Had a great weekend full of chow.
Joso's fresh fish. Served whole and roasted. It was delicious. It was a fish that I have never heard of before from European waters. But, it was delicate and came away from the bone with ease. It was expertly prepared. Simplicity at its finest.
Con: They have no right charging more than $6 for what they call "Dalmatian Potato Salad". (Yukon Gold boiled ans sliced, drizzled with olive oil and green onion slices).
Mistura's red beet risotto (appetizer) and grilled quails (main). Delicious. Details on request.
And, I discovered a great wine: Gallo (of all wineries!), 99 Cab Sauv. I am told its priced low at the LCBO. Tastes like a $40 bottle. I never condescended to drink or buy Gallo ever. Now, I have learned.
Finally, my question: I am just getting into port (not tawny). Any recommendations?
So, Joso's - good but expensive. Glad you agreed.
As to Port, one of my passions. First, don't ignore tawny. The Taylor Fladgate 20 yr-old is a great one. But please ignore the Delaforce regular LCBO listing. I've had this twice in the last month (served blind) and both times assessed it as undrinkable, not knowing what was being served. How the LCBO can offer this monstrosity is beyond me.
I recommend trying an LBV (late bottled vintage). There's a not bad selection from various producers around $16-19. Also several producers have a branded port around $15-20 (doesn't contain a vintage date). These are intended for early drinking and can be left open for a couple of months without too much deterioration.
There are some imitations from California, Australia and South Africa - they're not really comparable, just fortified wines. But if you want sweet and fortified you might try them. Or, for something different try a Madeira (has the advantage that doesn't deteriorate once opened). It's expensive (relatively) but there's a 5 yr-old Broadbent available at $25.95. It's much better than all the cheaper ones and tastes like liquid marmalade. It's the perfect wine for chocolate (even better than Port).
And Gallo is one of the bargains right now. As good as many of the premium Californian and much cheaper (they typically sell for the same in Cdn$ as in US$ as Gallo is targeting the Ontario market).
Graham's is very consistent. It tends to be slightly sweeter than most, with a mellow finish. Taylor's is also sweet but seems more alcoholic and 'bigger'.
Delaforce I haven't tried recently - based on their awful tawny.
At around the same price are Graham's Six Grapes, Fonseca's Bin 27 and Taylor's First Estate. All are 'house' brands and consistent from year to year. They are similar to the LBV's (all are 'ruby' ports). I find the Fonseca has more 'structure' (balance of sweetness, acidity and tannin) but it's less sweet on the palate.