Deacon Dr. Fresh Wine Newsletter

A Wine Newsletter With An Edge - Definitely NOT your typical white bread, mofo, cracker, peckerwood, jank, peckercracker wine newsletter! If this info is too advanced for you, check out my other newsletter: Wine for Dix at

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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, May 18, 2007

The Deacon Tours New Zealand!

Greetings Homeys, Crackahs and Peckahs!

Wassup? to my Pirate Crue...

and a special hello goes out to all you Deacon detractin', yellow tailed, bag scratchin', Cruex sprayin', Blue Tooth Star Trek "look at me! I'm on the phone!" flashing earpiece wearin', missers of the whole frickin' point, who keep on comin' back for more...

In the words of Gandalf Stormcrow:

Bite my staff!

Now let's get right into this...

Today we're talkin' about New Zealand wine, because yesterday, your humble Deacon got an eksklusive invite to the New Zealand Awesome Aromatics Trade Seminar at the Design Exchange. Now this was by invitation only, which is why I didn't see most of my loyal readers in attendance. Since I was given a special media pass, I made a point of hangin' with two of my homeys, Michael Pinkus and Dean Tudor. We were clearly the bad boyz of the room and Pinkus kept your humble Deacon entertained with his inane but hilarious comments. Dean did a really cool thing and I realize how much I have to learn about the wine industry. At the end of the seminar, we all jumped to grab the sandwiches that were totally lurch. We each grabbed only one, as we were told there wouldn't be more than one per person. Well Dean's an old hand at this, and while Pinkus and I elbowed the elderly out of our way, Dean hung out in the background and took nothing. He waited until the platters were refilled (something that apparently always happens) and then loaded up while the rest of us were still quietly eating our single sandwich, trying to make it last. The guy's a frickin' genius! When Pinkus and I headed downstairs after the seminar, Dean was refilling again and was probably eating well into the night. The seminar was conducted by David Lawrason, who did a totally lurch job. He explained that vitis vinifera grapes grow between 30 degrees and 50 degrees of latitude. New Zealand has the advantage that both their frickin' islands fit neatly into this 20 degree space, which means they can grow grapes anywhere. The dude knows his stuff and has no attitude at all. At one point he asked if anyone had any comments about a particular Riesling and your Deacon raised his hand. I said it smelled like warm petrol, like someone had opened the hood of a tank from a Panzer Division, which is what Riesling is supposed to smell like. He seemed rather uncomfortable with this, which I thought was a funny way to treat a line of such comedic brilliance.

So... we got to sample some really lurch New Zealand whites, including 3 Riesling, 3 Pinot Gris and 3 Gewurtztraminer. Now if I'd been running things, I'd have gotten the Pinot Gris out of the way first. To me, it's always a kind of nothing grape. I'm not sayin' it sux or anything, but it's just not that interesting, no matter how well it's vinified (which means "turned into wine" to you peckercrackers in Keswick). It's sort of like Snora Jones' music. Inoffensive, but so frickin' what? When did inoffensive become a positive descriptor?


Now your Deacon has waxed poetic on NZ Sauvignon Blanc for ages. I think the kiwis in general and the good folks in Marlborough make arguably the best SB on the planet. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to have his cranium examined or is on someone's payroll...Well I gots to tell you, the NZ Rieslings and Gewurtztraminers were also highly lurch! There's one wine I want to draw your attention to, which is Spy Valley Gewurtztraminer 2006! Woo hoo hoo hoo! This one's lurch with a capital L! This Marlborough wine is only $20.95 and will be at Vintages on May 26th. (Stock number 032870) This wine has everything. Put it with Thai Red Curry and give it 15 minutes out of the fridge to open up and then thank me! Otherwise, try it with stuffed pork or teriyaki salmon. If you don't like it, I recommend you stand with the bottle in front of a full length mirror and ask your reflection why you're a dick! There are only 100 cases coming into the province and I think Zoltan's ordered 99 of them, so grab this suckah!

After the seminar we headed downstairs to the huge New Zealand Wine Fair. There were 55 presenters here, and each one was showcasing between 2 and 6 wines! Do the frickin' math and then write and tell me how much you wish you were the Deacon...

Here's another phenom wine you gots to try: Mount Riley Savee Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Marlborough (# 032326) This will rock your frickin' world! Bob Campbell, New Zealand's only Master of Wine wrote about this wine in 2004 and called it "A supercharged Sauvignon Blanc". Here you have an SB that's made in the traditional Champagne method and taken off the lees really early to avoid too much yeasty flavour. This is a delicious and refreshing sparkling and only $22.95, again at Vintages on Saturday May 26th. Sparkling SB is very rare, so don't miss this opportunity to try a really interesting bubbly.

