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Wednesday, February 25, 2009


By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing <>
Always at since 1995. Also visit my "Wines, Beers and
Spirits of the Net Compendium", a guide to thousands of news items and
RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits.
My tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are
QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated
wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the
release for wine writers or product consultants. Also, some defective
or corked wines are not available for re-tasting.
1.Ajello Majus Grillo/Catarrato 2007 Sicily: firm grip, lots of fruit,
but finishes dry. First course white. +670844, $16.95, QPR: 90.
2. Folie a Deux Menage a Trois White 2007 California: off-dry moscato
with chardonnay and chenin blanc is very good, long length, sociable
wine. +665166, $19.95, QPR: 90.
3. Casa Lapostolle Chardonnay 2007 Casablanca: balancing act of fruit-
wood-acid, vanilla and spice tones. +396986, $15.95, QPR: 90.
4. Berton Vineyards The White Viognier 2007 SE Australia: off-dry
tastes, typical viognier tones of oranges and peaches. +93435, $14.95,
QPR: 90.
1.Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Rouge 2006 Corbieres: an organic
product with full extractive density and juicy flavours. +711671,
$13.95, QPR: 90.
2. Domaine des Aires Hautes Les Combelles 2005 Minervois: dominated by
dark syrah tones. +701706, $13.95, QPR: 90.
3. Camplazens Syrah 2006 Pays d’Oc: peppery, herby in mid-palate, more
syrah-based character than most. +104752, $14.95, QPR: 90.
4. Chateau Calissanne 2006 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence: juicy but not the
nougat candy, raspberries stand out. +61283, $17.95, QPR: 90.
5. Ajello Majus Nero d’Avola Sicily: soft fruit extract, depth beyond
the mid-palate, good food wine. +100545, $16.95, QPR: 90.
6. Inniskillin Reserve Series Meritage 2006 Niagara: juicy blend of 70%
merlot and balance cabernet franc. Long finish, but soft. +91132,
$17.95, QPR: 90.
7. Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2008 Hawkes Bay: unbeatable pinot
as it should be (light bodied, 12.5% ABV). +694901, $15, QPR: 91.
8. Seven Sisters Carol Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 WO Western Cape: mocha
tones, 13% ABV, densely extractive. +79681, $13.95, QPR: 90.
9. Stellenrust Shiraz 2005 WO Stellenbosch: aged syrah complexity,
14.6% ABV, long finish, ready now. +96552, $16.95, QPR: 90.
10. Chateau Bouissel Classic 2005 Fronton: tannat backed with cab
franc, syrah, and Malbec, herby and intense. +693986, $14.95, QPR: 90.
11. Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Riserva 2005: not really chianti in
style, more North American blend of sangiovese and Bordeaux varieties,
but there is balance and the price is appealing. +111641, $15, QPR: 90.
12. Cantina Tudernum Merlot 2006 Umbria: tight and a bit leans, but a
year more should produce the silk and velvet. +101253, $14.95, QPR: 90.
13. 1707 Seleccion de Barricas 2004 Almansa Spain: excellent blend of
mourvedre, petit verdot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Some
anise. +94854, $16.95, QPR: 90.
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10
markup over retail; the wines are ready to enjoy right now. Consumers
could buy and bring to those restaurants with corkage programs.
1.Bridlewood Reserve Syrah 2004 Central Coast, +90084, $27.95 retail.
2. Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2006 Mendocino/Amador, $46342, $21.95
3. St.Francis Merlot 2005 Sonoma County, $422014, $32.95.
4. D’Arenberg The Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2007 Adelaide Hills, +683011,
5. Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz 2006 Clare, +674747, $49.95.
6. The Colonial Estate Explorateur Old Vine Shiraz 2006 Barossa,
+18648, $29.95.
7. Domaine Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005, +78741, $43.95.
8. Il Borro Rosso 2005 Tuscany, +661769, $59.95.
Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

COMMENTARY: Same LCBO Vintages wines taste different at home --


COMMENTARY: The wines we writers taste at the Vintages media tasting do NOT taste like the same wines you taste at home…


Twice a month, the GTA wine writers troop down to Toronto's Vintages tasting lab to pre-sample an upcoming release. We could taste 120 or so products. These would be sparklers, still wines, fortified and sweet wines, spirits, and assorted other beverages. Not beer.


This usually means about 100 white and red table wines, the bulk of your purchases from Vintages.


Studies show that MOST of your wine purchases are for consumption that weekend of the release, that is, wines can be bought on the Friday night before the Saturday release (especially in the larger stores such as Queens Quay, Summerhill, Bayview Village, and Royal York), or on Saturday or Sunday – for immediate drinking. Nothing wrong with that.


BUT you should know that the LCBO pops the corks on the media wines by 9 AM on the media tasting day, and the white wines come out of the fridge at that time too. MOST wine writers drift in around 11AM, a few even at 1 PMAND THE WINES HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE AIR FOR TWO OR MORE HOURS already. This aeration can kill a fresh and fruity wine, can play havoc with a chilled white that is almost at room temperature, can flatten a sparkling wine, and can enhance a big red wine.


REMEMBER, each open bottle is hoisted by a wine writer and some LCBO people and tilted before being poured. Each bottle has been aerated by a dozen people before that PM wine writer gets there – and each bottle has thus been compromised.


As additional studies show, the wines you taste at home have probably been opened only 10 minutes before you actually consume them. And you will probably finish that bottle within half an hour if you have company. That wine will taste different than the wine we taste, simply because we taste a wine that has been exposed to oxygen far longer than normal…That big heavy red that we enthuse over is only good because it has been aerated longer than yours. If you were to give your bottle more aeration time, then it too will approximate what we taste in the lab. This will mean double decanting your red wines.


Your white wines of course, will need to be chilled, unlike the Vintages lab wines which have been out of the fridge for a couple of hours. But then – those are the only white wines we get to taste, and some have lost their fragrance and their fragility.


