A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 633: Birthday Dinner

Monday, January 16th: Started inviting judges for the 23rd annual Ontario Wine Awards in April. We need 24 in all for the dry wines (six panels), and eight for the sweet wines (two panels). A conference call in the afternoon to discuss plans with Angela Aiello and the IYellow Wine Club for a consumer tasting of the medal-winning wines. For dinner, steak with a bottle of Lavau Vacqueras 2014 ($24.95 – deep purple with a violet rim; floral nose of violets, blackberries and dried herbs; full-bodied, elegant and firmly structured with a savoury blackberry flavour (90)).

Tuesday, January 17th: A 9 am meeting with Cathy Martin at Terroni to discuss a Grapes for Humanity fund-raiser in May. Worked on the novel and in the late afternoon back to the Appleton Sleep Clinic for a report on my night’s sleep there, wired up on December 28th like a Frankenstein experiment. It appears that I need a sleep pack. Dr. Appleton says it will help my snoring (improve the timbre? Make it more musical? Or eradicate it totally?). Deborah will be pleased – and so will Pinot T. Wonderdog, who has been known to leap off the bed in alarm on nights when I’ve had a big Vintages tasting.

Wednesday, January 18th: Wrote up my Wines of the Week for posting tomorrow. Started approaching wineries in Veneto, Alto Adige and Lombardy regarding visits for my Pauwels Travel tour to those regions in May. In the afternoon Deborah and I went to Appliance Canada to buy a new dishwasher.

Thursday. January 19th: A meeting with Andrew Menceles to discuss a new Ontario wine brand. Took Deborah for a belated birthday dinner to Scaramouche, where they were having a Lobsterlicious event. Deborah started with six Gigas oysters from Ireland (with a glass of Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from New Zealand) and I had lobster bisque with a glass of Lustau Amontillado Sherry. Deborah had the lobster in butter sauce and I the grilled lobster.

My grilled lobster

We shared a half bottle of Bel Colle Roero Arneis 2014 from Piemonte. For dessert, apple streusel. I finished off with a Nonino Amaro. Great meal and wonderful service at Scaramouche, as usual.

Bel Colle Roero Arneis 2014
Scaramouche dinner wine

Friday, January 20th: A Vintages release tasting for February 4th – 116 products. Tasted 61 and will do the rest on Tuesday. French fries on the way home.

Saturday, January 21st: After shopping at Costco, Deborah and I dropped in to Pusateri – talk about going from the ridiculous to the sublime. We marvelled at the meat counter with steaks at engagement ring prices and bought a couple of crab cakes that we will have for lunch tomorrow. For dinner, grilled salmon with a delicious bottle of Kim Crawford Small Parcels Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (pale straw colour; grassy, grapefruit and greengage nose; medium-bodied, dry, intense and beautifully balanced green fruit flavours; fresh and lively on the palate with great length (90)). This is the best Kim Crawford wine I’ve had since Kim Crawford owned the winery.


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