Deacon Dr. Fresh Wine Newsletter

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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!

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


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