The Event: media tasting of about 65 wines from Argentina.
The Venue: 99 Sudbury Loft
The Target Audience: wine writers. The evening show beginning at was directed to iYellow clients.
The Availability/Catalogue: all channels in the Ontario market were here, including General List, Vintages, Consignment and the occasional Private Order.
The Quote/Background: while the Loft was air conditioned, some red wines were not chilled down enough to eliminate heat. One agent chilled some of her wines and then offered tastings based on chilling, heating, and a blend of the two.
The Wines: The catalogue had a list of availability keys, agent emails, and full order data (CSPC numbers, prices, vintage). I was not able to taste every single wine. There were no sparklers and only one rose.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Callia Magna Shiraz 2007 $15.95 Consignment Kylix
-Callia Grand Reserve 2006 $36.95 Consignment Kylix
-Casa Montes Alzamorah Syrah 2006 $19.95 Vintages
-Don Cristobal Oak Reserve Shiraz 2008 $13.95 Vintages
SEAFOOD; how to buy, prepare, and cook the best sustainable fish and seafood from around the world (DK Publishing, 2011, 400 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-7554-7, $35 US hard covers) has been edited by C. J. Jackson, now Director of the Billingsgate Seafood Training School in the UK. She's assembled data, photography and recipes for the most popular species. Here are over 300 classic and contemporary recipes, along with notes and photos of 200 fish and shellfish. There is also a large section on techniques, illustrated by photos. Indeed, there are 600 photos in all in the book. There is also the usual primer material on how to buy and how to store. The recipes include prep and cook times, make ahead ideas, and variations. She opens with the recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. The sub-categories for the recipes are by equipment, such as one pots, pan- fired, deep-fried, baked, roasted, poached, broiled, and courses such as soups and curries. There are even some food-wine pairings, such as anchovies with sherry vinegar or sea bass with Pernod. Then she has a section on techniques (cutting, portioning, sushi techniques, flat fish, round fish, etc.) followed by a gallery of fish with details on their appearance and flavours. Audience and level of use: beginners, although experienced hands could learn some new things. Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: sesame prawn toasts; crab croustades; salmon in puff pastry; sea bream en papillote; roast hake with remoulade; grilled shrimp satay; shallow-fried red mullet. The downside to this book: the book weighs a lot, heavy to lug about. The upside to this book: The book identifies threatened species of fish and recommends alternatives. Quality/Price Rating: 90.
The Event: Chateau Leoube (Provence) wine dinner with Export Director Jerome Pernot.
The Venue: Bb 33 Bistro, DeltaChelseaInn
The Target Audience: 26 wine lovers.
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available by the case from The Case For Wine (email@example.com) who has repped the Chateau for the past two years.
The Quote/Background: M. Pernot told me about his estate and his marketing plans. He is not repped across Canada, but wouldn't mind it, of course. The reception at was a great venue/time for socializing. Domaine Ott (no longer owned by the Ott family) is a neighbour, and in fact, Romain Ott now applies his skills and family experience to producing wines at the Chateau Leoube.
The Wines: All wines are AOC Provence.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Leoube Les Fortes de Leoube Rouge 2007, $30 licensee, 25% each syrah, cinsault, grenache, and cab sauvignon.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Leoube Blanc de Leoube 2010, $26 licensee, 50/50 blend of vermentino and Semillon.
-Chateau Leoube Le Secret de Leoube Rose 2010, $30 licensee, 40% grenache, 40% cinsault, and 20% cab sauvignon.
*** Three Stars (85 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Leoube Rose 2010, $24 licensee, 40% grenache, 40% cinsault, 10% syrah, and 10% mourvedre.
-Chateau Leoube Rouge de Leoube 2009, $24 licensee, 60% syrah, 20% each cinsault and grenache.
The Food: M. Pernot spoke to the wines during the five course dinner. The menu was compiled by Executive Chef Gino Guerico
* Duo of Dungeness Crab and Ahi Tuna Tartare, fresh avocado, Cookstown baby seedlings, chipotle pepper aioli. This finely diced tower of food was nicely complemented by the Rose, but actually went better with the Blanc, accenting some of its citrus, melon and tropical fruit tones against the aioli and richness of the avocado. The Rose contributed some cranberry tartness. Great colour on the Rose.
* Petite Venison Tournedo, sweet yam and parsnip roesti potato, apple wood smoked bacon pieces and haricot vert fricassee, reduction of Ontario wild blueberry. The dark reduction simulated a sauce des sang which definitely would appeal to the game lovers. Yet it did not overwhelm the Forts de Leoube, even with its syrah-cabernet components. My venison was medium-rare and melted on the palate. But there was nothing petite about it: there was a hefty amount on my plate.
* Quebec Artisan Cheese Board, mission fig and port wine compote, savoury breads (Chevre Noir cheddar, an 8 year old cheddar, and a semi-soft cheese), served with Chateau Leoube Rouge de Leoube 2009, which was useful but I would also have wanted one or two more wines to try with the cheeses. The selection also needed a blue and a creamy cheese.
* California Roasted Peach Tart Tatin with house made Vanilla Bean and Lavender ice cream. There were two separate but small desserts here, accompanied by Le Secret de Leoube Rose 2010. In addition to some red fruits, here was a hint of rancio on the finish, which augured well for the dessert by adding some nuttiness to its complex sweet flavours.
