The Imbiber's Report

Our Bi-Weekly Newsletter with Product Reviews and Much More!


September 27, 2014


Due to unforeseen circumstances, last week’s edition of the Imbibers’ Report did not find its way into your inbox.  We apologize for the delay but please note that the Vintages release noted below was last Saturday’s and not this coming weekend.


Algonquin ParkThe next few weekends will offer some great fall colour viewing. Algonquin Park is reporting 50% colour change as of last weekend. Search around the various Ontario travel websites for info on specific regions. Watch Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates and photos as well. From what we have seen already, it looks like it will be a splendid year.

We have two European wines on the ticket in last weekend’s Vintages offering including a rustic red that is one of the largest selling Portuguese red wines in Quebec and a rock-solid Medoc blend that hits that magic 90 Points for $20 mark. Speaking of 90 point scores we have 6 other 90 Point + scores this week on a wide variety of wines including the very smart $10 Deakin Estate Shiraz. What can we say, except… stock up!

We’ve been ‘on the radio’ again lately visiting both Brad Barker at JazzFM91 and Humble & Fred. We are not surprised that a good number of Imbiber’s Report subscribers actually listen to both shows – thanks to those of you who have let us know.

Finally, Veramonte’s Sauvignon Blanc makes a triumphant return to the LCBO (with 90 points) as a full-time regular listing! That’s right: you can enjoy one of Chile’s most delicious white wines anytime because it is now available all year round in the Chilean section of the LCBO.


NEW TO LCBO (sort of)

VERAMONTE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 croppedViña Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Casablanca Valley, Chile
$12.95 (367748)

90 Points – Wine Spectator, James Suckling
“A crisp and lively Sauvignon Blanc with lemon peel and hints of mineral character. Medium-body, bright finish. Where are the oysters? Drink now. Screw cap.”

Top 10 Wine Values
***1/2 Lifestyle - Christopher Waters
“Chilean Sauvignon Blanc tends towards the racy style made famous by wineries in New Zealand but at a lower cost per bottle. Veramonte is a great example of the fresh flavours and lively personality available for a bargain price”.

Value Brand of the Year 2012 – Wine and Spirits Magazine

Veramonte is located in the remote Casablanca Valley alongside Chile’s rugged Pacif¬ic Coast. The wild Patagonia lies to the south and the mighty Andes Mountains rise behind in the east. In this near perfect setting lie 1,000 acres of grapevines nestled among 11,000 acres of wild land that Veramonte has preserved as a natural greenbelt.

Fragrant tropical aromas of melon, papaya and guava are mingled with subtle citrus notes. Smooth, fresh and spritzy, this Sauvignon Blanc shows vibrant acidity and a juicy, elegant finish. Try with turkey burgers and goat cheese, Thai noodle salad, lemon and sugar snap pea risotto or pesto pasta salad.


VINTAGES RELEASE, September 27, 2014

Animus no backgroundAnimus 2012
DOC Douro, Portugal
385302 $13.95
360 (12 pack) cases available

3.5 Stars –, Vic Harradine
“Black plum, savoury herbs and wisps of fig and earthy aromas on the nose, this dishes up a line of sweet and tang. Blackberry and sour cherry intertwine on the palate and finish. It’s medium weight with a firm mouth feel framed by good acidity and a perceptible tannin structure—aerate/decant for three hours before pouring. Pour with burgers or meat-lovers pizza”.

Following a long family tradition, Bordeaux trained winemaker Vicente Liete de Faria continues to make wine from indigenous Portuguese grape varieties in the Douro Valley. Excited by the potential of producing top quality, international –styled wine in Douro, Vicente founded a new, modern winery in 2000. The new facility allows Vicente to craft approachable wines that still articulate the region’s terroir.

Medium-bodied and fruity, Animus delivers ripe red fruit notes with layers of chocolate and spice on the nose and palate. Bright, plum-like acidity gives this red some levity and is balanced by grippy tannins with more cocoa on the finish. Try this with a Portuguese mixed grill of chorizo, chicken and veggies. Animus will also work well with most Mediterranean-influenced dishes. If you’d like to try your hand at making a Portuguese stew, have a look at the Cozido de Grão recipe at the bottom.

Animus is Latin for soul and is meant to reflect the rugged people of Douro who helped to craft this blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca.  There aren’t that many wines in Vintages at $13.95 so this is a great buy.



CH DE PANIGON 2010 no backgroundChâteau de Panigon 2010
Médoc AC Cru Bourgeois
Bordeaux, France
348250 $19.95
318 (12 pack) cases available

90+ Points – Judging panel,
“Delicate nose, some graphite and tobacco, smoky oak, hint of bitter chocolate and ample black fruits lurking. Plump, firm, concentrated, this has weight and structure, with a firm elegance on the finish. Should have more staying power than most and needs some time to harmonise”.

