Occasionally we actually have practical wine suggestions. Beppi Crosariol recommended Gabbiano Chianti 2007 some months ago in the Globe and Mail as a reliable $14 Chianti, also pointing out that (improbably) the operation was owned by the Australian megawinecorp Beringer Blass, better known for decidedly non-Chianti-like products such as the Wolf Blass line of Aussiecontinue reading


We have become distracted on the way home from singing at SMM on a regular basis by a small bistro on Harbord at Brunswick. Formerly known as Dessert Trends, now they go by DT Bistro. They have excellent sandwiches, quiches and the like for around $10-13. Not to mention desserts…

Drinking up Niagara

We’ve now had a chance to sample (er, consume) most of the wines we bought in Niagara on the Labour Day weekend. We liked all the Niagara College Teaching Winery wines we bought, without falling in love with any of them. They all struck us (perhaps predictably, in retrospect) as somewhat textbooky, good examples ofcontinue reading

Another one bites the dust

Caves de Rasteau Tradition Rasteau, regularly available at Vintages, used to be one of our favourite bargain-ish wines (about $16.95). It comes from Rasteau, which if memory serves is a sub-AOC in the Cotes-du-Rhone Villages AOC. (It’s one of the Villages.) It used to be one of those fun southern Rhones with a lot ofcontinue reading

Wine highlights

We started a new notebook at the beginning of the year — conveniently, we were running out of pages in the old book just as 2007 was running out of days. The new notebook is apparently mainly a story of whites, which seem to have both more numerous and better than the reds we’ve tastedcontinue reading

Niagara redux

We did our quasi-annual day trip to Niagara today — the first and last time ever we do this on the Labour Day weekend — QEW traffic having transformed the day trip into something approaching five hours of driving (not to mention a bad decision that had landed us right in the middle of CNEcontinue reading

String Quartets

An interesting piece on string quartets  and the psychological dynamics thereof, in the Times of London. It marks the disbanding of the Alban Berg Quartet after nearly 40 years. (Kind of reminds me of Vickram Seth’s An Equal Music, a book I remember being inexplicably fond of when I read it some years ago.)

The Urbanist’s Bankruptcy Court

I have finally got around to reading the January issue of Toronto Life. This is somewhat depressing, but nicely put: Amid the biggest development boom in the city’s history, its planning department—more overworked and understaffed than any other—cannot meet its obligations to review developer’s proposals, consult stakeholders, conduct studies and make recommendations to council. Thecontinue reading


We finally came to the end of our Circa(tm)-style-binding wine notebook, conveniently just before we left for Hong Kong. So a new year, a new wine journal. Highlights: Chateau de Cruzeau 2004, AOC Pessac-Leognan, 12.5%, $22.75. A very nice white Bordeaux from a Vintages release last fall, pretty much sold out in Toronto Central butcontinue reading