Only one wine writer – the guy at the Toronto Star – tastes the wines at 9 AM; his opinion may be more valid than other wine writers in terms of the wine that you are actually drinking that night, should you just pop the corks and not bother to decant.


ALSO: you may wish to consider the issue of palate fatigue. Studies have shown that wine judges face palate fatigue; they ought not to taste more than 100 wines a day. Yet wine writers at Vintages regularly taste 100 wines in a few hours! There is no way that good judgement can be made on many red wines as these are tasted after writers taste the many white wines. Most writers go through the bottles as put out by the LCBO, light white wines to heavy red wines. By the time they are halfway through the reds, their palates are compromised. Of course we constantly spit out the wines, but alcohol enters our body through the skin in the mouth. That is why some writers no longer taste all the wines, preferring to taste only half or fewer. This will also mean that they might miss a scoop or two on some interesting wines that may be forgotten in the rush.


Beware the writers who taste ALL the wines and write notes on all of them. They do not probably taste "fresh" bottles. They get to the heavy reds at 2 PM, five hours after the bottles are open, and this length of time favours the taste profile of the red wine. If you want to taste along with those writers, then you must be prepared to open and decant your bottles ahead of time – five hours or so. Nothing else will suffice…


REMEMBER that GTA wine writers taste warmer white wines that have been opened a while (and this diminishes the wine's character) and red wines that have been exposed to oxygen for quite some time (and this plumps up the wine's character, except for the fresh and fruity reds).


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


...are one of the hottest trends in cookbooks.
Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such
proliferation. They are automatic sellers, since the book can be
flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a
celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up
on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans
of the chef and/or the restaurant. Many of the recipes in these books
actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally,
there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for
items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to
the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American,
they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes
there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not.
I'll try to point this out. The usual schtick is "favourite recipes
made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying
ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic
phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell
such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers
that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't
seem to work, but how could that be? They all claim to be kitchen
tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by
name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well
as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos
abound, usually of the chef bounding about. But of course there are a
lot of food shots, verging on gastroporn. The endorsements are from
other celebrities in a magnificent case of logrolling. If resources are
cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some
companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them
altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –

15. THE SWEETER SIDE OF AMY'S BREAD (John Wiley & Sons, 2008, 254
pages, ISBN 978-0-470-17074-8, $34.95 US hard covers) is by Amy
Scherber, owner of Amy's Bread in NYC since its launch in 1992. Today,
it is in three locations. She also supplies wholesale to more than 300
restos and food stores. She has appeared on many TV shows. Check out She specializes in breads and in muffins, cookies,
bars, biscotti, layer cakes, and pastries. There are 71 preps here for
most of her products, ranging from breakfast to after dinner desserts.
Also included are recipes for sandwiches and sandwich breads. All preps
have weights and measures in grams, ounces and avoirdupois volumes. Try
cherry cream scones, lemon poppy seed muffins, soft brioche rolls with
melting chocolate centres, and coconut cream cake. Quality/Price
rating: 86.

16. LATIN EVOLUTION (Lake Isle Press, 2008; distr. By National Book
Network, 303 pages, ISBN 978-1-891105-37-1, $38 US hard covers) is by
Philadelphia restaurateur Jose Garces, who owns three establishments:
Armada and Tinto (both tapas) and Chilango. He is also executive chef
of Mercat a la Panxa in Chicago, has been nominated for a few Beards,
and was an Iron Chef challenger. This is a collection of contemporary
Spanish-Latin American cuisine, as reflected by his restos. The preps
are all based on the Spanish Basque region, the Yucatan Peninsula, and
the beaches of Ecuador. Each prep has avoirdupois measurements, but
there is no table of metric equivalents. The typeface is large enough
to read, especially with the leading. There's a glossary of foods, with
substitutions, and this is followed by a terrific index with that same
large typeface and plenty of leading to help locate any recipe. Try
crab pozole verde, truffled lamb albondigas with sherry-foie gras
cream, lobster with coconut-habanero sauce, pork belly montaditos with
garbanzo bean puree, sous vide halibut with chorizo croquettes, and –
wait for it – pepita-crusted yellow fin tuna with white bean stew, mole
verde, and honey-mustard vinaigrette. Quality/Price rating: 88.

17. THE BIBENDUM COOKBOOK (Conran Octopus, 2008; distr. Canadian Manda
Group, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-84091-505-1, $29.95 US hard covers) is by
the team of Terence Conran (acclaimed restaurateur and designer,
"Habitat" stores), Simon Hopkinson (currently, an award-winning UK food
writer, but head chef at Bibendum until 1995), and Matthew Harris,
current head chef at Bibendum, where he has worked since 1987).
Bibendum, housed in the historic Michelin building in London, has been
one of the great restos in the UK for the past 21 years. There are 40
recipes here from Harris, all taken from the restaurant, and arranged
by season. There are also 10 classics from Hopkinson, which they claim
"have stood the test of time and are still served in the restaurant
today."  There are also four dinner menus reproduced on the end pages,
two from 1987 and two from 2008. They are virtually unreadable, being
purple on purple. What a shame…There's nothing wrong with the classics
such as chocolate pithiviers and crab vinaigrette and piedmontese
peppers – they lack the excitement of the newer dishes. There are
excellent photographs and historical reproductions of every aspect of
restaurant life, as well as extensive text about Bibendum. Recipes have
both avoirdupois and metric measurements incorporated with the
ingredients. Typical British fare includes devilled lambs' kidneys on
toast, roast pigeon with peas and mint, Sussex pond pudding, and jambon
persille with sauce gribiche. Quality/Price rating: 87.

