Sunday, September 20, 2009

Report from ... The Taste Ontario – Lunch - September 17, 2009

Now, I could cover the entire Taste Ontario event with the best from all 42 wineries in attendance, but then I would have little left for my newsletter, so I think instead I’ll cover the launch lunch at Frank, located inside the Art Gallery of Ontario. Frank’s motto is “Art. Food. Talk.” And they are positioning themselves as a hub of Ontario food and wine. Their first test to prove they’ve got game in this department is with this Taste Ontario lunch.

Lunch Menu …

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Thunder Oak Gouda Soufflé, paired alongside three Rieslings, the best of which was the Cave Spring 2006 CSV Estate.
Potted Berkshire Pork Hocks and Trotters en Gelee, paired with a couple of Pinot Noirs, not surprisingly the Le Clos Jordanne 2006 Grand Clos shone in this category.
Duck Leg Confit, was then paired with two other region’s wines, one from the Lake Erie North Shore, the other from Prince Edward County – two very different wines – one a Cabernet Franc from the 2007 vintage, the other a Meritage from 2002. I leaned ever so slightly toward the Colio 2002 Signature Meritage, I just wanted that weightiness after the previous two light wines.
Dessert was a myriad of Chardonnays paired with Chardonnay grape tartlet and Chardonnay poached pears. Each table was different depending on which winemaker(s) were sitting with you; the wines poured at my table were from Lailey, Mike Weir and Pillitteri.

It’s interesting to note
... of the 5 wines from the Niagara region featured with lunch none were from Niagara-on-the-Lake. I am sure they could have spread the love around a little, I know that parts of NOTL make good Rieslings and wonderful Pinot Noir … if the organizers need help next year I am sure I could point them in the right direction.

Favourite quote of the day came from keynote speaker Thomas Bachelder, from Le Clos Jordanne, who had to broaden his talk to be about Ontario and not just his passion for Pinto Noir and Chardonnay. It was hinted that if he mentioned them he’d owe everyone at his table a beer. When talking about Ontario Chardonnay in general, with its great acidity and food friendliness Thomas thinks of one thing, “Where’s the salmon?”

As for the Taste Ontario wine tasting, it reinforce to me what many of us here in Ontario already know – we’re making some pretty fantastic wines right here at home.

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