Deacon Dr. Fresh Wine Newsletter

A Wine Newsletter With An Edge - Definitely NOT your typical white bread, mofo, cracker, peckerwood, jank, peckercracker wine newsletter! If this info is too advanced for you, check out my other newsletter: Wine for Dix at

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

World's Lurchest Wine Writer - The Gangsta of the Grape - The Sultan of Shiraz - The Buccaneer of Burgundy - The Prince of Pinot Noir - Yellow Tail's Bane - Locus of the Ladies' Focus - Wielder of the trousered Hammer of Thor - I have arrived to rescue the wine world from overly-serious, rigid, deconstructionist, rooster juice peckerwoods who'd never dream of gettin' a tattoo or crackin' a smile. I am without a doubt, the smartest, funniest and toughest sumbitch in the entire wine industry. And I aint goin' away. All disputes will be settled bare-knuckled in the Octagon. You heard me. Oh, and by the way...Bite me crank!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stay away from my Sauvignon Blanc, Mofo! Posted by Picasa

Sauvignon Blanc, Cat-Pee, or Urine Idiot!

Greetings All and Sundry:

This just in:

Dear Deacon: I've recently had a weird thing happen and I hope you can explain it to me. I am a huge Sauvignon Blanc freak. I drink it at least once per week, a bottle at a time, favoring the Marlborough Bay New Zealand type. I always have my favourite meal which goes so well with it, namely: Grilled herbed-chicken or Cornish Hen, asparagus with roasted almonds, green peppers and herbed wild rice. Lately though, I've noticed that shortly after dinner there's a really strong and unpleasant odor after I urinate. I read in a magazine that the descriptors for my beloved Sauvignon Blanc may include, grass, herbaceous, lime, tropical fruit, and...wait for pee! Is it possible that I'm actually ingesting some form of cat urine extract used to flavour the wine and that's what I'm noticing? - Disturbed, Toronto
Answer: You're disturbed alright cracker! Listen to me...Nobody puts cat urine in wine; not even the French! What your nose is detecting is mercaptan that comes from the asparagus. Mercaptan is a particularly vile, odiferous, sulfurous chemical that smells like it originated in the very backside of Satan. It is added to natural gas so you know when it's leaking from your stove. It's not known whether only some people produce the mercaptanized urine after asparagus by processing the aspartic acid it contains, or whether everyone produces it but only some people have the genetics to smell it. There's a mythology that states that only super-intelligent people carry the gene that causes the asparagus after-odor. Based on the Deacon's own malodorous post-asparagus's true.
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Urologist of the Grape

Monday, September 26, 2005


Up to $15,000 in prizes!

Here’s a cool tasting event open to all wine enthusiasts of all levels!

You must identify the grape varietal and country of origin from a diverse range of wines. There will be both advanced and beginners level tastings!

When? Monday November 7th 2005

Where? The Platinum Club, Air Canada Centre

To register for the winetasting or for more information go to: or call Som at (416) 744-9655

This is a FREE event! Your Deacon went last year and had a blast!

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Best Wine After A Drive-By Shooting!

This just in:

"Yo Deacon. One o' my homeys got shot last night by some cracker mofo wieldin' a Smith and Wesson .40 calibre nickel-plate with semi wad-cutters. He caught a slug in the ankle and we're hookin' up with him tomorrow in the hospital to cheer him up. What's the best wine to drink after a sucessful drive-by?" - Rozeen, San Diego

Answer: Without a doubt you gotta go with the claret! Claret is the British term for all red Bordeaux and fits the bill perfectly as it also means "blood" in Olde English slang. Pick up a nice tannic red and celebrate his immanent recovery!

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Do Goats Really Roam?

