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Sunday, November 16, 2008

TRADE TASTING: Madeira Lunch and Tasting, Oct 6, 2008

The Time and Date: Monday, October 6, 2008  11:30 AM to 6 PM

The Event: a lunch to celebrate Madeira wines, followed by a trade tasting.

The Venue: University Club, University Avenue.

The Target Audience: wine media and LCBO product consultants.

The Availability/Catalogue: spotty, mostly private order, some Vintages.

The Quote: "None of the Madeiras seemed to be incorporated into the meal's preps, nor did those that accompanied the preps elevate the taste profiles."

The Wines: I could not taste all of the wines.


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

-Henriques & Henriques Sercial Madeira 10 Year Old (Cavima Enterprises)

-Henriques & Henriques Bual 1980

-Blandy's 10 Year Old Sercial Madeira (Symington Family Brands)

-Blandy's Bual 1977

-Justino's Madeira Colheita 1995 (RKW Wine Imports)


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

-Henriques & Henriques Verdelho 15 Year Old

-Henriques & Henriques Malmsey 15 year old

-Blandy's Malmsey 10 Year Old

-Justino's Madeira Fine Dry 10 Years (RKW Wine Imports)

-Justino's Madeira Verdelho 10 Years (RKW Wine Imports)


The Food: Madeira was served at each course.

 Chorizos empanadas, Shrimp beurre blanc and Smoked salmon, with Justino Fine Dry 5 Year Old, Blandy's 10 Year Old Special and Henriques & Henriques 10 Year Old Sercial.  Beef Consomme with Madeira and juliennes of vegetables came next, with Justino 10 Year Old Verdelho and Blandy's 10 Year Old Verdelho. Half a dozen freshly shucked Oysters on ice and Champagne sorbet: the Madeiras were too sweet for these. Grain fed Guinea Hen and a Port and Veal jus, bouquetiere of broccoli, asparagus, and potato vegetables, with Henriques & Henriques 10 Year Old Bual. Hello? Port? Well, at least it is Portuguese. Why not Madeira? For dessert, Chocolate crème brule with strawberries dipped in chocolate, with Justino Fine Rich 10 Year Old, Blandy's 10 Year Old Malmsey and Henriques & Henriques 15 Year Old Malmsey. Canadian cheeses with Henriques & Henriques Bual 1980.

The Downside: the waiters kept trying to clear our Madeira glasses, but I needed them to cross-compare with the different courses we were being served. At the trade portion, the tables were too cramped to allow for zipping in and out, and writing notes.

The Upside: wow, some great wines, and it has been about 10 years since the last comprehensive Madeira tasting in Toronto.

The Contact Person:

The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 85.



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