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Sunday, July 23, 2017

* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
24.CHEESECAKE; 60 classic and original recipes for heavenly desserts (Ryland Peters & Small, 2013, 2017, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-831-4, $19.95 US hardbound) is by Hannah Miles, an early winner in UK's MasterChef – in 2007 she was one of three finalists. She continues to make TV appearances for the BBC and has written other cookbooks on popcorn, whoopie pies, and doughnuts. Here, in this reprint of the 2013 edition, she tackles 60 cheesecakes, very easy to make. She begins with a primer. The classics here include chocolate chip and baked vanilla. Then there are the fruity (champagne rhubarb), the candy bar (peanut brittle), the gourmet (salty honey), the party (trifle cheesecake, baked Alaska), and the global (cardamom bun, Japanese cherry blossom). Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no separate table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
25.GRAINS; the definitive guide to cooking seeds & legumes (Hardie Grant Books, 2013, 2016, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-74379216-2 $24.99 USD paperbound) is by Molly Brown. It was originally published in French by Marabout Hachette in 2013, and then in hardbound by Hardie Grant in 2013. This is the paperback reprint with the same material. Brown is a chef and food writer. But it is still pretty hard to cover all this material in just 150 recipes. It is all arranged by course: breakfast, soups, stews, salads, pilaffs, risottos, paellas, dinners, sides, sweets and breads/crackers. Into those 12 divisions there are eight seeds (sesame, chia, hemp, pumpkin, et al), twenty legumes (lentils, beans, peas at al), and twenty grains (oats, rices, wheat, barley, corn, quinoa, millet, er al). So that's 48 types, possibly times 12 courses. Of course, the book must be manageable and there are close dupes in all categories, plus variations. Nevertheless, it is fairly comprehensive, with prep and cooking times, metric and avoirdupois measurements (but no conversion tables). But at the very end of the book, just ahead of the index, there are two statements: eggs are large unless stated otherwise; If not specified, butter should be salted. Both need to come earlier in the book, in a larger typeface. Quality/price rating: 85
 
 
26.A WORLD OF DUMPLINGS (Countryman Press, 2007, 2017, 292 pages, ISBN 978-1-68268-017-9, $24.95 USD paperbound) is by Brian Yarvin, who is a teacher of food and commercial photography as well as the author of five cookbooks. His book was originally published in 2007; the 2017 version has been revised and updated, principally with newer access to "exotic" ingredients. These are filled dumplings, pockets, and global little pies, all arranged by region of the world (Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia, Western Europe, and the Americas. It starts with Japan (gyoza fried dumplings) and ends with Quebec (apple dumplings with mincemeat and cheddar). In between there are more than 100 preps embracing ravioli, pot stickers, samosas, empanadas, Cornish pasties, pierogies, etc. He's got a GF dough for wrapper, but also says in many recipes that you can just leave off the wrapper and cook the inside as a meatball for GF friends, in a separate pot of water. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
27.BARBECUE SAUCES RUBS AND MARINADES (Workman, 2000, 2017, 346 pages, ISBN 978-1-5235-0081-9, $17.95 USD paperbound) is by Steven Raichlen, who has been BBQing over at barbecuebible.com for years. He's published a multitude of award-winning IACP and Beard cookbooks over the years. Portions of this current book were originally published in 2000 as "Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters & Glazes". It's been revised and updated and added to in line with the third season of his PBS show "Steve Raichlen's Project Smoke". It's a good book because he's got over 200 preps for chile-fired ribs, lemony marinades, buttery bastes, flavourful sauces, brines/cures/glazes/salsas/relishes/chutneys. New techniques include cider sprays and dry brining, with many more exotic international flavours such as char siu chicken, smoked venison jerky, Persian saffron lamb, and smoky whipped cream. You'll have fun with this one. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
 
 
28.POSH RICE (Quadrille Publishing, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-902-6 $19.99 USD hardcovers) is by Emily Kydd, who's a recipe writer and a food stylist for Quadrille (verso of the title page). The copyright is in Quadrille's name, and they have published two similar books, one on Nourish Bowls and one on Posh Toast. Here are over 70 recipes for all things rice, from pilaff to pies, puddings to snack bars, arranged by topic of salads, bowls, soups, snacks, supper dishes, sides, and desserts. There's a lamb biryani, a Gruyere zucchini gratin, jeweled rice, and mango with coconut sticky rice. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
 
29.VEGAN ON THE GO (DK, 2016, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-6183-4, $17/95 USD papercovers) is by Jerome Eckmeier and Daniela Lais, both vegans for over a decade and actively involved in veganism in Germany. The book was originally published by DK Verlag in Germany; this is the English translation for North America. The stress is on fast, easy, affordable, anytime, anywhere. So there are 100 preps here, arranged by soups, snacks, salads, mains and sweets. The opening chapters give an overview of the vegan life with strategies for planning ahead, packing and storing food, finding quick options and tactics for eating out. Most of the dishes are very appetizing, and I liked the fact that there were only seven tofu recipes. Try juicy mandarin and chia seed muffins or semolina slice with apple and pear puree, or even a range of spaghetti frittatas. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
30.RISOTTO! RISOTTO! (Absolute Press, 1998, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4729-3320-1 $30 USD hardbound) is by Valentina Harris, well-known food author with more than 30 cookbooks to her name (since 1984, and principally Italian cuisine). This current book was originally published in 1998 by Cassell in the UK. It has been revised and extended, now 20 years later. Risotto has been around in Italy since about the eighth century, and is one of its more famous dishes. She's got pages on making risotto and eating risotto, followed by an illustrated history of risotto and a discussion on the types of rice. Ten varieties are used (arborio, carnaroli, vialone, et al) and their differences are noted. Chapters include making stock, the use of wine, and more. Typical classics are here, such as risi e bisi, Gorgonzola, Parmigiana, Siciliana, orzotto alla primavera (made with barley), and pesto. Milanese is also here, but for some reason, it is not indexed.
Leftovers, of course, become arancini, but she also provides a few more uses. Some of the preps call for adding wine measured as a "wineglass", and she specifies that this volume is about 200 – 250 mL, which to me is too wide a range of some two ounces from the low to the high: another example of having to use a calibrated eyeball in the kitchen. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 22, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  July 22, 2017.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
Sparkling+296426    CATHEDRAL CELLAR BRUT SPARKLING 2010 Methode Cap Classique WO Western Cape $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92 
W+328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY    WO Western Cape    2015    $16.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+496422    CHÂTEAU HAUT ROZIER CUVÉE SAINT VINCENT    AC Côtes de Bordeaux        2010    $16.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91+
 
