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, November 29, 2006

The Deacon Interviews Brain-Girl Sara D'Amato!

Greetings All and Sundry, in the Name of Calico Jack!

Wassup children? Your humble Deacon here, writin' from the captain's cabin of the Black Freighter. And while we be on the whole pirate thang, note that your Deacon's newest ink looks real lurch! Forget about Miami Ink. Toronto's New Tribe rox! I just checked out the addition with a hand mirror after my morning shower, and it's designed to inspire terror in all you mofo crackahs out there! Imagine a lovely skull and cutlasses in black ink in the centre of your Deacon's back, and you got a sense of the rich menace inherent in this newest tattoo...

And let's not forget to say "BITE ME CRANK!" to all y'all who have managed to remain peckerdine jankmonkeys, despite all your Captain has done to edjucate you. Argh! The Jolly Roger is flyin'! The boarding party is armed and ready! Let the interview begin...

Sara D'Amato is the sommelier extraordinaire at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Of Italian/Polish extraction (just like the Amazing Kreskin, I might add...) she was born in Sault Ste. Marie and lived in Avignon France, where she attended school. She was interested in wine back in the days when most of you were still crankin' amphetamines and she collected wine cards the way your Deacon collected Hockey coins. To call Sara "Magic Brain Girl" is to understate her abilities. Beginning with Astro Physics at the University of Toronto, Sara studied International Relations, then attended Ryerson University where she studied Urban Planning, finally winding up with a degree in World Literature with a minor in Philosophy. (I'm not makin' this stuff up) Sara's so frickin' smart in fact, that she might be almost as intellijent as your humble Deacon himself!

So anyway, after a stint as Director of Operations for a market research company, she went back to France to check out the University of Bordeaux, but ultimately wound-up at Niagara College, where she studied all aspects of winemaking. Nearly 3 years and 2 harvests later, she headed back to Bordeaux to work as Assistant Winemaker for a large co-operative, and lived in a tiny village and worked in the vineyard.

When she got back to Canada, she finished the program at Niagara and applied for a job in Chile with Miguel Torres. Well naturally, in the meantime she manages to win a scholarship that was to be presented by the Hostelleries Institute. She naturally makes her acceptance speech in both English and French and immediately gets 6 job offers on the spot. She takes the offer from the Four Seasons as their resident sommelier in August 2005, and the rest is history...

We met for oysters and champagne on the helicopter deck of the Black Freighter, moored next to Captain John's Seafood Restaurant at Queen's Quay. The interview began...

Deacon Dr. Fresh: Yo Sara! Wassup Homegirl?
Sara D'Amato: Hi Dr. Fresh! Nice to be here. Nice ship. When was it built?
DDF: Call me Deacon. It was launched in 1770...So what's happenin' in the Canadian wine industry?
Sara: A lot of exciting stuff! There've been some amazing positive changes in the Ontario wine scene in the last few years. We have new wineries appearing almost daily and there's some great product on the market now at very reasonable prices.
DDF: So true. I'm findin' that the Ontario product is finally getting the recognition it deserves. A few years back, there was a lot of crackerwater, monkeyspray, superjank, bilgewater. Now things are much more lurch!
Sara: That's absolutely correct. Let me say for the record that I never drink mofo, crackerdine, jank-bucket, peckerwood wine. Life's too short.
DDF: Yes it is! What's your take on Niagara?
Sara: Niagara's coming along really well. We're finding our way through the sub-appelations, early consistency problems due to changing producers, unpredictable winters, etc. I see a good future for Prince Edward County too.
DDF: Can you give our fanz a couple of recommendations?
Sara: Sure. Tell your readers to check out Fielding Estate Pinot Noir. It's really nice for the price.
DDF: Yeah, Ken and Marg Fielding are newcomers who're makin' some fine wine. I just ordered a case of their Unoaked Chardonnay. (Note to my homeys: I predict they'll be sold-out of it by Monday. You can get free delivery if you buy a case, and you'll have it overnight too. Make sure you tell them you heard about it from the Deacon...)


