September 2009
The Wine Coaches Newsletter
Volume 4
In This Issue
TWC Imports Web site Launched
Feature Recipe
Answers to Your Wine Questions
Italy in Four Acts
Upcoming Events
Wine-Friendly Restaurants
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

You've asked us for tips and advice to enhance your wine experiences, and here they are -- from wine-related travel to wine and food pairing ideas to wine recommendations and wine events.  


A special welcome to those new subscribers who signed up at one of our recent wine-tasting events, including Discover Australia, the Toronto Star Wine & Cheese Show, and most recently Feast of Fields.

We're happy to answer any of your wine questions, either in a future issue or directly via e-mail.




Ric Kitowski                                 Jocelyn Klemm    
Just launched...TWC Ordering wine just got a whole lot better. 
We've always wanted a stronger on-line presence for TWC Imports, and we are happy to report we've done it. Just a few weeks ago, essentially on time and on budget, we proudly launched . Please take a look and let us know what you think.
How did this all come about? In 2008 we met Barry Imber, by chance really, at a wine-tasting event at Bertoldi's restaurant in London, Ontario. Barry runs insite design in Burlington, Ontario, likes wine, and works within the food/hospitality sector developing communications strategies for businesses similar to ours. Insite doesn't just create Web sites, but uses the Web as a platform to help clients connect with their customers and build lasting relationships through communication. We knew we had found the right partner to help take TWC Imports to the next step.
There are essentially four main parts to the site. The first is a database of all the wines we currently represent. You can search for these wines in a number of ways -- by style, by grape, by region, for example -- and filter your results by price. There's a note about each wine, describing how it's made, what it taste like, how to serve it, as well as notes about the grape varieties that make up the wine. There's a tab for more information about the producer, including an address and map in case you wany to visit them, a tab for the reviews, and a tab listing the restaurants where you can try the wine (more on that later).
If you like the description of the wine, or you tasted it at one of the restaurants where it's offered, you can order it by creating or logging in to your account, adding the number of cases you want to purchase in the space provided, then click "buy". If you want to shop some more, you can put the wines in your shopping cart and click "buy" at a later date. When you're ready to order, a Pdf Order Form will be created with all your information filled out and the wines you've selected to purchase. Review the form to make sure it's correct then send into us by fax. We need this step for LCBO purposes and to confirm your agreement to the order.
The third part is our Restaurant Database. Many of our customers have asked for a list of restaurants that carry a specific wine, not just a list of restaurants that we work with. This way they can try the wine, in the context of food. The database has descriptions of the restaurant and the food, as well as address information and a map, all linked to the wine database. So when you find a wine you like, open the tab marked "Where To Taste" and hopefully you will find a restaurant near you where it's offered. You can also search the restaurant database for a style of cuisine and location that suits you, then open the "TWC Wine" tab and see which of our wines is on their list. Either way, we are fortunate to be working with some terrific Ontario restaurants and every one comes personally recommended.
Finally, there is the "Learn" part of the site. Using blog-based platform technology we will be adding on a regular basis interesting information about Wine, Wine and Food, and Travel. The categories will evolve and all postings will be archived for future reference. For example if you need the name of that restaurant we just loved in Barcelona (it was Comerc24) you can go to the Learn section and it will be there. Our goal, over time, is to make this a rich knowledge base of wine, food, and travel information that is unique, useful, and reflects the Wine Coaches philosophy of food and wine. If you have any suggestions for this part of the site, please let us know.
So thanks again to Barry, Heidi, and the rest of the insite design team. We know they have done a great job, and we hope you like our site.
Feature Recipe 
Mocha Burgers  
This richly flavoured burger gets its mocha kick from ground espresso and dark chocolate, and cumin adds a delicious extra dimension. You will smell the chocolate when you grill the burgers, but it all blends together nicely when you eat them.
Chilling the patties helps them hold together during grilling; they also freeze well.  Serves 4. wodden monkey
Mocha Burgers

