The Rise of Prince Edward County!
Greetings Boyz and Girlz!
I be back from Prince Edward County's TASTE! wine festival with all the latest info for you! On Saturday morning your humble Deacon of the Grape arose before the sun to make the pilgrimage to Picton, so you wouldn't have to. It was early when the Deaconess and her brother Steve and I hit the highway in the Candy Apple Red Caddy and kicked the beast into overdrive. (Don't listen to the crackers who tell you that the Bay of Quinte is 2 hours from T.O. You're lookin' at 20 minutes tops! The key is to drive on the shoulder and leave it to the mofos to try to get out of the way of your fishtailing, gravel-spraying 500 horsepower monster.) It was a damn cold morning and when we hit Picton (well fortified with ice-wine shooters) we paid our $12.50 each and joined the plebs in the line-up to get in the Crystal Palace. It was very pleasant, but calling it a "Palace" was a bit of a stretch and your humble Deacon was clearly the only Royalty present. After the usual pressing the flesh and signing autographs and the odd boot to the stones of a renegade papparazzo who though I was Usher, we were in. The aroma of real food wafted our way: Curried lamb, wild boar pate, pumpkin roulade, heirloom tomato consomme served in a hollowed out bell pepper, simple but delicious salade...the list goes on. The savory shortbreads (4 types) were delicious and addictive. Nice to see brilliant chef Jamie Kennedy making an appearance too. My Homeboy Billy Munnelly of "Billy's Best Bottles" attended too and looked real lurch, almost out-pimping the Deacon himself! But how was the wine? Well...I have to say the vines are still too young for the Deacon. I'm expecting great things from this appellation in the next 5 years or so, assuming I'm not shot in a drive-by before then. I tried a Pinot Noir that cost me a handful of tickets and it was promising, but not there yet. Clearly, the growing season had been long enough but the vines just aren't mature yet. But don't despair...There was some really lurch wine too! I'm going to mention Sandbanks Estate Winery 2004 unfiltered VQA Cabernet Franc. This Cab Franc does a lot more than promise to be good in a few years. This is the real deal. It cost me 6 tickets when most samples were 3 and was well worth it. It was deep ruby-red with some red berries and a light touch of thuja. Although I prefer my Cab Franc to taste like a forest floor, this was a beautiful wine. It's only available in fine restaurants so far, but we hope that will change soon. Watch for it! All in all it was a good day. My final analysis is as follows: Prince Edward County, Ontario's newest appellation isn't there yet. But it's well on its way and promises much in the next few years. I recommend you support these fledgling wineries and help them learn to fly.
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh