Wine Tasting

The Applewood PROBUS Oenophiles

“Oenophile , a person who enjoys wines, usually as a connoisseur.”
PROBUS Wine Tasting is the opportunity for fellow Probians to get together and sample 4 to 6 bottles of wine in the comfort of a Probian home. There are currently 5 Wine Tasting Groups typically consisting of 8 (more or less) members who meet once a month at least 8 times a year (excluding July and August). Each member hosts one of the monthly wine tasting sessions with the other members contributing $20 or $25 each to the hosting member to cover the cost of wine (typically ranging between $10 to $20 per bottle), cheese and crackers, etc.
There are currently 5 wine tasting groups which meet monthly - one meets on a Tuesday; two meet on Wednesdays and two meet on Thursdays.
How to submit a report
One Email with pictures and reports will make it to both the newsletter and the website.
Please submit them as soon as possible.
Photos and videos from more than one member are OK.
Send to:
Group 3 - November 2023

Our group met at my home on the afternoon of November 15th. Neil Paget was warmly welcomed back to our gathering after many weeks of radiation treatment. Reg Perkin,  Bryce Atkinson and Paul Walters were unable to participate, however Peter Crawford and John Spence were very willing spares and excellent contributors to our tasting.

Six Cabernet Sauvignon wines from different areas were selected and their respective rankings are enclosed. The individual scoring results were extremely close and the winning wine was Chateau Pey La Tour from France.

Everyone enjoyed a great afternoon!
Cabernet Sauvignon Wines
   Hosted by Don Steen




 Vintage Year





Pey La Tour






 Trius Red





South Africa

 Glen Carlou












 Perez Cruz










Group 2 - November 2023

Wine Group 2 was hosted this month by Bob Weese on Nov 23/23 at the Chartwell Grenadier in Bloor West Village. The group turned out in full strength and tasted Syrah/Shiraz wines from several countries. The original home of Syrah is the Rhone Valley in the south of France but the wine has spread to many places around the world including Australia where it’s called Shiraz. The six wines tasted were at a variety of price points, from $9.95 to $38.95.

Wits End Luna Shiraz, Australia -- $15.95
Caliterra Tributo Syrah, Chile -- $18.95
Vidal Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah, New Zealand -- $29.95
One Pound Per Acre Shiraz, Australia -- $9.95
St. Joseph Rouge (Louis Bernard), France -- $38.95
Cathedral Cellar Shiraz, South Africa -- $17.95

The wines were all very drinkable but our group again demonstrated its expertise by ranking the cheapest wine in first place and the most expensive in last place!!!

Group 2 - October 2023


Wine Tasting Group 2 met on October 25th with 6 attendees: Jim Christie, Bob Weese, Bob Ewart, Hugh Turner, Peter Crawford and Victor Fornasier.

The tasting consisted of 5 Pinot Noir wines from 5 different countries and one non-Pinot just to confuse everyone. Only one participant was able to identify the non-pinot, well done Hugh!

As usual the cheapest wine, Cigar Box Pinot from Chile was rated the best… or it could be because it was the last one tasted?





Group Rating


Oyster Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough 2021

New Zealand




Mirassou Pinot Noir 2021

USA california




Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir VQA 2021

Canada Niagara




Planeta Frappato Sicilian Vittoria 2021





Philippe De Rothschild Pinot Noir Pays 2021

Southern France




Cigar Box Pinot Noir 2022







Group 5 - October 2023

We came together in full force in October for what turned out to be a spirited tasting. The host added in two white wines, one from Croatia and one from South Africa and a blockbuster of a Zinfandel from Lodi, augmenting the stunning array of bold red wines put forth by Bob from our aborted attempt at holding a September event. We debated the merits of a more structured, Robert Parker inspired sensory analysis and scoring system, but rejected it for something a lot less involved and a lot more fun.

Group discussion centred around the horrific current events and the chaotic state of the world. All acknowledged that the hatred and mistrust demonstrated of late, is just too difficult to understand and does not bode well for the future of the world.
The theme of the tasting was Classical styles vs. winemaker intervened Newer World styles. Predictably, the tasters preferred the bolder, more flavoured styles by 2 to 1.

Below are the wines we tasted, from most popular to least popular.

1. 7 Deadly Zins 2018 - Zinfandel - 15% ABV Michael David Wines, Lodi California $24.95
2. Robert Mondavi Private Selection - Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
14.5%ABV Robert Mondavi Wines - Central Coast California $22.95
3. Pietra Pura Mandus - Primitivo Di Manduria 2021 14.5% ABV Rocco del Macie, Tuscany Italy $18.95
4. Boschendal Sommelier Selection Chenin Blanc - 2021 13% ABV Boschendal Winery -
Western Cape, South Africa $19.95
5. Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 - 14.5% ABV Eduardo Chadwick & Robert Mondavi producers - Aconcagua Valley, Chile $19.95
6. Stina Cuvee White 2021 12.5% ABV 70% Posip, 20% Vugava, 10% Chardonnay
Bol, Croatia Central & South Dalmatia $21.95

David Litner

Group 5 - October 2023

Five of us and guest, Jim Gola, enjoyed a leisurely rainy afternoon on Oct 26.

We sampled Australian wines:  Several Cab Sauvs and one Shiraz. 

Overall the favourite was #6, with the inexpensive Shiraz #5 a close second, though all the wines were deemed "good" by those present.


Wakefield Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Medium ruby; floral, cassis and cedar aromas; these reappear on the palate along with black cherry and a hint of juniper on the smooth finish. $14.95

Victoria Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 This deeply-coloured wine hails from South Australia, and takes its name from a park honouring Princess Victoria, before she became Queen. Expect the fruit character of warm climate cabernet sauvignon; prune and floral aromas and flavours, with notes of smoke, mint and black olive. Pair with grilled burgers or ribs. $14.95

Zonte's Footstep Blackberry Patch Cabernet 2019  Bright, purple wine, Joven in style with a lifted estery spicy raspberry bouquet and a light, nicely textured, palate lifted with dark fruit flavours. Score - 96. (Winestate, July/Aug. 2021) $19.95

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz/Cabernet 2019 First crafted in 1976, this classic Australian blend of Shiraz and Cabernet has always been a favourite. Supple and concentrated, with toast, cedar, black plum, vanilla and herbal tones, it's a wine with broad appeal. It will be superb with pepper steak or grilled ribs. $17.45

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz 2021 Black cherry red colour; lifted aromas of red berry and fruit, touches of mint, toast and blood orange; dry, medium bodied, rich and rounded with ripe red berry and fruit, hints of herbs and a soft pleasant finish. $9,95

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Attention to detail creates the quality and consistency that Wolf Blass wines are known for. Yellow Label Cab is made with fruit from Australia's Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale regions. Enjoy flavours of coffee, smoky oak, black plum along with floral and wild honey notes. A superb pairing for roast lamb with rosemary. $18.00

Group 2 - September 2023

Wine tasting group 2 met on September 27th to sample white wines.
Those attending were Mike Preston, Jim Christie, Bob Weese, Bob Ewart, Hugh Turner and Peter Crawford.

Wines tasted:

Mare do Siena Pinot Grigio, Italy at $9:95
Santiago Sortesele Pinot Grigio Italy at $18:95
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ at $21:95
Te Henga Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ at $15:95
Cave Springs Riesling, Ontario at $14:95
Willm Riesling, Alsace France at $22:95

As a group we generally found it more difficult to distinguish the appearance and aroma of these three different white wines, but in terms of taste and overall impressions the Rieslings and Sauvignon were preferred. Top choice was the Alsace Riesling.

The group had a lively discussion on the state of the nation and were able to consume a fair amount of cheese. A good time was had by all.

Peter Crawford

Group 5 - September 2023

Group 5 July 2023 Wine tasting.
Our theme for this tasting was wines of the Southern Hemisphere.  We didn’t try to compare wines since there were three varieties.  Instead, each was judged on its own merit and whether we enjoyed the wine.  The white wines had a lower score than the reds.  This may have been because one of the group is not a big fan of whites and rated them lower, thus lowering the overall score for them.   Overall, the wines rated fairly well.
1  Santa Rita Secret Reserve Sauvignon Blanc   LCBO#: 16189  OUR SCORE  83.6
Flavours Herbal, Grapefruit, Gooseberry Alcohol/Vol 13% 
Maipo Valley, ChileSugar Content 2 g/L Price $15.8
An elegant sauvignon blanc from the Casablanca Valley, one of Chile's cool-climate areas devoted to producing high-quality white wine. A crisp, zesty palate follows the intense aroma of citrus, passion fruit and herbal tones with flavours of tropical fruit, lime and green fruit. Enjoy on its own or with shellfish.
2  Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc   LCBO#: 308288  OUR SCORE  85.0
Flavours Herbal, Kiwi, Citrus Alcohol/Vol 13% New Zealand  Sugar Content 3 g/L     Price $20

Pale straw colour; pronounced grassy and gooseberry aromas with white peach and citrus notes; dry and crisp with grassy and citrus flavours with a zesty lime finish.
3  Bodega Toro Centenario Malbec   LCBO#: 12452   OUR SCORE  88.2
Flavours Red Fruit, Juniper, Berry             Alcohol/Vol 13% Mendoza, Argentina
Sugar Content 6 g/L             Price: $12

An approachable and flavourful malbec from the famous Mendoza region. Expect aromas and flavours of ripe red fruit, juniper, mixed berries and plums with notes of herbs. Rich, smooth palate with balanced acidity and notes of red fruit, berries, juniper and herbs on the finish. Great with grilled or bbq lamb, beef or ribs.

4  Trapiche Pure Malbec LCBO# 370924   OUR SCORE  86.6
Flavours  Floral, Berry, Bread                       Alcohol/Vol 14% Argentina
Sugar Content 4 g/L                       Price: $19

Trapiche is Argentina's leading exporter of wine. This malbec shows a commitment to pure fruit flavours. An opaque, deep ruby with purple hues; upfront aromas of berry melange, rye bread crust, red fruit, plus hints of bloor orange. The palate is dry, finely textured and brimming with flavours of plum, blackberry and spice.

5  Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon LCBO#: 621623  OUR SCORE  89.0
Flavours: Floral, Prune, Candy                   Alcohol/Vol 13.5%                   Australia
Sugar Content 10 g/L                     Price:  $13

Deep purple with intense aromas of prune and candy/vanilla. The palate is rich with confectionary black fruit, black olive and wood spice. The finish is rich and mellow.

6  Angus The Bull Cabernet Sauvignon  LCBO: 605615   OUR SCORE  89.6
Flavours Chocolate, Cedar, Plum            Alcohol/Vol 14%                        Australia
Sugar Content 2 g/L                   Price: $20

The philosophy behind this Australian cabernet sauvignon was to create the perfect pairing for beef. They succeeded! Deep ruby colour, with aromas and flavours of chocolate, cedar, black plum, floral and herbal notes. Medium to full-bodied and smooth, with a long finish, this is made for grilled steak and roasted potatoes

Group 2 - June 2023

We only had 4 members attend but it was fun for us to visit 6 NewWorld wine regions on a perfect summers day, and do our best to identify the different varietals from 6 different countries, with very little success. We got one country right thanks to Peter.
In attendance were Mike Preston, Jim Christie, Ron Kawchuk, and Peter Crawford. Unfortunately John Bray had fallen ill while Bob Ewart had his grand daughter’s graduation to attend and Bob Weese and Victor Fornacier were out of town on holidays.
We have now taken our leave until September to regain our taste buds.
Saludos until next season
Group 5 - May 2023

With the absence of some traveling members, Group 5 met May 18th at the home of Don Hare to sample a variety of well received wines including one white (2nd favourite) and the favourite a Meiomi Pinot Noir. They were -