1 lb ground beef, or a 50/50 mix of ground beef and ground pork
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated
1 tbsp Fair Trade espresso or coffee, finely ground
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin seed, crushed
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together lightly. Form into four large patties and let rest in fridge for about one hour before grilling. Grill until meat is cooked through -- you have to do this by touch as the meat is a bit darker than regular burgers due to the espresso. Top with caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, herbed mayo, your favourite toppings, and serve on a ciabatta bun (it absorbs all the juices). For a wicked cheese version, melt Abbot's Gold Cheddar on the burger just before serving. 
Wine match: New World Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz is a great match as it will mirror the mocha/coffee notes in the meat. The featured Nero d'Avola would work, as would Primitivo or Zinfandel. Richly flavoured wines work best, and you don't need heavily tannic wines. Mill Street Coffee Porter would be another option if you're not in the mood for wine.
Your Wine Questions 
Wine provokes conversation, and many of the people we've met during our wine seminars, tastings, or book signings have had a burning question for us to answer.  

Here are two questions we've been asked lately:

What does DOC or DOCG mean on the label of an Italian wine?  Most Old World wine producing regions have a way of classifying their wines. Increasingly New World countries are doing the same -- for example, VQA in Canada. These classification systems are designed as a way to guarantee to the consumer that the wine they are buying comes from a specific place or region (rules that delimit the region), possesses, more or less, the character of the region (e.g. a Chianti smells and tastes like other Chianti), and has been made in accordance to specifc rules and regulations governing that region. These rules can include what grapes are grown in the region (to be allowed to bear the regions' name) and how Chianti Docgthey are grown. DOC -- Denominazione di Orgine Controllata -- is the name given to the category of "quality" wines in Italy that represent these conditions, and the extra "G" (Garantita) is an special honour given to wines of historial note or distinction. This doesn't mean the DOCG wines are better than DOC wines, or better than non-DOC wines for that matter (referred to in Italy as IGT), but only that the producers have followed all the rules and regulations set out in the zone or region. There are some bad DOCG wines on the market, just as there are IGT wines that don't follow the rules but still taste amazing. DOC and DOCG are guides for understanding, but ultimately the consumer is the judge of what they like and what they think it's worth.
When you talk about smelling cherries in a wine, were there actually cherries used in making the wine? The quick answer, no. The longer answer, things smell because they give off odorous compounds. Wine has about 200 "known" odorous compounds which trigger a memory of something else. This something else could be among other things raspberries, cherries, saddle leather, cigar ash, or cat's pee (yes that's a compound somtimes noticed in Sauvignon Blanc), and come from characterisitcs of the grapes themselves (each grape is different); the process of frementation (could be the conversion of grape sugars into alcohol or the yeasts used to stimulate the conversion); or aging (for example, new barrels add specific odorous components to the wine). We only smell these odorous compounds, not taste them, as our tongues can only differentiate sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. And of course if you have never smelled raspberries before you won't detect it in a wine, even if someone else does. It's all personal -- don't let someone tell you what you are smelling.
And with Thanksgiving coming up, here's a new take on the question we had before Christmas:

Can you recommend something "different" for traditional turkey dinner?  Because it's poultry, sometimes the first match that comes to mind is white wine. A lightly oaked Chardonnay won't overpower, nor will it be overpowered by all the fixings that are tradtionally served with the bird. Why not try a VQA wine from Niagara this Thanksgiving, and the Lailey Vineyard Chardonnay Niagara Penisula VQA would be a nice place to start.

If you want to serve Italian, look south to Sicily for a good Grillo, which tends to be fuller-bodied than say Pinot Grigio, with enough stuffing to take on the, er, stuffing. Grillo used to be the main grape of fortified Marsala, but now is being used to make dry table wines with a strong personality.
If there's lots of herbs in the stuffing, then you might want to find a wine that mirrors that element. Old World Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre or white Bordeaux) will do nicely in this case.

But as we've said before, Thanksgiving turkey takes poultry up a notch - usually because of the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and all the side dishes. We think that a red wine is a better call than white, and in our experience medium-bodied, fruitier red wines work better than full-bodied tannic reds.


Big tannic reds like Shiraz and Cabernet tend to overpower the meat, while the tannins appear even more astringent paired up with tart cranberry sauce. Fruitier-style reds like Valpolicella or Sangiovese (think Chianti), or earthier-style reds like Pinot Noir, balance out the weight of the meat better, and mirror more effectively the various flavours on the plate. Plus the natural acidity in these wines is a pleasant contrast to the richness of the meal.

