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Baco Challenge

January 4, 2010

New Year's Eve is a day I should avoid. Historically it has been a bad night for me. In a past life I must have had just too much fun so now in this life I am paying for it.

We had dinner at Calabria with the Killops and kinda with the Driedgers (owners). Of course wine was drank, we brought a bottle of Riesling (an 03 Konzelmann) and a bottle of Cristalle. No not that one, this one is from Peller and they use ice wine for the second charge. Gary and Wanda brought a bottle of Mastronardi Reserve Chardonnay and a Smith and Wilson Cabernet Franc. Ok we had more there, a bottle of Pelee Riesling and another I can't recall. I wonder why. Company was good then we went to the Killops for The Baco Challenge.

By this point I was a wee bit toasty therefore violated the first rule: Glasshopper, you must get to the wine before the wine gets to you…..but master, the wine was soooo good!

In any event my thoughts on the challenge are general and I was really surprised. We aerated each sample then we left for the samples to be poured. Gary had bought enough glasses so each of us had 9 numbered samples unknown to us. Oi, nine samples….I was in trouble, but I bravely toiled on. It was pure bravery but someone had to do it.


Colio 2008,

Pelee Island 2008,

Mastronardi Casa Nostra 2008,

Erie Shore 2008,

Muscedere 2007 Reserve,

Aleksander 2007,

D’Angelo 2007 Reserve,

Sanson 2005 Reserve,

and from the Niagara region, Henry of Pelham 2005 Reserve.

What surprised me was the relative goodness of the samples. None was overwhelmingly better or poorer. All were of very good quality. Different but similar, all were good and any could win.

All showed that really fruity face that basically, I don't care for, thus my love for Baco. But I have to admit that they are much much better now than in the past and will probably form the backbone in our wine industry, like zin in California. Gee I love that wine too. Ok I'm a Pinot guy…I admit it and I like whites alot more.

Our winner surprised me alot. Well there was a tie and the tie was Mastronardi Nostra Casa and Sanson's Baco. Odd since they are both ends of the price spectrum. Remember that this was a very blind test, and I don't drink Baco (but have a bottle of Sanson's in my wine fridge) so I really don't know these wines.

We had a wine-off…kinda like that scene from Zoolander (a wonderful movie that I can't miss) and we couldn't resolve the differences…oi

So a $10 wine tied for 1st. I love it as I want a good under $10 wine and I want more of them so I can have them all the time. Sanson's wine is excellent and strives to be a premium wine (it is). What's funny is that I have been drinking alot of wine from both of these wineries of late. This is not related to the placing as they are Chardonnays, Sauv Blancs and Syrahs.

Anyhow, it was alot of fun and next time we will test then eat so I can be more useful…..had fun and they are still talking to me so all is fun….guess Anita's kupee doll (my ex-wife btw) didn't totally get me down…I overcame the black magic…..whooohooo!!!!

Breakdowns and neat stuff:

Sanson (sample 6) #1 for Gary and Terry

Mastronardi (sample 2)#1 for Wanda and Jim

D'Angelo (sample 1) #2 for Jim

Pelham (sample 3) #2 for Terry

Pelee (sample 4) #2 for Gary and Wanda

odd notes…Aleksanders as dry…I always thought it as very fruity and D'Angelo's with no nose

And mega thanks to Gary and Wanda for making such a wonderful evening.Man did you work hard…we'll do the next one but don't expect what you guys did!!!


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