Deacon Dr. Fresh Wine Newsletter

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

World's Lurchest Wine Writer - The Gangsta of the Grape - The Sultan of Shiraz - The Buccaneer of Burgundy - The Prince of Pinot Noir - Yellow Tail's Bane - Locus of the Ladies' Focus - Wielder of the trousered Hammer of Thor - I have arrived to rescue the wine world from overly-serious, rigid, deconstructionist, rooster juice peckerwoods who'd never dream of gettin' a tattoo or crackin' a smile. I am without a doubt, the smartest, funniest and toughest sumbitch in the entire wine industry. And I aint goin' away. All disputes will be settled bare-knuckled in the Octagon. You heard me. Oh, and by the way...Bite me crank!

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Deacon Attends the Szabo's Szuper Szinfandel Szeminar!

Greetings Homeys and Fanz!

And the usual welcome also goes out to all you Mofo, trunculating, Dollar Store, peckerdine, watercracker, monkey-fish, jankbucket, wannabee DIX who tune in faithfully but still don't get it!
Well your humble Deacon just attended a highly lurch event that I wants to bring y'all up to amphetamines on...
Yesterday I handed in my invitation at the door of Jamie Kennedy's kool establishment and attended an amazing Zinfandel event put on by none other than the Hungarian Mafia itself, the Szabo Boyz, in conjunkshun with some Kalifornia suits who supplied the red stuff.
Jamie's joint is at the very south end of Church Street (number 9) and is well worth the journey.
I was one of the early arrivals, and the room began to fill up fast with equal parts kucumber kool and absolute peckerdine. Some of these crackers looked like they were on day passes from the Bug House at the Clarke Institute. The problem was, most of the crackermofos thought they were the kool ones; something that's usually a problem at these events...
Anyway, the Hungarian Uber-Team of John and Zoltan Szabo put on an excellent presentation. John delivered a high-speed, encyclopedic lecture on the Croat origins of the Zin grape that was fascinating and entertaining. Zoltan, looking boyish, resplendent with a new do, expertly punctuated John's monologue with one-liners delivered in a rich Bela Lugosi accent. Zin was compared to Britney Spears, Mick Jagger and David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust phase. There was a refreshing burst of revisionist history in which the Austro-Hungarian Empire was redefined in a way that favoured the Hungarian race. Naturally I found this to be hilarious and greeted the comedy with my usual howls of appreciative laughter that seemed to baffle the more sedate muh-fuh's and ass clowns in the room.
I sat with some truly kool brothers and sisters, including my homeboy Konrad Ejbich, recently returned from his flamethrower wielding jaunt to Transylvania (see the previous issue of this blog for the horrifying details). Konrad's a really decent sort. He clearly knows his stuff, but didn't sink into hyperdeconstructionism and kept his sense of humour. On my right was sommelier Terry Flynn - another lurch dude who seemed to enjoy the event without being a dick about it. Also at our table was the hyper-intelligent Sara D'Amato of Four Season's Hotel fame. Let's just say that when she asks a question, only John Szabo knows what the frick she's talkin' about!
Across the room I saw my homey, Uber-Chef Michael Pataran of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara on the Lake. We did the long-arm wave and hooked up on the break to discuss Sake, etc.
We sampled 8 interesting Zin's at this unpretentious and informative seminar. They ranged from everyday stuff to top-end Farrari Zin, but there wasn't a drop of monkeyjank bastardwater in the flight. Before we even sampled the first glass, I noticed the air was redolent with strawberry jam in a way that was almost cloying. You gotta realize how popular this frickin' grape is...There are 50,000 acres planted with Zin in Kalifornia, where it grows best. I won't even mention Reif Estates abortive attempt to grow Zinfandel in Ontario a couple of years back, and I certainly won't tell y'all what a crackerdine mistake that was. In fact, I'll even go on the record by not telling you that rumour has it that the Zin vines were ripped out and replanted with something that'll grow in our climate. I won't even mention it at all.
Zin grows in very tight clusters and consequently, doesn't get a lot of air circulating around the bunch and can also be prone to mold. That's why it does best in warm, but not hot climates that well suit its long ripening period without burning the grapes or turning them into raisins. It also does best planted above the fog line. Zin can be very high alcohol too (which I'm sure has just gotten the Deaconess' brother in France reading more closely now... ) There are a lot of styles to this grape. It can be soft and herbaceous, even pulling in a canned vegetable note, or blow up your palate with a mouthful of jam.
I liked the Guyser Peak Block Collection 2002 (Sandy Lane, Contra Coast) It had an interesting Eucalyptus flavour with hints of green bean and as Terry Flynn pointed out to me, a hint of red licorice. I also loved the Storybook Mountain 2002 (Napa Valley) This wine was both fruity and astringent, matured in French oak, with spice, cloves and nutmeg. This is a Vintages issue at about 40 bucks. I'd better shut up now, I'm starting to sound like a peckerwood deconstructionist!
We had a great lunch with more Zin. Jamie Kennedy's famous fries with lemon and mayo, barbecued ribs, corn puffs, quiche, etc., ending with peach cobbler and creme fraiche. Great stuff. Konrad went unannounced up to the front and commended the Szabos on a great event. We all heartily concurred, your humble Deacon clapping loudest and longest. Then John Szabo went out to his ride and grabbed a bottle of delicious Zinfandel Port that was about 99% alcohol. We talked about our Transylvanian escapade again, and I thanked him for the rescue. Then Zoltan came over and introduced me to Paolo Malito, the chef of Il Mulino, the subject of a future article...
On the way out, I grabbed a squeeze from CN Tower's Lurch Mega-Fox Doris Miculan Bradley and somehow found my way back to Fresh Mansion in a cab, and I fell asleep for about 2 hours.
Congratulations to John and Zoltan!
Your Deacon heartily approves of your highly lurch event!
The rest of you crackerpeckerdine's ought to check out any event these boyz are runnin' in future...
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Havin' more fun than is good for a man...

