Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Stop the press!”

Is there really anybody who works at a newspaper that can yell “stop the press!” anymore?  That would be one of the greatest moments in an editor’s life. I have a newspaper editor friend and he can only remember it happening once.  Doesn’t it seem like J. Jonah Jameson yells it all the time in the Spiderman comics? Maybe that’s “PARKER!”.

One of the greatest moments in a wine-writer’s life is the discovery of a new great wine – and by great I mean inexpensive – and by new I mean I haven’t purchased it before – and by wine I mean … well I guess the rest is literal.

Here’s a great wine that I found at the LCBO – to be truthful  Gord Stimmell (Toronto Star) found it first and that’s how I found it – Gord, sorry about calling you a jerk last year. I love Bardolino – it is the forgotten grape of Veneto, Italy.  Everyone is usually all like “I love the Ripasso, and oooh the Amarone, etc etc“.  I’m all like, “I love the sour freshness of the Bardolino” and then I break into the song Oklahoma (using the word Bardolino – try it now – it’s compelling).

Hey Gord, looks like Decanter magazine also likes your Bardolino – “You’re looking fine Bardolino …

VINTAGES 134544 | Price: $ 12.95

Working for the Queen

The Queen of the wine writers is unquestionably Canada’s own Natalie MacLean.  Consider the following…

The Queen has  asked me to contribute a blog post to her Über-website at and frankly I was afraid to say no – she’s that powerful.

Each month I am writing about my observations on wine culture in different countries all the while trying to impress Natalie. My first entry on America (fyi I married an American) is here.

Speaking of those awards, really, who’s ever heard of James Beard or Le Cordon Bleu.  Come on Natalie, try to  impress me too.

Drink this Wine – Part 2

If you don’t drink white wine then you’re either loco or stubborn – or being stubbornly loco.

When it comes to white wine, overly 0aked chardonnay is not my forté – besides that there’s always the risk of having a black fly ironically land in it.  You may recall that America’s founding fathers tried to pass a law against overly oaked chardonnay – apparently unsuccessfully.  What is my forté is a crisp refreshing drink.  This one, from Spain, is probably the best white in the $10 range at the LCBO.

LCBO 36822 | Price: $ 10.90

Delicioso, fresco y ácido, servir a enfriarse ( gracias traductor de google)

And for those of you interested – Marqués de Riscal translates Marqués of Riscal. I did that without google.

200 – Thanks

This is crazy that I’ve made over 200 blog posts. The average blog has the lifespan of a fruit fly – and maybe the same intelligence. I really only started the blog so that my brother-in-Spain had something to look up on the internet and laugh at. He still does. In fact he recently nominated me for the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment is that I’ve managed to write in references to  David Beckham, Jay-Z, Albert Einstein, Dante,  Don Cherry, Dana Carvey, AC/DC, Wolf Blitzer, John Wayne and James Bond, groundskeeper Willy, Freddy Mercury, Bugs Bunny, Speedy Gonzales, the classic camp song “Found a Peanut”, Al Gore (several times), Troy Polamalu, , Col. Robert Hogan, Oklahoma the musical, a Tim Burton painting,  Batman, Bernadette, Thomas Jefferson, Mario my olive vendor, and several references to my PE degree from York.

Thanks to Andrew who taught me how to use a computer and WordPress. Thanks to my wife – who approves all my posts – if she reads it and doesn’t laugh out loud then I rewrite it. Thanks to the Guelph Mercury who carries my blog on their web page. Also, thanks to my sister-in-law in Spain, I’ve started posting my blogs at 1 am (7 am her time) so that she can be the first to read them.  She’s ready to laugh as quickly as anyone.

I’m not sure when I might run out of things to write about. Clearly lots of things amuse me because clearly I amuse easily.

70,000 internet views can’t be from just relatives and that linktrap guy.

This Spring – Cabernet Franc

Ontario makes great Cabernet Franc wines because Cabernet Franc is Ontario’s best red wine varietal. That’s my Hemingway-esque declarative statement for the day.  I also could have used “It was a good wine because it was an honest wine” – but that seemed dangerously close to plagiarism.

It’s what we drank this weekend with an enormous rack of pork.  Cab Franc has a bit of a vegetal / grassy taste to it that reminds me of new green grass or capers.  This one was also slightly sour or tangy, but the tannins were perfect.

VINTAGES 149039 | Price: $ 18.95

Special Occasions

“Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge” (note posted on our fridge).

VINTAGES 265306 | Price: $ 15.95

Tasting Note
A light cranberry-red in the glass and displaying aromas of cranberry, cherry and a touch of freshly baked bread on the nose. The palate is extremely well balanced with wonderfully integrated bold red fruit flavours, and a superb crisp acidity providing a firm backbone. Quite a lengthy and flavourful finish. Perfect for sipping with that special someone, or pairing with light seafood salads. (VINTAGES panel, May 2011)

Drink This Wine – Part 1

This is the start of a series called Drink This Wine.  Some people have requested less foolishness and more wine recommendations.  For the life of me I can’t figure that out.  I will select a wine that I think you should buy and then tell you to buy it. You can also call this series Mr. Bossy Pants.

A simple Côtes du Rhône is always in order – CDR is made with Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre – GSM – and is the King of blended wines (with apologies to overpriced Bordeaux winemakers). Cellier des Dauphins – loosely translated as the Prince’s Cellar – is in a cool bottle and is on the light side of the CDR.  I would serve it slightly chilled.  I like it because the bottle reminds me of something that Napoleon would drink out of. Everything he did turned out fine.

LCBO 110197 |  Price: $ 10.95

Des Dauphins et amis