20 under $20
=========
W+82461    PIERRE-LUC BOUCHAUD MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE    Sur lie, AC        2015    $14.95      12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+190546    ANSELMO MENDES PASSAROS VINHO VERDE DOC 2015    $13.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+267146    OAK BAY PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    Gebert Family, St. Hubertus    2013    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+330241    STERLING MERLOT Napa Valley        2012    $19.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+387647    JANARE FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO    DOP    La Guardiense    2015    $16.95
MVC/QPR:  89
R+483404    LAS CEPAS COSTALARBROL DOCa Rioja  2013 $16.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+485656    LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC    AC    M. Chapoutier    2015    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+492546    SARTORI REFOSCO DAL PEDUNCOLO ROSSO IGT Delle Venezie 2015    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+494112    ALTA VISTA CLASSIC MALBEC    Mendoza 2015 $15.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+498915    MADAME CLAUDE PARMENTIER FITOU 2015 $15.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+510339    ARBOLEDA SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC    Aconcagua Costa        2015    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+515270    KEW BARREL AGED GAMAY NOIR    VQA Niagara Peninsula 2014    $17.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+595306    THORN-CLARKE TERRA BAROSSA SHIRAZ    Barossa, South Australia    2015    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+928390    WILLY GISSELBRECHT TRADITION GEWURZTRAMINER    AC Alsace    2015    $19.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+89011    FEATHERSTONE SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 88
R+134585    UMANI RONCHI MONTIPAGANO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO DOC    2015    $13.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+166579    MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS SAN JOSÉ DE AGUARÓN RESERVA    DO Cariñena    2012    $14.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+447292    NORTH 43° CABERNET FRANC    VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake 2013    $12.95     12.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+295709    RABL GRÜNER VELTLINER DAC Kamptal 2015 $14.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
R+261784    PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP        2014    $22.95        14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+377770    QUAILS' GATE CHARDONNAY    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2014    $23.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+455667    CHÂTEAU LA FLEUR POURRET    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru        2009    $38.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+86603    DOMAINE VOARICK CLOS PARADIS MERCUREY 1ER CRU AP 2014    $36.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+167312    LUCA MALBEC Uco Valley, Mendoza    2014    $35.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+241182    CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment        2013    $35.20     MVC/QPR: 90
R244814    XAVIER CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE AC     2012    $44.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+295808    CHÂTEAU LA GRAVETTE LACOMBE    AC Médoc    2012    $23.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+357475    DANDELION LIONESS OF MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ    Single vineyard, McLaren Vale, South Australia        2015    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+410761    BREMERTON COULTHARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Langhorne Creek, South Australia        2014    $24.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+420711    SEVEN FALLS MERLOT    Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley        2012    $20.95
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+447433    KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCELS CORNER 50 VINEYARD MERLOT/CABERNET    Hawkes Bay, North Island        2013    $29.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+487462    THEULOT JUILLOT VIEILLES VIGNES MERCUREY    AC    Natalie Juillot et Jean-Claude Theulot    2015    $31.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+488817 SYLVAIN MOSNIER BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2014 $34.95  MVC/QPR: 88
R+489450    YANNICK ALLÉNO & MICHEL CHAPOUTIER GUER-VAN CROZES-HERMITAGE    AC        2014    $29.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+489468    BERNARD FOUQUET LE PETIT CLOS DRY VOUVRAY    Domaine des Aubuisières, AC        2015    $21.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+496414    CASTELFORTE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    DOCG        2013    $29.95
15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+708826    PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO BARBARESCO    DOCG        2012    $46.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Event: Descorchados (Latin America) 2017 Trade and media Tasting in Toronto June 8/17

The Date and Time: Thursday June 8 2017  1:30PM to 4:30PM
The Event: Descorchados (Latin America) 2017 Trade and media Tasting in Toronto
The Venue: 2nd Floor Events, King and Spadina
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: The tasting notes booklet was arranged in table order; unfortunately, the table placards had no number on them. The best approach, then, was going from table 1 to table 48 with no jumping around. However, the tables were only in order by row, which meant that if you wanted order you must go down the row on the right to the end and then bounce back to the beginning to go down the left-hand row, etc. This could have been obviated by putting table numbers on the placards. Anyway, I got great exercise – in the heat.
The Quote/Background: Four countries were here: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
The Wines: There were 46 wineries with 22 varietals and over 200 wines in all. I just tasted the table wines. Listings are based on the book-catalogue. Agents listed where known.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Chardonnay 2015 Argentina  $25.95
-Trapiche Gran Medalla Chardonnay 2015 Argentina
-Laura Catena Luca Chardonnay 2015 Argentina
-Navarro Correas Alegoria Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2015 Argentina $22.95 PO Kirkwood Diamond
-Zuccardi Finca Piedra Infinita Malbec 2014 Argentina +433862 $119
-Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Chile +18721 Vintages $17.95
-Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Mas Andes Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
-Luis Felipe Edwards Marea Chardonnay 2015 Leyda $19.99
-Perez Cruz Pircas de Liguai Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo Andes  $40
-San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Maipo  $19.95
-Ventisquero Tara White Wine 1 Chardonnay 2014 Atacama  $50 – 52
-William Cole Mirador Selection Chardonnay 2016 Casablanca  $15.95  Abcon
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Finca La Moras Gran Syrah 2014 Argentina $25
-Mascota Vineyards Opi Chardonnay 2016 Argentina $10.95
-Garzon Single Vineyard Albarino 2016 Uruguay  $23
-Vinedo de Los Vientos Estival Gewurzt/Chardonnay/Moscato 2016 Uruguay $17 TBD 
-Zuccardi Aluvional Gualtallary Malbec 2014 Argentina $80  Dionysus
-Zuccardi Poligonos del Valle de Uco 2015 Argentina $29.95 Dionysus
-Tarapaca Gran reserva Pinot Noir Chile +404210 Vintages $17.95
-Aquitania Sol de Sol Chardonnay 2012 Chile  $35 US
-Baron Philippe de Rothschild Casablanca Escudo Rojo Sauvignon Blanc 2016
-Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Limari Chardonnay 2016
-Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block No 18 El Recurso Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Maipo
-Koyle Costa Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Colchagua Costa  $22
-Laberinto Wines Cenizas de Laberinto Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Maule-Colbun
-Maquis Gran Reserva Carmenere 2013 Colchagua   $15.95  Halpern
-Maquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Colchagua  $15.96  Halpern
-Miguel Torres Cordillera Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Elqui  Family Wine Merchants
-Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016  $16.95
-Santa Carolina Luis Pereira Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Chile  $200 Charton Hobbs
-Santa Ema Amplus Chardonnay 2015 Leyda $17.95
-Santa Ema Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Leyda  $15.95 Vintages
-Tabali Talinay Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Limari
-William Cole Mirador Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Casablanca  $15.95  Abcon
 
The Food: charcuterie, sausages, cheese, breads.
The Downside: event organizers continue to amaze me by finding new ways to make it difficult to get to a table you want to visit. Here, it was the sequence of rows.
The Upside: we got a free copy of the Descorchados book!!
The Contact Person: events@winealign.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Event: Inaugural tasting of premium wines and spirits from the Independent Consignment Wine Agents group.