The Downside: the only drawback I could find was the lack of any nibbles during the reception. The white wine was so food friendly that I took my glass to the dinner, along with the rose.
The Upside: I got there at , and the place was already packed with people. That was a good sign.
WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 23, 2011 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org. Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net Compendium" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1995. 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. Corked wines are not available for re- tasting.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 1. Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc 2009: a fine tast9ing savvy, full of grassy character, longer finish, 12.5% ABV. With food or as sipper. +694737, $14.95, QPR: 90. 2. Kurt Darting Gewurztraminer Kabinett 2009 Durkheimer Nonnengarten Pfalz: delicious summer sipper, very flavourful, only slight bitter tang on finish. 11% ABV. +944181, $16.95, QPR: 90. 3. Vinea Garganega 2009 IGT Verona: golden colour, thickish body, concentrated tasty and ripe flavours with some botrytis. +230656, $12.95, QPR: 89. 4. Domaine Trotereau Quincy 2009: quality savvy, good balance, long finish. +225185, $17.95, QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 1. Columbia Winery Merlot 2007 Columbia Valley: a restaurant wine, ready now with MVC plumy fruit and wood tones. +715870, $16.95, QPR: 90. 2. Tabali Reserva Especial Syrah 2008 Limari: very North Rhonish, 14.5% ABV, spicy components. +213538, $19.95, QPR: 89. 3. Small Gully The Formula Robert's Shiraz 2006 Adelaide Plains: very intense, good chocolate-mocha flavours, 15.9% ABV. +142935, $18.95, QPR: 89. 4. Tokara Shiraz 2007 Stellenbosch: another quality North Rhone MVC knock-off wine, 14.5% ABV. +240242, $16.95, QPR: 90. 5. Chateau Pindefleurs 2007 St. Emilion Grand Cru: excellent tones on the mid-palate, intense and great soft flavours, ready now. +102764, $20, QPR: 91. 6. Castello di Volpaia Prelius Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 IGT Maremma Tuscany: a delicious food-driven cabby, 13.5% ABV. Ready now. +224022, $17.95, QPR: 90.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
1. Coyote's Run Black Paw Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 VQA Four Mile Creek, $21.95 retail, +49775 2. Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2008 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, $40, +56929 3. Macrostie Chardonnay 2008 Sonoma Coast, $30.95, +244467 4. Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2009 Tasmania, $29.95, +162982 5. Jean Fery et Fils Les Nosroyes Puligny-Montrachet 2008, $52.95, +243568 6. La Chablisienne Fourchaume Chablis 1er Cry 2008, $28.95, +656835 7. La Crema Pinot Noir 2008 Los Carneros, $44.95, +58025 8. Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains, $49.95, +31831 9. Chateau Diane de Belgrave 2006 Haut-Medoc, $24.95, +226050 10. Franco Molino Barolo 2006, $29.95, +232967 11. Vignamaggio Gherardino Chianti Classico 2008, $23.95, +963512
The Event: A wine tasting of Salerno wines followed by a dinner, sponsored in part by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario.
The Venue: DeltaChelseaInn
The Target Audience: wine trade, members of the Chamber, and media
The Availability/Catalogue: none of the wines are generally available in Ontario.
The Quote/Background: The Province of Salerno and Enoteca Provinciale helped sponsor a wine tasting of diverse reds and whites from half a dozen producers in Salerno. But there was no catalogue and no prices, not even FOB. One of the wineries was organic.
The Wines: About fourteen wines were tasted. The whites were Fiano while the reds were mostly Aglianico.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
The Food: Dinner was at the hotel's Bb33 Bistro Room, the menu created by Chef Gino Guercio, with wine pairings --
* Black Angus Beef Carpaccio salad, organic baby greens, Parmigiano Reggiano shavings, 12-year balsamic and white truffle essence. There was Milaviolo Fiano 2009 IGT Colli de Salerno (from the reception, which was without food) and Verrone Prime Vigne Aglianico 2009 DOC Cilento. Both played out well against the meat salad.
* Herb and toasted hazelnut crusted Provimi Veal Tenderloin, crispy Portobello mushroom risotto cake, grilled asparagus, veal sweetbread and port wine reduction. Paired against the overwhelmed Casabianche Cupersito Cilento Aglianico DOC 2009, but fitted nicely with Montevetrano Colli 2007 IGT di Salerno, 13%, a sort of superSalerno with 60/30 Cab/Merlot and 10% Aglianico (in Ontario at $100 a bottle through Nuray Ali of Ex-Cellars).
* Quebec Artisan Cheese Board, fruit compotes, savoury breads (Chevre Noir cheddar, an 8 year old cheddar, and a semi-soft cheese), served with Cantine Barone Pietralena Cilento Aglianico 2009 DOC, 14.5%, which was useful but I would also have wanted one or two more reds to try with the cheeses. The selection also needed a blue and a creamy cheese. There were three desserts (zabaglione, figs, and gelato) but no accompanying wine. This was a waste of resources.
The Downside: while the tasting actually started 15 minutes early, the dinner (with a different set of guests) started 45 minutes late.
The Upside: a chance to break bread with some wine agents and talk about wine.
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. Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com