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  • Date publishedSunday, November 27, 2011

2009 Gehringer Brothers Private Reserve Pinot Gris (Okanagan) - Wine Review

Purchased this white wine a couple of months back from the September 17 LCBO Vintages release.

GEHRINGER BROTHERS PRIVATE RESERVE PINOT GRIS 2009 - VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#347203) (XD) - $17.95

Tasting Note:
Apple and honey aromas faded quickly from cork. Mineral, earth, grapefruit aromas from the glass. More grapefruit on the palate + citrus notes. Dry. If you like dry Pinot Gris, then you will probably like this one; beware of the acidity, which I found a bit strong. It should pair nicely with the crab curry that I will be enjoying tonight!

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  • Date publishedWednesday, November 23, 2011

2004 Fernandez Escudo de Plata Gran Reserva (Spain) - Wine Review

This one did not sit long once I purchased it from the latest Vintages release.

FERNANDEZ ESCUDO DE PLATA GRAN RESERVA 2004 - DO Jumilla, Spain (#246751) (XD) - $19.95

Tasting Note:
Corks smell reminds me of prune and raisin - not a fan of such aromas. Having said that, the aromas and flavours from the glass are MUCH better. Red fruits, spice, herbs and vanilla and earth aromas from the glass. Lavender, raspberry, cherry and floral notes on the palate. Medium-bodied. Smooth, well integrated tannins. Could have been cellared for another 1-2 years, but definitely enjoyable now. This one deserved better than serving with leftovers of chicken lasagna, wings, spring rolls, but otherwise did pair nicely with the menu.

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  • Date publishedMonday, November 21, 2011

2010 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling (Ontario) - Wine Review

Last night's wine was an off-dry Riesling. In a blind tasting, you would have thought this white wine was made in Germany. It was purchased from the October 29 Vintages release.

TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (MD) - $17.95
Tasting Note:
Aromas of minerals, lemon, and floral. Lovely mineral notes, lemon rind, orange, citrus on the palate. Medium dry. Made in a German-style Riesling. Good acidity that allows it to be paired well with food. I greatly enjoyed this with soya sauce lamb chops, butterflied panko shrimp, and wings from All-Stars.

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  • Date publishedMonday, November 21, 2011

Master Works - Finest Wines & Spirits for Celebrations: Nov. 26 Vintages Release

The latest Vintages release is titled "Master Works: Our finest wines and spirits for splendid celebrations" and will be in stores on . As is par for the season, many of these wines are available at a very high price point, and even though they are good quality, they are not affordable. Thus, I will skip over that section and move into the rest of the release.

South Africa was the big winner among my picks - making the cut on three occasions. If you would like to venture out into the world of South African wines, now would a great time!

The very aromatic Chardonnay from Liberty School will satisfy your senses, as will the two Icewines I've recommended from Reif and Strewn. Treat yourself to these Icewines, or wrap them up to make great gifts.

Enjoy my picks! If you do purchase any, let me know. I would love to hear your reviews!

Red Wine:
  • FLAGSTONE WRITER’S BLOCK PINOTAGE 2009 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#243337) (XD) - $19.95
  • 13TH STREET GAMAY NOIR 2010 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#177824) (XD) - $19.95
  • VALIANO POGGIO TEO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2006 - DOCG, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany, Italy (#250563) (XD) - $17.95
  • MOOIPLAAS THE BEAN COFFEE PINOTAGE 2010 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#251165) (XD) - $13.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO WINEMAKER’S LOT 115 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008 - Palo Santo Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile (#030965) (XD) - $17.95

White Wine:
  • LIBERTY SCHOOL CHARDONNAY 2008 - Central Coast, California, USA (#960120) (XD) - $18.95
  • AMANI CHARDONNAY 2009 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#687442) (XD) - $17.95

  • REIF VIDAL ICEWINE 2008 - VQA Niagara River, Ontario, Canada (#544791) (S) 200 mL - $24.95
  • STREWN CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2008 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#251140) (S) 375 mL - $59.95

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  • Date publishedSaturday, November 19, 2011

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo - Review

First time attending the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in about 6-7 years and it has changed quite a bit (or maybe I've changed).

Got there early before the show was officially open and was able to roam around quite freely before the venue got packed - and it filled up fast once the doors opened.

I was able to attend the Cheese Pairing Seminar and it was a delight - 6 different cheeses paired with a Baco Noir, Reisling and... beer! Surprisingly, some of the cheeses did go well with beer. Check it out, if you get a chance. Many great cheese are also available throughout (quelle surprise!), some exhibitors offer free samples.

The Chilean olive oil is EXCELLENT. Very rich. Try it! I really should have purchased a bottle - I may ask someone to get me one. :) The hot sauce booths along the wall are always a favourite of mine at any show. Spanish paella was a sight to be seen - I wish I had taken a picture of the two pans.

It was great meeting friends throughout the night, and also meeting a quite a few new friends for the first time. I am sure our paths will cross again.