The Date and Time: Wednesday June 28, 2017  1PM to 4PM
The Event: Inaugural tasting of premium wines and spirits from the Independent Consignment Wine Agents group.
The Venue: George, Queen Street
The Target Audience: wine writers, sommeliers, consumer clients.
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available, some at the LCBO the balance from the agent.
The Quote/Background: There are 20 members of the ICWA who have banded together mainly as a co-operative marketing tool for the Consignment and Private Ordering warehouse. Five of the members put on a great mini-show today.
The Wines: Agents were: Amethyst, Context, Mondo Vino, Violet Hill, and Wharton Fine Wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Gilbert Gaillard St. Chinian $18  Wharton
-Balbi Soprani Brachetto d'Acqui Spunmante Dolci NV $18  Wharton
-S.Ilarione Rosso 2013 Calabria $17   Wharton
-Boucabeille Cotes du Roussillon Rouge 2015 $21 Context
-Chateau Laulerie Bergerac 2014  $18  Violet Hill
-Sogevinus Veedha Douro Red $15 +255851
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Rosado 2016 [Tempranillo] $17 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Barrica 2015 $19 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Reserva 2010 $37 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero MB 2011 $52 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Cantina Nals Margreid Lyra Gewurztraminer Cru 2014  $31  Mondo Vino
-Az. Ag. Perticaia Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2010 Umbria  $30  Mondo Vino
-Weingut Hauck Quarzit Riesling QBA Trocken 2014 Nahe $23 Violet Hill
-Domaine Viranel Aromas Sauvages St Chinian 2015  $23  Violet Hill
-Monte dei Roari Palustrel IGT Veneto 2012  $22 Violet Hill
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico 2012 $24 Wharton
-Me Gustas Tu Tempranillo 2013Catalunya $17  Wharton
-Winbirri Vineyards Bacchus 2015 Norfolk England [white] $55 Wharton
-Pfeffingen Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc 2015  $22  Context
-Pfeffingen Spatburgunder Pinot Noir 2015  $29 Context
-Aculei Barolo 2013 La Bioca $55 Context
-Chateau Massereau 2014 Bordeaux Superior $26  Context
-Martin Berdugo Rueda Verdejo 2016 $22 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Joven 2015 $15 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Crianza 2013 $27 LCBO Online/Products of the World Store
-Az. Ag. Perticaia Montefalco Umbria Rosso IGT 2015  $18  Mondo Vino
-Az. Ag. Le Salette I Progni Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2014 Veneto $30 Mondo Vino
-Az. Votino Cocceius Sannio Taburno Falaghina Campania $20 Mondo Vino
-Domaine de Torraccia Christian Imbert et Fils Rouge AOP Corse 2013 $27 Mondo Vino
-Monte dei Roari Bardolino Le Reboi 2015 $18 Violet Hill
-Domaine Desire Petit Arbois Trousseau 2014 Jura  $35  Violet Hill
-Weinrieder Gruner Veltliner Klassik 2015  $22  Violet Hill
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Staffa Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2015 $21  Context
-Boucabeille Les Terrasses Cotes du Roussillon Blanc 2015 $21 Context
-Cantina Nals Margreid Muller Thurgau Alto Adige 2015 $20  Mondo Vino
-Livio Pavese Mantarucco Monferrato Piedmont 2006  $25  Violet Hill
 
The Food: excellent assortment of PRE-CUT cheeses, breads, focaccia, dips (avocado, tapenade, creamy cheese).
The Downside: My pupils were still dilated from the optometrist visit, but at least I could see in the semi-darkness.
The Upside: a chance to taste some wines from agents who almost never pour at shows.
The Contact Person: laura@amethystwine.ca; philipdwharton@hotmail.com; dee@violethillwine.com; Mondo Vino = dcastricone@sympatico.ca; Context = markjohnjacoby@gmail.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Event: British Beverage Showcase June 22/17

The Date and Time: Thursday, June 22, 2017   3:00 Pm to 6 PM
The Event: British Beverage Showcase
The Venue: Wychwood Barns
The Target Audience: alcohol beverage trade (wines, beers, spirits)
The Availability/Catalogue: all products are in play in Ontario, with certain exceptions – they will come in later.
The Quote/Background: I was only interested in beer and ciders
The Beers: I sampled 7 beers plus a cider (Caple Rd Cider Blend No. 3 500 mL $2.95 +498014, rated BETTER 3.5 stars). For starters I had some Hush Heath 1503 Balfour Classic Cuvee, TBD for Classics Catalogue, about $45, made in traditional method (rated BETTER 3.5 stars). For dessert I had a small snort of Thunder Toffee and Vodka Spirit Drink (29.9%, 375 mL, $23.95 +496067 rated BETTER 3.5 stars).
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Innis & Gunn Bourbon Cask Dark Ale 330mL 7.4%  $2.95  +478297
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Innis & Gunn IPA 6 x 330 mL 5.6% $14.50 +493627
-Elvis Juice Grapefruit Infused IPA 330 mL 6.5%  40 IBU $3.25 +489385
-Wychwood Brewery Hobgoblin Gold 500 mL 4.5% 35 IBU $2.75 +488445
-Hall & Woodhouse Badger Fursty Ferret  McClelland Premium Imports
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Charlie Wells Dry Hopped Lager 500 mL 4.7%  27 IBU $2.65 +476887 
-Harviestoun Brewery Raspy Engine Raspberry Porter $3.20 Kinetic Brands/Imprese
 
The Food: traditional, but with new spins: pig in a blanket, roast beef in yorkshire pudding tarts, toad-in-the-hole with avocado and quail egg, "fish and chips" (upscale seafood in tacos), Stilton and cheddar cheeses, clotted cream and strawberry preserves, biscuits and scones.
The Downside: not enough beer or cider for me to sample.
The Upside: it has been a couple of years since we had a UK beer show – the last was in October 2014 at The Caledonian, and it was all Scottish beer and ciders.
The Contact Person: isabell.french@mobile.trade.gov.uk
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Event: The Art of Blending Olive Oils Master Class by Giovanni Zucchi.