Yes they do! Tonight the Deacon cooked for his bride, the Deaconess Fresh. He went to the trouble of making medium-well roast beef with home-made garlic mashed potatoes, market carrots and hand-shucked peas. It was all served with a Goats do Roam Villages 2003. The Deaconess immediately went to work with her hamster power-nose to discern the grapacious components of the cuvee.
Here's what we found: Goats do Roam Village 2003 is not a great wine. But it's a good wine. The Deacon had the sense to decant it for an hour and run it through the magnetic field of the Flav-O-Ring, and the result was very nice indeed. Here's the evaluation from the nose and palate of the Deaconess:
"Smooth with gentle tannins. Not a lot of complexity, but a hint of black cherry and toasted marshmallows (toasted golden marshmallows on the nose, not burnt). Not a lot of length or finish, but pleasant in the mouth nonetheless."
I checked with the product consultant and the Village version of this South African Cotes du Rhone clone is the better buy. So spend the extra couple of bucks. It's worth it.
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh

Building Your Wine Cellar

Greetings All and Sundry:

Today’s article deals with the all-important matter of building and stocking your personal wine-cellar. “How many?” “What kinds? and of course “What’s this going to cost me?” Are all legitimate questions.

Let’s deal with the hardware first. You can create your personal “cellar” out of virtually anything that will keep your bottles cool, dark and undisturbed. For the apartment dweller, a closet will suffice. If you’re doing some serious cell-time, you’re "cellar" is gonna have to be a few bottles shoved under your cot. If you can attack a couple of guards with a home-made shiv, you should be able to get a nice long stretch in solitary and your wine will do very well in that dark, damp environment. Then all you gotta do is bribe the Warden to import some Bordeaux and Stratus for you and your time behind bars will be very well-spent. Proper jail etiquette requires a bribe of a carton of cigarettes for the Bordeaux and maybe two cartons of cigarettes and 3 bars of Irish Spring for the Stratus. Follow the rules and you’ll have a nice, cozy little wine-bar behind bars running in no time!

It’s true that you can purchase expensive wine refrigerators, but they are more for snob appeal than actual usefulness. You can always stick your white wine in the fridge for a while if you plan in advance what you’re going to drink. You don’t need every frickin’ bottle at that temperature all the time. If you take issue with this, I direct you to my other newsletter that you’ll find more suited to your intelligence: Wine for Dix

Anyhow...I recommend you go to IKEA and purchase a stand-alone pinewood wine rack for about 150 bucks. Yes, it’s a pain to put together. You’re given a stack of lumber and some nuts and bolts and a white instruction sheet that makes about as much sense as a Japanese blowfish speaking Hungarian. The key is to put on some AC/DC and open a few bottles of 14.5 % alcohol New World Shiraz and reward yourself with a glass for every accomplishment; say everytime you put a screw in correctly. Granted this will extend the building of the wine rack to the tune of several hours, but you’ll be damn happy with the result!

100 bottles is a good number to aim for in the beginning. That way you’ll have variety on hand and will not have to run out to pick up an Alsatian Gewürztraminer because you are serving Thai. Make sure you get a good assortment. I recommend the following representative types from both Old World and New World vintages:


Cabernet Sauvignon – 6 types
Cabernet Franc – 2 or 3 types
Merlot – None whatsoever (If you’re tempted to contest this, see Wine for Dix)
Red Zinfandel - 2 types
Pinot Noir – lots
Shiraz – tons
Bordeaux – 6 to 10 bottles to lay down and drink later
Barolo – 2 types
Amarone – 2 bottles
Beaujolais – 2 or 3 bottles of a good one such as Julienas
Argentinean Malbec - Try a few brands. This grape does great in South America


Chablis – 4 bottles minimum
Chardonnay – 6 types, both oaked and unoaked
Sauvignon Blanc ­– 6 types
Pinot Gris or Grigio – a few bottles for frivolity’s sake
Hungarian Furmint – a few bottles because it’s delicious
Bordeaux Blanc – 2 types
Gewurtztraminier – couple of bottles

Sparkling Wines

Cremant de Bourgogne sparkling white – 6 bottles
Veuve Clicquot Champagne – All you can afford

Remember the 15 minute rule: Put your reds into the fridge (not freezer) for 15 minutes before drinking to bring them to cellar temperature. Pull your whites out of the fridge 15 minutes before drinking. Most people drink reds too warm and whites too cold.