90 Points –

Gold Medal Concours de Bordeaux, 2012

Family owned and operated, the Château de Panigon estate is comprised of 90 hectares of land, 53 of which are planted with vines, a handsome Château and a modern winemaking facility. The Château is located in Commune of Civrac-en-Medoc, about an hour’s drive north of Bordeaux. This part of the Medoc is known for its temperate climate and undulating gravelly soil where Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other grape varieties flourish.

Panigon is a blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit-Verdot. The wine is made in a very traditional Bordeaux manner and is aged in oak barrels from 12 to 18 months. The wine is medium-full bodied and just beginning to open up. You could drink this now with something like grilled porterhouse or put a few bottles down and watch them develop over the next 5 to 10 years.



HERMANOS TEMPRANILLO no background90 Points – Beppi Crosariol, Globe and Mail
Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2011
DO Toro, Spain

“This big red comes from Toro in Spain’s northwest, a region on the Duero River known for powerful wines. Relatively sleepy as a winemaking district until recently, it’s become a fashionable magnet for new investment, churning out solid reds at attractive prices. This one comes from François Lurton, the noted Bordeaux consultant with vineyards in several countries. Full-bodied and concentrated, at 15 percent alcohol, it offers up ripe cherry and plum flavours on a very dry frame. Great for roasted or cured ham”.




CED Shiraz 1091+ Points – Gord Stimmell, Toronto Star
Cederberg Shiraz 2010
Cederberg, South Africa
$24.95 (374199)

“A killer South African medal winner in global tastings. Seductive raspberry and black cherry dominated, the aromas while the flavours dish up layers of massive mocha, blackberry, blueberry and cedar”.

91 Points – Beppi Crosariol, Globe and Mail
Cederberg Shiraz 2010
WO Cederberg, South Africa

“Jammy, juicy, smoky and spicy, this fine South African red mixes chewy raspberry and sweet plum fruit with expressive savoury notes to yield a big wine for big meats. Think barbecue and think game”.


kunde-chardonnay-sonoma-valley-family-estate-mainLg90 Points – Gord Stimmell, Toronto Star
Kunde Sonoma County Chardonnay 2012
Sonoma County, California
$21.95 (745406)

“Kunde Sonoma County Chardonnay charms with yellow plum and apple, hazelnuts and licks of butter and coconut”.








Deakin-Estate-Shiraz-NEW91 Points – 4.5 Star Special Value Rating – James Halliday Wine Companion 2015
Deakin Estate Shiraz 2013

“This wine is always worth a look and this release is a strong one. Its core flavour is impressive. Plums, blackberry, cola and clove notes. Juicy throughout, well shaped through the finish. Remarkable value.”


James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine, September 2014
Deakin Estate Shiraz 2013

“Wow. Here's a wine to bring a smile to your face. It tastes of cherries, cola, cloves and plums, and slips down ever so easily. No calculator is required to work out what terrific value this is! I'd almost call this 'mouthfilling' - a description almost never used at this price level.”




Alace Willm Gewurztraminer New bottle- screw capRecommended in Chatelaine Magazine by Sara d’Amato
Alsace Willm Gewurztraminer Resérve
This month’s perfect pairing – Curry + Gewurtzraminer
Try creamy curry with the Juicy and Vibrant Willm Gewurztraminer









Taste Ontario - Walk Around Tasting at Vintages
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park, Toronto
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
$65 per person

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
Fancy Farmgirl Frivolous White 2012
Fancy Farmgirl Flamboyant Red 2012
Vidal Icewine 2012

Food Trucks, Wine, Music & Fresh Air
Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19
Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Sue-Ann’s farm will host 12 food trucks and neighbouring wineries for the weekend. $5 for admission and a wine glass. Cash for wine samples and food.

Eat to the Beat
If you love food and fine beverages, this is the event for you! You will leave with a full belly and a full heart knowing you have played a role in ensuring no one needs to face breast cancer alone.
Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 7pm
Venue: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto (St. Andrew subway station)
Cost:  General Admission Ticket: $175.00 (a tax receipt will be issued for the maximum allowable amount – typically $50)
Dress: Smart casual

Taste Matters Fundraiser for Eva’s Initiatives
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
6 – 9 p.m.
The Liberty Grand
25 British Columbia Rd
Toronto, Ontario
Eva’s Initiatives works locally and nationally to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness.
Taste Matters funds safe shelter for 114 youth, age 16 to 24, each night in Toronto.









JazzFM.91 Notes with Brad Barker

Chris and Mark popped into JazzFM.91 last week for the latest edition of Notes. We brought Brad some duck and sampled it with First Press Napa Chardonnay, Fog Head Reserve Pinot Noir, Château de Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde and Casa Silva Gran Terroir de Los Andes Los Lingues Carménère. Listen to the podcast here.





