We are one of the Greater Toronto Areas’s oldest non-profit wine clubs offering members unrivaled tastings. We keep our own cellar which not only gives us a unique selection of wines to support our tastings, but also lets us offer tastings at very reasonable cost as we do not have to bear the burden of current market prices. We also provide a chance to network with other wine enthusiasts and collectors, and an opportunity to learn more about wine from various wine professionals who lead our tastings.
2017 – 2018 Monthly Events
New: download our events as icalendar (.ics) file to add to your calendar.
Napa Knockdown – Heitz vs Montelena – October 11th, 2017
Following our successful Heitz and Montelena tastings over the last few years, we thought it would be interesting to put these top Napa Estates head to head. We will pair the Heitz Trailside versus Ch Montelena Cab Sauvignon from 2005, 2001 and 1999. In addition, we will show the 2005 Martha’s Vineyard and the 1996 Ch Montelena. Heitz is classic Napa Cab, while Montelena is potentially more supple and balanced. Who will win? More ….
Ch. Ormes de Pez vs Ch. Haut-Bages-Averous – November 8th, 2017
This tasting is all about terroir – Pauillac, the Mecca of Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines, and St Estephe, its neighbour to the North. Both these Chateaux are managed by JM Cazes, owners of “super second” Lynch Bages, thus terroir is the primary differentiator. Haut-Bages Averous, renamed Echo de Lynch-Bages in 2008 is the second wine of Lynch-Bages. Pauillac is typically rich, full bodied, tannic with classic Cab Sauv profile, St Estephe can be more a little more severe. Our tasting includes three terrific vintages from the rule of five – 1990 1995 and 2000, as well as the somewhat controversial 2003 vintage.
Holiday Party at Osgoode Hall – December 13th, 2017
We are excited to announce the new location for our not-to-be-missed annual holiday extravaganza. Osgoode Hall’s restaurant is one of Toronto’s well kept secrets; and it provides the perfect setting for a seasonal party. We will offer our usual wide array of seasonal foods with a treasure trove of wine delights from our cellar, including decades-old classics, special old fortified wines (Madeiras or Ports, some 100 years old or more) and many surprises making their appearance throughout the evening – bring your friends and colleagues and spread the word.
Rioja Gran Reservas – buy & drink now – January 10th, 2018
Gran Reserva Rioja is one of the few top quality wines that is relatively affordable. They are balanced, complex and food worthy wines. They are aged at least four years (with three in barrel), and often 8 years or more, before release and so there is much less time to wait before they are ready to drink compared to most other fine reds. The LCBO brings in a fair selection on a steady basis. This tasting was purchased recently from the 2009 and 2010 vintages, as well as a couple of older vintages for reference. It will be very useful for those starting a cellar – or those whose cellar needs topping up! The line-up includes Muga Prado Enea, Contino, CVNE Imperial and more, including Rioja Alta 904 (2005).
2001 Sauternes & Barsac – February 14th, 2018
“Perhaps the greatest Sauternes vintage in modern time” (Jancis Robinson). Our tasting includes the peerless Ch d’Yquem. Jancis gave this wine an almost unheard of 20 pts (out of 20) in Dec 2015 (only 139 out of 149,000 purple pages notes attain 20 pt scores – Suckling please copy!). At 16 years, it should be starting to show its true colours. We are also pouring Ch Rieussec (owned by Domaines Baron de Rothschild of Ch Lafite, and for comparison some more affordable wines!
Older Ports – Porto vs English Bottlings – March 14th, 2018
Until 1970 it was not uncommon for British wine merchants to import port in barrels (pipes) and bottle it themselves. (After 1970 all vintage port is Oporto bottled) This tasting includes comparisons of British and Oporto bottled Cockburn & Taylor ports from 1966, 1967 and 1970. Did the Brits do a good job?
Mitolo – Australian Single Vineyard “G.A.M” Shiraz – April 11th, 2018
Aussie Shiraz with an Italian heritage. The winery was founded by Frank Mitolo in 2000; G.A.M. (the initials of Franks children) Shiraz was their first cuvee. We are spanning the 2004-2008 period. The wines will be at full maturity (10-15 years). In addition, we are pouring the Savitar and Reiver Shiraz cuvees. There will also be a “ringer”, the Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon. See if you can spot it! These are full throttle wines, “heroically styled” to quote Hugh Johnson.
Beaune – Clos des Fèves vs Clos des Ursules – May 9th, 2018
This tasting compares two houses 1er Cru Beaunes – Louis Jadot (Clos des Ursules) and Chanson (Clos des Fèves). Both houses have excellent reputations. You will be able to compare the two enclaves across several vintages spanning 1995 – 2005. The Ursules perhaps a little more elegant, the Fèves perhaps a little rounder.