Assorted Canadian Wines

Try out some of these whether or not they’re listed above. Don’t miss the following wineries: Henry of Pelham, Burrowing Owl, Inniskillin, and of course Stratus. If you’re going to try Canadian Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, I highly recommend you buy from a left-coast winery. I just don’t see evidence of any good ones coming out of Ontario yet. Make sure you pick up some Trius Grand Red if you can spare the coin.

Flesh out your collection with a wide variety of other wines, including Port, Sherry and Madeira and you’ll be off to the races.

Now get drinking!

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Saturday, September 24, 2005


It seems I’ve caused a furor (not a fuehrer)!

The requests keep coming in with questions like:

“You’ve got me interested in Cabernet Franc for the first time with that Stratus Winery report. Where can I buy it?”


“I’m off to Vintages to pick up some Stratus Cab Franc! Do they carry it?”

The sad news is Stratus is not generally available. It’s definitely what your Deacon would lovingly call an “Artisan Wine”. You can get it in fine Toronto restaurants, i.e., not Arbee’s, McDonalds or Burger King. You can also order it online directly from the source:

Drop them a line and tell them Deacon Dr. Fresh sent you! And say hello to their wine master, the brilliant Frenchman J.L. Groux. He’s the brains behind the fame.

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Foreign Grapes In Ontario Wine?

I’ve received some alarmed emails regarding the Government of Ontario’s recent move to permit larger quantities of imported grapes in “Ontario” wines. It’s not an urban rumour, this is quite true. But don’t panic just yet...

Ontario has over 500 grape growers, many of whom have had their vines decimated by the cold snap last January. The good news is: the grapes that have survived are excellent, due to the summer heat wave. The bad news is: there aren’t many of them. Production is way down from an average crop of over 45,000 tonnes to less than 20,000 tonnes this year. Losses could be in excess of over $100 Million. This means that new and “temporary regulations” (anyone remember the GST?) will permit wines with only 1% actual Ontario grapes; the rest being those nasty foreign grapes.

Well I said don’t panic just yet...I totally agree with the Ontario Government safeguarding our precious wineries during their inchoate phase. As long as we know what we’re getting. The good news is, if you purchase an Ontario wine with the VQA label (Vintner’s Quality Alliance) you’ll be getting nothing but the real deal – 100% Ontario grown grapes.

So don’t panic. Yet...

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Friday, September 23, 2005

Corked Wine!

Corked wine...or “I don’t remember it tasting this bad!”

Greetings all and sundry!

Tonight’s lesson is a special request from one of our loyal readers, Wayne F. Not only is he going to check out Stratus, your Deacon’s special rave right now, but he’s asking all the right questions, so here goes...

What is corked wine?

Corked wine is wine that has spoiled by reacting with the cork used to plug the neck of the bottle. When cork is harvested from the bark of trees in Portugal, it undergoes a cleaning and disinfecting process. Unfortunately, the chlorine used in the method can adversely affect the cork, causing spoiled or stinky wine. It’s estimated that as much as 10% of wine is spoiled to some degree, ranging from “This doesn’t seem quite as good as I remember” to “Pass the vomit bag, I gotta hurl some red!”

Corked wine has a musty sort of wet cardboard smell that actually gets worse as the wine oxidizes. Any kind of chemical, sulfur or vinegar smell would also indicate a wine that’s gone bad. Particularly horrible is a wine that smells like the plasticene we all know from our childhood.

If you get a bottle of wine that smells bad, rotten or just plain wrong there are two things you must do. First stop drinking it immediately. It can kill you or cause a rare facial paralysis as the contaminated molecules bypass the blood-brain barrier.

Just kidding. What you really need to do is jam the bad cork back in the bottle and take it back where you bought it. The LCBO and Vintages will refund your money, no questions asked.

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Stratus Wines and Winery

Stratus Wines and Winery rate a perfect 10

Greetings Children of the Grape! Here’s an excerpt from a recent wine e-letter (remember them?) when I reviewed Canada’s Finest Winery...

