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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for January 20, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  January 20,  2018
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing My "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 since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at or at
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
20 under $20
W+486993    POWERS VIOGNIER Columbia Valley 2016 $18.95    13 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+535765    ANNA'S WAY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2016    $18.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+414144    ESSAY CHENIN BLANC/VIOGNIER/ROUSSANNE    WO Western Cape 2017    $14.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+528869    MASTROBERARDINO MASTRO GRECO    IGT Campania 2016    $16.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+536797    STOLEN IDENTITY PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley    2014    $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+533687    WASHINGTON HILLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Washington State    2014    $18.95    13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+541169    MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley        2013    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+146894    PORCUPINE RIDGE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Coastal Region    Boekenhoutskloof    2016    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+526889    MOULIN DE GRENET    AC Lussac Saint-Émilion    Château Cantenac    2015    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+480665    LA TORRE GUINZANO SAN GIMIGNANO ROSSO    DOC    2013    $16.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+190694    EVEL TINTO    DOC Douro    Real Companhia Velha    2014    $14.95    H.H.D. 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+336313    GUADALUPE RED    Vinho Regional Alentejano    Quinta do Quetzal    2015    $12.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
536342    MAR DE LISBOA    Vinho Regional Lisboa    Quinta de Chocapalha 2014    $16.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+39925    CUNE CRIANZA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+57869    CLAYHOUSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Red Cedar Vineyard, Paso Robles        2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+524868    COVELA EDIÇÃO NACIONAL AVESSO    Vinho Verde    Lima & Smith    2015    $17.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+540781    SAN PEDRO 1865 SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY Elquí Valley    2015    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+485656    LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC M. Chapoutier    2015    $15.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+536813    PIATTELLI RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON Cafayate Valley, Salta    2015    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+205567    CALITERRA TRIBUTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Single vineyard, Colchagua Valley     2015    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+371161    SANTA EMA GRAN RESERVA SYRAH    Leyda Valley    2015    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+530121    JOHNNY Q CABERNET SAUVIGNON    South Australia Quarisa    2014    $16.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
20 over $20
W+523845    CHARLES BAKER B-SIDE RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula    Stratus Vineyards    2016    $22.20 11 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+522227    JEAN CLAUDE BOISSET MARSANNAY BLANC    AC        2015    $42.95
12.5 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+409292    DOMAINE DES CÔTES BLANCHES SANCERRE    AC    François Millet    2016    $23.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+361782    FIRESTEED PINOT NOIR    Willamette Valley 2014    $20.95    13.4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+455915    ANTHONIJ RUPERT OPTIMA    WO Western Cape    2013    $27.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+527044    CHÂTEAU FOMBRAUGE    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru        2006    $62.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+966382    CHÂTEAU PUYGUERAUD    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Francs    2015    $28.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526921    CHÂTEAU BELLEGRAVE DU POUJEAU    AC Haut-Médoc    2008    $38.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+527945    DOMAINE MOILLARD CÔTES DE NUITS-VILLAGES    AC    2015    $26.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+735407    CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    AC        2004    $52.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+213132    LA PIEVE BAROLO    DOCG        2013    $34.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+538033    CORTE ADAMI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    DOCG        2013    $46.95 15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+378968    ALDEASOÑA Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y León    Convento San Francisco    2006    $26.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+745745    MINER CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley    2014    $42.95    13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+431809    LUIS FELIPE EDWARDS LFE 900 SINGLE VINEYARD BLEND    Colchagua Valley        2014    $24.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+541136    MONTES OUTER LIMITS WILD SLOPES RED    Colchagua Valley 2016    $27.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 99
R+541177    MATETIC CORRALILLO WINEMAKER'S BLEND San Antonio Valley 2014    $21.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+334094    LUIS CAÑAS RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2012    $27.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89


