The Date and Time: Wednesday October 3, 2018 1Pm – 3:30PM
The Event: To Venture is to Be Bold – the media launch of the new Venture wine line from Magnotta.
The Venue: Woods
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: three of the Venture wine line are already available at the LCBO. Everything is available at the Magnotta stores. Apart from the sparkler ($25.95), the wines are currently line priced at $14.95 each. There are about 180 different products available with the Magnotta name.
The Quote/Background: A long time supporter of Toronto-area healthcare facilities, CEO Rossana Magnotta has launched the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases to help establish Canada's first research facility to study Lyme Disease and eventually other vector-borne diseases. The research will lead to better testing and treatment for Lyme Disease patients in Canada. Her husband Gabe suffered and then died from Lyme disease.
The Wines: We tasted each wine separately and then paired it with a dish. There were seven courses in all. Both Peter Rotar (chief winemaker) and Mrs. Magnotta spoke about each wine and the appropriate pairing. All of the wines were made from grapes grown in five vineyards in Niagara.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Venture Chardonnay VQA 2016 $14.95 Magnotta stores or online
-Venture Dry Rose VQA [pinot grigio85 and pinot noir15] $14.95 Magnotta stores or online
-Venture Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2016 $14.95 +574541 13.3% ABV
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Venture Starlight Sparkling Wine VQA $25.95 LCBO December
-Venture Pinot Noir VQA 2016 $14.95 Magnotta stores or online
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Venture Pinot Grigio 2016 VQA $14.95 +574533 12.5%ABV
The Food: there were about 40 attendees at the tasting.
We began with the Venture Starlight Sparkling Wine VQA (89 pts) $25.95 at the LCBO in December, in time for the holidays. It was a Riesling-Vidal blend (from 18 year old vines) in a golden bottle. The bottle had been expressly imported from Italy. It was the same idea (but a different shape from) Bottega's Gold Prosecco. It was paired with charcuterie and pate, but its off-dry nature was a bit too intense for the meats. Next up was the Venture Pinot Grigio 2016 VQA (87 pts) $14.95 12.5%ABV, with house lightly smoked Ontario salmon and quinoa salad. This was followed by Venture Chardonnay VQA 2016 (91 pts) $14.95 at Magnotta stores or online, accompanied by Ontario pickerel and wild rice risotto. The Venture Dry Rose VQA [pinot grigio and pinot noir] (92 pts) $14.95 at Magnotta stores or online hit the spot with the Ontario organic greens with Magnotta icewine vinaigrette. Venture Pinot Noir VQA 2016 $14.95 Magnotta stores or online was up next for the Ontario lamb chop and braised rack of lamb, with compelling root vegetables. I really enjoyed the Venture Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2016 $14.95 13.3% ABV, especially with the pan seared Ontario elk.
The Downside: we started late and I had another engagement to run to; I missed most of one main course and dessert.
The Upside: 50 cents from every Venture bottle sold goes to Lyme disease research at the University of Guelph.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.