I've been following these posts for a while, and notice that Ontarians offer valuable notes and tastings. Any interest is establishing something
in the GTA? Not necessarily at a commercial venue as has been suggested. Besides co-ordinating dates with everyones busy schedules, what seem to be the snags?
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Definitely have interest in an offline, even an informal one, but venue seems to be the pressing issue. It just depends on how many people are interested in attending. I'd be more than happy to open up my apartment to forumites, but it's not terribly large so anything more than 8-10 people for a tasting might be difficult depending on format. Dinners are a max of six at my place.

The holiday season is always difficult to co-ordinate schedules, but I think an offline would be possible in January if there is interest.
I host a local wine club of 20+ people at my place every month or two, but the problem is that I live in Brooklin (north of Whitby and 20 min east of Markham). Yup, I live in the boonies!!!

And resturants are too expensive due to the liquor laws in Ontario.

Any other ideas? I could host, but most Ontario forumites seem to live downtown or in the West end.
Baird, I live in Unionville and would be willing to host an event. For those of you downtown, I'm close to the 404 and the 407. As far as a venue, that's open for discussion. Let's just start something up and add to it progressively. Slan, are you in?
We tried to organize something a couple of months ago, but it fell apart over our inability to find a decent venue where we could BYOB.

My suggestion is that we should be less ambitious to start. Let's not try to do a dinner, but simply a tasting. Perhaps at someone's home. One thought that futronic had last time was to use the party room of a condominium, but we didn't seem to have any condo dwellers.

As for location, with all due respect to the suburbanites, my thoughts are that we should try to find a spot that people can get to via TTC or GO Transit.

I'm open to pretty much anything. The key is avoiding paying 300 percent markup on restaurant wines. An informal tasting would be best (no need to have the host go to any more trouble than providing the location, bread/water, etc).

Not wanting to sound too much like Paul Simon, but I agree to start small with tastings. Personally, whatever works for the majority is fine with me as far as locale. To expedite things, I can be reached at jester728@rogers.com.
I concur with futronic that some time in the new year we should plan to organize an inaugural tasting. There certainly appears to be lots of interest from forumites. Wink
I'm in. As the saying goes... "Keep it simple stupid" Lets shoot for some time in mid to late January. I agree with others that Dec. is out of the question. Can you say R.I.D.E.?
My other recommendation would be to have this on a weekend, preferably on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon/evening. I can already tell that an offline with this much interest will mean that at least a case of wine will be opened. Smile

Another vote for TTC/GO Train access. I don't think anyone should be driving.
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Let's start with a date. How are people with Saturday January 24th, 2003? In the evening?
Once established, we can then do the where, what, who, etc..... That should give adequate time.
"There's no such things as problems, only solutions".
Come the new year, my schedule is pretty open. Count me in for the 24th. Check your email. I've sent you a quick note so you have my address handy.
Sorry about the date. With all the enthusiasm and interest, I lost my sense of time. Yes, Saturday January 24th 2004!!!!
Keep the ideas rolling. We should do this as democratically as possible. If people wish Aussie vs "blank", let's discuss it.
If the date appears to be agreeable to most, let's ink it and try to work on a place.
A blind tasting would be fun, and the no driving idea is also a good one. Aussie Shiraz would be good unless we end up with 1 bottle of Black Pepper, 1 bottle of RWT and 6 bottles of Dead Arm! Big Grin
It appears that we already have 5 people confirmed. In order to keep things managable the first time around, I'd like to suggest that we keep the group size between 8-10.
Next step: Location
Any volunteers? Any suggestions?
The consensus is to have it accessible to public transportation. I concur unless you have a
designated driver.
I'm confident we can solve the location issue.
If that's the case, we could do it single-blind so we are sure that no wine is duplicated. The other option is to only have the host know what wines people are bringing to prevent dupes.