Something more exotic? Look for Tempranillo (Rioja crianza for example) from Spain (called Aragonês in Portugal), fruitier-style Malbecs from Argentina, and spicy, plummy Nero d'Avola from Sicily (see Vintages Feature wine). If you want something a fuller than simple Chianti or Valpolicella, Chianti Classico or Valpolicella Ripasso would be the way to go. If there's a need to impress you can't go wrong with Brunello di Montalcino -- just make sure it's decanted properly. Essentially, you want good fruit flavours, integrated tannins, and nice acidity in your choice.  
Italy in Three Acts 
Or what we did on our summer holidays... 
This summer we had the pleasure of spending time in three parts of Italy: Rome, Tuscany, and Puglia.  Our travels covered nearly 3,000 km, from Rome in west-central Italy, north to Tuscany and then across the country to the Adriatic Coast and due south to Puglia.  
We'll be posting more notes in the Learn section of the TWC Imports Web site in the coming months, but in the meantiime here are the food, drink, and sightseeing highlights of our trip:
Act 1, Exploring Rome
Rome is a fantastic city for walking, and around every corner you'll discover something new -- well, ancient.  One place we Trevi Fountainseemed to came back to time and again was Trevi Fountain. Always crowded, no matter what time of day or night. Needless to say the Vatican is impressive, and the Sistine Chapel breathtaking -- the tour worth every Euro.  
Two meals stood out for us in Rome. On our first night we ate at Trattoria del Cavalier Gino, Vicolo Rosini, 4.  The next day, while exploring Testaccio, we found Da Bucatino, via Luca della Robbia, 84-86. Both places had wonderful housemade pasta: ravioli and bucatini amatriciana.
Da BucatinoThe top gelati award in Rome goes to Fior de Luna, villa della Lungaretta, 96 in Trastevere, especially for fruit flavours like fig, melon, and peach. There's a hill just around the corner from Da Bucatino that is made entirely of broken Roman amphora -- amazing!!
Act 2, Travelling Through Tuscany
We rented a car in Rome (at the train station) and headed north, along the Mediterranean Coast to Tuscany. A much prettier drive than the faster toll highway, and allowed us to stop for lunch in Scansano along the route. On the recommendation of a recent traveller to Italy (thanks Bob DiFruscia) we had purchased a TomTom GPS system before we left. We can't imagine driving out of Rome without this device, and it proved invaluable throughout the trip as we looked for alternative ways to get to our destination.
For the week, we were based in the tiny hamlet of Sant' Appiano, in one of the Sant Appianoapartments run by our Chianti producer, Fattoria Sant' Appiano. There are nine clean, and fully-equipped apartments at the winery, with a lovely outdoor pool and views all around the Tuscan hills. And of course the winery where you can purchase wine for your meals. From our kitchen window you could see San Gimignano, and its many towers. If you are planning a visit to Tuscany, Sant' Appiano is a great place to stay. We'd be happy to make an introduction on your behalf, or mention us to Barbara if you do it yourself.
From this base (just north of Poggibonsi) we were able to take day trips to Montalcino, Lucca, Monteriggioni, and Pisa (different days!).  Our favourite stop was San Gimignano, a hilltop town known for its many beautiful towers. Gelateria di Sam GimignanoPiazza in Piazza della Cisterna, 4 in San Gimignano was our top pick for gelati in Tuscany. We also had a great meal at Ristorante La Vecchie Mura -- a restored stable on the edge of the town walls. Not easy to find, and away from the busy centre square.
Our best meals in Tuscany -- and we ate there several times -- were at Osteria L'Antica Quercia, in the tiny village of Sant' Appiano. The fish dishes are outstanding -- from carpaccio to grilled -- and every bite of wood-oven fired Calzone Cacco (named after someone in Poggibonsi who supposedly everyone knows and he was actually sitting behind us when Ric ordered it the first Calzone Caccotime) is delicious.  Ask Ric, he had it twice! The restaurant has a great wine list, including a nice selection of artisanal beers. 
Visits to wineries in Tuscany, especially the smaller ones, are best arranged by appointment.  Both Pierfrancesco at Sant' Appiano and Marco at Poggio Amorelli were wonderful hosts, offering their wines paired with local foods. Sant' Appiano's sparkling, white, rosé, red and dessert wines have developed well since we tasted them at Vinitaly in April.  The new Syrah wine is  still about a year away from release and we are very excited about getting our 15-case allocation in mid 2010.
