La Palette

(Nov. 19, 2013) — Kensington’s La Palette has the warm, inviting look and feel and, better still, the aromas and flavours of an authentic French bistro. For Winetasters’ autumn dinner, La Palette’s kitchen has paired a tantalizing selection of house specialties with our representative sample of southern France’s wine renaissance. There’s no need for plane fare to Toulouse. A TTC token and the 501 Red Rocket will get you there.

Blanquette de Limoux produced natural sparkling wines long before Champagne refined the process. Crémant de Limoux, a style introduced in 1990, emphasizes a controlled secondary fermentation. Our sample is a blend of 90% Chenin and Chardonnay with up to 10% Pinot Noir. And what better accompaniment is there to a crisp, dry bubbly than a fresh oyster?

Our appetizer wine comes from AC Côtes du Roussillon. It’s a blend of 80% Grenache Blanc and the rare Grenache Gris with 20% Roussanne – 70% aged in stainless steel, 30% in new French oak. Robert Parker scores the wine a 92 and mentions “Lots of wet gravel, crushed rock, honeysuckle, acacia flower, quince and white currant notes” with “fresh, full-throttle flavors”. Such complexity deserves an equally complex dish: Saucisson de Mer is shrimp chorizo stuffed calamari lightly breaded and fried, served with warm bella de cerignola olives and tomato caper purée, the visual aspect enhanced with a squirt of squid ink.

Prior to the main course, we’ll serve a mini-tasting of Château Lagrézette. The vineyard, in the Cahors region, is the oldest in south-western France, “held in high regard as early as the seventh century” but in need of reviving in the 1980s by new owner Alain-Dominique Perrin, president of Cartier from 1975 to 1988 in consultation with soil microbiologist Claude Bourguignon and oenologist Michel Rolland. The wine is 87% Malbec and 12% Merlot with just a smidgen of Tannat. These wines will then be paired with La Palette’s signature dish, Quack and Track, a rare horse tenderloin and crispy leg of duck confit. (Two alternatives to the main courses are available: see the checklist on the registration form.)

To round out the meal we’ll serve Crème Brûlée paired with a newly-listed Sainte Croix du Mont, a dessert wine from just across the Garonne from Sauternes.

As always with our tastings, this event will be strictly non-smoking, and we request your cooperation in not wearing any scented after-shave or perfume.

Date: Monday, November 19, 2013 La Palette
Time: 6:30 p.m. 492 Queen Street West, Toronto 416 929-4900
Limit: 48 people each evening
Members: $89 Guests: $101

Cancellations accepted up to Wednesday November 13, 2013. See the event form for cancellation contact details. No reservations by phone, please. No confirmations will be issued — you will be contacted only if we are sold out. First come basis. Non-members may attend at guest rates, but preference will be given to members.

Download the event form if you wish to mail in your reservation cheque.