Monday, October 8: Thanksgiving holiday. Spent the morning and a good part of the afternoon writing profiles of BC wineries for the new book. Then Deborah and I drove up to Caledon to have Thanksgiving dinner with Deborah’s niece and her husband. Ten of us at table. I brought along six BC wines I needed to taste.
- St. Hubertus Pinot Blanc 2010: Pale straw colour with a peach pit nose; sweet peach flavour, very Alsace in style – peach, honey and lemon flavours. (88)
- Cassini Gewurztraminer Muscat 2011: Pale straw colour; intense, perfumed nose of lychee and orange blossom; mouth-filling rose water and lychee flavours. Thick on the palate. (89)
- Mount Boucherie Pinot Gris 2011: Very pale colour; minerally, peach pit nose; white peach flavour with a faint spritz, dry and medium-bodied. (88)
- Eau Vivre Chardonnay 2008 (Similkameen Valley): Pale straw with a green tint; earthy, apple nose; dry, medium-bodied, green apple and lemon flavours with notes of wet stones. (88)
- Oak Bay Gamay Noir 2011: Ruby colour; a nose of raspberry candy; red apple and cherry flavours, dry, medium-bodied with lively acidity. Finishes firmly with some bitterness (over-pressed?). (86)
- Church & State Meritage 2009: Deep ruby colour; a nose of cedar, dark chocolate with savoury, herbal notes; on the palate, blackcurrant and dark chocolate flavours, full-bodied; chunky mouth-feel with a firm tannic finish. (89)
Tuesday, October 9: Wrote an article for Lexpert magazine on champagne (the corked Balthazar I had at my wedding). At 5 pm a meeting of the board of directors of Grapes for Humanity to vote on a proposal to donate funds for the building of a new school in La Union, Guatemalan. Passed unanimously. Discussed ticket sales for the November 7th White Truffle fund-raiser dinner. Opened a bottle of Meyer Family Pinot Noir 2010 (ruby colour; minerally, raspberry nose with a note of violets; light and fresh on the palate, reminiscent of a New Zealand Pinot Noir – at once delicate yet powerful, elegant and beautifully balanced – 91).
Wednesday, October 10: A sad morning – the funeral of a 43-year-old friend of my children, Paul Schulte, who died of a massive heart attack. His family lived a few doors down from our house on Keewatin Avenue when my kids were growing up. Then to Doug Towers’s house for a winerytohome.com tasting with David Lawrason. For dinner, with spicy pasta, Moon Curser Syrah 2010 (deep ruby colour; peppery, floral, blackberry nose with a note of roasted herbs; dry and savoury with evident vanilla oak and fresh acidity – 90).
Thursday, October 11: Wrote my On the Go column and spent some time working on the wine book. Dinner at Carl Heinrich’s new restaurant, Richmond Station. Very New York in feeling. I brought along a bottle of Painted Rock Red Icon 2010. Deborah and I ordered the lobster cocktail (lobster tempura on a circle of lettuce with a spicy tomato sauce), beet salad, and wild boar loin two ways. A delicious meal.
Friday, October 12: A Vintages release tasting. 140 wines were put out. These tastings are getting bigger and bigger. I shared the chore with Zoltan Szabo. Intrigued by Jackson Triggs’ new label for the Delaine Vineyard. In the evening, a cocktail party at our friends Arlene and Michael Willis to welcome their new grandson, Lachlan. The Pol Roger Brut flowed.
Saturday, October 13: The annual Ontario Wine Awards tour to Niagara for sponsors. This year we visited Vineland Estates and Konzelmann. We lunched in the Carriage House at Vineland and tasted four of their wines. At Konzelmann, Fabian Reis, Herbert Konzelmann’s grandson, toured us around the winery and then conducted a tasting in a private room – which was good because the winery was mobbed with visitors.