Last Saturday I attended the Niagara Wine Festival with my wife Heather and my nieces, Michelle and Gillian. One of the "wineries" we toured was so horrible that I will not dignify its swill with further words. But then there’s Stratus...

Stratus is stratospheric! It's the only Niagara winery that rates a perfect 10 in the Deacon's book! The atmosphere is fresh and alive. The staff could work for the Ritz Carlton and the wines are to die for! A flight of 3 of their premium wines will run you ten bucks, a bargain once you taste them. I fell in love with their 2001 Cabernet Franc.
This luscious red is everything a Cab Franc should be. It's layered with warmth, sweet bell-peppers, a hint of the forest floor, touches of thuja and mouth-filling berries. I can't imagine what this would be like decanted for an hour. The tannins are firm but unobtrusive, and show wonderful aging potential, although it would be great right now with barbecued lamb skewers. I think it ran me about 32 bucks and will prove to be worth every damn cent! It's probably the best Cab Franc I've ever tried.

We sampled 6 Stratus wines, all served with breadsticks and fresh water and there was only one I wasn't totally knocked out by: their Stratus White. I found it tried too hard to be all things to all people, with every white you can name thrown into the barrel. Perhaps this is something for the mofos - who knows? I just found the Gewurtztraminer aroma to be a little excessively flowery and cloying in the nose. I like Gewurtz, but I've never liked it when it's blended with Sauvignon Blanc, but that's just me. There was nothing whatever wrong with the wine, it just wasn't for my palate, so I'm still giving the Stratus geniuses a perfect score!

Keep drinking. A lot.

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wine for Dix is up and running!

Greetings to all my loyal wine-bibbers!

In response to about 20 of you who've written saying you aren't wine savvy enough to read my pontifications (yet), I have created the "Wine for Dix Newsletter"!

It's up and running now, so check it out at:

Then when you figure out the basics, come back here and learn the rest of the rest...

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Madeira and the onset of Fall

Greetings all and sundry:

It's Fall in 2 days and that means a nice chill in the air and unfortunately the onset of Canadian winter. It's a time of year for introspection, solitude and realizing that another year has nearly passed and you're going to die soon.
So what wine is appropriate as you view your impending death? The cooler weather draws many of us to the luscious warmth of port, and why not? It's dependable, explosive in the mouth and goes well with a variety of great Canadian and imported cheeses. But as the weather worsens, let me offer you an alternative...
How many of you have considered Madeira for a change? It comes in dry and sweet and is an excellent Port substitute. Madeira orgininates off the coast of Africa in a Portugese province, although Britain runs its wine trade. Look for the Malmsey or Malvasia grape; one name is English, the other traditional Portugese. Madeira is literally "cooked" by spending months in high temperatures. The result is a delicious dessert wine that drips with toffee flavours that's intensely concentrated. You'll often see the word "solera" attached to Madeira. The solera system stacks up barrels of wine with the oldest at the bottom. Madeira is drawn from the bottom cask and refilled from the one above, which is refilled from the one above that, etc. The cask at the top is refilled with new wine. The result is a remarkably consistent quality. The great thing about Madeira is its indestructibility. It's been so cooked and oxydized that there's nothing you can do that will change it one iota, unlike Port which should be drunk soon after decanting. Pour it right from the bottle; there's no sediment. Try it with a twist of lemon peel as an aperitif or after dinner like any other fine dessert wine. I like a glass of Madeira after shovelling several feet of Canadian snow. It's an excellent way to warm up again!
So try something new. Get out there and support the British/Portugese economy.
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Wine Bibber to the Starz

Canada's Freshest Wine Blog!

Greeting's Y'all!

Just wanted to let my loyal subscribers know:

The Deacon is Bloggin' now! The old email list is goin' defunct so check back here regularly for the latest and greatest wine news!

Pass this on to your friends and enemies for all the coolest, up-to-date wine information.

You heard me.

Deacon Dr. Fresh

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