Sunday, January 8: Deborah and I dropped Pinot the Wonder Dog off to her former dog walker in Burlington and headed up to Collingwood, where we will spend three days in the house of friends. We stopped for lunch at Pete’s Deli in Shelburne, where I had a bowl of glutinous chili con carne (without much carne). Spent a couple of hours with our hosts, who showed us how to turn things on and off in the house. In the evening we drove over to other friends who have recently moved up to Collingwood from Toronto. We had dinner there – lamb cutlets which matched the Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.
Monday, January 9: Lunched at Huron Club in Collingwood with our friends from last night. I had a glass of Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé 2010. In the late afternoon we drove over to Georgian Hills Vineyards near Ravenna to meet Robert Ketchin, one of the owners. It was almost a blind tasting as the hydro workers were in the process of bringing supplementary electrical lines into the building and we had no light. Notwithstanding, we tasted through the portfolio:
- Georgian Hills Perry (Sparkling Pear): reminiscent of the Babycham I remember from England. Dry pear flavour with fizz. (85)
- Georgian Hills Seyval Blanc 2010: dry, grassy, green plum flavour with a touch of sweetness in mid-palate but finishes dry. (86)
- Georgian Hills Vidal 2010: aromatic, off-dry, apple and lemon flavour with lively acidity. (86)
- Georgian Hills Pinot Gris 2010: light, green peach flavour with a touch of spiciness from the addition of Riesling. (85)
- Georgian Hills Gewurztraminer 2010 (with 25% Riesling): off-dry, spicy, lychee and grapefruit flavours. For young vines a very commendable effort. (87)
- Georgian Hills Riesling 2010: off-dry, honey, lemon, red apple and pine needle flavours. (87)
- Georgian Hills Gamay Rosé 2010: crisp, strawberry and rhubarb flavours; quite elegant and well made. (87)
- Georgian Hills Marechal Foch 2010: light on the palate, earthy, black cherry flavour with a touch of oak. (87)
After the tasting we drove back to Robert’s home for dinner. He cooked a delicious meal of salmon, roast potatoes and broccoli. We sat around the fire eating sushi and drinking Astrolabe Pinot Gris 2010, Domaine Schlumberger Kessler Riesling 2007 (which Larry Gee brought – I hadn’t seen Larry since he retired from the LCBO a few years ago) and a bottle of Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendandes Tardives 2005 which I brought. At dinner we consumed Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2007 and Elephant Hill Pinot Noir 2007, both from New Zealand.
Tuesday, January 10: After breakfast and a relaxing half hour in the hot tub we drove to Blue Mountain resort with the idea of having lunch. Couldn’t decide on what to have so returned to the house and baked a Dr. Oetker pizza, which we demolished with a bottle of Foxglove Chardonnay 2009 from California’s Central Coast (very tropical with honeysuckle notes). Watched a movie, Hangover II, which was not as funny as the first one. In fact it was weirdly dark. We had picked up some pork chops and frozen vegetables from the Loblaws in Collingwood, which we prepared for dinner, accompanied by a bottle of Ravine Sand & Gravel Readcoat 2010, a really delicious Bordeaux blend – cherry, plum and blackcurrant flavours with a soft mouth feel.
Wednesday, January 11: Turned my computer on this morning after having it recharged all night only to find that it would not open in either battery or power mode. Disaster! A plaintive email to my pal Larry, who used to work for Dell. His contacts at Dell responded immediately that they would make it right. I backed up a week ago but I have worked on the novel since. A bowl of Wolfgang Puck Corn Chowder soup for lunch with some hummus and pita before leaving to drive back home. Picked Pinot the Wonder Dog up in Burlington. She gave us the usual frantic Wheaten greeting.
Thursday, January 12: Deborah’s birthday. A meeting with David Rose and Sandy Kurbis to discuss this year’s Ontario Wine Awards and sip & Savour Ontario events. Took Deborah to dinner at JAM on Carlton. Chef Avi prepared a great meal: we started with seared scallops, then KFQ (Kentucky Fried Quail with 11 spices in the batter), then pot au feu (me) and grilled liver (Deborah). I brought along Closson Chase Chardonnay 2006 and Pillitteri Family Reserve Cabernet Franc 2002. I was apprehensive about the Pillitteri because that was the lady bug vintage, but it was magnificent, showing no age but rich fruit extract, sleek and firm. Kudos to winemaker Sue Ann Staff.
Friday, January 13: Another Vintages tasting day for the February release. For dinner, Deborah made pepper stuffed with ground turkey and rice, a spicy dish that went beautifully with Eral Bravo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from the Mendoza Valley in Argentina. A succulent Cab with spicy blackcurrant and chocolate flavours and very well priced at $17.95.