The Date and Time: Thursday, February 12, 2015 4PM to 6PM
The Event: Tasting and pairing of Burnt Ship Bay LCBO wines.
The Venue: Hockey Hall of Fame Theatre
The Target Audience: wine opinion makers and writers
The Availability/Catalogue: both wines are on the General List; as well we also tasted a Vidal Icewine (Silver medal at Decanter Asia Wine Awards) but not their Chardonnay table wine (limited quantities).
The Quote/Background: Front and centre were Fred DiProfio (winemaker), Lou Puglisi (grape grower and co-owner), and Marcel Morgenstern (co-owner). The winery is a virtual winery in partnership with Puglisi (Pondview winery owner) and DiProfio (Pondview winemaker), using Pondview grapes but made in different styles. There was a presentation at this Toronto launch and then the food pairing began. There were four tidbits created by Marigold & Onions Catering, with two suggested for the white wine and two for the red (although we could try a mix and match). Burnt Ship Bay has already signed up the Hockey Hall of Fame as a provider of house wines.
-Burnt Ship Bay Pinot Grigio 2013 VQA NOTL, +404939, $14.95 – think peaches and lemons and apples, with some serious tones on the mid-palate. Commingling is back, with citric undertones. Prize winner from All Canadians and Intervin. Twist top, 12.5% ABV. (88)
-Burnt Ship Bay Cabernet Merlot 2013 VQA NOTL, +404947, $14.95 – with grapes from its sister winery Pondview (and the same winemaker), this wine has ripe berries (black and red) in overdrive, in a sort-of classic California version of a Bordeaux-like blend. 13.5% ABV, twist top. (88)
The Food: both wines went very well with food, in fact they improved. With the Pinot Grigio was suggested a "Chinese firecracker" (spiced duck, vermicelli, sesame hoisin, mango slaw in coconut crepes). It may have been Chinese, but it needed a punch up in spicing; it was not a firecracker (as in explosion. More successful was the maritime knuckle sandwich of lobster and shrimp, citrus aioli, and green mango served in a bread bun as a small lobster roll. With the Cabernet Merlot, we had a sun-dried tomato crostini with tenderloin of beef, green pea pesto, and garlic artichoke cream. Also, we had steak and eggs (mini potato roesti with rare beef steak slice, fried quail egg and hollandaise drizzle). This latter was my fave of the day, and it also went well with the Pinot Grigio. There was also a platter of international gourmet cheeses.
The Downside: it was a bitterly cold day (so what else was new)
The Upside: a chance to engage with some real food pairing.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.