Sara: Another really amazing wine is Chateau des Charmes Equuleus 2002 from the Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard. This is a classic Bordeaux style wine, made from 50% Cabernet Franc, and equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.


In January I'll be pouring Cave Springs Riesling Reserve at a Canadian Wine and Culinary event in New York.

DDF: Yeah, the Pennachetti family does a great job with aromatic whites. I think you'll blow away all the New Yorkers with that one. Now comes the question of the day...As an esteemed member of the wine community, what's your martial art, and who would you fight in the Octagon?

Sara: Well I studied Tae Kwon Do when I was young, but didn't get very far...I'm a pacifist, but I'd like to fight Michel Rolland though...You know who I mean?

DDF: Yeah. The micro-oxygenation crackerwood off Mondovino! How would you beat him? What would your strategy be?

Sara: Just a punch in the face. That's all.

DDF: Any final thoughts to leave our loyal readers with?

Sara: Just that I'm really excited to be where I am, amidst amazing and friendly people, and working in a great environment. It's a fantastic time to be in the booming wine industry!

You heard her.

Now drop in at the Four Seasons and check out the winelist that Sara's put together...

Deacon Dr. Fresh

More fun than scurvy

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Under A Black Flag We Shall Sail...

The Seas Shall Be Our Empire!

Argh! Greetings from His Excellency, Captain Deacon Dr. Fresh.

To all in my Pirate Crue, the Legion of Lurch, and my fanz around the electronic wine world, in the name of Calico Jack, I greet you!

And a hearty "Bite me crank, matey!" to all you land-lubber, plank walkin', media believin', barnacle-brained DIX out there, who haven't got a brain-cell between you, but tune in anyway in case you miss somethin' good, "Argh!" again!

So your Captain has a lot to report, not the least of which is I just got back from New Tribe, where tattoo artist extraordinaire, Eric, inked your Humble Captain Deacon with his 10th tattoo! Bein' a little sore from the hour-long needle invasion, I'm just sittin here in the Crow's Nest, fillin' in all the details of the last few days in the Black Freighter's Logbook...

Friday was one lurch day, in which your Captain and his loyal wench, the Deaconess, made our heading landwards to visit the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. With a cutlass at my waist and a pair of pistols in my belt, I sallied forth to quaff the wines of the world; this being while some of you workaholics were all busy helping some corporation raise their share prices at the expense of your free-time and your life...

Here's what was notable, and I got to hurry as there's a lot to report:

Opus One 2002 Napa Valley, California, United (Police) States of Amerika $269.95
No Virginia, that's not a typo. Is it amazing? Absolutely! Is it worth it? Not a chance in Hades. It drinks more like a $245.00 wine.

Now here are 2 really lurch wines you gotta check out:

First the white...Fielding Estate Chardonnay (unoaked) 2005. At only $13.00, this is a really nice Chard. Buy it at:

For the red, your Captain recommends...Ubuntu Shiraz (Western Cape) South Africa 2004 A steal at only $11.00! If y'all like the Aussie and Chilean versions of this Persian grape, you're gonna love this eksepshunal bargain! Available at the LCBO.

Then on Monday, your Humble Commodore and Deacon was at the Air Canada Platinum Club for a special wine tasting. Although I entered in the Advanced category, I was bumped by the organizers to the Professional slot! Your Deacon sampled 7 International (mostly old-world) and 3 VQA wines and 3 spirits: Christmas Past, Present and Future - a hilarious line if you didn't notice. Then I hung out with Paul DeCampo, the Key Account Rep of Henry of Pelham, and knocked back some of their killer Riesling and Baco Noir, along with some excellent finger foods and risotto. I also hooked up with Sommelier Brain Girl Sarah D'Amato, who I'll be featurin' in a future article. (Everybody lubs the Deacon!)