Monday, January 15, 2018


...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"...
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING VEGETARIAN; simple meatless recipes for
great food. 2D ed. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017; John Wiley, 2007, 832
pages, ISBN 978-1-118-45564-7, $35 USD hard covers) is by the
ubiquitous Mark Bittman, multiple award winning cookbook author (Julia
Child, IACP, Beard). Notable logrollers include Alice Waters and Yotam
Ottolenghi, although at this point (as I said 10 years ago), I don't think that
Bittman needs logrollers. This is the tenth anniversary edition "completely
revised" and tightened up, apparently, because it is 160 pages shorter.
Here, simple dishes are emphasized, along with tips, advice, cook's notes,
charts, sidebars, and lists. It has been updated with new information and
new photography, along with new recipes. The
database is over 1000 recipes and variations. It is all straightforward, from
apps through desserts, and he embraces meat substitutes such as tofu, and
eggs and dairy. There are special icons to identify recipes that can be
made in 30-minutes or less, recipes that can be prepped in advance, and
vegan recipes. There are also "how to" line drawing illustrations but the
menus are gone. US volume measurements are used, but there are tables
of metric equivalents. He concludes with notes on meal planning plus a
special index to appetizers and essential recipes. There is no indication of
which preps are new, and if you don't have his 2007 book, then this is the
one to get. Quality/Price Rating: 90.
SEAWEED (Grub Street, 2017, 184 pages, ISBN 978-1-910690-51-2
$36.95 CAD hardbound) is by Claudia Seifert, Zoe Christiansen, Lisa
Westgaard, and Hanne Martinsen. It was originally published in 2016 in
Norway as Tang & Tare Et Hav Av Mat. This is the English translation, and
the book is selling in the UK, USA and Canada. It is, of course, all about
seaweed. The four authors give us the primer of harvesting, drying, storing,
with discussions on texture and flavour and nutritional values. Seaweeds
can be oarweed, sea lettuce, winged kelp, sea spaghetti, thong weed,
dulse, laver, and seabelt. There are 130 pages of recipes plus a directory of
resources. It is also a well-photographed book and it is a unique ingredient
book. The book has mostly metric measurements with just a few
avoirdupois such as volumes in teaspoons and tablespoons. But it should
be easy to follow. One of my faves is the polenta sticks with paprika dip and
almond sticks, plus the black rice salad, some dim sum, and celeriac
potatoes with aioli and green salsa. I have found seaweed, such as sea
asparagus, to be extremely salty. So check first. Quality/price rating: 90.


Friday, January 12, 2018

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! (Farm to Chef, Penguin)

FARM TO CHEF (Penguin, 2017, 338 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-319360-9
$40 CAD hardbound) is by Lynn Crawford, former Exec Chef at Four
Season hotels in Toronto and NYC. She's appeared on TV and has also
written two other cookbooks. Currently, she is chef at Ruby Watchco in
Toronto. Here she's got log rolling from Samuelsson and Jamie Oliver. She
has 140 preps from all seasons featuring farm-fresh produce for just about
every occasion. It begins with Fall, moves through Winter, Spring, and then
Summer. Each season has a breakdown by a share of the total 42 major
ingredients. Thus, for Fall, there are apples, beets, broccoli, carrots,
cauliflower, celery and celery root, "fall greens", grapes, leeks, mushrooms
[ears, and sweet potatoes – with an average of 3 – 4 preps each.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois
Audience and level of use: Canadians, millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: the apple range covers hot
buttered bourbon cider, apple mostarda, spiced apple butter, pork chops
and apple-braised cabbage, harvest apple pie.
The downside to this book: typeface is a bit small and the ink impression is
The upside to this book: a nifty collection of preps.
Quality/Price Rating: 88

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! Wine & Food (Parkinson, Ryland Peters & Small)

WINE & FOOD; perfect pairings every time (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-825-3 $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Jane Parkinson, a UK wine writer with experience on magazines (eg, Decanter) and BBC TV. She's also a Roederer Award winner in 2009. Here she covers the newest wine trends with deets on grape varieties and wine styles. Red, white, rose, fortified and dessert wines plus sparklers combed over. But the emphasis is on what goes with what, using practical examples. She is au currant with cheeses, moving on from the default red wines to white wines (soft cheeses) and fortified wines (hard cheeses). Goat cheese? Savvies and Rieslings. Sweet wines are needed for blues. Cheesy pasta? Depends on weight, moving from Italian white to Merlot. There are sections on matching cheeses with a country's wine (eg, brie and Loire rose, comte and Pinot noir from Alsace, Roquefort and Sauternes). She also does this for English, Italian, and Spanish cheeses and wines. Ultimately, though, there is more material on describing wine as food-friendly and what that means – and not enough on food textures and tastes (just the last 40 pages). Most people I know, especially dining out, really have a food dish in mind before contemplating wine choices.
Audience and level of use: millennials, wine beginners.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: "countries like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal; have raised their game in the face of stiff competition from New World winemakers...there are tons of delicious European wines, with high-quality local grape varieties" and terroir.
The downside to this book: the index is mostly to wine.
The upside to this book: there is a resources list.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.