The Date and Time: Tuesday June 20, 2017   2:30 PM to 5:30 PM
The Event: The Art of Blending Olive Oils Master Class by Giovanni Zucchi.
The Venue: Aria Ristorante, York Street
The Target Audience: food bloggers
The Availability/Catalogue: "Olive Oil Doesn't Grow on Trees" is the name of his book on the art of blending, which is what his family Oleificio Zucchi has done since 1810. The website www.zucchi.com lists a wide variety of blends, including Italian EVOO and EVOO from other EU countries. There is also a range of two organic EVOO and four PDO and PGI. There are also nine different flavoured EVOO and four vinegars.
The Quote/Background: Giovanni Zucchi led a seminar on the kinds and complexities of different olive oil cultivars. We were to blend our own extra virgin olive oil which came from four different regions. New combination of flavours are important, through synthesis, like the blends of coffee beans and wines, and even cheeses.
The Oils: we were not told the regions until afterwards. My own notes follow –
 
Bottle A: slightly bitter and pungent, a bit vegetal (Andalusian Spain)
Bottle B: thick, fruity, soft finish (Spain)
Bottle C: peppery, bright, long length (Tuscany)
Bottle D: thick, soft, slight pepper finish (Crete) – my fave
 
I blended C and D, and topped up with some A. we were allowed to take home our "finished" bottle.
 
The Food: we had a tasting menu which followed – with green apples, lobster taco, breads, several apps for food (shrimp, veggies, cheeses) plus sparkling Fiol Prosecco.
The Downside: it started late.
The Upside: a chance to connect with food bloggers.
The Contact Person: mdeangelo@colangelopr.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Event: Exclusive seminar/tasting of La Tordera's Proseccos June 13/17

The Date and Time: Tuesday June 13, 2017  3:30PM to 5:30 PM
The Event: Exclusive seminar/tasting of La Tordera's Proseccos
The Venue: GBC Chef's House Tasting Lab
The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available through Katy Moore of K Cellars.
The Quote/Background: Matteo Burani from La Tordera spoke on the origins of the company. They started vineyards in 1918 in the steep hills of Valdobbiadene and then moved to wine production only in 2003. The non-grafted root stock grapes are all hand-harvested and estate-grown and bottled. They have a green certificate from CasaClima. Three of the wines have been submitted to Vintages, but most are just private orders through K Cellars.
The Wines: We tasted five wines (they make at least eight), all of them vintage dated.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Tordera Gabry Rose Brut 178.32 per case of 12
-La Tordera Superiore di Cartizze DOCG $35 bottle retail [their top wine]
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Tordera Saomi Brut (90% glera, 10% chardonnay) – lightest of all the wines $183.48 per case of 12 Licensee
-La Tordera Brunei Brut  $212.88 per case of 12
-La Tordera Serrai Extra Dry  $212.88 per case of 12
 
The Food: appetizers and bites of sausages, mushroom quiche, chocolate squares.
The Downside: I had just come from a very heavy Australian wine trade show, so I was a bit rushed.
The Upside: this was my first Prosecco seminar from just one producer.
The Contact Person: katymoore60@gmail.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, July 10, 2017

SOME NEW BEVERAGES TASTED THIS JUNE 2017 –

 
 
1.Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2016 VQA Ontario, +270926 LCBO $14.95: As with their previous baco noirs at all levels, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy character and the price (it has been $14.95 for awhile). Both new and older US barrels are used for more than six months aging (24% new oak). It is still too young for today [only seven months old], needs another year or two. 13% ABV. One of the top General List bacos in Ontario. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
 
2.Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier 2015 IGP Pays d'Oc, +147975, $14.95 Vintages: aromatic but on the dry side, perfect as a social wine or for first course. Expect peachy and orange character, but of course no oak. Youthful and useful with nuances of orchard fruit and spicy nuts. Could go either way with or without food. Versatile. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
3.Torres Salmos 2014 Priorat, +450734 $35.95 Vintages: a delicious red fruit concoction like Chateauneuf-du-Pape with its carinena, garnacha and syrah blend. 14.5% ABV. Expect meatiness and berries, and extremely long finish. Aged in French oak for 14 – 16 months. Of course, much better in a few years (will hold a decade). Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Concilio Pinot Grigio Trentino DOC 2016 +637595 LCBO: loaded as much as a PG can be with orchard fruit finishing dry on the palate. But uncomplicated. Fresh, fresh, fresh and plenty good for the patio/deck of the hot days ahead. Sip or with food – your choice (maybe both ways?). Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Chevalier Monopole Rose Dry Methode Traditionelle NV +485920 Vintages $16.95: a veritable bargain since it is a sparkler at a still wine price. Champagne-method of secondary fermentation, aged nine months, 12% ABV, just perfect for the summer patio/deck campaign. If you like affordable bubbles, then this is it from southern France, with gamay, cinsault, cabernet and bobal grapes in the field blend. Nothing like red fruit in summer (black fruit in winter)....Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
6.Buena Vista Winery Chardonnay 2015 North Coast +396440 Vintages $24.95: it's hard to distinguish among California chardonnays at this price level, so go for the cool climate ones. The 2015 harvest here was early in August, so the wine has aged well with nine months in stainless and French oak (10% new). Expect the typical baked apple and fresh apple, vanilla, orchard fruit, and some citrus tones on the finish. Nuances abound, such as in smoke. A contemplative wine, don't waste it on the patio – there's enough finishing acid to pair with a first course. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.Southbrook Vineyards Seriously Cool Red 2013 VQA Ontario, $15.95 +453639 LCBO: an interesting blend of pinot noir (65%), gamay (25%), zweigelt (8%) and syrah (2%) from sustainable vineyards. The wine is also suitable for vegans. It is all stainless steel, with twist top, at 12.5% ABV. Expect classic Ontario red fruit (cherry-berry) plus some tart cranberry for refreshment and finish. Can be either a sipper or foodwine or both. The back label has little description; it would have been nice to know the grape names and proportions. Other Ontario wineries do this. I actually like this wine a lot better than I did a year ago, so it is capable of aging, and I think next year it will be even better. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
8.Southbrook Vineyards Serious Cool Chardonnay 2016 VQA Ontario, $14.95 +457481 LCBO: a blend of chardonnay and chardonnay musque, 50% of each (last year's vintage had a dollop of added riesling). The residual sugar is 5 g/l, less than the comparable Seriously Cool Red. The winery notes that half of the grapes were harvested from vineyards transitioning to organic, so the source vineyards are at least "sustainable plus". A good quaffer or social wine or even a first course white wine, displaying Ontario orchard fruit (apple, peach, et al) in a light mode, and some citric tones. Best with cheeses served on the patio. 11.8% ABV. The back label has little description; it would have been nice to know the proportions of the two chardonnay varieties used. Other Ontario wineries do this. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
9.Southbrook Vineyards Serious Cool Rose 2016 VQA Ontario, $14.95 Winery Direct: a blend of pinot noir and vidal [the latter transitioning to organic], with upfront strawberry and perfumed aromatics, finishing with a savoury bite suitable for sipping on its own as an aperitif or as a first course foodwine. Best in summer, of course. 11.5% ABV. The back label has little description; it would have been nice to know the proportions of the grapes used. Other Ontario wineries do this. Quality/Price rating is 89-90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
10.Huff Estates Pinot Gris 2016 VQA Ontario, $22 at winery: from vineyards in PEC (80%) and Tawse Winery (20%). Stress is on the old Alsatian style and uses the "gris" descriptor rather than the more-common "grigio". "Gris" usually indicates more white floral and white fruit aromatics, and floral consistency right through to an enticing finish. Body is firmer and colouring is more straw or yellowish. Useful as an aperitif or first course wine, but it is more demanding than a regular sipper. 12.5% ABV. 900 cases. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
 