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Deacon Meets a Dead Rocker!

Well homeys and's the update you've all been waitin' on:

I was planning on doing a story on Hungarian wines, most notably the Furmint grape, sometime in the first week of March in honour of my artist friend, Gabor Mezei. Plans changed though, when on March 2nd, I got an email inviting your humble Deacon to attend an exclusive sampling of the wines of Romania at an "undetermined location" on March 5th. I would be "paid handsomely for my expertise and opinion" and if I was interested, I only had to reply to the email and the details would be sent by courier. The sum of cash the benefactor offered was so frickin' large that I couldn't resist, and to my surprise, a package arrived by FedEx about 2 hours after I said yes. In the parcel was a bundle of cash in Romanian Lei and a plane ticket to Budapest, for the following day.
I packed a suitcase with my best yellow Zoot-suit, a purple mink coat and a Gucci shoulder bag full of Norman Hardie Pinot Noir and Henry of Pelham Baco for the plane ride. The following morning, I grabbed a limo for Pearson airport and was rushed through security and onto the first class section of a Boeing 767. Within' 20 minutes we were airborne and the Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame was flowing freely. I wasn't too concerned that I didn't know where I was going, as the cash was an indication of the sincerity of my benefactor, "Vlad".
After the Champagne was gone, I finished up the Norman Hardie Pinot and decided to catch a nap. We landed in Budapest, about 9 hours later on a gray, rainy morning. We deplaned, and I was met by an officious mofo in uniform who directed me right back to the runway, where I boarded a jet-black Learjet 31. I was the only passenger and as I walked through the downpour toward the stairs, I couldn't help but notice the garlands of St. Elmo's Fire that clung and crept up the tail of the tiny jet in the super-electrified air. Inside the passenger compartment, all was red velvet and black lace. The bulkhead was decorated with numerous cheerful prints depicting A-320 Airbus crashes. In the absence of a flight attendant, I locked and armed the door myself and sunk into one of the opulent seats and was soon comatose again.
The flight was horribly bumpy. We traveled Southeast if my reckoning was correct and after about 3 more hours, landed in Bucharest, Romania, where a glistening black carriage was waiting, its two coal stallions wet with the evening mist. The driver said nothing, his face swathed in scarves. He tossed me a paper bag, filled with salami, cheese, bread and some chicken Paprikash, which was good, but thirsty. On the seat was some horrible local plonk, but because of the heat of the paprika in the chicken, I quickly got through 3 bottles and fortified myself further with the Henry of Pelham Baco Noir. I then fell into an uneasy sleep, my dreams populated by visions of Robert Mondavi, Bono and Hitler. I vaguely recall beating them all senseless with a Jeroboam of New York State bubbly. From time to time I awoke drowsily on bleak mountain roads as my driver tirelessly negotiated the tight turns and horrific heights of the Borgo Pass. Day and night mingled in the fog and rain, and black stunted trees that seemed to have burst from the very depths of Hell, leaned over our carriage like dark talons.
I awoke just before dawn to the howling of wolves as we broke through the cover of pines into a vast open space. Above us loomed an enormous castle cut from coarse black granite. I grabbed my Sony digital and got the only picture that survived the trip. We passed under a portcullis and clattered over a courtyard of cobblestones. Jumping out of the coach, I stared up at the distant battlements of the dark towers and felt like I was standing at the very gates of Mordor.
I approached the massive steel-banded oak doors and noticed the driver and coach had already departed. My luggage was on the ground beside me however, so I seized the iron knocker ring that protruded from a gargoyle's mouth and hammered "Shave and a haircut". My host, Vlad answered immediately and opening the doors, flung them wide, declaring "Welcome to Transylvania! Enter Deacon! Enter of your own free will!" Vlad was tall and thin with a long, aquiline nose and wore a black suit with a long, highly lurch cape. I stepped over the threshhold into what looked like the lobby of the Hilton. There was a Goth receptionist, sipping Absinthe and flirting with someone on the phone and a bell captain wearing an extremely realistic flying monkey costume and mask. "Take the Deacon to his room, Nikko" commanded Vlad. "The sun will be up soon and I need to rest. Forgive me Dr. Fresh, but I am...shall we say...nocturnal? I shall see you this evening. You will find all you require in your room." Then he split, leaving me with Nikko.
