Monday, August 11, 2008

Report from ... Taste of the Danforth Kick off Party - August 6, 2008

I am told these kick off parties are usually a lot busier, but then again I am told they are also held on Thursday at another locale … so that might explain the low turn out, though it was still a fairly packed patio. This being my first (Taste of the Danforth Kick off) I can tell you I was very impressed. Held for the first time at Mr. Greek on the Danforth, this one heck of a kick off bash. Lots of tasty Greek food and Greek wine, along with personalities and celebrity from around Toronto, and especially the Danforth. While I have to say that the wine was unimpressive and uninspiring, both the red and white seemed perfect for the crowd and the situation. One of the nicest things you can say about wine is it is a social drink, and sometimes the impact of a wine has nothing to do with the winemaking, the grapes, the terroir or anything technical, and has everything to do with the place, company and situation. These wines were perfect examples of this axiom. As I sat on the Mr. Greek patio with my homeboy Dean Tudor (fellow wine writer) the non-descript throw-back-your-head-and-enjoy wines made all the difference to the good time we were having. Also, the extra shot of Sambuca and Ouzo we ordered were nice touches to finish the evening – now if they had been able to provide some Pernod it would have been perfect.

Best drink of the evening … although the wine left a little to be desired to the connoisseur there was a drink being passed around near the end of the evening called “Skinos” ( … it is a liqueur made from Mastiha, which is grown in one place on earth, the Greek Island of Chios. This was truly an amazing product and due to be in the LCBO come October at a retail price of $38.00 / 700ml. It was explained to us that it is a great mixer or perfect for cooking with. But I could not see enjoying this any other way than the way we did: over ice with a slice of lemon. I would have to say that after the 4th I forgot what it tasted like, but Dean reminds me that it was like nothing we’ve ever tasted before – lemonade with a shot of cane sugar and an incredible dry finish. All I can say is wow – what a great summer refresher; what the LCBO is doing releasing this in October I’ll never know; but I can imagine this also being quite the celebratory drink over the holidays. Opa!

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