A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 493: Meeting My Grandson

Tony and Declan

Sunday, April 20: The sweet wine judging for the Ontario Wine Awards, held at The Fine Wine Reserve. Packed in the afternoon for my flight to Vancouver to meet my new grandson, Declan Rowan Boonstra. On the Air Canada flight I watched The Book Thief and Dallas Buyers Club so the flight went very quickly. Ian, my son-in-law, picked me up at the airport and drove me to their house in East Vancouver. The cherry blossom are in full bloom here. Got to hold my grandson for the first time. Celebrated with a glass of Volcanic Hills Syrah 2008 with Ian and my daughter Annabel.

Monday, April 21: Annabel and I took Declan for a long walk in Van Dusen Gardens. An amazing display of rhododendrons. I never realized there were so many varieties. On our return then opened a bottle of Domaine de Limoux Le Moulin Brut to toast the baby. Took the family to dinner at Pizzeria Barbarella (excellent thin crust pizzas and Caesar salad) Had a pint of R & B Eastside bitter made by this local microbrewery.

Me and my grandson Declan in Van Dusen Gardens, Vancouver

Tuesday, April 22: Did a two minute plank this morning (which I haven’t done for ten days or so) and had stomach cramps in the afternoon. Annabel’s mother, my ex, came over for lunch and we caught up on her news and old mutual friends. Spent an hour or so on the phone with Rogers to fix problems on both my laptop (pop-up window kept asking for my password) and my cellphone that wasn’t receiving emails. Thank heavens they fixed the problems. Why are we so reliant on these gizmos?

Walked with Annabel and Declan and then we settled down for some wine and cheese with an amazing bottle of Purple Angel by Montes 2011 (92% Carmenère, 8% Petit Verdot):dense purple colour that stains the glass; a nose of black cherry, blackcurrant and dark chocolate with a note of dried rose petals; full-bodied, mouth-filling, dry and savoury, richly extracted fruit, soft on the palate with an elegant spine of acidity. Bravo Aurelio Montes. (92)

Wednesday, April 23: Up early to catch an 8:20 am flight back to Toronto. Deborah picked me up at the airport and home to change to go to the opening of Susur Lee’s new restaurant in the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, called Luckee. The place was packed with chefs.

Thursday, April 24: Recorded my 680News wine reviews and then went to Princess Margaret Hospital for a blood test. Lunch with Marc Nadeau at Auberge du Pommier. Marc brought along a bottle of Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard 2005, which went beautifully with steak tartare. Wrote my Post City column and then down to Rogers Centre to watch the bull pen melt down in the Jays’ defeat by Baltimore. $7.25 for a slice of pizza!

Friday, April 25: A Vintages release tasting today followed by a meeting with a financial company to finalize details of an “Executive Wine Experience” seminar in June. In the evening, Deborah and I were invited to the Donalda Club for a South American wine tasting and dinner.


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