"Listen peckermonkey" I said. "I'm tired and gotta get right to bed. Grab my grip and let's go." He mumbled something resentful but incoherent, and we headed to the elevators and before long I was settled into room 317, which locked behind me. To say it was jank would be to credit it with too much style. It was cold and damp, the bedding was black and the walls were red and black sponge-painted in the manner that's still in vogue in some parts of Pickering. There was a huge fridge full of horrible crackerpecker wine, with names like Transylvanian Trap, Mephisto Merlot, and a few dozen cans of Coors Light - the Silver Bullet. The only reading materials on the bookshelf were back-issues of Hematology Journal and Impaler's Digest. The phone was dead and there was no cell signal. I picked up the room service menu, but the restaurant didn't open until sundown. I wandered around the room, noting the portrait of Bela Lugosi over the bed, the Iron Maiden in the corner, the stuffed goat's head on the dresser, and the total absence of mirrors. I began to feel vaguely uneasy, but couldn't figure out why. In lieu of food I knocked back a few litres of vile Saruman Syrah and fell asleep, not awakening until after sundown.
I found my room door unlocked and took the elevator down to the main floor and crossed the lobby to the combined restaurant and bar. As I approached, I could hear a relaxed lounge version of AC/DC's Highway to Hell. The clock on the wall said midnight and Bon Scott was just finishing his set, accompanied by a pianist, drummer and string-bass player in extremely realistic skeleton costumes. "I'm here forever!" he shouted. "Make sure you try the veal. Thanks and good night!" Bon was hustled out a side door to a smattering of applause from a party of ghouls in the far corner, and I grabbed a table and sat down. Within a couple of minutes, Vlad joined me. "Thank you for coming to Transylvania!" he said warmly, revealing a pair of very sharp canine teeth over a bloodstained lower lip that made me unaccountably uneasy. Vlad explained that he was getting married on the next full moon to his fiancee, Elsbeth Bathory and had hired me to choose the wines for the wedding. "They must all be local wines" he proclaimed. "It will take you days to try them all!" he laughed and drew has cape around him and swirled out through the restaurant door. I waited a moment, and then pretended to be looking for the men's room and wandered over to the iron door where Bon Scott had gone. The lock was a simple three pin lever that was common in the 18th century, but easy to pick. I determined to slip through later and find out what Bon was doing here. I thought he had died in 1980. ..
My Goth waitress brought me a tray of slimy raw oysters and some steak tartare that was pretty foul. I had to get out of this dump soon or die from starvation. I hung around until the lounge had mostly emptied out, except for a couple of lizards in a booth drinking rusty nails from skulls. Then I slipped over to the corner door and picked the lock with a fork. The staircase was lit by smoking torches and I circled downward for what must have been 300 feet until I reached bottom. I was in a dungeon. I grabbed a torch and shone it into the first cell I saw and Bon Scott stared out at me.
"Hi Dr. Fresh" he said emotionlessly.
"Bon, whatch'all doin' here? I thought you were dead" I replied.
"I am dead!" he grinned, his eyes glinting, revealing two long canine teeth. "But Count Vlad likes my singing and won't let me leave. If I don't escape, I'm gonna play the longest run in history. Longer than Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage. Now get me out of here!"
"You aint goin' nowhere, Zombie Boy!" I answered and continued down the corridor as he screamed and pounded the door of his cell.
"Deacon Fresh? Did I just hear your voice?" came from the next cell. A smiling face with normal teeth peered out from the barred door. It was Denzel Washington.
"Denzel?! Wassup Homey?" I asked in shock.
"Vlad's men grabbed me in Toronto when I was shooting a film" he answered. "They thought I was you."
"Happens all the time. Don't sweat it" I said. "What's this mofo Vlad up to?" I asked.
"The sumbitch has produced a Transylvanian wine with vampire blood in it. He was going to get you to endorse it and bring all the world under his spell. Anyone who drank it would fall under his power."
"Lemme get you out of here..." Further down the corridor was a torture chamber and I grabbed a mace from a hook on the wall and running back, smashed in the door of Denzel's cell. "Come on. We gotta quit this dive!" I said urgently. "I phone the Deaconess every day, no matter where I am. She hasn't heard from me in about 3 or 4 days. With any luck, she's called out the marines by now." Denzel and I sprinted up the staircase and emerged in the deserted restaurant. It was 4 AM and still dark out. Suddenly I heard a commotion in the courtyard and about 20 flying monkeys darted through the lobby, armed with scimitars. They fluttered up to a high window above the chandeliers and flew outside in battle formation. The Goth receptionist went to pull an alarm, but Denzel got to her first and cut her head off with a sword from a nearby suit of armour. Climbing up onto the reception desk, we were able to see out the windows set in the lobby wall.
We heard a sudden blast of small arms fire. The troops had arrived! Our Kalifornia Konnexion Rozeen and about two dozen homeys from the South Central Wine Possy were unloading on the flying monkeys with Glocks, picking them out of the sky like clay pigeons. "Come on!" I shouted to Denzel, and we leapt up the wide marble staircase to the mezzanine level and out a door onto the parapet. Rozeen and the boyz were driving the monkeys back, but about a hundred timber wolves were pouring from the hills to reinforce the simian army.
"Look out Deacon!" yelled Denzel. Behind us, Bon's skeleton band was closing fast, armed with axes and bottles of nitric acid. I kicked the pianist in the rib-cage, splintering it, and we sprinted up the main staircase onto the wide, flat, roof, just as a Hungarian Army helicopter rappelled a group of men in black body-armour and respirators onto Vlad's helipad. "Get down!" yelled one of them as he blasted the skeletons with a stun grenade. He pulled off his respirator and Uber-Sommelier John Szabo stood grinning.
"The wine community looks after its own" he said, crescent kicking the head off another skeleton that was trying to stand up again.He handed us machine guns and small vials of liquid. "Throw this at the bastards!" he said. "They can't stand its purity."
"Holy water?" I asked.
"Ontario VQA wine" he answered. "These evil mofos have no defense against it." There was a sudden roaring engine sound from the courtyard, and Denzel and I leaned over the parapet and saw Konrad Ejbich in the turret of an Abrams tank, driving the wolves back with a flame-thrower. On the roof nearby, Tony Aspler had set up a 50 calibre water-cooled general purpose machine gun and he began providing support fire, hosing down a group of zombies as Count Vlad appeared from a doorway to our right. We flung the VQA wine at the cracker and he staggered back hissing and singed, just as Billy Munnelly decked him with a Shillelagh and crossing himself, Beppi Crosariol drove a stake through Vlad's heart. In seconds he disintegrated into a pile of dust.
"Where's Zoltan?" I asked John Szabo.
"In the castle, pressing the flesh" he answered. "We've got an event coming up and he thought it would be a good chance to network."
Munnelly dropped a flare and the helicopter landed, with Prince of Wales Chef Michael Pataran at the controls. He handed us all chilled sake and grilled Teriyaki beef skewers and we lifted off. Down below, the homeys were dealing with the last of the resistance; Adam "The Sadist" Sutherland neck-cranking werewolves and the undead, while Rozeen threw molotov cocktails into the lobby. The flames and the acrid smoke rose in a dark column behind us as we headed to Bucharest and the private jet my wine friends had chartered.
"Too bad about Bon Scott" said Denzel reflectively. "It makes you wonder how many other entertainers are actually dead but still performing. Keith Richards for sure." I didn't answer though. I was too tired, and greatfully accepted the glass of Barolo that John Szabo poured for me as he went into a fascinating story about the Nebbiolo grape and a group of Italian Zombies he'd had to exhume and destroy, early in his wine career. Then Aspler regaled us with an amazing account of his early days with the BBC and MI6, clearing a dozen poltergeists from a cork factory in Portugal. I struggled to stay awake and listen, as Billy told us how he once drove a Banshee back to hell with nothing but a bottle of Guinness and a cork-screw.
I love the wine industry, I thought, as I dozed off to the soothing beat of the helicopter rotor.
And it was great to hear Bon sing again...

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Van Helsing of the Vineyard

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Deacon is Back!

Yo Yo Yo to all my fanz and all you crackerpecker monkeyjive bananapeel dinkwaters who still just don't get it!

I be back! As many of you have noticed, for weeks the Deacon's been missing in action, and what a wild ride it's been, even by Deacon standards, which ride both high and wild...
As you can see, the experience has taken its toll on His Excellency, and I know you're all chompin' at the metaphorical bit to find out exactly what's happened...Well for lack of time, I can't tell y'all right now. But I wanted my hos and homeys to know that your Deacon has not vanished off the face of the earth. I swear by Billy Munnelly's liver that I'll be givin' y'all a complete update within 24 hours.
It's a very strange story...
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Gone and back again

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