If you don't understand or think you don't like Sauvignon Blanc, I recommend you start with a good reliable one: Coopers Creek, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at only $16.95 (#957407) This is a Vintages Essentials. Drink it really cold in a martini glass for the full effect. It's a great aperitif and will wake up your tastebuds before a big honkin' meal. Otherwise, serve it with herbed chicken and asparagus to experience the perfect food match.

I also really liked the extreme cherry flavours of Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir Central Otago 2005, although at $43.00 I found it pricey, although it is my fave Pinot from NZ to date. I've said for a year or more that New Zealand's Pinot Noir has been inconsistent and I still say it. It's a problematic grape to grow; think of Edgar Allen Poe, naked and drunk and on acid and you're trying to get him to catch eels against his will in a force 5 hurricane, and you get the idea. To my mind, it costs so much to produce this wine that you're better off with the Ontario variant. Coyote's Run and Flat Rock Cellars do an impressive job with Pinot, and so does Fielding Estates, providing real value with a VQA wine. But if you must have imported, and don't want to support Burgundy, New Zealand's coming along nicely.

As I wandered the room, pressing the flesh and checkin' out the samples, I ran into my homeys, Jono "Saskatchewan Brain Boy" Kuhling and Zoltan "Jak sie macz" Szabo. We hung out for a while and shared a few war stories. At 4 PM we split.

Kudos to the organizers. This was a really nicely presented, totally lurch event.

Your Deacon loves you.

Coming soon: Another book review and an interview with Canadian piano genius Stephan Moccio.

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Supportin' the kiwis and other kool birds

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Final Results for Ontario Wine Awards 2007!

Yo Peckers!


Yes, you frickin' heard me...

I got here the wines that took the most prisoners at the 2007 Ontario Wine Awards!

First I gots to thank Forefront Communications Network, who put the whole damn thing together!

They worked like frickin' scurvy-ridden galley slaves on this event, right up until the last minute and deserve a big round of applause.

Now having said that...

So many of you Saltines have written or phoned your humble Deacon, axin' me who the winners were / are, that I'm just gonna list them all for you here:

2007 Ontario Wine Awards – Final Results

Evian Sparkling Wine Award (2 Golds, no typo!)
Gold: Thirteenth Street Winery 2002 Premier Cuvée
Gold: Hillebrand Estates NV Trius Brut
Bronze: Peller Estates NV AP Signature Series Ice Cuvée

Crush Wine Bar & Restaurant Dry Riesling Award
Gold: Calamus Estate 2005 Riesling
Silver: Flat Rock Cellars 2006 Nadja's Vineyard Riesling
Bronze: Château des Charmes 2005 Riesling
Bronze: Château des Charmes 2005 Riesling, Estate Bottled

680News Off-Dry Riesling Award
Gold: Hillebrand Estates 2005 Trius Riesling Dry
Silver: Vineland Estates 2005 Riesling Reserve
Bronze: Angels Gate Winery 2006 Riesling Sussreserve

Forefront Communications Dry White Varietal Award
Gold: Reif Estate 2006 Chenin Blanc
Silver: Peninsula Ridge Estates 2002 Equinox
Bronze: Flat Rock Cellars 2006 Twisted

Mike Mandel Best Rock Band Award
Gold: AC/DC
Silver: Black Sabbath
Bronze: Led Zeppelin

LCBO Gewurztraminer Award
Gold: Fielding Estate 2006 Gewurztraminer Reserve
Silver: Ridgepoint Wines 2006 Gewurztraminer
Bronze: Pointer's Hill Estates 2006 Bench Boss Gewurztraminer

Wine Access Pinot Gris Award
Gold: Calamus Estate 2006 Pinot Gris
Silver: Coyote's Run Estate 2006 Pinot Gris
Bronze: Pointer's Hill Estates 2006 Bench Boss Pinot Gris

Imported Ontario Ice Wine Award
Gold: Shanghai
Silver: Beijing
Bronze: Hunan

The Wine Establishment Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Award
Gold: Peninsula Ridge Estates 2005 Fumé Blanc
Silver: Vineland Estates 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Rosomel Vineyard
Bronze: Château des Charmes 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, St. David's Bench Vineyard

