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Friday, May 7, 2010

April 19, 2010: California Wine Luncheon

 The Time and Date: Monday, April 19, 2010  11:30AM to 2:30PM
The Event: The 30th Annual Canadian tour for the California Wine Fair,
Toronto edition – celebrating with a sparkling wine reception and
The Venue: Fairmont Royal York
The Target Audience: wine press and agents
The Availability/Catalogue: a menu was presented (see below), and both
Domaine Chandon wines were in the show while the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de
Noirs NV was not listed in the catalogue.
The Background: The guest speaker was Karl Wente, fifth generation wine
maker of Wente Vineyards, who spoke of organics, terroir,
sustainability, and the general greenness that is taking over
California. He kept returning to the soil, for this is where it all
The Wines: At the reception we had Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs NV
(Airen Imports) plus Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs NV and their Brut
Classic NV (Charton Hobbs). Both Blancs de Noir were stunning.
I was placed at table 4 for the "Toast to California" luncheon, created
by Exec Chef David Garcelon. With me were reps from Fetzer and Sonoma-
Cutrer. We had the Fetzer Viognier 2007 (with subtle oak), a Bonterra
The McNab 2005 Mendocino (70% cabernet sauvignon, 17% petite syrah, and
13% merlot, biodynamic, $46: dense, chunky, not yet ready but with a
smooth finish despite 13.9% ABV), and three Sonoma Cutrer (Chardonnay
Les Pierres 2005, with its dynamite finish, Chardonnay Russian River
2008, almost as good, and Pinot Noir 2006, incredibly soft and
The Food: Chef David presented a double tapas of scallops with mango
and peach salsa, and a jumbo shrimp with corn shoots and arugula. Of
course, the whites went well (although Les Pierres was heavier), while
the reds went with the duxelles crusted beef tenderloin. At the end, we
had small slices of three cheeses (brie, Manchego, and bleu l'etoile).
The Downside: cheese, to be served anytime with wine, must be room
temperature. Mine tasted as if it came straight from the fridge. It did
no justice to the wines, or to the cheeses.
The Upside: good companionship at the table.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

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