Sunday, December 29: A very sociable evening. First Zoltan Szabo dropped in for a drink and we opened a bottle of Huff Estates Cuvée Janine Sparkling Rosé 2010. Then Deborah’s sister Suzanne came over early for dinner. Next Patrick Imbert and Alexandra came around for drinks (Patrick was the French Trade commissioner in Toronto before being posted to Dusseldorf). Next we opened a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Then Guy and his girlfriend Carlee arrived for dinner. With German and Italian salami, pistachio nuts, cashews, we did justice to a bottle of Megalomaniac Riesling 2011. For dinner, tourtière (that Deborah made) with Rochioli Pinot Noir 2007, followed by cheeses with Blackwood Lane Referènce 2006.
Monday, December 30: Not a lot happened today. Reading Justice at Nuremberg, a big fat book by Robert E. Conot which was in my late father’s library (with all his hand-written notes – he was there at the trial). For dinner, beef stir fry with Rosewood Estates Merlot Reserve 2010.
Tuesday, December 31: Deborah and I had planned to have a quiet evening, just the two of us at home to see the New Year in. But Guy called to invite us over to dinner, with Pinot the Wonderdog. Carlee was making boeuf bourguignon. I brought over a bottle of Chanson Le Clos du Roi 2010, which Deborah and I had planned to have with filet mignon at home. Guy had already opened a bottle of Tedeschi Amarone 2009, which we drank with cheeses as we waited for the meal to be ready. We pretty well finished off the two bottles so Guy opened Little Yering Pinot Noir 2011. We left Guy’s condo at 10:30 pm and when we got home there was an email from a neighbour inviting us to join her at Sip Wine Bar & Pizzeria around the corner from us. They had just received their liquor license and were opening on New Year’s Eve. So we walked over and saw the New Year in there over a glass of mediocre Chianti.
Wednesday, January 1: Pinot the Wonderdog’s birthday. She is nine years old today – which makes her (in dog years) older than Deborah. The weather has turned really cold but she enjoyed her long walk in the park. For dinner, lamb chops with a bottle of Blue Mountain Pinot Noir 2011.
Thursday, January 2: The coldest day of the winter so far with a wind chill factor of minus 31. Had a meeting with David Hamilton, publisher of Toronto Life, to discuss the Ontario Wine Awards and Sip & Savour Ontario.
Friday, January 3: Still in holiday mode with not much happening on the work front. Ordered in Chinese food from C’est Bon and opened a bottle of Blue Mountain Gamay 2011. Delicious with General Tso chicken.
Saturday, January 4: Spent most of the day preparing a dinner party for my wine writer buddy Irv Wolkoff and his wife, Carole. We started with goat cheese wrapped in smoke salmon, served with 13th Street Première Cuvée 2008. When we sat down, the first course was fried goat cheese salad with grapes, with Peninsula Ridge Fumé Blanc 2008 and Exultet The Blessed Chardonnay 2011. Main course: filet mignon with a herb rub, brussel sprouts with sautéed onions and pecans and fingerling potatoes, with Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune Grève Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus 2001 (a triumph). Cheeses with Hidden Bench Terroir Caché 2007. Dessert: roasted red grapes with mascarpone and rum.
Wine of the night