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!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Real Men Wear Pink!

I have survived. There is nothing to say, beyond I have survived the greatest overwhelm of hospitality that any wine writer has ever had to endure in the history of the planet. Yes, my dear friends, despite the concerted and stalwart attempts of Billy Munnelly, John Maxwell and the sterling staff of Allen's to kill your humble Deacon with crushing kindness, exceptional ambiance, fantastic friends, stalwart service, wonderful wine and fabulous food, I have lived to tell the tale...and what a tale it is, dear friends, worthy of the spiritual offspring of Wordsworth, Chaucer and Johnson, which I am.

Men in Pink is an annual celebration of the best VQA rosé wine Ontario winemakers have to offer. Co-chaired by bon vivants His Grace Billy Munnelly (a perennial favourite of the Deacon) and Toronto's reigning Hospitality King, His Excellency John Maxwell; I had turned down two previous invitations due to pressing work demands. Now that the Second Great Depression has arrived full Force 10 (despite near-universal denial and the printing of untold trillions of dollars in quantitative easing) at least I have the time to go to a few more events before the sky falls completely, the Aliens arrive, or the Mayans prove to be correct. Well this time, I got to go, and arrived at Allen's on Wednesday at 1:10, which was unfashionably early for a 1PM event. To my shock and surprise, the place was already rocking; many attendees had apparently arrived on Sunday and had been drinking ever since. We were all decked-out in full regalia, our entry tickets consisting of all things pink; shirts, ties, hats and in at least one case, a pink sports jacket. I was immediately greeted by His Worship, Tony Aspler, resplendent in trendy new glasses which were not rose-coloured, although Billy's were; an enormous pair in fact, that Sir Elton John (not in attendance) would have been proud of. I quickly connected with all the old boys, including Don Len Pennacetti, Count Rob Power, Prince Jono Kuhling, Marquis Jean-Pierre Colas, Baron Charles Baker, His Holiness, Pope Paul de Campo the Fifteenth, and about 40 others.

What an event! I nearly did a Michael Henchard and almost auctioned off the Deaconess to John Maxwell for 5 guineas...The rosé - about 20 types by my reckoning - flowed like serum and lymph from a tropical ulcer, and there were some amazing ones, but I quickly gave up all hope of documenting them, once Tony Aspler bought me a pint of Spearhead, the Gewurtztraminer of beer. I'm not kidding! Things became a bit vague after that, but we were suddenly all seated for a full lunch at a long table, decked with bottled water and about another 40 bottles of rosé. We were initially going to have light appetizers in the courtyard, but the weather didn't co-operate, and John Maxwell and his stellar staff made a seamless transition to a sit-down lunch for 45, including chilled cucumber soup with radishes, followed by salmon, then tenderloin of beef and a gorgeous baked apple dessert. You've gotta love Allen's, as did the other Toronto Uberhost, Don Roberto Martello, the proprietor of Grano, looking mega-lurch with a tie the colour of a sockeye salmon.

I sat near Billy and Tony, in my usual seat on the end, just in case we came under terrorist attack and I had to rescue everyone and have a huge budget film made about it. To my right was Baron Rodney of Rodney's Oysters fame, and he regaled us with a wonderful story of a professional oyster shucker who shucked too fast and managed to sever his glans. Later, seats were shifted and I got to hang out with Rory Gallagher, the amazing dead guitarist, now reincarnated as Manager of Mildred's Temple Kitchen.

At the end of the day, John Maxwell poured me a flute of Guinness, and ran outside with me as the Deaconess arrived in the pink Bentley. What a day among the Royalty of wine!

So here's your call to action:

We've got some real heavy-hitters in the Ontario food and wine industry and it's getting better all the time. Maybe you didn't get an invite to this amazing event, but you can still be involved and show your support. You can buy Billy's iPod app and Tony's books, and drink a few dozen bottles of prime VQA rosé. Visit the dozens of great wineries in Niagara, Lake Erie North Shore, and Prince Edward County, come back and shuck oysters with Rodney, grab gnocchi at Grano, and end up at Allen's for a late supper and a pint of Spearhead under John Maxwell's mantle of hospitality.

