Monday, October 24th: Lunch at Terroni on Yonge Street with Ann Walmsley who, 36 years ago was my researcher on CBC Radio’s “Africa Week.” We reminisced about the program that ran for five nights in the “Ideas” slot, and about her book, The Prison Book Club – and the novels we were both writing.
Then on to St. James Cathedral’s event space for “Somewhereness” – 12 small and mid-sized Ontario wineries of quality who have come together to express the soil of Niagara and Prince Edward County. Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook explains it as “Twelve of the top fifteen wineries in Ontario. The other three are whomever you’d like them to be.” I tasted 30 of the 44 wines on offer. My top scoring wines were Charles Baker Riesling Picone Vineyard 2013 (92.5), Charles Baker Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2015 (92), Bachelder Wismer Windfield #1 Chardonnay 2013 (92), Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Adam Steps 2014 (92), Hidden Bench Nuit Blanche 2014 (91), Stratus Red 2012 (91), Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2012 (90), Norman Hardie County Chardonnay 2014 (90), Tawse Estate Chardonnay 2012 (90). This tasting proved to me that Ontario is making terrific wines now.
My friend Pooch from California came home with me for dinner. Deborah cooked duck breast. Pooch brought over a bottle of Avalon Pinot Noir 2014 (Edna Valley, California) and I served a bottle of Domaine des Terrisses 2012 (Gaillac).
Tuesday, October 25th: A meeting at Queens Park with the Lieutenant Governor’s office to discuss the partnership between the Ontario Wine Awards and the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Ontario Wines. Then on to One Restaurant to have lunch with Marc Nadeau. Next a meeting with Arlene Willis, my co-founder of Grapes for Humanity, to talk about the future of the Canadian foundation.
Wednesday, October 26th: Worked on the novel much of the day. In the evening, a meeting of directors of Grapes for Humanity. We decided to create a membership for the foundation, called Friends of Grapes for Humanity, to raise funds when we are not putting on events.
Thursday, October 27th: A day of paying bills and doing accounts, very boring. This evening down to Lulu Lounge for Access Education Guatemala’s annual fund-raising gala dinner and auction. Grapes for Humanity has donated funds for the construction of a secondary school in La Union.
Friday, October 28th: A Vintages release tasting, the second half of the huge November 26th catalogue. In the evening, dinner at the Donalda Club with friends Gordon and Esther and Bob and Maureen. We all brought wine: Hudelot Noellat Close de Vougeot 1990, Humberto Canale Merlot 2007 (my contribution), La Spinetta Pin Monferrato Rosso 2004 and Château Lynch Bages 1999.
Saturday, October 29th: Dinner at Edulis on Niagara Street, a restaurant I’m reviewing for Decanter Magazine. We ordered the seven-course dinner. No menu, they just bring you dishes, heavy on the fish and seafood. I ordered a bottle of Clos Lapeyre Jurançon Sec 2014. A delicious meal.
Edulis’s opening dish – big eye tuna with cashews, radishes and crispy shallots
Dish two – scallop with ginger butter, paw paw and smoked scallop roe
Dessert – sorbet of quince and apple with brown butter cream and cracked meringue