Monday, January 29th: More snow. Deborah and I drove to Toronto to attend the celebration of life for my friend Gordon’s daughter Kim, at the Donalda Club. A very moving event.
Tuesday, January 30th: A lunchtime meeting with the event planner from the Lieutenant Governor’s office to discuss the LG’s annual wine awards. The top-scoring wines from the Ontario Wine Awards will go forward to be judged by an independent panel for receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario wines.
For dinner, with steak, Buena Vista The Count Founder’s Red Wine 2014 ($26.95 – dense purple colour; cedary-savoury nose of vanilla oak, plum and licorice; medium-bodied, blackcurrant and black cherry flavours carried on lively acidity (89)). Drinking this wine, I’m reminded of the grisly fate of the founder of Buena Vista, Count Agoston Haraszthy. On July 6, 1869, he fell from his horse in a river in Nicaragua and was eaten by alligators. There were wine critics even back then.
Wednesday, January 31st: A meet and greet with my new doctor in St. Catharines – Dr. Felicien Mbuyi, who was born in the Congo and studied in South Africa before emigrating to Canada. Dinner at John and Laurie Nadeau’s.
Thursday, February 1st: Spent most of the day inputting wine reviews for the upcoming Vintages release. Tasted Rabl Kittmansberg Grüner Veltliner 2016: deep straw in colour; minerally-stoney nose of green plum and white pepper nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, citrus, green apple and green plum flavours; racy on the palate with a lovely mouth-feel and beautifully balanced. Great value at $16.95. (90).
Took the GO train into Toronto and got off at Mimico, the nearest stop to my friend Joe’s house in the West End, and taxied the rest of the way. Joe had invited Moray Tawse and Geddy Lee for a Burgundy dinner and me to stay the night as I have a Vintages tasting tomorrow. I brought along a bottle of Jean-Claude Boisset Gevrey-Chambertin 2006. We started with Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumées 2011, followed by Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne 2004 and Jayer-Gilles Echézeaux (missed the vintage – but it was great!).
Friday, February 2nd: Joe dropped me at the LCBO for the Vintages tasting – 111 products, of which I tasted 66. Then a quick coffee at Starbucks under Brookfield Place and then on to the Albany Club for a celebration of life for Stanley Hartt. I was asked to propose a toast to Stanley (who was a friend and fraternity brother at McGill along with Leonard Cohen). Caroline Mulroney followed my toast, reading a letter from her father. Took the Megabus back to St. Catharines.