11,Huff Estates Riesling Off Dry 2016 VQA Ontario, $20 at winery: I did not find this "off-dry" (RS 17g/l), but rather a typical Ontario Riesling with fruity body and finishing acidity. More a first course or aperitif than a sipper as the label may imply. Good balance of tropical fruit sweetness and citric acidity. 11.5% ABV. 1600 cases. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
12.Huff Estates Merlot 2016 VQA Ontario, $20 at winery: very fruity, maybe fruit gone wild, no oak or other aging – just stainless steel. Typically bright red and black fruit style, cherry-berry even. Slightly tannic finish at this point, expected to smooth out over the next year or so. One of the better merlot wines in Ontario. First course or cheese. 13% ABV. 700 cases. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
13.Huff Estates Rose 2016 VQA Ontario, $19 at winery: made totally from cabernet franc with 12 hours of skin contact during fermentation. Lovely pale colour, aromatics and first palate of strawberries and then the typical cranberry textures and finish for an Ontario wine. Light herbaceous suggests food on the patio or some first course app.
12.5% ABV. 900 cases. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
14.Cardone Archita Gioia del Colle Primitivo 2014 Puglia, $24.95 +488383 Vintages: there is a lot going on here that should also appeal to zinfandel lovers. Behind a sheen of chocolate and coffee (North American appeal), there is a range of stewed and jammy dark fruit, somewhat raisinated but tempered with a sweet toasted smoke feel in the long finish. Good bang for the buck. Others have noted that the 2014 vintage is the best ever for Archita. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
15.Giuseppe B. CARPANO ANTICA FORMULA VERMOUTH, +360248 Vintages,  $16.95 for 375 mL: a revelation in the vermouth world, created in 1786. This is red vermouth,  emphasizing vanilla, dried fruit, dates and orange zest. Bitter-sweet, with some gentian root notes. 16.5% ABV, long persistent finish, best on the rocks as an aperitif or after a meal straight up. Many Toronto bars use it in their cocktails, such as the Negroni or Manhattan. Quality/Price rating is 94 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
16.CARPANO BIANCO DRY, $22.95 litre, Private Order from Majestic Wine Cellars: a nifty vermouth to savour or to use in blends with cocktails. Expect peppery-like citrus, oily and fruity (nectarine) textures, and dry enough to show off herbs and botanicals. It has more vanilla tones than expected, but the sweetness has been mitigated (about RS 30 gr/L). It's even got Cretan dittany (hop marjoram) as an herb. Not for really dry martinis, but great as an aperitif on the rocks, on its own for a comfort drink, or as a cocktail. 18% ABV, long fnish like wine. It may be coming to the LCBO, so watch for it. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
17.Fratelli Branca Fernet-Branca Amer/Bitters, +220145 Vintages, $23.10 for 500 mL: this is one of the top dry bitters of the world. Here are 27 herbs and spices aged in oak for a year. It can be enjoyed with beer, mixed drinks, on the rocks, or with soda/pop drinks. But it is best straight. 40% ABV, with that characteristic gentian and vanilla/oak matured flavour. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Event: Boxcars & beers: the Cheese Train (Stouffville-Uxbridge return)

The Date and Time: Wednesday July 5, 2017  9:30 AM to 4PM
The Event: Boxcars & beers: the Cheese Train (Stouffville-Uxbridge return)
The Venue: The York-Durham Heritage Railway "Cheese Train", Second Wedge Brewing Company, The Passionate Cook's Essentials (all Uxbridge).
The Target Audience: food writers and bloggers – more than a dozen.
The Availability/Catalogue: Second Wedge Brewing Company is only a year and a half old, it is not yet at the LCBO for wider distribution [https://thesecondwedge.ca/about-us/],
The Passionate Cook's Essentials [http://thepassionatecook.ca/about-us/], Cheese by Cecilia [http://cheesebycecilia.com/], and the York-Durham Heritage Railway [http://ydhr.ca/train] are all partners in this endeavour.
The Quote/Background: Boxcars and Beers: "The Cheese Train" is a 90 minute "Taste of Ontario" with professional fromager Cecilia Smith and brewery owner/certified beer judge Joanne Richter. It's a series of five beer and cheese pairings of Southern Ontario cheeses and Uxbridge's own The Second Wedge craft brewery. Cheeses range from mild to strong, and include such notables as Monforte's Providence and Glengarry's Celtic Blue. There is even an Uxbridge firm cheese from Carpe Diem Farm ("Durham") made from sheep's milk. Cecilia takes the lead in describing the origins of Ontario cheese farms, how to taste cheese and then how to taste the first cheese. Joanne follows with how to taste beer and then taste the first beer, and Cecilia then returns to examine the pairing of the first cheese with the first beer, and what to look out for. And plenty of time for a Q. and A. at any point. The pattern repeats for the other four cheeses. Servings of cheeses were generous, and beers were five ounce pours. Meanwhile, the train is moving from Stouffville to Uxbridge at a leisurely pace, with plenty of rustic views. At the end of the first trip, there is a take-home tasting glass and tasting notebook. On the layover, there is a pause to enjoy the brewery for further tastings, leading to their beer garden. All three trips are on Sundays (July 16, July 30, and August 27) so there is an opportunity to visit the Uxbridge Farmers' Market and/or downtown historic Uxbridge with The Passionate Cook's Essentials which also houses the cheeses for sale. Many more details and ticket purchases are at http://ydhr.ca/train/boxcars-beer-the-cheese-train/
 
