The Date and Time: Tuesday October 3 2017 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Event: Wine With Spirit Winemaker's Dinner
The Venue: Ilhas de Bruma Restaurant, College Street
The Target Audience: consumers and wine press
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available at the Stockyards LCBO store (Destination/Discovery Portugal Wines) or online.
The Quote/Background: Joao Pedro Montes is the Portuguese founder of "Wine With Spirit" a company determined to make wine a lifestyle by embracing specific wine styles with specific foods, and making labels out of them. Pedro Sereno is the winemaker, and together they craft wine blends using mainly indigenous varieties. For example, the white wine that goes with bread and cheese is called "Bread & Cheese", and is made from varying amounts by vintage of fernao pires (50%)/arinto (25%)/viosinho (25%) crafted to being out the best elements of cheese and bread. The red blend for "Bread & Cheese" has syrah/tourigna nacional/castelao in the blend. It is a great concept, to take some of the guesswork out of wine and food matching for unsure beginning consumers and millennials. There is also a red "Meet&Meat" and a white "Seafood&Co". Romantic wines include both a red and a white "Dine With Me Tonight". As Montes says, "we bottle emotions". There are stories to read on each label. And the marketing together makes it all one simple package: there are 14 or so wines all together (two of which are well-oaked), so it is possible to buy a set and use as appropriate. Now, if only they could be packaged as 12 different labels in a case at the LCBO...
The Wines: We tasted the wines separately one by one, with a food course following each wine. The food was buffet-style.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wine With Spirit Bastardo! Black Edition White Tejo [premium] 2015 +341155 $22.75
-Wine With Spirit Meet & Meat Red Tejo 2015 +341163 $17.65
-Wine With Spirit Feijoada & Co Red Alentejo 2015 +327121 $18.50
-Wine With Spirit Dine With Me Tonight Red Alentejo 2015 +327147 $20.20
-Wine With Spirit BASTARDO! Black Edition Red Tejo 2015 [premium] +327196 $25.30
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wine With Spirit Basta! Brut TM Sparkling Wine 2015 +327667 $22.15
-Wine With Spirit Seafood & Co White Vinho Verde 2016 +327675 $17.70
-Wine With Spirit Bread & Cheese White Tejo 2016 +401942 $17.70
-Wine With Spirit Bread & Cheese Red Tejo 2015 +341189 $17.65
-Wine With Spirit Bastardo! Red Tejo 2015 +341130 $17.65
The Food: grand buffet-style for Portuguese food, with cornbread, olives, fresh queso, shrimp croquettes, cod, potato, meat croquettes, chorizo, rices (two kinds), steak, chicken, cooked veggies of various kinds, potatoes, etc.
The Downside: I had just come from a Napa tasting and needed to refresh my palate.
The Upside: good looking wines matched very well with the food I ate from the buffet.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90