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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Event: Orange Crush – tasting of contact wines featuring Mateja Gravner May 22 at Peter Pan Bistro

The Date and Time: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2PM to 4PM
The Event: Orange Crush – tasting of contact wines featuring Mateja Gravner
The Venue: Peter Pan Bistro (upstairs)
The Target Audience: sommeliers and wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are either in stock or by private order through The Living Vine or (for Sperling BC wines) Cru Wine Merchants. Southbrook wines are also available at the winery in Niagara.
The Quote/Background: This was the first major "orange wine" show in Toronto -  the entire contact wine portfolio of The Living Vine, anchored by the appearance of Mateja Graver and her Graver orange wines of Italy (these are made in Georgian amphorae, buried underground with a long maceration with wild yeasts and no temperature control; after pressing, the wine was poured back into amphorae for five more months before the start of ageing in large oak barrels where it was left for six years, and then bottled without fining or filtration). It was also a major achievement for Mark Cuff, owner of The Living Vine – the same Mark Cuff who promoted the biodynamic/organic wine show at the Distillery District a decade ago: Return to Terroir (Feb 8, 2008).
The Wines: Orange wines are an acquired taste, so this was an important wine tasting for me with its major exposure. I tried to embrace its sensibilities. The best wines were very expensive because of the labour and upkeep. But there were some values, especially for the novice orange drinker. All prices are licensee.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sperling Vineyard Amber Gris 2016 BCVQA Okanagan Valley, $34.95  Cru Wine Merchants
-Gravner Pinot Grigio Anfora Friuli IGT Italy $219.95
-Dominio de Punctum 20,000 Leguas 2017 La Mancha Spain $16.95 – I gave this wine four stars because of its excellent entry level value. A great introduction to the fresh tannic steeliness of orange wine.
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2014 VQA Ontario  not available
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2015 VQA Ontario  not available
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2017 VQA Ontario  end of summer
-Denavolo [2016] Lot # L16D Emilia Romagna IGT Italy $49.95 – awesome, my overall FAVE
-COS zibibbo In Pithos 2016 Sicily $62.95  private order
-Turner-Pageot Languedoc Le Blanc [picpoul, marsanne] 2017 $26.95 private order
-Turner-Pageot Languedoc Les Choix Marsanne Orange 2015 $52.95
-Cueva Orange Tardana – Macabeo Valencia Spain 2016  $32.95 private order
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Southbrook Niagara Orange/Skin Fermented Vidal 2016 VQA Ontario $25.12
-Gravner Ribolla Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2008, 14% ABV  $109.95
-Gravner Ribolla Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2009, 14% ABV  $119.95 private order
-Gravner Bianco Breg Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2008 15% ABV $109.95 -sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, chardonnay, and riesling italico all fermented separately but aged together.
-Gravner Bianco Breg Anfora Friuli IGT Italy 2009 15% ABV $119.95 private order
-Orsogna Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio Abruzzo Italy  $23.95 -in colour, close to rose
-Domaine Ligas Kydonitsa Barique 2015 Pella Greece $44.95 private order
-COS Rami Greciano/Insolia 2016 Sicily $35.95
-COS Pithos Bianco 2015 Sicily $59.95; magnum $94.95
-Fonterenza Biancospino [NV] Tuscany Italy $39.95
-Celler Credo Estrany Xarel-Lo Estrany 2014Penedes Spain $56.95
-Cosimo Maria Masini "Daphne" Bianco 2015 $44.95 private order
-Animacorale L'Audace Grillo 2015 $29.95 some RS
-Animacorale Il Visionario Inzolia 2015 $29.95  private order
-Animacorale Il Visionario Catarratto 2015 $29.95 private order
-Animacorale L'eretico Grecanico 2015 $29.95 private order
The Food: orange-coloured snacks (baby carrots, orange pepper slices, BBQ tortilla chips, orange cheddar cheese, orange-tinged popcorn, ritx crackers, cheesies, three orange dips which included hummus).
The Downside: it was really crowded (yeah, a real orange crush) since there was a sommelier seminar at 1PM and it just finished shortly after 2PM
The Upside: a great opportunity to taste a wide range of contact wines.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95

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