Monday, December 15th: This week leading up to Christmas is always slow for me. Took the opportunity to write a column for Lexpert magazine on wines for breakfast. In the evening, Deborah and I joined our friends Frank and Patti-Ann Daley and Rod and Bessie Seyffert (with whom we share an anniversary date, August 17) at Le Paradis Bistro for dinner.
Tuesday, December 16th: Spent the day writing a magazine article about an email scam. Then did some tasting in the late afternoon.
J.J. McWilliam Pinot Grigio 2013 (South Eastern Australia – $9.95): pale straw colour; peach pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, simple pear flavour. Well made, easy drinking. (87)
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Chardonnay 2013 (New South Wales – $13.95): straw colour; spicy apple nose with a leesy, buttery note; dry, apple flavour; good length. (87)
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Moscato 2013 (New South Wales – $14.40): straw colour; spicy, aromatic, orange blossom nose; sweet and grapey like biting into a Muscat grape; nicely balanced, fresh and lively in the mouth. Clean and true to the variety. (88+)
Jardin en Fleurs Vouvray 2013 (Loire – $18.95): pale straw colour; quince; medium-bodied, off-dry with pear and honey flavours carried on lively acidity finish with a mineral note. (88)
J.J. McWilliam Cabernet Merlot 2013 (South Eastern Australia – $9.95): deep ruby colour; earthy, red berry nose; soft mouth feel with a touch of creamy sweetness in mid-palate; plum and cherry flavours. (86)
J.J. McWilliam Shiraz Cabernet 2013 (South Eastern Australia – $9.95): deep ruby colour; herbal, black fruit nose; medium-bodied, fruity and sweet, soft on the palate; easy drinking. (86+)
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (New South Wales – $14.95): deep ruby colour; cherry pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, fruity and easy drinking with sufficient tannin to give structure. (87)
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2013 (New South Wales – $14.95): deep ruby; smoky, struck flint nose with a blackberry note; medium-bodied, fruity, blackberry with lively acidity and a touch of tannin on the finish. (87)
Chakana Maipe Malbec 2013 (Mendoza, Argentina – $14.95): deep ruby colour; spicy blackberry nose with a licorice note; rich and full on the palate; fruit-driven with a fine spine of acidity, a hint of oak and a robust tannic finish. (87+)
Fattoria di Piazzano Chianti 2012 (Tuscany – $14.95): solid ruby colour; inky, cherry with a mineral note on the nose; dry, medium-bodied, cherry flavour with a floral note; finishes firmly. Good value. (87+)
For dinner, grilled salmon with Hester Creek Chardonnay 2011. If I did not know this wine was from the Okanagan I would have sworn it was a Napa Chardonnay – rich, full-bodied, tropical fruit flavours with oak spice. The best wine I have had from this winery. (91)
Wednesday, December 17th: A meeting with our financial advisor who allayed my panic about the market dropping. In the evening we attended our condo Christmas party to which I had donated a case of wine I had sampled and put under gas.
Thursday, December 18th: Put the finishing touches to a piece a memoir I wrote since there was nothing else to do today. Zoltan Szabo came round in the evening and we opened a bottle of Yarden Blanc de Blancs 2007 with smoked salmon, Chinese egg rolls, English cheddar, salami, cashews and the a bottle of Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 ($21.95 Consignment – deep ruby colour with a bouquet of black cherries and tobacco with an earthy note; medium-bodied, dry, velvety mouth-feel; firmly structured with ripe tannins – 89).
Friday, December 19th: My new passport arrived in the mail today. I look like a convict. To celebrate I opened a bottle of Reh Kendermann Űber Riesling Kabinett 2013 to go with a chick pea and corn Rogan Josh curry (perfumed grapefruit and honey nose with a mineral note; rich tangerine, lime and lychee flavours with a honeyed note – 88).