18. MARTHA STEWART'S COOKING SCHOOL; lessons and recipes for the home
cook (Clarkson Potter, 2008, 504 pages, ISBN 978-0-307-39644-0, $45 US
hard covers) is a "how-to" cookbook, arranged as lessons, and with more
than 200 recipes plus techniques. The arrangement is by product, sub-
arranged by technique. She begins with lessons 1 – 9 (stocks and
soups), with techniques on how to make dashi, pureed soups, and
consommé. The next eight lessons are on eggs (how to boil, how to
poach, fry, scramble, make an omelet, coddle, bake, make a frittata.
Really, really basic stuff. But really, really well presented with 500 
photos of techniques and an index. Other categories: meat-fish-poultry,
veggies, pasta, dried beans and grains, desserts (how to make soufflé,
meringue, genoise, custard, pate a choux, sorbets, and granitas. One
complaint: there are no metric conversion tables, which I am putting
down to American insularity. There is a separate page at the front,
with a box labeled: "This book belongs to"…but it is tacky.
Quality/Price rating: 86.

19. BAKED; new frontiers in baking (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2008;
distr. Canadian Manda Group, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-58479-721-1, $29.95
US hard covers) is by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. "Baked" is the
name of their endeavour which opened in Brooklyn in 2005. Since then,
they have done a ton of TV shows, and have an upcoming series this
fall. They do a lot of wholesaling in NYC, such as with Dean & Deluca.
But log rolling is still needed – from Martha Stewart and Jacques
Torres (see below). Both authors had careers in advertising, and the
pizzazz shows in the book. They promote comfort baking, using common
everyday products in unusual ways. The 75 recipes cover brownies and
bars, cookies, chocolates, candies, drinks, cakes and cupcakes – all
the things we lusted for when we were little kids. Nostalgia rules in
such as icebox tower cake or sweet and salty cake. One of the best
sections is the breakfast chapter, with sour lemon scones, orange
almond blueberry muffins, and chipotle cheddar biscuits. Avoirdupois
measurements with metric conversion charts. Quality/Price rating: 85.

20. JACQUES TORRES' A YEAR IN CHOCOLATE; 80 recipes for holidays and
special occasions (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008; distr. Canadian Manda
Group, 199 pages, ISBN 978-1-584796428, $35 US hard covers) is by the
former pastry chef at Le Cirque, who is now dean of pastry studies at
the French Culinary Institute in New York. He also has his own
chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate. Judith Choate, author of
21 cookbooks, is the focusing food writer. Torres had his own food
shows on PBS and the Food Network, and has written two other cookbooks.
All of the recipes are organized by holidays, beginning with January,
and running through Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, St.
Patrick's Day, Easter, Passover, Cinco de Mayo through to the various
Christmas permutations and New Year. There is a history of the
restaurant and factory, as well as techniques such as molding. Preps
appear to be adapted for the home kitchen. All the typefaces are large,
with extra leading – making the book a joy to read without eyestrain.
The yummy gastroporn pix help too. Try chocolate blackout cake with
ganache drizzle, chocolate chess pie, chocolate-covered matzo,
mudslides, langues de chat, and pumpkin chocolate cake. Quality/Price
rating: 86.

21. THE NEW AFRICAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN (Lake Isle Press, 2008; distr.
National Book Network, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-891105-39-5, $21.95 US
hard covers) is by Angela Shelf Medearis, who has her own PBS TV show,
"The Kitchen Diva!". She has also appeared on the Food Network with
Bobby Flay. She has written four cookbooks, plus over 80 books for
children. The 200 recipes, all meticulously researched, come from slave
quarters, plantations, church suppers, family reunions, ancient
celebrations, and modern ethnic kitchens. These heirloom recipes are
arranged by region, including Africa and the Caribbean, and a "making
do" section from slave kitchens. There are vignettes of culinary
history, anecdotes and quotes, plus tips and techniques where needed.
While the ingredients are listed with avoirdupois weights and measures,
there are no metric conversion tables. Try Ethiopian party punch, South
African pickled fish, Nigerian eggplant appetizer, Caribbean stuffed
red snapper, chicken with peaches, crackling cornbread, and lemon chess
pie. Quality/Price rating: 89.
22. SAUCE (Gold Street Press, 2008; distr. Canadian Manda Group, 240
pages, ISBN 978-1-934533-14-7, $30 US, hard covers) is by Sonja Lee, a
Norwegian chef with a TV show and an Oslo restaurant, Malla, which
opened in 2007. She has worked with Alain Ducasse and in restos in the
triangle of NY, Paris and London. Here are preps for about 200 sauces,
dips, salsas, and spreads; it was originally published in Norwegian in
2007. The intriguing photographs show the creation of the sauce's
ingredients. Her contents are divided into categories such as jus,
mayo, oil-based sauces, cream-based sauces, butter-based sauces, and
then fruit/vegetable sauces, dessert sauces, and spirit-based sauces.
Additionally, she covers dips and salsas and marinades in their own
chapters. There are a couple of pages of close type matching dishes
with sauces. An informative book, with some log rolling by Chuck
Williams. Quality/Price rating: 86.
23. MORE FAST FOOD MY WAY (Houghton Mifflin, 2008, 241 pages, ISB 978-
0-618-14233-0, $32 US hard covers) is by Jacques Pepin, well-known TV
chef, cooking school teacher, winner of many Beards and IACPs for his
25 or more cookbooks, etc. This book also has the qualifier "as seen on
public television". He has written, "This is the easiest of my
cookbooks for beginners…for people pressed for time or limited by a
poorly stocked supermarket...or for any one who wants great food
quickly." His first book in this series (FAST FOOD MY WAY) was
published in 2004. The current book is also a companion to the 26-part
PBS series that seeks to create simple, special meals in minutes.
The 140 recipes are straightforward, and while arranged by course,
there are 26 menus with page references to follow along with each show.
He has a separate index to "minute recipes" for those super-quick
dishes (radish treats, red pepper dip, salmon rolls, rice paper rolls
with avocado and sun-dried tomato) – there are 28 of these. He
advocates use of the pressure cooker and microwave. Canned food is also
useful for beans, tomatoes, peaches, and tuna, as is "ready food"
(cheese, olives, smoked fish and smoked meats), condiments, purchased
brioche, pound cake, and bread. Some of these preps are make aheads
(hours, days), but all of them are indeed quick. Bear this in mind: it
is labour intensive, and there is some competitive spirit of a contest
in how fast one can make a dish. With Jacques Pepin at the helm, this
is larder/pantry cooking at its finest. No wine recommendations.
Quality/Price rating: 88.
24. OLIVES & ORANGES; recipes & flavor secrets from Italy, Spain,
Cyprus & beyond (Houghton Mifflin, 2008, 372 pages, ISBN 978-0-618-
67764-1, $35 US hard covers) is by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. Jenkins,
daughter of food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins, has cheffed mostly in New
York city; she just opened Porchetta in the East Village. Mindy Fox is
a focusing food writer, now food editor at La Cucina Italiana. Log
rolling includes pieces by Mario (Batali), Paula (Wolfert), Adam
(Gopnik), and Molly (O'Neill). The preps are Mediterranean, but for
family reasons there is a strong run of Italian and Eastern
Mediterranean dishes. Try Fattouche from Lebanon; Green beans with
shaved onion, fried almonds and parmesan; Red onions cooked in orange
juice; Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts, turnips, and beets with farm faro;
or North African spiced shrimp. She begins with a description of her
"flavor pantry" (oils, salts and salty products, grains and legumes,
broths, herbs and spices, and cheeses) and then moves on to small
plates, salad, soup, pasta-risotto-polenta, fish, poultry, meats, and
then sweets. There is a US sources list and all weights and measures
are in avoirdupois (with no metric conversion tables). There are no
wine recommendations. Quality/price rating: 86.