You'll thank me...

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Because real men do wear pink...


Monday, June 20, 2011

Fitness, Creekside, Chablis, and the Deacon in Ireland!

Greetings Boozophiles, fanz and friends, homeys and homettes. Your Deacon lubs you! Here's the latest from your Humble Deacon, but first the unedited stream of consciousness rant:

All the rest of you glassy-eyed, under the table texting vaccine addicts can gargle my knotted pseudo-Irish blackthorn shillelagh!

And now the fitness update: Many of you are wondering if your Humble Deacon will cut enough weight to make the Canada Day deadline for the goal of 160 lbs. Well, I'm pleased to announce, your Deacon will make the deadline! Back in April I was firmly ensconced in Fat Bastard Land, carrying almost 183 lbs on my 5' 10" frame. As of this AM, I'm down to 162.2 lbs, which means I have lost over 20 lbs and have only another 2.2 to go in about 12 days, which should be a cinch. So much for you decryers and negative nay-sayers who said it couldn't be done. You might want to examine your own mid-line rolls and write me an apology before your immanent heart attack makes it impossible for you to send me a lavishly simpering and sycophantic email.

In other news: I had the good fortune to attend an amazing Creekside wine and oyster event in the Distillery District a couple of weeks back. Winemaker Rob and his gunslinger/bodyguard Matt kept a wide variety of eksepshunal wines flowing with cheese and nearly unlimited oysters. Creekside is another one of those wineries, along with Henry of Pelham, Stratus and Penninsula Ridge, that I really Respect. A couple of years back I was saying that Shiraz wouldn't do well in Niagara as it needs lots of sun and very little snow and ice. Creekside proved me wrong and made a New World style Shiraz that blew everyone's brains out. Now they're calling it Syrah and are creating a Rhone style wine that's as awesome as a 357 Magnum in a fist fight. Creekside also produces the top tier Wayne Gretsky wines that can skate across your palate like old number 99 himself. If you haven't checked out Creekside lately, buy a case or two. Their Sauvignon Blanc is excellent too, as were all the whites I tried. Thanks for the invite, Creekside! You're makin' some lurch vino.

Then the laughs continued with a visit to the Fine Wine Reserve, where your Deacon is a perennial visitor when we judge the Canadian Ice Wine offerings each spring. I always plan on storing my wine there, but always drink it on the way over. I took the Deaconess with me for a Chablis tasting that was a rare wine treat. Artisanal Wine Imports put on the event and we got to sample some amazing steely and austere Droin Chablis, including 3 Premier Crus and a Grand Cru. For those of you who are still drinking nothing but Malbec, I'll explain further: Chablis is made from the Chardonnay grape in the North part of France. It grows in soil replete with oyster shells, which not surprisingly, makes it a perfect accompaniment for our little half-shell friends. True, you'll pay a premium price; $68.95 for the Grand Cru, but this is a wine that will age spectacularly for another 10 or 15 years. So limit your purchase to a case and then send a bottle or two to your Deacon, as an appropriate thanks for the heads-up...

Finally, let's talk about travel...

My homeboy and mentor, Billy Munnelly is actually running a wine tour of Ireland where you get to spend a week in Lisheen Castle! Yes, an actual castle with our own awesome chef! There'll be day trips, lunch on the coast and evenings in Irish pubs, etc., etc., all delivered with flawless style by Billy and Kato.

Will Billy Munnelly be providing wine?

Does Rose Kennedy have a black dress?

And your Deacon's going! That's right, me and the Deaconess are already booked on the second week (September 12th to 20th). Check out the website for this lurchest of lurch trips. If you've ever wanted to go to Ireland - and who hasn't? - there's no better way than with Billy! Act fast, because the tour's filling up now. There are two possible weeks but each one is limited to 13 people. Yes, 13 a haunted castle! How cool is that? It's an Agatha Bastard Christie novel in the making, and you get to hang with Billy and the Deacon! Book it now, crackers! And don't y'all worry about no ghost. I routinely punch out anyone wearing a white sheet...

See y'all in Ireland.

Stay lurch 

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Ireland Bound

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