Monday, November 2nd: Came back from Montreal with a wretched cold. Was meant to attend the annual Italian tasting at Roy Thomson Hall but was too sick to make it. Busied myself with the wrap-up accounts for the Gaia Gaja dinner.
Tuesday, November 3rd: Wrote my 680 NEWS wine reviews and finished off my Power Point presentation for the Vitinord conference in Nebraska next week. My theme is “Nova Scotia as a model for wine industry growth in cold and cool climate regions.”
Wednesday, November 4th: Was meant to record my 680 NEWS wine reviews but when I got to the studio, Stewart Hammill, my producer, said my voice was unrecognizable – so I had to postpone till next week. The cold took it down an octave, sounding very sexy but since I record three weeks at a session he decided I should wait until I sounded normal again. On the way home I passed the Manulife building on Bloor, which has the most perfect lawn in Toronto. Planted on it in advance of Remembrance Day were 11,483 small Canadian flags – one for every Canadian soldier killed in combat. An inspiring sight. Too sick to taste wine today.
Thursday, November 5th: Started work on my Quench magazine back page commentary – about Passion Vin in Montreal. The tastings are still in my mind – and on my palate.
To the Convention Centre to judge the wines submitted to Gold Medal Plates. My top wines were: Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2010, Cave Spring 2013 Dolomite Riesling 2013, Stratus Vineyards Red 2008 and Colio Bricklayer’s Cache Small Lot Syrah 2012. After the judging, wandered around the booths tasting the food prepared by nine chefs, matched to a wine of their choice.
Greeters at Gold Metal Plates
Decided to try to drink wine so I opened a bottle of Anselmi San Vincenzo 2014 (a Soave before Roberto Anselmi went outside the DOCG regulations). This wine is now a blend of 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. To my mind this is the best value white wine coming out of Italy ($16.95 a bottle). My notes are: straw-coloured with a bouquet of peaches and citrus fruit; medium-bodied, dry and elegant, beautifully balanced, with great purity of line and great length. (91) Deborah had made a recipe I had eaten at Quo Vadis in London eons ago – poached sole in a cream sauce with red pepper. It was delicious.
Friday, November 6th: A Vintages tasting today though I was hardly in the mood to taste 80 wines. In the evening down to the Shangri-La Hotel for a fund-raising dinner in aid of Amani – a foundation in Tanzania that houses street children. Grapes for Humanity is donating $64,000 for the construction of a new centre.
The band at the Amani dinner
Saturday, November 7th: A winerytohome tasting at Doug Towers with David Lawrason.