Then that night I sailed down to King and Bay for a special BC vs Ontario tasting at the Ontario Club. (I never really understand these "versus" events. Why not just have BC and Ontario wines? Why's everything gotta be conflict? Violence is always unnecessary, and it makes me want to crank somebody's neck!) At the Ontario Club, your Captain and Deacon made his usually colourful entrance and was expeshully stylish with a skull and crossbones shirt under a basic black jacket; certainly not what "they" are accustomed to...

The crowd was eklektic. A total mix of lurch and peckerdine, often at the same table. I hooked up with Austrians Michael Thurner and Karl Schmidt, the friendly and hilarious sponsors of the event, und ich habe viel Deutsche gesprachen! (Why is it that even the faintest hint of a German accent triggers an almost irresistable urge to snap a hearty "Sieg Heil!" and start talking about those dix Hitler and Goering and Von Ribbentrop? As John Cleese put it: "Don't mention the war!") I also spent some time rappin' with Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus. Dean's a very kool dude, but needs to start listening to some Throwdown and Black Sabbath, as soon as possible. A couple of Black Label Society records would be a good prescription too. In fact, all of you need to remember the 3 V's of music:

Volume, volume and volume!

The tasting was lurch! We started with a delish Austrian Gruner Veltliner that set our palates up for what would follow; namely 6 whites and 4 reds. Some of them were quite obvious - Meritage and Oakey Chardonnay, but it was very pleasant eating the cheeses and canapes and listening to Tony Aspler (Canada's Dr. Johnson of Wine) expounding and amazing us all. I wound up giving Tony a lift to North Toronto, before the Black Freighter headed east to the turbulent waters of Scarlem...I bought Tony's Wine Atlas too, and urge you all to do the same. I sat up reading it, well into the night. Loads of lurch info and kool pictures for you whine illiterates:

Another indispensible book for the budding Wine Pirate, is Billy Munnelly's latest offering:

You can read the Deacon's comments on the back cover of Billy's 2007 Wine Guide. Pick it up! If you buy only these 2 wine books, you'll be miles ahead of all the snobby, jank, peckerdine DIX you hang-out with, but can never figure out why.

Well...that's all for today. Your Deacon's gonna retire now to the Captain's Table of the Black Freighter, where the Deaconess has prepared some barbecued beef with all the fixin's!

I lub y'all!


Captain Deacon Dr. Fresh
Always sailin' under the Jolly Roger

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Deacon's Male Bag, and More!

Yo Ho Yo Ho a Wine Gangsta's Life For Me!

Wassup Homeys? It be me once again, spreadin' joy and good cheer and neck-crankin' everyone who's stupid enough to test my mettle; in or out of the vineyard!

A special hello to all my fanz and frenz and a real big jank "Wassup?" to all you semi-retarded, itchy bagged, spangle-dusted, coat-hanger disentanglin',
vaccinated peckerdines, who don't know jack about jack, but keep tunin' in to my rich ramblin's, none-the-less!

Now I got's to start the ignition with the followin' announcement that's got the wine world in a spin:

Your humble Deacon just won the Most Irreverent Wine Writer Award, in the Globe and Mail's City Bites Magazine Jeers and Cheers, as listed on page 25! Y'all check it out. They even give a link to this blog's address. Thanks to the Hungarian Mafia for knowin' kwality when they see it! The Szabo Boyz have been real lurch and helpful to His Excellency and are too kool for words.

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Now some of you are wonderin' if I'll be at the Food and Wine Expo in Toronto this weekend, and the Deacon is happy to announce that he will be attendin'! Your humble Deacon will arrive at opening bell today, with the Deaconess in tow, so all you papparazzi can get your lenses ready! Now let's get to the Male Bag!

Dear Dr. Fresh:

I read everything you write, and need some advice. I'm going to be in Florida for a few days and am going to be purchasing some wine; mostly Oregon and Washington State Pinot Noir, at a wine shop near where I'm staying. Can you give any recommendations? How should I ship it?