The Distillery Historic District Oaked Chardonnay Award ~ Under $20
Gold: Peller Estates 2004 Private Reserve Chardonnay
Silver: Mountain Road 2003 BF Chardonnay
Bronze: Creekside Estate 2005 Reserve Chardonnay, Butler's Grant Vineyard

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Oaked Chardonnay Award ~ Over $20
Gold: Mountain Road 2003 Reserve Chardonnay
Silver: Flat Rock Cellars 2005 The Rusty Shed Chardonnay
Bronze: Inniskillin 2004 Founders' Reserve Chardonnay

Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce Unoaked Chardonnay Award
Gold: Angels Gate Winery 2005 Chardonnay
Silver: Willow Heights Estate 2005 Unoaked Chardonnay
Bronze: Tawse Winery 2006 Chardonnay Musqué

Rosé/Blanc de Noir Award (Yes, 2 Silvers!)
Silver: Fielding Estate 2006 Rosé
Silver: Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2006 Dry Rosé
Bronze: Creekside Estate 2006 Cabernet Rosé

Curiosk Marketing Solutions Inc. Gamay Award
Gold: Thirteenth Street Winery 2005 Gamay Noir Reserve
Silver: Huff Estates 2005 Gamay Noir
Bronze: Château des Charmes 2005 Gamay Noir 'Droit', St. David's Bench Vineyard

Deacon Dr. Fresh Pecker of the Year Award
Gold: Tim Atkins
Silver: Tim Atkins
Bronze: Tim Atkins

Grape Growers of Ontario Pinot Noir Award
Gold: Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Gravity Pinot Noir
Silver: Stoney Ridge Estate 2005 Founder’s Signature Collection Pinot Noir
Bronze: Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Pinot Noir

680News Red Hybrid Award
Gold: Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2005 Baco Noir Reserve
Silver: Rockway Glen Estate 2005 Baco Noir
Bronze: Lakeview Cellars Estate 2004 Baco Noir Reserve
Bronze: Waupoos Estate 2005 Baco Noir

680News Cabernet Franc Award
Gold: Marynissen Estates 2004 Cabernet Franc, Estate Bottled
Silver: Magnotta Winery 2005 Cabernet Franc Special Reserve
Bronze: Stoney Ridge Estate 2003 Cabernet Franc Reserve

The Ideal Printing Company Limited Cabernet Sauvignon Award
Gold: Reif Estate 2002 First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver: Château des Charmes 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. David's Bench Vineyard
Bronze: Lailey Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

Dairy Farmers of Canada Merlot Award
Gold: Reif Estate 2002 First Growth Merlot
Silver: Colio Estate 2002 CEV Signature Merlot
Bronze: Pillitteri Estates 2002 Merlot Family Reserve

Fine Wine Reserve Wine Storage Syrah/Shiraz Award
Gold: Creekside Estate 2004 Reserve Shiraz, St. David's Bench
Silver: Lakeview Cellars Estate 2004 Syrah Reserve 15th Anniversary
Silver: Jackson Triggs 2004 Delaine Vineyard Syrah

Allen’s Meritage and Cabernet/Merlot Blends Award
Gold: Creekside Estate 2002 Reserve Meritage
Gold: Stoney Ridge Estate 2003 Founder's Signature Collection Meritage
Bronze: Château des Charmes 2004 Cabernet/Merlot, Estate Bottled

The Ideal Printing Company Limited Late Harvest Award
Gold: Château des Charmes 2005 Late Harvest Riesling, Estate Bottled
Silver: Niagara Vintners Incorporated 2005 20 Bees Late Harvest Vidal
Bronze: Stoney Ridge Estate 2005 Igluu Cabernet Franc Late Harvest

Niagara Airbus Select & Special Select Late Harvest Award
Gold: Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2005 Special Select Late Harvest Vidal
Silver: Konzelmann Estate 2004 Select Late Harvest Riesling Traminer
Bronze: Colio Estate 2002 CEV Select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc

Vintage Hotels Vidal Icewine Award
Gold: Maleta Estate 2002 First Frost Last Grape American Oak-Aged Vidal Icewine
Silver: Peller Estates 2005 AP Signature Series Vidal Icewine
Bronze: Lailey Vineyards 2005 Vidal Icewine

VIA Rail Vinifera Icewine Award
Gold: Magnotta Winery 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine Limited Edition
Silver: Stoney Ridge Estate 2006 Chenin Blanc Icewine
Bronze: Stoney Ridge Estate 2005 Cabernet Franc Icewine

Ontario Wine Society Small Crush, Dry White Award
Gold: Creekside Estate 2005 Laura White

All Stick Label Limited Best Label Design Award
Gold: Flat Rock Cellars 2005 The Rusty Shed Chardonnay
Silver: Lailey Vineyard 2005 Pinot Noir
Bronze: Thirty Bench 2005 Red

Deacon Dr Fresh Beater Boppin' Babe Award
Gold: Lindsay Groves
Silver: Doris Miculan Bradley
Bronze: Jennifer "Chotzi" Rosen

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Wine Journalism Award
Rod Phillips

Grapes for Humanity Award
Larry Paterson

Best 18th Century Ship with Pratt and Whitney Turbine Engines and a Helipad Award
The Black Freighter

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Sommelier of the Year Award
Lindsay Groves

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Wine of the Year Award
Maleta Estate 2002 First Frost Last Grape American Oak-Aged Vidal Icewine

Vintage Hotels Winemaker of the Year Award
Paul M. Bosc, Château des Charmes

Congrats to all you winners! Your Deacon lubs you!

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Wine as a marital art

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Deacon Interviews Lurch and Luscious Jennifer Rosen!

Greetings fanz, foze, frenz and assorted foolz!

To all my Legion of Lurch, my Pirate Crue, I greet you warmly and with rich menace. Wassup?

We gots a kool interview for y'all today, with Mega Wine-Babe Jennifer "Chotzi" Rosen, shown in the photograph on the left. Now I think her moniker should be pronounced "Hotzi", because most of you dudes readin' this have already forgotten about wine! So get your eyes off her picture, your minds out of the gutter, and stop thinkin' about boppin' in the beater!

Oh yeah...I almost forgot:

To all of you lounge lizard, boardwalk strollin', latte drinkin', Panama hat wearin', stereotypical, cottage music blastin', bluetooth addicted DIX...

Bite my mizzen mast!

Chotzi met up with me during a recent visit to Toronto. We lunched at Captain John's, and then each grabbed a leopard skin chaise longue and a glass of Henry of Pelham Non-Oaked Chardonnay, and stretched out in the sun on the helicopter deck of the Black Freighter. The water lapped in the background, punctuated by the horn of the Toronto Island Ferry and the soothing sound of Adam Sutherland scraping barnacles and zebra mussels off the hull with a long-handled squeegee.

As we began to rap, I realized that Chotzi's a lot more than just lurch looks. This babe's really done it all! She's been a horse trainer, ski-instructor and private eye. She's a certified Graphoanalyst (that's handwriting expert to those of you in Keswick), trapeze artist and belly dancer. (She wanted to demonstrate, but I told her it would be bad for the Deacon's blood pressure.) Jennifer is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French and is now studying Arabic. I swear to you, I'm not makin' any of this up! She's also going to be studying hypnosis in the fall at the University of Toronto, with my homey, hypno-wizard Mike Mandel. How weirdly lurch is all that?

Chotzi is known best for her excellent wine website, The Cork Jester. She won the 2005 James Beard Award for Internet writing on food, restaurant, beverage or nutrition. But I'm writin' this today to put you onto a couple of her excellent wine books.

The first one is Waiter, there's a horse in my wine

Chotzi sent me a copy a few months back and it's frickin' entertaining as hell! The back cover says "Stop worrying about wine and start enjoying it!" So true. How many nose in the air crackerpeckerdix ruin wine for everyone by being too damn serious? Well this book aint serious in tone, but it's information you can take to the bank. This woman knows her stuff...

The book is a compendium of fascinating wine wisdom, including such arcane subjects as "Great Expectorations: Spitting is an art, too." One of my favourites is "If Tannins Could Talk: They'd say "Don't eat me!""

A couple of weeks back, Chotzi was good enough to send me another book: The Cork Jester's Guide to Wine

This is another totally entertaining volume. One minute she's talking about Pinot Gris and then suddenly switches to Jell-O shots and nipples. Then you're reading an article on Cabernet and suddenly the topic has switched to spanking! But don't worry. Jennifer's provocative, but never offensive. The fact that you're readin' the Deacon means you can handle it!

Her books combine wit, irony, and totally kool info in her own inimitable style. Another great thing about them, is you can open them anywhere and just start reading. But keep a highliter handy 'cause you're gonna need it. There's a lot of stuff here you won't want to forget. For example: cinnamon, cloves and Christmas spices say French oak, while coconut and vanilla mean American oak. That's just a hint of the lurch stuff this ultra-lurchette has packed into these concentrated volumes. Chotzi's not just beater-boppin' hot. She's as sharp as a tack too, with a wicked sense of humour. So I'm ratin' both her books 5 frickin' starz!