At Poggio Amorelli we were able to taste and compare the 2006 and 2007 vintages of Marco's Chianti Classico wines, and the 2007 and 2008 vintages of his Morellino di Scansano wines.  We were also Oracolothrilled to meet the famous Oracolo, the family horse, it's constant sheep companion, and Lily the wonder dog. Oracolo is also the name of Marco's SuperTuscan wine, and we tasted the 2007 vintage which was really sensational. We'll be ordering that wine later in the year.
Another winery highlight was our visit to Fattoria La Lecciaia in Montalcino, and to spend time with Mauro and Roberta Pacini. Mr. Pacini has built a lovely new cellar and updated the winery and plans are continuing to further develop the property. The wines are incredible, including the 5 star 2004 vintage that just arrived in inventory again this month. We also enjoyed a bottle of 2007 Brunello Riserva at lunch in Taverna Barbi (which is just above La Lecciaia), and we are glad we kept some bottles for our cellar. It's drinking wonderfully but still has a few more years ahead of it.
Act 3, Magnificent Lecce
It was very difficult to leave Tuscany. Barbara and Pierfranceso had been wonderful hosts, and Tuscany is such a great place to explore. But we wanted to see more of southern Italy and our friends at Vinicola Mediterranea were waiting for us.
Our drive took us across rural Marches, and down the Adriatic Coast through Abruzzo and Molise, making notes of places we wanted to re-visit on our next trip. We had a lovely overnight stay at a Agriverde in Villa Caldari (Chieti), before heading out again for our final destination, Lecce.
The city of Lecce is nestled between the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, close to the southern tip of Puglia. The Baroque architecture rivals Florence, but without the crowds. In Lecce's Sant' Oronzo square you can see the half-buried Roman Amphitheatre built in 2nd century AD, still used today for concerts and other events. We stayed in the Hotel Risorgimento close to the Piazza, and right next to Vittoria Emaneulle II where the entire city seemd to come out every evening for a stroll.
Blessed with a wonderful climate, Puglia's landscape is coveredTrulli with vineyards and olive trees, and you are never far from the sea. North of Lecce province is the province of Bari, and the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its "Trulli" houses, with white walls and grey cone-shaped domes as roofs. Located adjacent the town square, the Trulli village is not a museum (although there are sufficient souvenier shops to suggest this) but actually an active village where people live and work. The Trulli have prehistoric origins, and a design that's so unique. As we drove out of Alberobello it's neat to also see modern-built Trulli attached to new housing -- they are so closely linked to the culture that people still want to build them.
Recommended dining in Lecce is Boccon Divino, via Giuseppe Libertini, 17, where seafood is a specialty, grilled, fried, and in linguini alle mare.  Top pick for gelati in Puglia, actually perhaps Italy (on this trip anyway), was Caffè Alvino on Piazza Lecce gelatiSant' Oronzo, so good Jocelyn went there twice in one day.
Puglia is known for its rich and full-fruited red wines made from Primitivo and Negroamaro.  Our wonderful hosts at Vinicola Mediterranea tasted their new premium wines with us, and shared their exciting plans for the winery in San Pietro Vernotico. We also enjoyed an excellent seafood lunch with them at Ristorante Casablanca in Campo di Mare overlooking the Adriatic (actually so close the waves came through the restaurant windows while we were eating). It was very hard to leave that day.
We are happy to book appointments for anyone with plans to visit Tuscany or Puglia, and interested in visiting smaller wineries. We are fortunate to be working with so many wonderful people and we know they would welcome you to their wineries as they welcomed us.
And in case you are wondering, Jocelyn tasted 17 different gelati on this trip, and is happy to provide recommendations to anyone interested. She'll be posting the results of her gelati giro on our blog in the coming weeks.  
Red Wine Feature
Consignment Wine (Ontario Residents Only)