love (Black Dog and Leventhal, 2008; dist. T. Allen, 285 pages plus,
ISBN 978-1-57912-784-8, $29.95 US hard covers) is by Marilynn Brass and
Sheila Brass, authors of "Heirloom Baking" which was nominated for a
Beard. Both are antique dealers (with a name like brass, what else
could you be?) with a penchant for cooking. They are known as "Queens
of Comfort Food", and have been on PBS many times. Here they continue
with the "heirloom" motif, moving on from baking to the rest of the
menu. These are the 135 classics, collected over many decades and
updated for the modern kitchen. They represent over 100 years of
cooking in North America. Simple and easy to make, such as zucchini
cheese bake, Romanian stuffed cabbage, red velvet cake, milk chocolate
pound cake, toasted almond butter cookies, meatloaf, and the like. Plus
variations. Arranged by course, the preps use avoirdupois measurements,
but there are conversion charts. The resources list has a list of
sources, contributors, and bibliography. There are graphics of the
original recipes and antique cookware from their own personal
collection. And there are spare pages and a folder for you own recipes.
Quality/Price rating: 85.
26. FRANK STITT'S BOTTEGA FAVORITA; a southern chef's lover affair with
Italian food. (Artisan, 2008; T. Allen, 270 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-
302-6, $40 US hard covers) is by the chef and owner of three distinct
Birmingham Alabama restaurants. He has written other cookbooks, has
appeared on TV, won a Beard and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Southern Foodways Alliance. Katherine Cobbs is the focusing food
writer. This is Italian cooking layered with Southeastern US
sensibility. Log rollers include Mario (Batali) again – see above. The
200 recipes include such as parmesan soufflé, duck with peaches and
moscato, Tuscan porterhouse, zabaglione meringue cake, baked feta with
focaccia, and pizza with wild mushrooms and butternut squash.
Avoirdupois weights and measures are used, but unfortunately there are
no conversion charts for metric users. He has a listing of the basics
and foundation recipes in the pantry section, and there is a
description of tools and techniques. Sources are all US. An interesting
read with some vivid photos. Quality/price rating: 87.

27. BIKER BILLY'S ROADHOUSE COOKBOOK; adventures in roadhouse cuisine
(The Lyons Press, 2008; distr. Canadian Manda Group, 222 pages, ISBN
978-1-59921-434-4, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Bill Hufnagle, host of
a cable TV cooking show and author of three previous cookbooks. He
rides a Harley and hangs out with the "Big Boys" (
This is a collection of roadhouse recipes, history and lore – over a
dozen famed highways such as Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. All
US of course. There are 100 plus recipes here, such as the Whiz Bang
sandwich from the Santa Fe Café in Ohio, the chicken and sausage gumbo
of Top of the Hill Grill in Vermont, spinach stromboli at Jo Jo's Pizza
in New York state, and the hot-rod mocha java milkshake at the Hop Ice
Cream Shop in North Carolina. Arrangement is by course or product, and
not (unfortunately) by itinerary. Stories abound from these biker-
friendly diners, and each has full addresses and website, and
occasionally a black and white picture. Terrific value for those
American road trips. Quality/Price rating: 90.
28. THE MAIN; recipes (Whitecap, 2008, 200 pages, ISBN 1-55285-945-2,
$29.95 Canadian, soft covers) is by Anthony Sedlak, a chef who had a
successful Food Network show entitled "The Main". This book is a
collection of the better recipes featured in the show's first four
seasons (it is now in season five). The focal point of the show and
this book is the use of one main ingredient in different and
complementary dishes. The 47 meals are arranged alphabetically by the
ingredient, from "aged cheddar" to "yogurt". In between are gnocchi,
oysters, pears, prosciutto, corn, crab, and sesame seeds. The format
and arrangement are the same for each. For example, under "ground
sirloin" we get a lot of classy photos, advice on timing, a recipe for
the burger, another for homemade BBQ sauce, cabbage-celeriac coleslaw,
and poutine. Weights and measures are in avoirdupois but there is a
metric conversion chart. This is such a guy book it should be at the
top of any gift list for a man, despite log rolling by Anna Olson and
Lynn Crawford. Quality/Price rating: 88.