You heard me.

5 frickin' starz
for content, delivery and sheer entertaining value!

Buy them at Chapters Indigo by clickin' on the links on this posting. Order them! (call to action) You'll thank me, just as I, am thanking me.

At the end of the day, your humble Deacon bade the Babe bye bye and packed her in my leased, black, Apache AH-64A Attack Helicopter with Adam at the controls, for her short jaunt to Pearson Airport. As the turbine whined and the collective engaged, the chopper lifted smoothly on the ground cushion, and Adam loosed a 60 round burst of depleted uranium shells from the chaingun at a couple of tourists who were getting too close to the Black Freighter. Chotzi had told me that the thing she liked best about wine was the people.

Amen to that, I thought...Amen to that.

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Promotin' wine-babes worldwide

Debris still falls from 2007 Ontario Wine Awards!

Yo Ho Ho

Ha Ha Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Greetings All and Sundry! In the names of Bacchus, Tony Aspler, and by the power of Ontario Ice Wine:

I greet you all!

And to all the usual shower of riff-raff, all of you pumpkin headed, Buffalo shopping, comedically impoverished, uber-serious DIX out there, many of whom actually attended the extravaganza...

Bite me crank!

Let's start by sayin' the Awards were a blast! Tony was flyin' in from Portugal and we had zero time to rehearse, but he did his usual fine job, playing Dr. Jekyll to the Deacon's Mr. Hyde...

This being a black tie event, your humble Deacon arrived in his usual haute couture, seen with a fan in the papparazzi photo above. (Look how cut that frickin' arm is!) Entering to "Thunderstruck" your Deacon gladhanded the room, high fivin' my homeys, including Zoltan and John Szabo. I began with my now famous proclamation that was picked up by the National Post: "I declare Niagara on the Lake to be a Yellowtail Free Zone!" This was greeted with warm applause, and for those of you who couldn't afford to attend, here are some of my most brilliant lines of the evening:

"Icewine has put Canada on the map!" (applause)
"And no-one makes better icewine than Ontario!" (wild applause)
"And no-one makes more Ontario icewine...than the Chinese!" (confused applause)

At the end of the evening your Deacon said:

"Don't be in a big rush to get back to your rooms. Hang around for a while and visit. This is Niagara on the Lake, not Viagara on the Lake, so don't be in a big hurry to start boppin' in the beater!"

and then:

"The judging of these awards was done under the scrutiny of Price Waterhouse who ensured everything was above board. And I swear by Billy Munnelly's liver, and the $2,000.00 cash in this envelope that these awards were not fixed!"

When your Deacon exited the stage to the AC/DC song, "Money Talks", the crowd leapt to their feet and began clapping in time with the song. This of course led to some mofo crackerdick thinking it would be a great time to shut the music off, leaving the audience in confused silence. I don't know who it was...but it wasn't the soundman Mark, who did a great job and was under Deaconic instructions to let the song play to the end.

So the evening was a mix. There were my homeys, like John and Zoltan Szabo, Doug Beatty, Tony Aspler, Sadie Darby, Jono Kuhling, Suzanne Janke, Lindsay Groves, John Maxwell and a host of others who still possess that rarest of traits, a sense of humour. Your Deacon thanks you. It seems at least some of you remembered that when you ask the Deacon to Host, you ain't gonna get Snora Jones, who I'm sure they'll be gettin' next year...

Now you might recall that I always go on and on about peckerdines and crackerwater mofo DIX who just don't get it, but keep tuning in... Well clearly, some of you still don't get it, even though you were at the awards, so I'm going to explain what the Deacon is all about, and let the dirty little secret of the wine industry out of Pandora's Box, releasing the Furies...

The horrible and unmentionable secret of the wine industry that the super-serious frozen faced intelligentsia don't want you to know is...

It's only grape juice.

That's right. It's only effing grape juice!

The Jester has just pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes.

That's what the Deacon and this blog are all about. And note that this in no way besmirches the totally kool and dedicated winemakers and fine wineries in this great industry. Your Deacon is always there for you.

But let's lighten up a bit.

And if you were there, and were offended by anything I said or did, please realize that was not my intent. If my comments or actions caused you any discomfort or anger, by undermining the dignity of these awards, please permit me to quote Nikola Tesla, and say:

Bite my rich red wire!

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Because Ideas are Bulletproof

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