Leaving the Car at Home

An important part of being the Urban Driver for DailyXY is the urban part. Urban for me, personally, is Toronto; there’s tons to do in this town and many a night is no night to be driving. Consider this week’s wine tasting event, a fundraiser for Delisle Youth Services (whose name evokes yogurt to me first, not wine) in a charming, local, reclaimed urban space that the city didn’t screw up or vomit condos into overnight.

Thankfully it was 10 minutes uphill from home and, what with parking typically a 20-minute workout in central T.O., I saved time and walked. (If you were hoping for a car review this week, you can stop reading now.)

I know enough about wine to look utterly ignorant at events like these. So it was serendipitous that I bumped into Angeline, a friend who not only works for a wine agency herself — so, like me, she was technically ‘working’ — but is fresh from France and has that purring accent and imperious Gallic way of withering anyone who dares condescend.

She’s also funny as hell.

We toured the world table by table, Angeline gently disagreeing with many of my favourites. “Zats juhst mee. Yoo like whaht yoo like.”

There were hundreds of wines on offer and we did our part. For no reason other than the notes were still comprehensible enough to read in the morning, I’m pleased to report the following three finds, which Ontarians can order by contacting the Lifford Wine Agency.

Notes from Self
An Italian Cuvée Prestige Rosé* from Ca’ Del Bosco was crisp, fruity and lingered lightly in the schnoz like a pregnant pause during a thrilling seduction. Even at $44.95 per bottle it’s still significantly less expensive than champagnes of similar quality.

* [If you’re among those who think rosé is lowbrow sludge, get your head out of the baby duck’s hind and read this.]

The Crémant Brut Rosé from Domaine Zinck in France was a less subtle but still excellent buy, at $27.95. A member of the Zinck family poured our measures and gushed effusively about all the family’s years in the biz.

The sparely titled K Vintners Viognier Columbia Valley was magnificent. At $61.95 per bottle, it ain’t cheap. Consider buying cases for your clients as gifts, writing it all off as business expenses, then inviting yourself to their homes regularly.

Warnings from Self
You know that one sip when you realize it’s now or never? You’re either fully committed to a showdown with your liver or you’re going home. After 2 hours of sipping and more sipping, it descended like a curtain! Suddenly it was noisy, stuffy and I was the only one laughing at my jokes. I pecked Angeline, a little one on each cheek, and quit the scene, dignity intact.

Car-free, the trip home was a tipsily pleasant 7-minute point-and-shoot trot down the West End’s escarpment, back into the bosom of the Annex. Urban Driver? Not that night. The Urban Drunkard was home.

Image courtesy of Geoff LMV.

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