Monday, January 2nd: Wrote up wine recommendation for my friend Cesar Penalver’s new restaurant, El Tenedor (Spanish for “fork”), which opens this week. Otherwise a quiet day after the vinous excesses two nights ago. Opened a bottle of Riverview Cellars Bianco Riesling Gewurztraminer 2015 (straw colour; aromatic, spicy, grapefruit and lychee aromas; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, grapefruit and lychee flavour well-balanced with a touch of sweetness. The Gewurz sings through. (88)).
Tuesday, January 3rd: Prepared the wines for my blind tasting award to be held on Thursday evening at the Fine Wine Reserve. This will be the 18th year.
- Trius Showcase Ghost Creek Riesling 2014 (Ontario)
- Babich Sauvignon Blanc Black Label 2015 (Marlborough, New Zealand)
- Bouchard Père & Fils Maçon-Lugny Saint-Pierre 2015 (Burgundy)
- Villa Maria Pinot Noir 2014 (Marlborough, New Zealand)
- Creekside Broken Press Syrah Reserve 2012 (Ontario)
- Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2015 (Swartland, South Africa)
Drove to Costco to pick up a case of bottled water for the event and some cookies. Then wrote up my 680 NEWS wine reviews. For dinner with steak, a bottle of Otazu Premium Cuvée Vino Tinto 2012 (Navarra – 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot: deep ruby colour, cedary-sandalwood nose; spicy, black cherry nose with a vanilla note; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, cherry and plum flavours with a firm tannic finish. (88.5)).
Wednesday, January 4th: Recorded my 680 NEWS wine reviews and spent the rest of the day working on the novel.
Thursday, January 5th: Prepared the paperwork for the blind tasting competition. Eight intrepid souls from the Ontario wine trade have entered. One no-show. The eventual winner was Eugene Mlynczyk MW of Constellation. This is his third win, which means that he has to retire (as did Scott Montgomery, who also won three times). Past winners:
2015: Joanna Steele
2014: Greg Dunlop
2013: David Beauroy
2012: Marc Laverdiere
2011: Andrew von Teichman
2010: Eugene Mlynczyk
2009: Frank Rey
2008: Andrew von Teichman
2007: Eugene Mlynczyk
2006: Aaron Shaw
2005: Bruce McLean
2004: Scott Montgomery
2003: Scott Montgomery
2002: Rob Jull
2001: Paul Lato
2000: Scott Montgomery
1999: Bruce McLean
Friday, January 6th: A Vintages release tasting for January 21st – 97 wines. I tasted 55 and will be back next Tuesday to taste the rest.