29. BAREFOOR CONTESSA BACK TO BASICS; fabulous flavor from simple
ingredients (Clarkson Potter, 2008, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-4000-5435-0,
$35 US hard covers) is by Ina Garten, who is a Food Network star
(Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics) and the author of five previous
cookbooks. Her book concentrates on the basic elements of simplicity,
covering such topics as the best ways to boost flavours in foods, what
not to serve at a party, no-cook things to serve with drinks, floral
arrangements, and professional advice on entertaining. She also has a
questions section with answers to what people ask her all the time.
Arrangement is by time of day, such as "cocktail hour", lunch, dinner,
breakfast, plus veggies, soup, and dessert. Some prepared foods are
used, such as puff paste. Typical dishes are soft-shell crab
sandwiches, plum crunch, tri-berry oven pancakes, roasted pears with
blue cheese, and lobster corn chowder. Avoirdupois measurements are
used, but there is no metric conversion table. Also, the sources quoted
are all US. Thirteen menus are presented, but at the end, and they all
have page references so you don't have to look them up in the index.
Quality/Price rating: 87.

30. IN THE KITCHEN WITH ANNA; new ways with the classics (Whitecap,
2008, 222 pages, ISBN 978-1-55285-946-9, $29.95 Canadian soft covers)
is by Anna Olson, a multiple cookbook author and host of many Food
Network cooking shows, principally "Sugar". She and her husband chef
Michael also own Olson Foods & Bakery in Niagara. These preps are the
tried and true classics, some with inventive modern spins. Her
variations are also useful and welcomed. Typical are Canadian
minestrone soup, brandied pork terrine with cranberry, turkey salad
with dried apricot and marjoram, braised edamame with leeks and miso,
and sesame salmon with roasted red pepper salsa. With each recipe,
there is a taste note, a technique, and a tale (memoir). Good large
print, and the ingredients are listed with both metric and avoirdupois
measurements. Arrangement is by course, but at the end, there are some
pages of menu suggestions, with page references to the dishes so that
you don't have to look them up in the index. And kudos for spelling
"hors d'oeuvre" correctly. Quality/Price rating: 90.
31. THE PALEY'S PLACE COOKBOOK; recipes and stories from the Pacific
Northwest (Ten Speed Press, 2008, 232 pages, ISBN 978-1-58008-830-5,
$35 US hard covers) is by Vitaly and Kimberly Paley, owners of Paley's
Place in Portland, Oregon. He won a Beard for his work in 2005, ten
years after the resto opened. Kimberly is food and beverage manager.
Robert Reynolds is the focusing food writer. The emphasis, of course,
is on fresh, seasonal and local foods from Oregon and surrounding
states. It is arranged by course, with a section on the larder/pantry
and on cocktails. There are just a few scattered references to Oregon
wine, mostly in a food and wine matching context. These wines needed to
be highlighted more. Avoirdupois measurements are used, but there is no
metric table of equivalents. Most of the resources listed are local;
certainly, they are all American. Overall, there are too many non-food
pictures, but the book does suffice as a record of the restaurant and
its preps. Unusual dishes here include pan-fried lamb's tongue with
aioli, snails with bone marrow, poached halibut cheeks, poppy seed-
crusted albacore tuna, lamb necks braised in pinot noir, braised elk
shoulder, and a cherry-olive oil polenta cake. Great layout and
coverage of local foods, especially cheese. But se also West,
immediately below. Quality/Price rating: 89.

32. WEST; the cookbook (Douglas & McIntyre, 2008, 250 pages, ISBN 978-
1-55363-357-8, $50 Canadian hard covers) is by Warren Geraghty, the
chef at the top-rated Vancouver restaurant, West. He has had extensive
London experience, and has been head chef at two Michelin-starred
restos. Recipe contributions have also been made by David Hawksworth,
Rhonda Viani, David Wolowidnyk, and Owen Knowlton (the latter dealing
with wine pairings). Jim Tobler wrote the text. This is a fine example
of a restaurant book, with an explanation of how the place is run (with
photos) and how the staff meshes. The 100 recipes were crafted with the
home cook in mind, and cover the full range of appetizers to desserts
and beyond. The resto was originally called Ouest and served French
cuisine. It became West and did the local, fresh and seasonal Pacific
Northwest food theme. In that respect, it is similar to Paley's Place
Cookbook (see immediately above). But there is just as much lack of
detail on regional wines as in Paley, and there is little on local
cheeses. There is a more consumer-friendly arrangement, by the seasons,
beginning with Spring, and then sub-divided by starters, mains,
desserts, and cocktails. Try these: foie gras and goat cheese and apple
terrine, quail galantine, crab and cous cous tian, scallops with
butternut squash remoulade, salmon with sesame-scented cabbage and
smoked salmon gnocchi, pumpkin panna cotta. And there is a
larder/pantry collection of sauces and oils and the like. Avoirdupois
measurements are used, but there is a metric conversion table.
Quality/Price rating: 90.
33. MARTY'S WORLD FAMOUS COOKBOOK; secrets from the Muskoka landmark
café (Whitecap, 2008, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-55285-929-2, $29.95
Canadian soft covers) is by Marty Curtis, the owner of Marty's World
Famous Café in Muskoka. He opened a Muskoka ice cream parlour in 1996,
and then he developed his café, centered on butter tarts, his specialty
and secret. He even has some BBQ recipes using butter tarts as a base
for the rub and sauce. There is an extensive section on making butter
tarts, and he reveals the recipe that made him so famous in Muskoka. I
can tell you the secret: lard. Anyway, his baked goods and pies are the
best thing about the book since he uses the same pastry recipe (from
the Grey Nuns of Quebec) for all of them. These preps include Muskoka
maple pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, pumpkin
pie, turkey pie, tourtiere, and mincemeat pie. Other than these, there
are recipes for basic diner food. Try smoked trout pate. Avoirdupois
measurements are used, but there are metric conversion charts.
Quality/Price rating: 86.
34. CUISINE A LATINA; fresh tastes and a world of flavors from Michy's
Miami Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin, 2008, 276 pages, ISBN 978-0-618-86750-
9, $30 US hard covers) is by Michelle Bernstein, chef-owner of Michy's
in Miami. The focusing food writer is Andrew Friedman, who has co-
authored many cookbooks. Log rolling is provided by Bobby Flay and
Anthony Bourdain. These are Latin dishes, neither expressly Floridian
nor Cuban. Her work collates the Argentine food of her mother, with its
intertwined Latin and Italian roots (Argentine veal Milanesa), the
seafood of Florida (fried calamari with chili coconut sauce), some
Jewish roots influences (mustard-crusted brisket), and French training
(shaved fennel salad). All courses are here but she does one dessert
only: a bread pudding. Try Peruvian mixed seafood ceviche, shrimp
tiradito with avocado and corn nuts, conch escargot, Cubano sandwich,
codfish fritters with tomato stew, Latina bouillabaisse, and spiced
crab cakes. Avoirdupois measurements are used, but there is no
conversion table to metric. Quality/Price rating: 88.