Chris Churchill is on the air with Humble and Fred!

Wineforbreakfast with Humble and Fred on October 1st featured Château de Panigon from Bordeaux and Animus from Portugal (both available through Vintages). Listen to the podcast here.  You’ll find us around the 54:00 minute mark.


You can listen to Humble & Fred on SiriusXM on Canada Laughs, Channel 168 from 7:00 to 9:00 am and 10:00 am to noon every weekday as well as rebroadcasts on Newstalk 1010 at midnight.


Sound of Jazz Concert Series 2014

This year the JAZZ.FM91 Sound of Jazz Concert Series presents 5 incredible performances by international and local jazz artists at the Old Mill in Toronto.  Ranee Lee kicks off the season September 22nd.

The Sound of Jazz is the first concert series to be announced as part of JAZZ.FM91’s On Stage Season.

This year is the 39th Annual Sound of Jazz, including performances by:

Monday, October 20th, 2014
Often called ‘one of the greatest guitarists on the planet’, JAZZ.FM91 invites you to experience an evening of storytelling and outstanding music with Larry Coryell together with George Koller and Mark Kelso.

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Experience ‘Mangione Music’ from different eras as Gap Mangione performs music from he and his brother Chuck Mangione's vast career spanning from 1960 to today in this special concert.

Monday, November 24th, 2014
On this special evening in the Sound of Jazz Concert Series, Juno Award-winning jazz saxophonist, P.J. Perry will share the stage with some of the most talented up and coming musicians today, the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band!

Featuring Ernesto Cervini & Chris Donnelly
Monday, December 8th, 2014
In this special holiday edition to the JAZZ.FM91 Sound of Jazz Concert Series, drummer extraordinaire Ernesto Cervini and Juno-nominated pianist Chris Donnelly team together to present Christmas, All Jazzed Up. With a full jazz band, featuring everyone’s favourite holiday melodies, this energy filled performance is an evening for the whole family.

To purchase concert tickets, visit CLICK HERE or call 416-595-0404.

Ticket Prices:
$39 per Ticket
$175 Series Subscription
Special discounts are available for students & JAZZ.FM91 Members

The Old Mill Toronto
21 Old Mill Road
Toronto, Ontario
M8X 1G5
Local - 416-236-2641
Toll Free – 1-866-653-6455

Please note that all Sound of Jazz Concert Series tickets are general admission. Seating is on a first come first seated basis. JAZZ.FM91 will not be responsible for, or process refunds for poor sightlines and seating obstructions.
Doors open at 5:30 pm with all concerts beginning at 8:00 pm.
General admission tickets do not include dinner.  If you would like to make a dinner reservation at the Old Mill Inn, please call 416-236-2641.

Fall Fairs – various around Ontario
’Tis the season so have a look around this website for weekend fair ideas.




The following promotions are available from now to October 11 at the LCBO:

Save $1.00 on Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (216960)

Save $1.50 on Cellier des Dauphins Carte Noire Côtes du Rhône (110197)

Save $1.50 on Veramonte Chardonnay (320788)

Save $3.00 on Slava Ultra Premium Vodka (600585)

Earn 5 Bonus Air Miles on Deakin Estate Shiraz (560821)

Earn 10 Bonus Air Miles on Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc (241810)





This rich, rustic stew appeared in a Saveur magazine article called ‘The Food I Dream Of”, in which author Jean Anderson recalls her visits to Portugal over the years and describes the food that she has fallen in love with. This rustic Portuguese stew would be the perfect thing to make when the weather turns chilly. Shoulder cuts are inexpensive and full of flavour.

Cozido de Grão (Chickpea Stew with Lamb, Pork, and Veal)


cozido-de-grao2 tbsp. lard or unsalted butter
6 oz. cured Portuguese chouriço sausage, sliced 1½" thick
6 oz. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1½" pieces
6 oz. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1½" pieces
6 oz. boneless veal shoulder, cut into 1½" pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. paprika
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into ½" pieces
2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ medium butternut squash (about 1 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
⅓ cup roughly chopped mint
Portuguese pão, or rustic country bread, for serving


Heat lard or butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, 9–10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl; set aside. Season lamb, pork, and veal with salt and pepper, and working in batches, cook meats, turning as needed, until browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Add garlic and onions to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in paprika and cayenne; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Return sausage and meat to pan, along with stock and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partly covered, until meat is tender, about 45 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, squash, salt, and pepper; continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Discard bay leaves and stir in mint. Ladle stew into bowls; serve with country bread on the side.

Enjoy with a glass or two of Animus.


- Mark Donaldson, Editor and Factotum





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Download PDF of our most recent General List Price List

Download PDF of our most recent Vintages Price List