Barolo Cascina Nuova DOCG 2005

Elvio Cogno 
Piedmont, Italy

Price: $47.00/bottle, in cases of 6 (plus gst and bottle deposit)

Only available to Ontario subscribers.

Barolo Cascina Nuova is a select assemblage of Nebbiolo grapes from the best estate vineyards, carefully drawing out the best each site has to offer, and at the same time reflecting all the character of a major terroir. Vineyards have a southward exposure, 380 metres above sea level, with a density of 4,000 vines per hectare, vertical trellised.  The harvest took place in October.  
Winemaking Process:  Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks, with automatic pump-over. The wine was classically aged for two years in large wood barrels, and refined in bottles for six months.  About 10,000 bottles were produced. Alcohol content is 14%/vol.
Wine Style: Dry red wine; powerfulBetter Barolo Pic
Our Tasting Note: Born to satisfy traditional Barolo lovers, as well as those curious about the wine. It is bright garnet red in colour with orange tints towards the rim of the glass. Immediately pleasing, it offers aromas and flavours of delicate flowers, dark raspberry, mocha, and liquorice, with light spice notes. On the palate, it's firm and tasty with a long finish. Our recommended serving temperature is 19°C.
After about 60 minutes in a decanter the wine is ready to go now, but we know it will taste much better in 3-5 years, and then will improve for another 5 or so more before levelling off. 
Menu Match: Nebbiolo generally needs food, and this wine is no exception. Serve with hearty meat dishes such as braised and roast beef, steak, shortribs, game, and mature cheeses. This wine opens up beautifully in the glass, and will hold up nicely when paired with truffles and earthy mushroom dishes. Richer pasta dishes, particularly risotto with truffles, are also good matches.

Reviews/Recognition: Elvio Cogno will be named "2009 Winery of the Year" this Fall by Wine & Spirits magazine. This wine scored 91pts by the same magazine.
In case you are interested, the big brother to this wine, the single-vineyard 2004 Barolo Vigna Elena DOCG, scored 94pts and we have only 2 cases left at $534/case (plus GST and deposit) 
White Wine Feature
Consignment Wine (Ontario Residents Only)
Albariño Abadía de San Campio 2008
Terras Gauda
Rais Baixas, Galicia, Spain
Price: $22.50/bottle, in cases of 12 (plus gst and bottle deposit)

Only available to Ontario subscribers.

Made from 100% hand-harvested Albariño grapes, grown on the Goian (Argallo) vineyard situated at between 50-150 metres above sea level, on south-facing slopes. (You can actually see Portugal from the vineyard.) This is the estate's highest vineyard, where the humidity is lower, the temperatures are cooler, and ripening is slower. These conditions provided a wine of great aromatic intensity, most typical of the Albariño grape variety.
All the Terras Gauda
 vineyards enjoy an exceptional microclimate characterized by mild temperatures (annual average of 15º C), very little frost, and abundant rainfall. The soils are granitic with a line of slate running through the property. 
Terras Gauda did extensive research on 32 varieties of Albariño grape, and planted their vineyards to four Albariño varieties most suited to their soils and climate. Yields at Terras Gauda are much lower than typical in the region (6-7,000kg/ha versus 11,000kg/ha), which adds to the aromas, flavours and concentration of their wines. Harvest took place in early October.
Winemaking Process: The grapes were de-stemmed and gently pressed to release aromas and flavours and not colour. After a long maceration, the must was cool fermented in stainless steel using only natural yeasts. The wine was cold stabilized and filtered, then bottled for release. Alcohol content is 12%/vol.
Wine Style: Dry white wine; aromaticalbarino
Our Tasting Note: Clear and bright, lemon, yellow colour. Aromas and flavours of fresh white fruits: Golden Delicious apple, and pear, with sweet citrus (lime and mandarin) and mineral notes. Bright fruit on the palate, medium-bodied, and dry. The good balance between the acids and sugar give the wine a pleasant fresh, clean, and lingering finish.
Our recommended serving temperature is 10-12ºC. The best time to enjoy this wine is over the next 1-2 more years, while it is at its freshest.
Menu Matches: River fish, shellfish, green and Caesar salads, white meats (poultry, veal), and fresh cheeses (particulary goat cheese). It's also a lovely refreshing glass on its own.
Vintages Feature
For Ontario Residents Only

