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Monday, February 6, 2012

Annual Wine Writers' Circle Holiday Dinner, at MidEastro Jan 30/12

The Date and Time: Monday, January 30, 2012  6PM to midnight

The Event: annual Holiday dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

The Venue: MidEastro Yorkville

The Target Audience: WWCC members and their guests.

The Availability/Catalogue: all of the dinner wines were drawn from members' cellars, most are older vintages. There were some reception wines from Bottega in Italy and from New Zealand.

The Quote/Background: There was a range of Prosecco from Bottega, as well as some white wines from New Zealand. I could not taste all of these wines.

The Wines: we were all supposed to bring one bottle a person, and we were seated at tables of six, so I got to taste a few different wines.


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

-TeAwa Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009

-Burrowing Owl Meritage 2008 Okanagan


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

-Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010

-Astrolabe Pinot Gris 2010

-Spy Valley Riesling 2010

-Lailey Chardonnay 2008 VQA Niagara

-Pasquale Alma Mater 2010 New Zeal (pinot gris/gewurztraminer/riesling)

-Wither Hills Barangis Sauvignon Blanc 2010

-Tyrone Estate DeVine Shiraz 2007 Organic Australia [my wine]

-Panther Creek Reserve Petite Syrah 2007


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Chakana Reserve Malbec 2008 Argentina

-Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Syrah 2007

-Citto Volpaia 2008 Toscano

-Château Pipeau 2005

-Etim Old vine Grenache 2005

-Domaine Pierre Fil Cuvée Elesyces 2007


The Food: it was really very stunning. Here was the Menu


Canapes Served at the Bar with Reception wines:

olive oil and garlic, tomato spread, tapenade – all with black olive bread.


Canapé Served at the Table:

mini babaganoush, hummus, matbuha, fried eggplant

Served with black olive bread


1st Course [excellent, best plate of the evening]

Black truffle carpaccio

12 week aged Wagyu tenderloin rolled on arugula, Parmiggiano Reggiano, balsamic and black truffle oil on a layer of pomegranate honey reduction


2nd Course

Grilled calamari

Served on lime root vegetable cream and ox tail caviar lentil pot au feu


Cranberry sorbet


3rd Course

4oz Sea-bream Couscous, Tripoli-style couscous




8oz New York Steak [I was so full, I took half my steak home with me]

On black truffle mashed potatoes, sea asparagus & baked bone marrow in balsamic & chestnut demi-glace


4th Course

Homemade pastilla

Stuffed with dry fruit, dark chocolate ganache with coconut semifreddo and garnished with mint and white chocolate coulis




The Downside: so many wines to sample, and I had forgotten my spittoon.

The Upside: great friends, great wines, great food.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93



Richard Best said...


You missed out on the Willow Springs Testa Chardonnay 2007. Much better than the other whites presented that evening (in my humble opinion).

Michael Hooper said...

The Pasquale Alma Mater co-fermented, dry white blend at the Annual Wine Writers' Circle Holiday Dinner would have been fanastic with the seafood, and the lime root flavours on the menu especially.. it also has great affinity with pale coloured mushrooms. There's more on the wines of philosophy professor Dr Antonio Pasquale on web at The company's Ontario agent, Dan Barrett also has more and has tasted quite a bit of the range.(DB Wine & Spirits / Frontier Wine Merchants, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - ph 416.720.9463.
The Pinot Noir has taken gold medals and Parker rates most of the winery's recent releases around 90 points. Very much boutique quantities though.