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Monday, May 2, 2011

April 4/11: California Wine Luncheon in Toronto

 The Time and Date:  Monday, April 4, 2011   11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
The Event: The "Toast to California" luncheon, with guest speaker
Linsey Gallagher, Director International Marketing California Wines.
The Venue: Ballroom, Fairmont Royal York.
The Target Audience: wine agencies, principals, and wine media
The Availability/Catalogue:
The Quote/Background: Linsey provided us with an update on the recent
Global Rebranding Project and latest commitments to sustainable
agriculture. She also gave us an overview of California wine sales in
Canada. I sat at a table with Vinexx on both sides of me, repping Cline
Cellars and Vine Cliff Winery. Across from me was Clos de Val, repped
by Free House Wine and Spirits.
The Wines: The reception wines were Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut 2005 and
Domaine Chandon Brut Classic California. Prices are given when known.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Clos du Val Merlot 2006 Napa
-Vine Cliff Chardonnay 2008 Los Carneros, $35
-Cline Cellars Cashmere 2009, $14.95 (affordable GSM)
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc Sonoma Brut 2005.
-Clos du Val Pinot Noir 2008 Carneros
-Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa
-Cline Cellars Viognier 2009 North Coast
-Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Mourvedre 2009 Contra Costa (50 year old
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Chandon Brut Classic California, $24.95
-Clos du Val Zinfandel 2009 Napa
-Cline Cellars Zinfandel 2009 California
The Food: we had a variety of wines with the food – there was a
tapenade with the very good rolls, a lobster and mango salad on seared
scallops with tomato carpaccio (tasted against viognier and
chardonnay). The next course was beef tenderloin and braised beef cheek
with pancetta and barley risotto (zinfandel and merlot with this). Any
other wines were with the Niagara Gold cheese, the Delice de Bourgogne,
Grey Owl ash cheese (Quebec), cambozola, with dried pears, fig chutney,
and ending with petit fours.
The Downside: we had to spit out the good wine or else we'd be sunk by
the end of the afternoon.
The Upside: good selection of wines at this table, and I had a chance
to talk with Charlie Cline and set-up a future dinner in Nova Scotia,
May 11.
The Contact Person: or
The Marketing Effectiveness of this Event (numerical grade): 90.

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