The Beers and Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau des Charmes Rose Cuvee d'Andree 2015 VQA
-Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Estate 2013 Paul Bosc Vineyards VQA
-The Second Wedge Brewing Company 3 Rocks India Pale Ale  6%ABV, 52IBU
-The Second Wedge Brewing Company Monday Night Piper Scottish Ale  4.8%ABV, 27IBU
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Second Wedge Brewing Company Portage and Main (heather oat ale) 4.5%ABV, 20IBU [seasonal]
-The Second Wedge Brewing Company Elgin Blonde Ale  4.3%ABV, 30IBU
-The Second Wedge Brewing Company Day Tripper Pale Ale  4.2%ABV, 21IBU [seasonal]
-The Second Wedge Brewing Company Rain Maker Porter  4.8%ABV, 27IBU
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bachelder "Parfum" Pinot Noir 2014 VQA
 
The Food: It came from a variety of sources – cheeses included Albert's Leap Bella Marie Brie from Quality Cheese in Vaughan (paired with Elgin Blonde), Oxford Harvest from Gunn's Hill in Woodstock (paired with Day Tripper), Providence [my fave here] from Monforte Dairy in Stratford (paired with 3 Rocks), Durham from Carpe Diem Farm in Uxbridge (paired with Monday Night Piper), and Celtic Blue [also my fave here] from Glengarry Fine Cheese in Lancaster (paired with Rain Maker). I found the pairings to be spot on, especially the first three. The last two beers could have accompanied either of the last two cheeses. In general, I like tasting food against alcohol, although I usually prefer to cross-taste which leads to lots of comparison (and takes time, also with much palate rinsing). We needed to use our water bottles. I am sure water will be on the train for the paying customers. On the cheese plate there were slices of organic apricots and a piece of Uxbridge's Desbarres bean to bar chocolate [https://www.desbarreschocolate.com], which was appreciated with the Porter. For a media lunch at the brewery, we were treated to three items from Urban Pantry Restaurant [http://urbanpantry.ca] in Uxbridge: bison sliders and goat cheese on brioche buns, pulled pork and red onion jam on brioche bread, and wilted organic greens on boursin crostini. All delicious and terrific with beer made by brew master Doug Warren who took us on the tour of the beermaking process. After that, it was off to another media treat at Lisa Hutchinson and Chef Erin Monaghan's The Passionate Cook's Essentials. Lisa and Erin did a demo of one of her most popular seminars: making pizza. They made six different pizzas in a matter of minutes, and we media had samples accompanied by wine (see above for the wines). Her store has cooking classes, cooking tools, jars and cans of food, frozen foods cooked in-house for home use, and a cheese counter.
The Downside: It was such a calm day in Toronto traffic that I arrived super-early for the bus trip to Stouffville, and we arrived in Stouffville super-early before boarding the train. I had a lot of time to kill, totaling well-over an hour. But I had lots to read about our media jaunt.
The Upside: a really good chance to explore a heritage train. Visit the website to find all of its glorious history, including restoration schemes. We had a dynamic trip in a train with five coaches on the original track laid to provide Gooderham & Worts in the new Distillery District with grain and lumber (July 1871, as the Toronto and Nipissing Railway). Of course, the return trip in those days was full of distilled spirits. The York-Durham Heritage Railway partners in quite a few tourist excursions.
The Contact Person: cshibinsky@gmail.com; info@thesecondwedge.ca; ydhr@ydhr.ca;
sboyle@centralcounties.ca; lisa@thepassionatecook.ca; cecilia@cheesebycecilia.com;
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for July 8, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  July 8, 2017.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FIND --
 
R+356089    CONDE DE VALDEMAR CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO    DOCa Rioja    2012    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
 
20 under $20
=========
R+171025    DOMAINE PUIG-PARAHY CUVÉE GEORGES    AC Côtes du Roussillon        2015    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+194753    RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja, Spain    Bodega Francos-Espanolas    2011    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+268805    PAGO DE VALDONEJE MENCIA    DO Bierzo    Vinos Valtuille    2015    $14.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+313791    LUDOVICUS TINTO DO Terra Alta 2013 $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+320499    BASTIDE MIRAFLORS SYRAH/VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE  Côtes de Roussillon    Domaine Lefage    2015    $19.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
W+439398    EMILIANA NATURA UNOAKED CHARDONNAY Casablanca Valley 2016    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+481093    OCHOA CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO    DO Navarra    2012    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+486043    PRIMUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley    2013    $19.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+499855 INVIVO CHARDONNAY Gisborne, North Island 2016 $16.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+675421    MULDERBOSCH CHENIN BLANC    WO Western Cape        2016    $14.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+951889    IRONSTONE OLD VINE ZINFANDEL Lodi 2014 $17.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+561142    CATHEDRAL CELLAR SHIRAZ    WO Western Cape    KWV    2014    $16.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+155804    CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN    AC        2015    $18.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+161398    LANDER-JENKINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    California    2014    $19.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+376822    WILDASS MERLOT    VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake    Stratus Vineyards    2015    $16.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+383547    AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN RED    WO Paarl    2013    $15.95
14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+488882    HERSANDIERE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE    Sur lie, AC    2015    $15.95    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+492561    FARINA VALPOLICELLA    DOC    2015    $14.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+173252    VELENOSI VILLA ANGELA PECORINO    DOCG Offida    2015    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+413948    CHÂTEAU HAUT PEYRAUD    AC Côtes de Bordeaux – Blaye 2012    $16.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+68817    HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE CHARDONNAY    VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2014    $29.95         13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+74781    DOMAINE SIGALAS ASSYRTIKO/ATHIRI    AP Santorini    2015    $21.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+172338    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2015    $24.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+269357    CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley        2015    $20.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+312140    FINCA VILLACRECES PRUNO    DO Ribera del Duero    2015    $21.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+396440    BUENA VISTA CHARDONNAY    North Coast    Boisset Collection    2015    $24.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+414219    FOXEN TINAQUAIC VINEYARD ESTATE CHARDONNAY    Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara     2014    $52.95    13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+429142    SIGNAE MONTEFALCO SAGRANTINO    DOCG     2009    $27.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+446484    DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS    DO Bierzo    2015    $24.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+446682    VASSE FELIX FILIUS CABERNET/MERLOT    Margaret River, Western Australia        2015    $24.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+450734 TORRES SALMOS DOCa Priorat Miguel Torres 2014 $31.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+465724    RODNEY STRONG SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY Sonoma Coast 2014    $29.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+512178    BACHELDER WISMER VINEYARD FOXCROFT BLOCK CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2013    $44.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+652875    RIDGE THREE VALLEYS    Sonoma County 2014    $44.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+928622    LAN GRAN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2008    $34.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+499558    DARK HORSE ONE HORSE TOWN PINOT NOIR    VQA Ontario    2013    $24.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+219725    GIANT STEPS PINOT NOIR Yarra Valley, Victoria Innocent Bystander    2015    $30.95    13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+493379    INTRINSIC CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley, Washington 2014    $39.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+184432    NORMAN HARDIE UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Peninsula    2015    $39.20    11.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Event: Australia Up Close; Wine Australia celebrates the diversity of fine Australian wine. June 13/17

