Bricklayer's Cache Syrah 2012, $24.95 [barrel sample]
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bricklayer's Predicament Cabernet-Merlot 2013, +371575, $14.95.
-Bricklayer's Reward Big Pond Sauvignon Blanc 2013, $15.95
-Bricklayer's Predicament Late Harvest Vidal 2013, VQA Ontario
The Food: we began with fresh veggies (lettuces, radicchio, carrots, peppers, cucumbers) and garlic-infused olive oil – a room temperature bagna cauda. Then came a line-caught BC albacore tuna crudo with pesto and black olives and pine nuts. We tried the Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio blend and the Sauvignon Blanc (The C-PG won). Great raw tuna. Next up was the caramelle di zucca e ricotta ravioli with a sweet onion sauce and the Riesling and Chardonnay. Here, the Riesling won out as being more food friendly. Next came a cabernet franc braised lamb shoulder with cannellini beans and mint leaves. The lamb was pulled and sculpted. I liked the Merlot and the Cab Franc best, although the Cache has its tannins flattened by the lamb. The three local cheese (creamy, hard, and blue) came with the Vidal.
The Downside: there was music in the background, with varying sound levels. And because of the impending one-time closing of the subway, I had to leave shortly after nine PM.
The Upside: a nice small venue, great chance to taste wines with two dozen other people.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.