35. ON THE LINE (Artisan Books, 2008; distr. T. Allen, 239 pages, ISBN
978-1-57965-369-9, $35 US hard covers) is by Eric Ripert, the chef and
part-owner of Le Bernadin, possibly the best restaurant in New York
City. Christine Muhlke, a food writer and editor, is the focusing food
writer here. The book promises to be inside the world of Le Bernardin:
"the stations, the heat, the cooks, the costs, the chaos, and the
triumphs" (their words, not mine). This is a story of everyday line
work at a major restaurant, and should form a basis for every
hospitality student's culinary studies. Le Bernardin has been around
for two decades, and is just one of three New York City restaurants to
earn three Michelin stars. There's a lot of fly-on-the-wall stuff here,
real insider info, with photos, charts, tips and advice. It's a basic
primer on how a top notch resto works. Besides the line stress, there
are sections on the wine cellar, costing a meal, menus and tasting
notes. The cuisine is modern French, emphasizing seafood: 150,000
plates come out of the kitchen every year. There are 50 preps here, in
an all-in-one index made hard to read by a light typeface on grey
paper. The recipes are given their own section at the back, and, of
course, are next-to-impossible to photocopy. Try wild salmon and smoked
salmon with apple, celery, and baby watercress and jalapeno emulsion;
yellow fin tuna, foie gras, and toasted baguette with chives and EVOO;
conch marinated Peruvian style with dried sweet corn; layered crab,
avocado, and potatoes spiced with yellow aji pepper sauce; or bacalao
salad with avocado. No metric conversion tables. Quality/Price rating:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

VinExpo Presents Report on Wine Production and Wine Consumption, Jan 29, 2009

. The Time and Date:  Thursday, January 29, 2009   2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
The Event: Presentation of report from the International Wine and
Spirit Record analyzing the changes in the production of 28 countries
and consumption in 114 countries. The results for the Canadian market
were related by Xavier de Eizaguirre, Chairman of Vinexpo (the sponsor
of the study, now in its 12th year)
The Venue: The Suites at One King West, Grand Banking Hall.
The Target Audience: wine press and wine agents.
The Quote/Background: "According to the industry-leading study,
worldwide consumption of wine will grow by more than 6% over a five-
year period, reaching 2.816 billion cases by 2012. In 10 years,
therefore, world wine consumption will have increased by 14.07% to 4.16
billion bottles, roughly equal to the annual production of wine in the
U.S., the world's fourth largest producer. In terms of sales, the world
wine industry will total no less than 166.117 billion dollars by 2012:
an increase of 8.92% since 2008. Between 2003 and 2007, Canadian
consumers enjoyed over 454 million bottles of still and sparkling
wines, representing an increase of 26.62%. The study predicts further
wine consumption growth, reaching 49.587 million cases by 2012. In 10
years, Canadian wine consumption will have increased at a rate of 6.5%
per year, compared to the world average annual growth rate of 1.4%.
Retail sales for the Canadian wine industry will mirror the growth in
consumption. While it increased by 29.3% between 2003 and 2007, the
sales turnover should rise by a further 26.05% between 2008 and 2012 to
reach $5.642 billion. Between 2008 and 2012, the growth of retail sales
of still wine in Canada is expected to be three times that of the
global market: 26.05% versus 9.56%."
The Wines: we had a small tasting of three wines (a Beaujolais, a
Chilean wine from Rothschild, and a white Bordeaux). No information on
the wines was available.
The Food: waitstaff brought about some club food.
The Downside: It conflicted with the tail end of the large Australian
tasting, which began just hours before.
The Upside: good chance to see The Suites
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 89.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