The Date and Time: Tuesday June 13, 2017  11AM to 4PM
The Event: Australia Up Close; Wine Australia celebrates the diversity of fine Australian wine.
The Venue: Design Exchange
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were generally available at the LCBO or through the agent, with some private orders.
The Quote/Background: Mark Davidson led off the seminar with descriptions of the 10 or so wines for focusing. My ratings have been blended in with the general tastings below.
The Wines: I did not try every wine.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Janz Tasmania Premium Cuvee NV $26.95
-Shaw + Smith M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2014  $34
-Voyager Broadvale Block 6 Margaret River Chardonnay 2014  $55  Rogers & Co
-Pepper Tree Varietal Range Wrattonbully Merlot 2014  $22.95  Azureau
-Pepper Tree Single Vineyard Calcare Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013  $39.95 +493601
-Pepper Tree Single Vineyard Coquun Hunter Shiraz 2014  $70 +483461
-Lake Breeze Arthur's Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Malbec 2013 $64.95  Azureau
-Lake Breeze Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $31.95  Azureau
-Lake Breeze Bernoota Langhorne Creek Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $28.95  Azureau
-Voyager Estate Girt by Sea Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2013 $28  +2265217 Rogers&Co
-Voyager Estate Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $70  +2283256 Rogers&Co
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon 2011 Hunter Valley $29.99  B & W
-Grossett Watervale Clare Valley Riesling 2016  $43
-Alpha Crucis Tital McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015  $29.95
-d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie McLaren Vale Shiraz Viognier 2012  $29.95 +936971
-Vasse Felix Filius Margaret River Chardonnay 2016 $24.95  +448415
-Dalrymple Tasmania Pinot Noir 2015  $42.95  +299379
-Peter Lehmann The Barossan Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015  $21.95 +522235 Nov 2017
-Wakefield Jaraman Clare Valley Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  $24.95 +142398
-Voyager Estate Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 $24  +2437879 Rogers&Co
-Voyager Estate Margaret River Shiraz 2013 $38  +2265242 Rogers&Co
-Voyager Estate Margaret River Girt By Sea Chardonnay 2016 $28  +2283332 Rogers&Co
-Voyager Estate Margaret River Chardonnay 2014 $46  +2283268 Rogers&Co
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alpha Crucus McLaren Vale Fiano 2016  $27.95   Azureau
-BK Wines Skin 'n' Bones Adelaide Hills White 2006  $35
-Spinifex Lola Barossa Valley White 2015  $34
-Brash Higgins ZBO Riverland Zibibbo 2016  $30
-Alpha Box & Dice Golden Mullet Fury Semillon Viognier 2015  $25  Autentic
 
The Food: prosciutto and ham and salami, international cheeses, breads and preserves and different mustards.
The Downside: the seminar started late and went on beyond the time specified. It was also only slightly more than half-full.
The Upside: Mark Davidson is an amazing seminar presenter.
The Contact Person: canada@wineaustralia.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: A tasting of some fine Ontario syrah at Cafe Megz

The Date and Time: Sunday June 11, 2017  1PM to 4PM
The Event: A tasting of some fine Ontario syrah.
The Venue: Writer Jason Solanki's abode at Chez Megz
The Target Audience: invited wine media guests
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were available in the Ontario system, although some were from private cellars.
The Quote/Background: we were given a list of the 16 wines and invited to taste through them and rate them, or whatever.
The Wines: We had five Syrah from Kacaba, four from Creekside, and one each from seven others. Only the Jackson Triggs and the Legends were labeled Shiraz.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
(94) Kacaba Terraced Vineyard Syrah 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment $29.95...perhaps atypical because of some brett tones and aging, but it was definitely a North Rhone syrah with 8% viognier co-fermentation...
(93) Creekside Broken Press Syrah 2008 Queenston Road Vineyard VQA St David's Bench Niagara +202127 $42.95 ...well-aged, Rhonish, best with food...
(92) Kacaba Silver Bridge Vineyard Syrah 2013 VQA Niagara Escarpment $29.95...delicious syrah intensity...
(91) Kacaba Reserve Syrah 2012 VQA Niagara Escarpment $44.95..tight and still developing...
(91) Creekside UNBroken Press Syrah 2012 Queenston Road Vineyard VQA St David's Bench Niagara +202127 $42.95 ...delicious Rhonish complexity...
(91) Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Block 12-140 Syrah 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara +498675 $24.95...packs a wallop in specialized intensity...
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
(90) Kacaba Founder's Select Syrah 2015 VQA Niagara Escarpment $44.95...way too young to consume, one for the cellar, try in 10 years...
(89) Kacaba Proprietor's Block Syrah 2013 VQA Niagara Escarpment $29.95...very tannic, still needs time...
(89) Creekside Syrah 2013 VQA +66654 $15.95...delicious delivery of fruity shiraz...twist top
(88) Creekside Iconclast Niagara Syrah 2014 VQA St Davids's Bench Niagara +471797 $22.95 twist top
(89) Legends Reserve Shiraz 2012 Lizak Vineyard VQA Lincoln Lakeshore Niagara $23.95...some brett tones, well-aged and developed wine...
(89) 13th Street Essence Syrah 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula $44.95...good hits of nicely made syrah...
(89) Southbrook Winery Whimsy! Syrah 2012 Organic and Biodynamic VQA Four Mile Creek N/A... produced from a single barrel, with 10% cabernet sauvignon and 5% merlot...
(88) Redstone Syrah RedstoneVineyard 2013 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore Niagara $39.95
(88) Fielding Syrah 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula $39.95
(88) Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Shiraz 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula +317941 $24.95...shiraz style of upfront fruit but finishes lean and green, takes time, needs food.
 