Nero d'Avola IGT 2007

Fondo Antico 
Sicily, Italy

Made from 100% Nero d'Avola (pronounced neh-row da-voh-la), an indigenous grape of Sicily. It's name literally means black grape from the town of Avola, which is in the southern part of the island. While it's origins are still unknown, it bears some resemblance to Syrah/Shiraz, both in terms of tannin structure and flavour. It thrives in both the sunny climate and unique soils of Sicily. Nero d'Avola

Made from 100% estate-grown, hand-harvested grapes, the wine followed a temperature-controlled maceration in stainless-steel tanks for 8-10 days to extract colour and flavour, then fermented in stainless-steel tanks to further maximize the fresh fruit characteristics and soften the tannins.
Tasting Note: Deep, dark, purple colour. Smoky aromas of dark plum and cherry, with slight herbal tones. Medium-bodied, with nicely integrated tannins, good acidity, and a smooth lingering finish.
Menu matches: A classic regional match is risotto al Nero d'Avola e chiodi de garafano (cloves) or roasted tuna, however if you aren't lucky enough to be in a seaside restaurant near Trapani, this wine would make a nice pairing with grilled meats, Mediterranean-style dishes, even turkey dinner and all the trimmings. The weight and soft tannins are a good match for both the white and dark meat, the fruit flavours will stand up to the traditional cranberry sauce, while the smoky, slightly herbal notes mirror nicely the stuffing and earthy vegetables that round out the meal.
It will also match pork, duck, a nice roast, and is of course great in a glass by itself while you are waiting for everything to cook.

About Fondo Antico A family-run estate, in western Sicily near the historic port of Trapani, just north of Marsala. Combining modern winemaking technology with the traditions of the region, Fondo Antico produces wines of great character. A combination of Sicily's bountiful sunshine, gentle Mediterranean breezes, and excellent soil characteristics help to make this possible. Many of the vines are trained in the ancient goblet configuration; however the more modern Espalier trellising system is starting to take over with newer plantations.

Reviews: Internationally this wine received Three Grape Clusters (out of 4) in Duemilavini 2009 (one of the better Italian review journals). In Ontario, it earned a number of good reviews including: 4.5 stars (out of 5) from Michael Pinkus (; 88pts from Master Sommelier John Szabo (Wine Access); 85pts from David Lawrason in; and a Recommended Buy/Good rating from Michael Vaughn in his publication Vintage Assessments.
CSPC: 121079
Price: $16.95
Release Date:
Available now, with a fairly good distribution across the Province. Check availability on , or contact us for the location of a store near you.
Vintages Feature
For Ontario Residents Only
Geoff Merrill    
Reserve Shiraz 2003

Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia  
Country: Australia 
Geoff Merrill began his winemaking career at B Seppelt & Son in 1970. Five years later he joined Chateau Reynella as Assistant Winemaker, and in 1977 was promoted to Senior Winemaker, a position he held until 1985. While at Chateau Reynella Geoff was able to make wines under his own Geoff Merrill label. These wines were first released in 1983 with his 1980 Cabernet and 1981 Semillon.
In 1988, Geoff started his own winery near Adelaide, and has continued to gain national and international recognition for his distinctive style of winemaking and his zest for life. Geoff Merrill wines are made at his historic Mount Hurtle winery - approx. 75,000 cases in total.
Geoff Merrill's winemaking philosophy is to make wines with regional, varietal, and vintage expression, without excessive winemaker intervention. He feels that great wine is a matter of balance, combined with subtle, elegant, and harmonious flavours. In 2005, Geoff won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Geoff Merrill Reserve ShirazTrophy at the Royal Melbourne Show for his 2004 Reserve Shiraz.
Wine Information:
Made from 100% Shiraz grapes, from the McLaren Vale, an area known for wines of intense power and flavour. The wine is composed of individual parcels of outstanding wine selected from small French and American oak barrels (hogsheads), matured for 33 months prior to bottling in May 2006. Unfiltered. 15% alc./vol. R/S 2.5g/l
McLaren Vale faced the worst drought in 100 years and crop yields were down on average by 20%, however much needed rain in February allowed for successful ripening of the fruit. James Halliday, one of Australia's top wine writers, rated the McLaren Vale vintage 8 out of 10.
Our Tasting Note:
Deep, dark (and we mean DARK), rich in colour, with black/purple hues. The nose is bold and complex, with aromas and flavours of ripe dark berry fruit - plum, cherry, blackberry - and notes of liquorice, herbs, dark chocolate, and spices. Full-bodied, elegant, and luscious, with fine tannins and a very long, evolving finish.  
You can enjoy this wine now, with a good decanting (it also throws a sediment), but will not be disappointed in the results if you cellared a few bottles for 5-10 years. We plan to.
Menu matches:
A great wine to match with grilled meats -- think steak -- with mushrooms or a peppercorn sauce. Despite its heft, you can actually enjoy a glass of this wine, on its own, without food. The tannins don't dry out the mouth, and the balancing fruit and acidity refreshes the palate.