Monday, January 1, 2018

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 10 over $20 for January 6, 2018.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 10 over $20 for January 6,  2018.
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing My "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 since 1994.
These notes for wines available through the LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at or at
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS – Well, it is Christmas Deju Vu with Epiphany on Jan 6 and for followers of the Julian Calendar, on Jan 7. Paucity of top notch wines over $20, but some interesting "holiday" values on this "Smart Buys" release include --
538983 Croft Reserve Tawny Port $18.95. Score: 90
515791 Alvear Cream Sherry DO Montilla-Moriles. $16.95. Score: 89
400432 Moutard Grande Cuvee Brut Champagne NV $39.95. Score: 90
207936 Chateau Moncontour Tete de Cuvee Brut NV Vouvray TM Loire $17.95. Score: 91
524827 DR. SIEMENS SERRIGER WÜRZBURG RIESLING KABINETT FEINHERB Prädikatswein        2008    $17.95 Score: 93
20 under $20
W+544072    ST. HUBERTUS RIESLING    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2014    $17.95      11.5  % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+43281    FLAT ROCK RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment        2016    $17.95     9.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+265983    MCMANIS CHARDONNAY    River Junction        2016    $19.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+711556    WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY ESTATE CHARDONNAY    Clare Valley, South Australia    2016    $15.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+981670    MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2016    $17.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+480764    TUSSOCK JUMPER CHENIN BLANC    WO Western Cape    2017    $12.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+224642    JOSEPH CATTIN PINOT BLANC    AC Alsace    2016    $15.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+344929    CHÂTEAU MONCONTOUR SEC VOUVRAY    AC    2015    $19.95    11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+745349    DOMAINE JACKY MARTEAU SAUVIGNON TOURAINE    AC    2016    $14.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+346742    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID'S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2016 $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+424960    CANTINA DI VERONA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE    DOC        2014    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+528737FEUDI SAN PIO PASSATEMPO IGT Rosso Veneto 2016 $14.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+540070    EL PEDROSAL CRIANZA    DO Ribera del Duero    2014    $17.00    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+455659    FATTORIA LE PUPILLE MORELLINO DI SCANSANO    DOCG     Elisabetta Geppetti    2015    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+657601    BENMARCO MALBEC    Unfined and unfiltered, Uco Valley, Mendoza    Dominio del Plata    2014    $18.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+530618    GAPSTED TOBACCO ROAD PINOT NOIR    King Valley, Victoria    2016    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+744235    WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Clare Valley, South Australia    2015    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+348672    CHÂTEAU BRÉHAT    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Castillon    2012    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+403683    GÉRARD BERTRAND FITOU    AP    2014    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+270306    MASSERIE PISARI PRIMITIVO    IGT Salento Rosso        2014    $13.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+512640    GIOVANU CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA    DOC    2014    $14.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+484014    CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY WHITE NIGHT    VQA Ontario     2014    $13.95 12.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+121160    VILLA TRASQUA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG     2013    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+159111    CHÂTEAU D'ARGADENS BLANC AC Bordeaux    Famille Sichel     2016    $17.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+527259    DOMAINE DES QUINTS SAUMUR AC 2016 $16.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+528786    JANARE FIANO    DOP Sannio    La Guardiense     2016    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+536631    LEEUWENKUIL SHIRAZ    WO Swartland 2016    $14.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
10 over $20
W+421941    CLOS DU BOIS CALCAIRE CHARDONNAY    Russian River Valley, Sonoma      County        2014    $29.95    14.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+186163    FOLIE À DEUX CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Alexander Valley, Sonoma County        2013    $27.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+309831    CHÂTEAU SIAURAC    AC Lalande de Pomerol    Baronne Guichard    2010    $43.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+530048    CHÂTEAU TOUR DE PEZ    AC Saint-Estèphe    2008    $44.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+526376    FERRATON LES CALENDES CROZES-HERMITAGE    AC     2015    $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+470187    CA' MOMI MERLOT    Napa Valley    2015    $23.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+10538    CHÂTEAU PEYRABON    AC Haut-Médoc 2015 $23.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+76349    ALAIN JAUME CLOS DE SIXTE LIRAC    AC 2015 $25.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+994608    CASTELLO DI BOSSI C. BERARDENGA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG        2013    $22.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88