Or we could just have a boatload of wine from any region and just enjoy things that way! Smile
I live in the Beach so I'd be happy to host, but if people want to hold it elsewhere, that's fine too. It's definitely TTC accessible, right off the Queen Streetcar. There's also a GO station at Main/Danforth, or there's the GO at Union and it's a 15 minute cab ride away.
Hey, isnt anyone watching the hockey game tonight??. I hope I'm not the only Leaf fan out of the bunch. The score is 4-3 Toronto Vs. Rangers after 2. And if you havent been watching, Domi and Barnaby have gone twice so far. Domi totally dominated the second one. So, where were we?
Still deciding between brining by mini verticals of Rosemount Shiraz or Wolf Blass Yellow Label. I think all of you will be impressed by these hard to get "cult" wines!!! That is if I don't send them to the next Ritchie's wine auction to be sold. Big Grin
Keep the ideas flowing, folks. A few thoughts on some of the suggestions above:

1) I would keep any theme quite broad. I suggest a broad array of wines that have been discussed here recently.

2) Drth: I'd be happy to bring a bottle of RWT.

3) Futronic: loved the Back to the Future reference! LOL

4) January 24 works for me.

5) Other thoughts (besides Aussie Shiraz) include: 2000 Bordeaux, 1999 CalCabs

6) If the group wants to stick with an Oz theme, I'm good for the RWT, some Dead Arm (various vintages back to '97), Marquis Phillips and a few others. Anyone willing to pony up a Grange?
One more suggestion:

Double blind is not a great idea, in my view. My feeling is that knowing what to look for before tasting helps a layman like me learn. Single blind or fully open would be my vote.
I'll have to bring a couple bottles - I can't show up to a tasting without at least one bottle from Italy. Smile

As for the Aussie theme, however, I've got some stuff, but they're recent vintages, and not "big names" except for the Dead Arm. Actually, I think everyone in this group has at least a couple bottles of Dead Arm. lol. I would imagine the easiest thing to do would be to pick a theme, if desired, and then people can post what they want to call "dibs" on to ensure no duplication.
Would love to come, except that I have a slight passport issue that I am going to try and fix in late December...

However, someone can always come up with a way to sneak me across the border... Wink

Now taking reservation for Thanksgiving Week Tour Dates of the 2003 Whirlwind Tour
You will probably get better group participation if they at least know what the wines are. I find that many people are quiet and afraid to be completely wrong in a double blind. If a specific region and or year is chosen, that might be enough info to go on.

Just a suggestion! Although I have no problem being completely wrong.... hasn't bothered me in the past. Wink

My car has a big trunk.. Big Grin

.....that is if there is any space left among the cases of smuggled Calif Cabs.....
For those of you that care.. Leafs won 5-4. tlily, you would of been proud. Nolan scored the first goal and nearly took on Simon. That would of been 3 games in a row that he got into a fight. I think with the two black eyes he was already sporting, he made a wise decision. Thats 6 wins in a row
Glad to hear the Leafs won again. I've been staying away from the TV tonight to focus on my exam that's tomorrow. As you can tell, I'm doing a great job.
Thanks for offering your hospitality. Before we confirm, I have a few other ideas I'd like to pursue.
I'll take into account all of the excellent suggestions, and over the next few days we can decide on the format. Regardless of what is selected, it appears that all the forumites are amenable to any offline event that offers a chance to taste and learn.
Pyang: We'd love to have you, eh.
I might be interested in the offline.
The schedule for january for work isn't up yet...so put me down as tentative.
As for aussie shiraz, I don't mind. I don't have much in good aging wines. Only one of bottle of 98 dead arm, so keeping that. The 2001 should already be well represented.
I have a few choices: 95 Wolf Blass Black Label (but it's a cab/shiraz), 98 Wynn's Michael Shiraz, 97 Ebenezer Shiraz, Vertical of St-Hallett Old Block (95-98).

I am like many from this board.. I have tons of relatively new vintage Aussies, but nothing really old. I can bring 97 E&E Black Pepper, 97 Elderton Command, or just about anything D'Arenberg made from 1998 to present. I have a few better aged options if we go Bordeaux, Napa Cab or Super Tuscan.

Looking at peoples comments, it appears that there is a great deal of interest in Aussie wines.
Anybody want to include some Bordeaux for contrast? I happen to have some French reds that I've been holding onto for some time, and would be delighted to sample with enthusiasts.

Are we OK with Aussie/Bordeaux? PLMK.
I'll be checking out sites this week that would meet our criteria (downtown/accessible/reasonably priced,etc...).

Thanks for all your feedback,comments and suggestions. Things are shaping up.

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