The Food: Hodge Podge and Matilda in the Buff cheeses from Monforte, breads.
The Downside: it was very summer-hot to get there and back, but the venue had good air circulation and was conducive to tasting.
The Upside: compatible crowd of tasters.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Event: Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting Trade and Media Show June 7/17

The Date and Time: Wednesday June 7, 2017  2PM to 5PM
The Event: Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting Trade and Media Show
The Venue: Airship37 Event Venue, Parliament Street Distillery District
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: varied availability according to the producers. Some wineries were looking for agents, but did not prominently display that red sign. Some wines were not available, while other wines were not listed. Prices were not displayed.
The Quote/Background: It was hot and noisy, not especially conducive to a trade show which requires concentration. It needed more curating in order to bring the best clients to the wineries and agents.
The Wines: I only tried table wines and some ports, and not all of them.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sogevinus Veedha 2013 Douro Red +255851 LCBO $15.10
-Calem Coheita 1961 Porto $200
-Kopke Colheita 1981 Porto $50
-Kopke Colheita 1967 Porto $200
-Kopke Colheita 1999 Porto $70
-Calem Coheita 2000 Porto $60
-Quinta Vale d'Aldeia White 2016
-Quinta da Devesa Red reserva Vinhas Velhas 2011 Douro
-A&D Wines Monologo Chardonnay 2016  $17.95 Licensee   Kylix
-Cabriz Reserva VB 2015 Dao White    Noble
-Esporao Reserva White 2015 Alentejo  FWP
-Quinta dos Murcas Reserva 2011  Douro   FWP
-Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva Lisboa Red 2014    Majestic
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Wine and Soul Guru 2015 Douro White $49.95
-Wine and Soul Manoella 2014 Douro Red $29.95
-Wine and Soul Pintas 2014 Douro Red Old Vines $129.95
-Wine and Soul Quinta da Manoella 2014 Vinhas Velhas Old Vines Douro Red $129.95
-Wine and Soul Pintas Character 2014 Douro Red Old Vines $49.95
-Cortes de Cima White 2015 Alentejo     Terroir
-Quinta do Mondego Red 2011 Dao e Lafoes
-Parras Castelo do Sulco White 2015 Lisboa   GO
-Monte da Ravasqueira White Alentejo
-A&D Wines Monologo Avesso 2016  $17.95 Licensee   Kylix
-Messias Quinta do Valdoeiro 2012 Bairrada Red   Signature
-Jose Maria da Fonseca Albis 2015 Peninsula de Setubal Moscatel    Philippe Dandurand
-Casa de Santar Reserva 2012 Dao Red  $27.95  Noble
-Esporao Verdelho 2016  FWP
-Esperao Monte Velho White 2015   FWP
-Casa Santos Lima Pluma Vinho Verde Lisboa 2016 $14    Majestic
-Casa Santos Lima Confidencial Reserva Lisboa Red 2013    Majestic
-Casa Santos Lima Bons-Ventos 2015 Red    Majestic
-Casa Santos Lima Oassuin of Portugal Reserva Lisboa Red 2015    Majestic
-Bacalhoa Tinto da Anfora 2014 Alentejo    PMA
-Alianca Foral Reserva 2014 Douro     PMA
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Quinta Vale d'Aldeia Infel White 2015 The Full Wineglass
-Cortes de Cima Chamine White 2016 Alentejo     Terroir
-Alianca Vinho Verde 2016   $9     PMA
 
 
The Food: as always, a wide selection of platters for spicy bbq chicken drumettes, cod fish croquettes with two kinds of mayo (herb, chipotle), mac and cheese, chorizo and buns, portuguese style cheeses, fruit, veggies, spicy meats and cold cuts, trout salad, breads, small bite desserts.
The Downside: as was typical, not all wines were available, and even some agents were uncertain as to specific availability.
The Upside: a good selection of newish Portuguese wines in the Ontario market.
The Contact Person: marketing@viniportugal.pt
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Event: Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) showcase seminar in Toronto June 1/17

The Date and Time: Thursday June 1 11AM to 3:30PM
The Event: Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) showcase seminar
The Venue: St James Cathedral, Library Room
The Target Audience: wine writers, agents, and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines available through LCBO distribution (including Destination store).
The Quote/Background: We had two seminars, about 30 people in each. The AM seminar concerned Noble Whites with presentations by principals for Raats, Ken Forrester, Glenelly, Journey's End, and Jardan/Jardin speaking about their microclimate and terroir at the winery and the wine we were tasting (there was one wine per presenter). In the PM, we had Paul Cluver, De Grendel, The Drift, TWOGH Radford, and Klein Constantia, with Unique Terroir being featured through two whites and three reds. PIWOSA is similar to other "family" groups in that they are small and independent, featuring innovative programs and events. The LCBO had a PIWOSA function later that night in their "taste and buy" series.
The Wines: There were 10 wines tasted.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016 +231282  $17.95
-Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2014 +382200  $15.75
-Journey's End Destination Chardonnay 2015  +497321  $22
-Jordan (Jardin in NA) Jardin Nine Yards Chardonnay 2015   $36   Abcon
-Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2013 500mL  Halpern
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2016 $22  Lifford
-Paul Cluver Riesling Dry Encounter 2015  +494237  $20
-De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2014  +Churchill Cellars
-The Drift Farm Single Vineyard Gift Horse Barbera 2015 Imprese
-The Winery of Good Hope Radford Dale Black Rock 2013 +485490  $29.95
 
The Food: light lunch of spicy slices of chicken breasts with salads, multu-grain ciabatta buns, and strawbs skewered with pineapple. And some  white wine from the first seminar.
The Downside: only 10 wines were available (the paying customers at night got to sample about 40 wines).
The Upside: a very enjoyable and enlightening seminar.
The Contact Person: keenan@propellerpr.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com