A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 337: Maui Bound

Monday, March 28: Yesterday was the sweet wine judging for the Ontario Wine Awards. Fascinating results.

Spent the day today writing a piece on the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (I4C for short) which happens at Niagara College and in the vineyards of Niagara, July 22–24.

Tuesday, March 29: Pinot the Wonder Dog had me up at 4:30 am with an upset stomach; she wanted to go out to eat grass. Unfortunately the plant she likes has yet to sprout.

Wrote my monthly article for Lexpert magazine on the Most Common Wine Mistakes. No. 1 is pronouncing Riesling as “Rise-ling.” A meeting with the accountant for Grapes for Humanity then back home to write my wine reviews for On the Go magazine.

In the evening, down to Bell Lightbox to conduct a wine tasting for an all-women group in the financial sector. I was the only male among 80 women. I recommend it. There were food stations set up matched with appropriate wine:

  • Qualicom Beach Scallop Ceviche, Basil, Apple Gastrique, Radish, Chili, Lime
  • Ricotta Gnocchi, Porcini Cream and Truffle Foam Squash Ravioli, Sage Butter and Parma-Reggiano
  • Cheese Fondue, O&B Artisan Bread
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Slider

The wines I chose from the Oliver and Bonacini list were:

  • Col de Salici Prosecco (as the reception wine)
  • Tifenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2009
  • Huff Estate South Bay Chardonnay 2008
  • 13th Street Gamay 2008
  • McManis Merlot 2009
  • Catena Malbec 2008

Returned home to find my wife’s book club ladies making a dent in my cellar.

Wednesday, March 30: The Wonder Dog woke me up at 6 am wanting to go for a walk. Not a stomach issue this time but a bowel movement problem.

Deborah brought up the summer clothes from the locker, as we’re heading to Maui on Saturday for my daughter Annabel’s wedding. We will spend a week there and I have one day turn-around before I fly to London for the Decanter World Wine Awards. So, desperately trying to meet deadlines and keep the social media thing going.

This evening to Oakville to speak to the local chapter of the Ontario Wine Society about cellaring wines. I have chosen the following wines to illustrate varietals and wine styles that are cellar-worthy:

  • Fielding Estate Riesling 2009
  • Peninsula Ridge Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2009
  • Cave de Montlouis Sec 2007
  • Château Mazeris 2006
  • Bodegas Lan Crianza 2006
  • Pisoni Teroldego 2008
  • Castello di Nieve Barbaresco 2007
  • Château St-Didier Parnac Cahors 2006

Thursday, March 31: The Wonder Dog is not eating. She knows we’re going away. Trying to tempt her with her favourite foods – chicken, boiled egg, almonds, cottage cheese.

Picked up my new glasses today. Takes a bit of getting used to. I look in the mirror and say, “Who is that?” A meeting with Julian Hitner to discuss a wine project in Shanghai. This evening Pete Edelberg, my techie, is coming to get rid of the malware that has taken over my computer. Opened a bottle of Gouguenheim Estaciones Del Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from Argentina. Excellent value for $12.95 – and something different from the usual flood of Malbec. Lots of extract and tactfully handled oak.

Friday, April 1: In spite of Pete’s best efforts, the malware problem continues. Time for a new computer (and for some Draconian laws against the idiots who created the virus).

Got an email from Clos de la Vougeraie this morning – a press release saying that “The sub-soil of Le Clos Blanc contains a substance not previously recorded on Earth. It is an amalgam of limestone from the Bajocian age (around 170m years ago in the Middle Jurassic), interspersed with stripes of a yellow rock which at first glance look like gold, but when crumbled breaks up in contact with oxygen. Scientists have dubbed it ‘moonstone,’ because it gives off a faint glow in the light of the full moon.” Then I looked at the date. I emailed Nathalie Bergès-Boisset to confirm it was a “poisson d’avril.”

Had to drive Pinot the Wonder Dog to Burlington, where she will be spending the week with our former dog walker, Beata. Pinot loves Beata but she hates the car and in spite of some expensive tranquiliser tablets we bought from the vet (in the next life I’m coming back as a vet), Pinot barked continuously all the way there.

Packing to leave for Maui and my daughter Annabel’s wedding on Monday. We have to be up at 5 am tomorrow for a car to the airport but this evening is the Jays’ home opener. Just hope it doesn’t go to extra innings. A steak for dinner with a bottle of Tinhorn Creek Oldfield’s Collection Merlot 2005, a fine balance of sweet and savoury fruit with lively acidity.

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