Judgement of Paris (Ont.) – Chardonnay – Niagara vs Burgundy – June 13th, 2018
(With apologies to Steven Spurrier!). The “Judgement of Paris” was the famous (US) / notoire (Fr) tasting that pitted top Napa wines against Bordeaux and white Burgundy. The shock was that the French judging panel ranked Ch Montelena as the top Chardonnay and that Napa overall acquitted itself extremely well. Our tasting will see how Niagara Chardonnay stacks up against Burgundy. Details are being worked out and we will update this web page shortly.
Our tasting events are held on the second Wednesday of each month from September through June. All events (except December and the March tasting dinner) are in the North York Memorial Community Hall, 5110 Yonge Street (under the library). We recommend that tasters take the TTC: the North York Centre subway stop is handy. If you insist on driving, there’s parking in the building (enter off Beecroft, one block west of Yonge).
(Wednesday, October 11, 2017) — Two of the finest wineries in the Napa are Heitz Cellars and Chateau Montelena. In October we will compare their Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won the white category in the 1976 Judgement of Paris that so changed the wine world. Their Cab is every bit as good. Heitz Cellars has […]
(Wednesday, September 13, 2017) You had me at “Brunello” The other Sangiovese Register online. Register by mail. Without the Biondi-Santi family, there would be no Brunello. When Clemente Santi noticed that some of his vines grew compact, thick skinned grapes producing more expressive wines than his other Sangiovese stock, he set in motion a movement to produce […]
(Wednesday, June 14, 2017) — We are delighted to offer this tasting of premium Shiraz from the young, yet already legendary, Two Hands winery in South Australia. The winery was originally rooted in Barossa and McLaren vale but now covers a much wider span. Originally founded just before the turn of […]
Register online. Register by mail. (Wednesday, May 10, 2017) — Now that winter’s over and spring is upon us, it’s time to put down the heavy reds and pick up some beautiful whites. Cue Sauvignon Blanc: one of the most popular and distinctive, of the white wine grapes. One thinks first of the Loire Valley as […]
(Wednesday, April 12, 2017) — Barolo has been called the King of Wines. To many of its fans it deserves the title. The zone is in the Langhe region with its rolling hills. The grape used is Nebbiolo, the earliest to bud and last to ripen. It produces big powerful wines and is also the grape […]
(Wednesday, March 8, 2017) — Our winter has been a little grey! To get us out of the winter humdrums Winetasters will be hosting a dinner in place of our regular March tasting. We will be at the well-established local restaurant, Boland’s Open Kitchen, located on Mount Pleasant Road. It is owned and operated by Chris […]
(Wednesday, February 8, 2017) — Over the last couple of years, Winetasters has had the pleasure of enjoying classic “old” Vintage Ports from the 1960’s and 1970’s. But for something a little different, we are now ready to have a look at a “younger” vintage, both to provide some variety and to see how the excellent […]
(Wednesday, January 11, 2017) — Something different from Winetasters: a “Try and Buy” tasting event. And the theme is premium Spanish red wines that are currently available (through consignment) and ready to drink, but also with excellent aging potential. Why Spanish reds? Unlike so many areas in the wine world, Spain has a long tradition of aging […]
(Wednesday, December 14, 2016) — “Wait a minute… that’s not milk and cookies. That’s a 1966 Château Lafite-Rothschild! Ho, ho, ho! And over there… why it’s a 1966 Château d’Yquem – just look at that colour! And both of them are 50 years old and still going strong. Someone certainly knows what Santa likes… ho, ho, […]
(Wednesday, November 9, 2016) — The tasting you have been waiting for – 1990 Bordeaux. In Tony Aspler’s words: “The 1990 vintage in Bordeaux was one of the best of the 20th century. These wines, from a very warm year, are drinking beautifully now. For claret lovers this is a unique opportunity to taste some […]
(Tuesday & Wednesday, October 25 & 26, 2016) — Our first dinner this season will be at a well established local restaurant, Melanie’s Bistro and Patisserie. It is convientlently located on the Danforth, midway between the Coxwell and Woodbine subway stops. It is owned and operated by a husband and wife team. Arul Chettiar is […]
(Wednesday, October 12, 2016) — Majestic Syrah, from the famous Hermitage to the massive Aussie icons, is judged by most to be the equal of, or at least second only to, Cabernet Sauvignon for making the world’s best full-bodied red wines. And what’s maybe equally notable is how this superb grape has found success in so […]