World Wine Watch Feb 14, 2009

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing <>
Always at since 1995. Also visit my "Wines, Beers and
Spirits of the Net Compendium", a guide to thousands of news items and
RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits.
My tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are
QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated
wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the
release for wine writers or product consultants. Also, some defective
or corked wines are not available for re-tasting.
1. Alamos Viognier 2007 Mendoza: Catena continues to release value-
priced varietals – off-dry mouthfeel, floral, finishes dry. +507830,
$13.95, QPR: 90.
2. D'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2007 McLaren: lovely
depth and floral elegance, 13.5% ABV, twist top. +662775, $17.95, QPR:
3. Delheim Sur Lie Chardonnay 2007 Simonsberg-Stellenbosch: good
balance, fullish flavours. +956219, $17.95, QPR: 90.
4. Graham Beck Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Coastal South Africa: zippy rass
and herbs, twist top. +948620, $13.95, QPR: 90
5. Gerard Neumeyer Riesling Les Hospices 2007 Alsace: slightly off dry
finish, but basic MVC. Organic wine. +106708, $18.95, QPR: 90.
6. Chateau Jarr 2007 Bordeaux: organic. Good value for its depth.
+106849, $15.95, QPR: 91.
1. Folie a deux Menage a Trois Red 2007 California: affordable
California fruit bomb, 13.5%. +665158, $19.95, QPR: 90.
2. Odfjell Armador Carmenere 2005 Maule/Maipo: dense, extractive, MVC
and nicely put together. 13.5% ABV. +83295, $13.95, QPR: 90.
3. Knappstein Cabernet/Merlot 2005 Clare Valley: minty wine, fruity
undertones of ripeness. +593350, $19.95, QPR: 90.
4. Water Wheel Memsie 2007 Victoria: quaffer, a 14.5% hit, twist top.
+656637, $13.95, QPR: 90.
5. Ayama Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Paarl: 14% ABV, good MVC and aging
quality. +79517, $13.95, QPR: 90.
6. Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Simonsberg-Stellenbosch: value wine,
Euro style but with upfront North American appeal on the approach.
+981357, $16.95, QPR: 90.
7. Slowine Shiraz 2006 Overberg South Africa: good Euro-style syrah.
+96503, $14.95, QPR: 90.
8. Stark-Conde Syrah 2005 Stellenbosch: quality, dense, black fruit.
Not filtered. +79525, $19.95, QPR: 90.
9. Chateau Vessiere Costieres de Nimes 2006: loaded with Northern Rhone
syrah appeal and character. Affordable. +104877, $15.95, QPR: 92.
10. Perrin Cotes du Rhone Nature 2006: delicious, ready now, and
certainly "green" as it is organic. Great house wine too. +948059,
$17.95, QPR: 90.
11. Pierre Laplace Madiran 2005: well-rounded, 13.5% ABV, Euro-style
with some fruit and length. +103705, $14.95, QPR: 90.
12. Vivallis Paris 4 Grapes 2006 Trentino: useful Bordeaux blend from
Italy. +105288, $17.95, QPR: 90.
13. Bod. Maretin Codax Cuatro Pasos Mencia 2006 Bierzo Spain: the
mencia grape is rare, even in Spain. Off-dry finish but definite NA
style and appeal. +39313, $16.95, QPR: 90.
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10
markup over retail; the wines are ready to enjoy right now. Consumers
could buy and bring to those restaurants with corkage programs.
1. Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2006 Niagara, +56929,
$40 retail.
2. Maison Champy Pernand-Vergelesses 2006, +8151, $29.95.
3. Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Monte
Bello Vineyard, +89284, $60.95.
4. Rodney Strong Merlot 2004, +497933, $22.95.
5. Domaine Olivier Les Clos Lourioux 2005 Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil,
+82297, $20.95.
6. Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2004 Tuscany, +469692, $39.95.
7. I Castei Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2004, +739979, $44.95.

Monday, February 9, 2009

TRADE TASTING: Australian Wine Masterclass, Jan 29/09, Crush Wine Bar

 The Time and Date: Thursday, January 29, 2009  11:30AM to 2:30PM
The Event: a Masterclass Australian wine presentation from Mark
The Venue: Crush Wine Bar
The Target Audience: wine writers, sommeliers, agents.
The Availability/Catalogue: all the wines were available in some form,
either by consignment or LCBO. There were some private orders.
The Quote/Background: there were about 45 wines poured to several dozen
people. Half of the wines were talked about by Davidson while we were
in sitdown mode; the other half were in a freepour mode at the bar.
The Wines: all of the wines were $20 or more in price, from specified
regions (not SEA), and exhibited distinguishing characteristics. I did
not taste every wine. Here are my scores for the wines I did taste:
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Heggies Chardonnay 2006 Eden Valley SA (Charton-Hobbs, $24.50)
-Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay 2006 Yarra Valley Victoria (Trilogy,
-Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2006 Tasmania (Churchill Cellars, $39.95,
-Yalumba Tri-Centenary Grenache 2005 Barossa Valley (Mark Anthony,
-Alkoomi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Frankland River WA (Merchant Vintner,
-Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay 2006 Margaret River, $55
-Yering Station Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Margaret River, $75
-Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2002 Barossa, $79.95
-Grant Burge Old Vines Shiraz 2006 Filsel Barossa, $36
-Jacob's Creek St. Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Coonawarra, $40-45.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ferngrove Southern Riesling 2008 Great Southern Western Australia
(Kylix, $29.95)
-Skillogalee Riesling 2008 Clare Valley (WineWorld Cellar, $21.95,
-Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007 Barossa (Corby, $35-40)
-Hungerford Hill Chardonnay 2007 Tumbarumba NSW (Kirkwood Group, $25)
-Stonier Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 Mornington Peninsula Victoria (Select
Wines, $44.95)
-Gemtree Cadenzia 2007 McLaren Vale (Vergina Imports, $40)
-Parker Coonawarra Estate Terra Rossa First Growth Cabernet Merlot 2005
Coonawarra (Kylix, $110) – 9% merlot, 14.7%
-Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2004 Barossa (B&W Wines, $65-70)
-E & T Chardonnay 2007 Margaret River, $22
-Wyndham Estate Black Cluster Shiraz 2005 Hunter Valley, $69.95
-Shotfire Quartage 2006 Barossa, $24.95
-Wirra Wirra Church Block 2007 Cab Shiraz Merlot McLaren Vale, $23
-Alkoomi Blackbutt 2004 Frankland River WA, $49.95
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Suckfizzle Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Margaret River WA (HHD Imports,
$39, +53538)
-Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Coonawarra SA (Charton-Hobbs,
$30, +590471)
-Wirra Wirra Woodhendge Shiraz 2007 McLaren Vale (HHD Imports, $36)
-Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 2005 Grampians Victoria (Kylix, $65)
The Food: charcuterie plates, cheese plates, breads and biscuits
galore, waiter-passed plates of tartare, lamb lollipops, et al.
The Downside: the bar was way too crowded with people just standing
around and eating, occasionally tasting. The whole purpose of the
freepour was to taste the remaining wines, and I found it awkward to
plough my way through. When I ate, I stepped aside to the back, and I
wished others had done so too.
The Upside: there was no pressure from agents, and I got a chance to
taste a wide variety of higher end Oz wines.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 88.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DINNER: Niagara Cafe and Trefethen Vineyards Wine, Jan 18/09

