A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 512: Preparing for Sicily

Saturday, September 13: Still a bit jet-lagged but had to judge the Royal Fair wine competition. Some interesting Ontario wines. Can’t wait for the results but here’s a photo of the wines we tasted for the medal round.

Wines that made the medal round

Sunday, September 14: Received a copy of John Schreiner’s Okanagan Wine Tour Guide (5th edition). John is the man when it comes to information on BC wineries. It’s really an indispensable book for anyone interested in wine, especially if you want to explore wine country in the BC interior.

Monday, September 15: Wrote up my 680News wine reviews, then did a little tasting.

  • Rotary Club 1951 Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 (Château des Charmes, Ontario – $13.95): lemony-straw colour; apple nose with a nutty note; dry, nicely balanced, crisp apple flavour with a lemony finish. (87)
  • Château des Charmes Chardonnay Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard 2012 (Ontario – $21.95): pale straw colour; toasty, nutty, baked apple nose with citrus notes; rich and spicy, creamy, apple and pineapple flavours backed by a lively spine of acidity giving a long fresh finish. A well-made wine. (91)
  • Colio Estates Bricklayer’s Reward “Big Pond” Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Lake Erie North Shore – $15.95): light straw colour; grassy, green fig nose; good varietal character – gooseberry and grapefruit flavours; good length. (88)
  • Laroche Viognier de la Chevalière 2013 (Pays d’Oc – $12.70): lemon yellow colour; minerally, peach nose with a floral top note; mouth-filling, peach and apricot flavours with a spicy finish. Good value. (88)
  • Rotary Club 1951 Cabernet Merlot 2011 (Château des Charmes, Ontario – $14.95): ruby colour; high tone, cedary, red berry nose; raspberry and redcurrant flavours, firm and tight with cocoa powder tannins. (87)

In the evening Deborah and I went to the 80th birthday of a friend of ours. She had rented the ice cream truck that usually parks outside the ROM and all the guests could order what they liked.

Tuesday, September 16: Went to Costco to pick up food for a tasting I’m doing at noon for the office workers at Manulife financial in the York Mills Centre – shrimps, cheese and fruit sponge cake. Also trying to clear my desk for a trip to Sicily and Barcelona on Thursday.

Received today a phial in a wooden box. It contained a sample of Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Tawny Port. It sells at Vintages for $3,995 a bottle. Will share it with Deborah tonight.

Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Tawny Port

With grilled chicken and pasta I opened a bottle of Fairview The Bear Premier Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. A great wine that any Bordeaux château would have been proud to make.

Wednesday, September 17: Conducted a lunchtime tasting at the Manulife Centre, a wine pairing “lunch and learn” seminar for people who work in the building. I brought along cheese, shrimps and cake to match with Ontario Riesling, Cabernet-Shiraz and Select Late Harvest Vidal.

Wines for the lunchtime tasting

In the evening, to Dish cooking studio on Dupont Street, to conduct a wine tasting dinner for corporate clients. The 40 guests, given aprons, had to prepare their own dinner in four teams under the guidance of a chef. The wines for the evening with the dishes:

Reception wine: Cattier Brut Premier Cru Champagne

1st course: Peppery arugula salad with Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc 2013

2nd course: Spring risotto with Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2011

3rd course: Grainy Dijon crusted steak with Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2010

Dessert: Stone fruit buckle with Château des Charmes Late Harvest Riesling 2008.

Guests at work cooking their dinner

Thursday, September 18: Recorded my 680News wine reviews and cleared my desk for my departure to Sicily for a week and on to Barcelona for Torres’s wine and food symposium.


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