Donny Brookes, Toronto

Donny: Your humble Deacon loves his Pinot! Here's some Oregons you oughta try:

Silvan Ridge 2003 Willamette Valley. And be sure to check out Foxy Rock 2004, also from Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Another one I like is Rex Hill Vineyard 2004.

Y'all check it out. It's real easy to ship your juice back to T.O. Just take it to UPS and label it "Gift". On the place on the label where it asks for "contents" just write the following:

"Do not open for postal inspection. This box does not contain explosives or firearms." That should get it through ok.


Yo Deacon! I was in Niagara yesterday and guess who I ran into? Captain Frickin' Kirk! He was comin' out of Blackbird Estates Winery with a big smirk on his face. What's that all about?

T. Triggs, Kingston

Yo Triggs:

Sounds like the mofo just bought another winery. I'm gonna have to deal with this peckercracker...


Hey Deacon! Wassup? Love your work, Bro. I need some info though. I saw this big magnet thing online the other day and it's supposed to make your wine taste smoother. Is this a scam, or do these things work?

Dean, Las Vegas

Yo Dean! Yes they work. As crazy as it sounds, it will smooth out the flavour of your tannic reds, although I don't notice much change in whites. Last year, your humble Deacon tested the Flav-O-Ring wine magnetizer with my homey, Dr. Flames Fishboy. We ran some inexpensive Bad Dog Red through the magnetic field. Bingo! It immediately tasted softer and less harsh. We even double-blinded the test, and it still won. Then last Tuesday, Tony Aspler and his lovely wife Deborah braved the darkness and drove into the heart of Scarlem to dine at Fresh Mansion. Tony put the magnet through its paces and yes, it's official. It even works on mineral water, instantly changing the size of the bubbles.

Well, thassall for now!

Later Homeys and Peckahs!

Deacon Dr. Fresh
Always dispensin' the news that counts...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

William Shatner Invades Niagara!

Reuters News Service, Niagara-on-the-Lake
November 15th, 2006.

Where no man has gone before...

In a surprising career move, William Shatner, AKA "Captain James T. Kirk" has begun buying up vineyards and wineries on St. David's Bench and further down the Niagara Escarpment. So far two of the smaller wineries have fallen under Shatner's relentless financial pressure, Williamswood Estate Winery and Misty Meadows Family Winery. Both wineries have produced critically acclaimed red wines in the past, including Cabernet Franc and in the case of Misty Meadows, an award winning VQA Pinot Noir in the Burgundian style. However, a couple of bad winters has decimated both vineyards, sending them into receivership.

"I'm helping out Niagara" said Shatner in a telephone interview from his suite at the Queen's Landing Hotel. "I love Canada, and I'll always be a Canadian at heart. I've never given up my Canadian roots. After all, I was born in Montreal and I've been a Montreal Maple Leafs fan all my life. Canada's fantastic! It's just that the US is much much better. America gives me the women and the lifestyle I deserve and the money I need for my newest venture; buying up wineries and uniting them under one Federation banner!"

Indeed, it would appear that Shatner intends to continue his expansion. With his phasers locked on several Niagara Wineries, he appears to be moving towards massive consolidation of his power. "I want to own the Niagara Escarpment! I'm going to own it all!" he gloated. "Then all the grapes from all the vineyards will be mashed together into one uniform and equal juice. Then we'll begin bottling Federation Wine under the Star Trek logo!"

"He's a bastard" said Misty Meadows' Tom Fieldstone. "That's all there is to it. He's a complete bastard." The Williamswood Family could not be reached for comment. Emotions are running hot in the Niagara Region though. Henry of Pelham's Daniel Speck attended the press briefing and was heard to shout "Beam this up, Kirk!", flinging a bottle of Baco Noir, which narrowly missed Shatner's head. Equally angry was Coyote's Run Estate Winery's Jeff Aubry who says he's not above organizing "a small but violent group of vigilantes" who will "kick Kirk's ass back to Rigel 4!"

On another note, the LCBO has stated in a press release that they will "gladly stock and enthusiastically promote any wine that this great Canadian Icon produces!"

More as this story develops...

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