 The Time and Date: Sunday, January 18, 7 PM- 11 PM
The Event: tasting dinner with Loren Trefethen of Trefethen Vineyards
Winery in Napa and his Ontario agent, Nick Hirons of The Merchant
The Venue: Niagara Street Café.
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: two wines are just being released as ISDs,
and we had a chance to taste 6 other wines not yet in the Ontario
The Quote/Background: the winery was bought in 1968, complete with a
"ghost winery" (an abandoned house). They believe in sustainable
farming, and currently they are certified "Napa Green", which is
probably as close as one can get to organic.
The Wines:
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
- Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2005 Napa, $45.95 as LCBO ISD, 75 cases
in Ontario. There are about 34 different chardonnays here, and then
blended. 14.1% ABV. Top notes of some marmalade, but Burgundian style
all the way. The 1976 vintage won "Best Chardonnay in the World" at the
French Wine Olympics.
- Trefethen Library Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, $123: nicely aged, some
mint on the nose, extractive, softer finish, older feel of spices and
cinnamon. My fave of the evening.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
- Trefethen Double T Napa Red 2006, $33: Named after the trellising
system. Made with juice that does not make it into the Estate program.
Bordeaux blend, a second label. 13% ABV. Promising entry, juicy finish,
soft, extra Merlot tones. We sipped it as an aperitif.
- Trefethen Estate Dry Riesling 2007 Napa, $35: 13% ABV. Somewhat
Alsatian in style, upfront body on the mouthfeel, excellent length.
- Trefethen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Napa, $69.95 at LCBO ISD, 75
cases in Ontario. 92% Cabernet with balance being other Bordeaux
varietals. 14% ABV. Rich jammy nose, almost overpowering,  understated
elegance, long finish, needs cellaring. Gold medalist.
- Trefethen HaLo 2003, $254: named after the two Trefethen kids, Hailey
and Loren, this wine is an absolute delight. 14.1% ABV. Aromatic,
minty, powerful flavour, but hot finish. Almost total pleasure, marred
only by the price. The package has a fantasy label over a very heavy
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
- Trefethen Estate Merlot 2005, $54: 14.1% ABV. soft velvet, even
softer with cheese. Needs cellaring to develop more character.
- Trefethen Estate Late Harvest Riesling 2007, $76 for 375 mL: not
quite a Vendange Tardif, but close. Nevertheless, it is way overpriced
for this market in Ontario. 
The Food: Anton Potvin of Niagara St Café took care of us very well. We
had small portions of pork hock two ways (one as a crispy sweet and
sour, the other as a pressed terrine complete with "rind") with a
sesame dressed Nappa cabbage slaw between them (and Riesling). This was
followed by two wild BC salmons (one cured, one hot smoked) with
caramelized fennel and maitake mushrooms (Chardonnay). Up next was
grilled Ontario lamb saddle with saffron couscous and Moroccan eggplant
caviar and poached quince (plus two Cabernets). Artisanal cheeses
followed (a Chevre Noir cheddar was one of them) with toast and walnuts
(Merlot). And finally, a panna cotta with lemon curds (LH Riesling).
The Downside: personally, I had to tear myself away from a couple of
NFL playoff games.
The Upside: a chance to match excellent wines with food, and do a
criss-cross comparison of the dishes with both Riesling and Chardonnay,
and the Cabernets with the Merlot.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

Monday, February 2, 2009

TRADE LUNCH: FOOD ROOTS Project, December 10, 2008

The Time and Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2008   Noon to 2:30 PM
The Event: A luncheon seminar about FOOD ROOTS (European Geographical
Indication Cooperation Project).
The Venue: Willard Room, Intercontinental Hotel.
The Target Audience: wine and food writers, wine and food trades.
The Quote/Background: The international FOOD ROOTS program seeks to
promote the local food movements. It made its North American debut in
Toronto today, seeking to educate the Canadian agri-food industry on
the tangible benefits of promoting local and protected product.
Geographical Indications (GI) highlight a territory's product, quality
and tradition. They offer increased value to food production and
stimulate the economic activities of a particular region. Well-known
examples include Prosciutto di Parma, Gorgonzola and Parmigiano
Reggiano. There are over 4800 GIs in the EU, and this includes 4200
wines and spirits. Guest speakers included Walter Brunello (Chairman
Buonitalia Spa), Pier Maria Saccani, Paol Ponti, and Fred Kingston
(Senior Advisor Economic and Cultural Affairs, delegation of the EU in
Canada). The emphasis is on protecting the name of the product,
especially when the name is the same as the point of origin. We've seen
all this in the wine world (e.g., Chianti, Chablis, Sauternes,
Burgundy). The groups would like Canada to join in, to protect its own
Geographic Indications.
The Food: At lunch we had wine. Here was the menu – Prosciutto di Parma
DOP and Prosciutto de San Daniele DOP with salad of ripe figs and
microgreens (accompanied by Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene San Fermo
2007 (Bellenda)); Risotto di Nano Vialone Veronese IGP with radicchio,
Prosecco and parmigiana Reggiano DOP (accompanied by Pinot Grigio
Valdaige 2007 Santa Margherita); Italian DOP cheeses Taleggio,
Gorgonzola, Asiago, Fontina); San Pellegrino; Caffe Illy.
The Downside: it was overcrowded, and the wine service was out of
joint. Also, the material was too introductory.
The Upside: a chance to network with food people.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 84.