Monday, February 28, 2011
1985 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
1997 Brochet-Hervieux HBH Cuvée Spéciale 1er Cru Brut
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A few weekends ago, we had friends over to celebrate Lunar New Year. Among them was a fellow who has a very impressive (expensive) cellar. He has the odd cases of Champagne, Vintage Port, Burgundy . . . his heart, however, is in Bordeaux. Expensive claret, he don't play around. I've seen Yquem, Mouton, Lafite, Le Pin, Pétrus lying around down there.
My friend is always very generous with his wines - some of the oldest wines I've drank were from his cellar. I vividly remember the '86 La Lagune, the'91 Mouton-Rothschild, the '90 Veuve Clicquot, all master classes in what wine can achieve.
And so I try to return the favour.
It's pointless trying to go toe to toe with someone who's been buying wine longer than I've been alive, especially someone with such deep pockets. So we'll go in another direction entirely. I try to share Niagara wines, wines that they don't normally drink. For this year's dinner, a Niagara chardonnay from possibly one of the top producers in Ontario, and a 1997 Vintage Champagne that was hopefully beginning to mature. The food and wine served, soon . . .
Monday, February 21, 2011
I don't know what people do with the dregs of decanted Vintage Port, that last 1/2 inch or so of sediment-filled wine. I filter out the large chunks with a fine mesh filter, leaving me with about a glass of dusty wine. Drinks just fine, although I can see how some people might be a bit leery about drinking something with particles floating in it.
In any case, better than pouring it out. Or doing something stupid like spreading it on toast.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
1994 Delaforce Vintage Port, DOC Douro
Any chance to taste the 1994's is good. Maybe in hindsight not as fine a vintage as '77 or '85, but these are still very, very young wines. Lots and lots of sediment pouring out of the bottle, a clear indication of the amount of concentration in this wine. Drunk in the middle of winter with some lamb, just delicious. We've talked about this before, no, drinking Vintage Port with dinner?
This is still dark in colour, beautifully lustrous and saturated. The purity of the fruit is stunning, slightly dried in nature but very intense. Minerals and a subtle mocha character flooding out of the glass. Refined palate, focused and balanced, elegant and resolved tannins. Dark chocolate and spice.
Almost makes you not want to share.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
2008 Markus Molitor Riesling Spätlese, QmP Haus Klosterberg, Mosel
Back to Mosel, forgetting that Toronto's still in the middle of winter. Markus Molitor is a well-regarded producer, but we rarely see it here. Yes, I know it's a huge shame to drink these wines so young, blah blah blah . . . I just wanted to drink it.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I got a new toy. A true and proper Screwpull. With a little registered ®. My friend ROKChoi says that he never buys gear that doesn't serve to improve his craft. Agreed. So why do I need another corkscrew? Because I love to drink Port and old wine, that's why.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The wine? Like a cheap red Sancerre, all sweaty fruit. Lean on the palate, turning slightly confected on the finish. Typical Italian red from an obscure region right? For every good one you find, you're assured that a shitty one's coming right up behind it.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Winter here isn't so bad. Not as bad as people outside of Canada think it is. We were on the phone with relatives in Shanghai - does everyone really think we live in constant sub-zero temperatures here?
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I'm having friends over for dinner tonight. Crucial that my stemware is absolutely spot free. I don't take as much care for myself - we're all busy, a few water spots is a necessary evil. But that's an unacceptable flaw for my guests. So, got to get to work. A bit of steam, a few towels - let's polish out those smudges.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Does tasting require a competency in a set of physical skills, as well as mental? I've been reading Neal Rosenthal's book Reflections of a Wine Merchant for what seems like the 10th time, and it seems like yes, physical prowess is indeed a requirement for a full appreciation of wine.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
It's tough having a limited entertainment budget. I don't get to go out for dinner with friends as much as I'd like to. Of course, frivolous spending at a certain bar doesn't help, but we won't get into that.
Monday, February 7, 2011
How can you say no to that? Take a look, now. Lovers of kitchen tools and toys, this is for you.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
This here is nearly 2 pounds of beef. A chunk of the most incredible rib steak, dry-aged and marbled. And it was all for me. You know, I tried doing a vegetarian diet, in an effort to boost my workouts. I lasted all of 3 days on tofu and greens.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tonight's a big night - dinner with the family to properly welcome in the New Year. And of course I have a raging hangover right now from last night. A bottle of Sado, grilled squid, sardines, and nuzzling up to perfumed necks and arms don't go well together. Tylenol and caffeine. Got some errands to run beforehand, before yet another long night of drinking.
Friday, February 4, 2011
2006 Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Spätlese, QmP Münsterer Dautenpflänzer, NaheI've never been disappointed with a Nahe riesling. Not even mildly. Vintages needs to get on this and start bringing more in; these wines are extraordinary.
And very, very good.DF
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
It's our New Year. Best wishes to everyone, as we say goodbye to the Year of the Tiger.
I'm a Tiger, 1986. Your birth year is supposed to be a big year, an important one. Mine? It was neither good nor bad. We'll get another shot at it in 12 years.
Dinner tonight with the family, lots of exciting things on the table. And lots of drinking too.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
2000 Burgo Viejo Gran Reserva, DOCa Rioja
Old(er) Rioja in the winter is a great treat. I love these wines so much - elegant and fine, terroir-specific, and wonderful with food. And what a wine this was. Complex, perfectly integrated . . . still youthful, energetic. Like a warm hug.
There's nothing quite like mature Rioja. Nothing quite like it.