Ended up staying right 'til the end, when they started to usher patrons out.

Here are my Wine Reviews:

TRUMPOUR'S MILL PINOT NOIR - VQA Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada (#230227) - $16.95
This was the first wine I've ever tasted from Prince Edward County. Light-medium bodied, with red fruits, uncomplicated. I look forward to visiting The Grange and the area next summer.

DEVIL'S LAIR FIFTH LEG SHIRAZ MERLOT CABERNET 2010 - Western Australia, Australia (#212605) - $15.95
I was wow-ed by this one. Raspberry, red fruits, oak, some mint/herbal notes. Full-bodied, full throttle red. Tasted more expensive. Recommended.

KACABA MERLOT RESERVE 2007 - Ontario, Canada - $42.95
Deserving gold medal winner at 2011 InterVin International Wine Awards. Not your typical Merlot - big, dark fruits, chocolate/mocha, well oaked, lots of grippy tannins. Long finish. Cellar a few years or open now and decant for an hour.

AMADO SUR MALBEC BONARDA SYRAH 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#037036) - $15.00
A light-style of Malbec that was more fruit forward. Red licorice, currant, plum flavours.

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  • Date publishedMonday, November 14, 2011

Winners of Tickets to Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

Congratulations to the following winners who entered my contest and won a pair of tickets to the 2011 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.

Winner of a pair of VIP tickets for :
Dhimal V.

Winners of a pair of of tickets for :

Enjoy the event!

Thank you to everyone else who entered in this contest! If you would like to purchase tickets to the event, click here for more information.

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  • Date publishedMonday, November 7, 2011

Wine Picks: Holiday Magic + Sweet Wines: Nov. 12 Vintages release

As we get closer to the holiday season, it's time to think about wines for get-togethers. The  primary focus is on premium (i.e. expensive) wines. I mostly skipped over these as nearly all were out of budget. However, there are some gems should you wish to purchase a premium wine for your special occasion.

The secondary focus in this release is on the sweet wines. I have chosen two dessert wines, including one Icewine that should satisfy your sweet tooth - or someone else's while making a nice gift.

As for the remainder of this release, there is something for everyone (including your guests) among my top selections. The Sonop Cab Sauv from South Africa is organic and made in a slightly lighter style, while the remaining red wines are on the "big" side.

Among the white wines, the Chardonnay is intriguing. the Pinot Gris is off-dry, and the Savvy is almost made in the classic style. Enjoy!

Red Wine:
  • MAIPE RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina (#246116) (D) - $17.95
  • FERNANDEZ ESCUDO DE PLATA GRAN RESERVA 2004 - DO Jumilla, Spain (#246751) (XD) - $19.95
  • DELAS FRÈRES SAINT-ESPRIT CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2009 - AC, Rhône, France (#729962) (XD) - $14.95
  • TERRA NOBLE GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2008 - Maule Valley, Chile (#957050) (XD) - $15.95
  • SONOP CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#606160) (XD) - $13.95
  • PODERE L’AJA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#234948) (XD) - $17.95

White Wine:
  • LUIGI BOSCA RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2010 - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (#142836) (XD) - $17.95
  • KUHLMANN PLATZ PINOT GRIS 2008 - AC Alsace, France (#224204) (D) - $17.95
  • WITHER HILLS WAIRAU VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#919514) (XD) - $17.95

  • HENRY OF PELHAM CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2010 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#672402) (S) 200 mL - $39.95

Dessert Wine:
  • SIVIPA MOSCATEL DE SETÚBAL 2008 - DOC, Portugal (#246652) (MS) - $15.95

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  • Date publishedSunday, November 6, 2011

2006 Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier (Australia) - Wine Review

Purchased this fine Shiraz/Viognier almost 2 years ago to the day from the Vintages release that was titled "Celebrate for less! 20 party wines under $20."

YALUMBA SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2006 - Barossa, South Australia, Australia (#524926) (XD) - $19.95

Tasting Note:
This red wine has fresh blueberries, blackberries, white pepper, herbal aromas that follow through on the palate. Finishing with dark chocolate on the medium-long finish. Fine tannins. Well-integrated wine. Aged well and could have been aged another 2-3 years, but is definitely ready to drink now. No decanting necessary. Will be enjoying this with "Limri (curry leaves) Chicken" - sorry could not find a recipe for it. :)

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  • Date publishedWednesday, November 2, 2011

2009 Sol de Andes Reserva Chardonnay (Chile) - Wine Review

Purchased this one last month from the October 1 Vintages Release. This is an excellent Chardonnay!

SOL DE ANDES RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2009 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#254334) (XD) - $13.95

Tasting Note:
Cork smells of gorgeous guava, pineapple, and tropical fruit aromas. More guava and tropical fruit waft from the glass. Very aromatic. Buttered popcorn, pear on the palate. Nice structure. Full-bodied white. If you like Chardonnays, this is definitely one to try! Will be enjoying this with homemade veggie pizza. Yum!

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