Reviews: This wine received 93 points from James Halliday in the Australian Wine Companion 2008
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 
Available now, however only 300 bottles were purchased by the LCBO for the release.
This wine was released as an In-store Discovery (ISD) which means it isn't available at every LCBO store. Check or send us an e-mail and we'll tell you where it is available in your area. Best bets are Summerhill, Bloor & Royal York, Queen's Quay, and Bayview Village in Toronto; Rideau Street in Ottawa; Oak Walk in Oakville; Sherwood Forrest in Mississaugua; and, Masonville in London.
Upcoming Events 
Taste Little Italy Wine & Food Show
September 20, 2009, 2:30-5pm. Sala San Marco, 215 Preston Street in Ottawa. We will be pouring some of our Italian wines at this event, the 13th annual, featuring food from Preston Street restaurants. There will be 15 food stations and about nine Agents pouring wine. Tickets ar $45 in advance and $55 at the door (space permitting) and more information can be found at

Headwaters Arts Festival 2009

September 25 - October 12 inclusive.  It's really difficult to describe this amazing cultural event in one paragraph. Come see for yourself, or visit Our wines will be featured at the Opening Night Gala at the SGI Canada Caledon Centre for Culture and Education on Friday, September 25th, then again at the Armchairs, Authors & Art event organized by Booklore in Orangeville (and also at the SGI Centre) on October 2nd. Many events are free, but the two we've mentioned have a charge and require tickets.

Holiday Wine & Food Tasting
November 4, 2009. Broadway Farms Market, Caledon. A selection of TWC Imports wine for holiday entertaining and gift-giving will be featured, along with delicious appetizers and cheese prepared by the Chefs at Broadway Farms Market. Many holiday gift and entertaining items will also be available. Contact us to reserve a space at this invitation-only event.  
Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
November 19-22, 2009. Metro Convention Centre, Toronto. After a 2-year absence we are returning to this event. We checked it out last year and were very pleased with the changes that have taken place. Visit us at booth number 605 (our old booth!). For more information go to

Toronto Star Wine and Cheese Show 2010
March 19-21, 2010. International Centre, Mississagua. For those of you who like to plan ahead, we should be in our same spot at this show. We'll update you in our next Newsletter or for more information go to
Wine-Friendly Restaurants  

Now that we have developed our interactive Restaurant Guide on the TWC Imports site we think it's better to send you there than just highlight two or three places to try. On our database you can search by style (e.g. Spanish), city (e.g. Toronto), and location (e.g. Midtown), and come up with results that meet the crtieria (e.g. Cava).  We've eaten at all of them so they come fully tested.

That said, we are looking forward to trying out Union on Ossington Street this Friday, with our friends,  Nellie and Steve.


Restaurants need your patronage more than ever during these challenging times. Especially owner-operated restaurants who have a significant investment in the business. If you need a recommendation, don't hesitate to send us an e-mail.
The Wine CoachesCustomer Appreciation
Looking for a way to say thank you to your loyal customers? The Wine Coaches offers a range of wine workshops customized to the needs of your group, whatever the size.  Most requested workshops topics are:
  • Discovering Your Wine Style
  • Navigating a Wine List/Wine Store
  • Entertaining with Wine
  • Food and Wine Matching

All workshops are interactive, informative, and experiential.  Particpants put theory into practice by tasting a variety of wines during the workshop.  Contact The Wine Coaches for more information or to book a workshop for your group.
PS The Caledon Wine Institute is still under development and we hope to launch next Spring. Stay tuned for more details.

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Richard Kitowski & Jocelyn Klemm
The Wine Coaches