Friday, February 24th: Finally got a reservation at Alo, since I wanted to include them in the article Decanter magazine commissioned, entitled “My Toronto.”
Chris, the sommelier, did a fantastic job matching the dishes. The wines: Schloss Gobelsburg “Steinsetz” Grüner Veltliner 2015, Garafoli “Podium” Verdicchio de Castelli dei Jesi 2015, Bernard Fouqet Silxes Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2015, Wilhelm Walsch St. Magdalener 2016, Foradori Morei Teroldego 2013.
Alo’s chef Patrick Kriss
Amazing meal, the best I’ve had in Toronto in eons. The plating was exquisite and the service highly choreographed. They even give you your choice of napkin colour. Not inexpensive but definitely worth it.
Monday, February 27th: Wrote my 680 NEWS wines reviews and the got down to some catch-up tasting as the samples mounted up while we were away in Guatemala.
- Konzelmann Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (Niagara Peninsula): straw colour; spicy, apple nose with an oaky note; full-bodied, dry, pineapple flavour with well-integrated oak and good length. (89)
- Sieur d’Arques Grande Cuvée 1531 Crémant de Limoux Brut (Languedoc Roussillon): pale straw colour; minerally, chalky, green pear nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple and citrus flavours with a lemony finish. (89)
- Kim Crawford Rise & Shine Pinot Noir 2014 (Central Otago): ruby colour; cedary, black raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and raspberry flavours with lively acidity. (88.5)
- Quails’ Gate Gamay Nouveau 2016 (Okanagan Valley): medium ruby colour; cherry nose with a note of vanilla oak; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, fresh and lively raspberry flavour with a sweet rhubarb finish. Nice change from Beaujolais Nouveau. (88.5)
- Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz 2014 (Okanagan Valley): deep purple-ruby colour; sandalwood and blackberry nose with a herbal note; full-bodied, dry, savoury blackberry flavour with lively acidity and a lovely mouth-feel. (89)
- Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Valpolicella Ripasso (Veneto): deep ruby colour; smoky, cherry nose with a note of vanilla oak; medium to full-bodied, dry, sour cherry flavour with creamy oak and a lively acidic spine. (88)
- Coppola Cabernet Sauvignon Ivory Label 2014 (Napa): deep ruby colour; cedary, sinewy blackcurrant nose; full-bodied, dry, blackcurrant flavour with obvious oak influence. (88)
Tuesday, February 28th: Had an appointment with the sleep clinic to purchase a CPAP machine (I’ve had a loaner these past weeks to try and get used to it. Still feels like a cat is sleeping on my face and I’m not). Changed the head gear, which I hope will make a difference as I’m not happy having to take sleeping pills. Spent the rest of the day working on the novel.
Wednesday, March 1st: Recorded my 680 NEWS wine reviews. In the evening, Deborah and I went to see The Book of Mormon – not as great as it was hyped up to be; in fact somewhat offensive.
Thursday, March 2nd: Worked on the Ontario Wine Awards. For dinner with roast chicken, 16 Mile Rebel Pinot Noir 2012 (Niagara Escarpment – $22.95): Deep ruby colour; a nose of raspberries and vanilla oak with a grace note of violets; medium-bodied, dry, in Burgundian style – firmly structured, sweet raspberry flavour, velvety mouth-feel with a solid tannic finish. Hold for two years. (90)
Friday, March 3rd: A Vintages release tasting – 120 wines. Had to nap before going to the annual Drinks Ontario dinner held at the National Club. Really good dinner – my beef tenderloin came almost rare, quite a feat to over 200 people. Unfortunately, Eugene Mlynczyk MW couldn’t be there to accept my Blind Tasting Award but had deputized Paul Henderson to accept the engraved decanter and certificate. Since Eugene has won the award three times he has to retire his palate.