- Meiomi Pinot Noir (California) Vintages#: 130138 Unit Price: $23.95
- Speck Bros. Family Tree 'The Goat Lady' Chardonnay VQA (Ont) LCBO#:    16792 Price: $16.95
- Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir (France,Burgundy) Vintages #:162073    Price: $30.95
- Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (California - Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma counties) LCBO#: 461053 Price: $19.95
- McManis Merlot 2021 (California) Vintages #: 17674 Price: $21.95

A side selection of cheeses included St Albert Brie, St Agur Blue, Smoked Applewood Ilchester Cheddar, Kassagio Gouda and Danish Havarti with
assorted crackers, pumpernickel, almonds, and cashews

Don Hare
Group 3 - May 2023

Group 3 Wine Tasting met on May 17th at The Fairways Condominium of Reg and Alison Perkin.  We had 100% attendance: Bryce Atkinson, Jack Doney, Doug Gilpin, Neil Paget, Don Steen, Paul Walters, and Marty Wanat.  Reg had chosen two Malbec, two Shiraz and two Syrah.  Four countries were represented:  Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa.  All six wines received high marks with the winner being a 19 Shiraz Signature Series from Australia.  The others in descending order were 20 Syrah Alpha (Chile), 20 La Posta Fazzio Malbec (Argentina),  Kilkanoon Shiraz (Australia),  Alamos Malbec (Argentina) and Porcupine Ridge Syrah (South Africa) .  Our final wine tasting for the current Probus year will be hosted by Jack and Marie Doney at The Fairways on the 3rd Wednesday in June. 

Reg Perkin
Group 5 - April 2023

Group 5 met at the home of Joe Reid on April 20, 2023 to try an eclectic assortment of red wines, along with an extensive variety of cheeses. In order
of ratings from highest to lowest, we got the following results:

- 2019 Vivaldi Valpolicella Ripasso from Veneto , Italy $19.95 Vintages # 16222
- McGuigan Black Label Shiraz from Australia $12.95 LCBO # 325787
- Monte Antico Tuscano from Tuscany, Italy $16.95 Vintages # 69377
- Doppio Passo Botter Primitivo from Puglia, Italy $13.50 LCBO # 255190
- 2020 Blend de Extremos Malbec from Argentina $18.95 Vintages # 24863
- 2019 Tesellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre $19.95 Vintages# 343517
   From Cotes du Roussillon, France

Joe Reid
Group 2 - April 2023

Wine session undertook the assessment of additional processes intended to improve the quality of wine.
Using  Valpolicella  three grades (Classico, Superiore and Ripasso) and  three Primitivo grades (Classico, Passo Doppio and Appassimento) the attendees rated the effect or benefit of the supplementary manipulations. Collating the voting on AMS graphs the consensus was that these processes had a mild beneficial effect on the Valpolicella but little benefit on the Primitivo.
Group enjoyed selected cheeses (Cambusola, Cheddar. Swiss Emmenthal and Boursin). Mortadella wrapped breadticks were a definite favourite. Coffee and Mrs. Fornasier's ANZEC cookies closed the session.Host

Victor Fornasier
Group 2 - March 2023

Wine tasting group 2 met at Jim Christie's for our regular monthly session.

Present were group members: Mike Preston, Bob Ewart, John Bray, Victor Fornasier, and Ron Kawchuk as well as Stu Hutcheson who filled in for one of traveling members.

We tasted wines from various regions of Italy and had wide ranging conversation about many local and world events.

The consensus for favourite wine of the group was:

Primitivo (Zinfandel) from the Puglia region and

San Marzano Talo,  ($19.95).   
Group 1 - April 2023

At the April meeting of Wine Group 1, we tasted 6 Cabernet Sauvignons and ranked them from best to worst. The selections were then compared to the actual pricing.
Everyone had a great time.,

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, $22.95
Cigar Box Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon $14.95
Big Bill Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.95
Undurraga Terroir Hunter Cauquenes Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018, $25.95
Trapiche Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, $19.95
The Magic Box Amazing Cabernet, $19.00

Marcus Miller
Group 3 - March 2023

Neil Paget is almost 100% recovered from his fractured ribs injury and wishes to play catch up and host our next Group 3 wine tasting on Wednesday April 19 at 2:00 p.m. at his home 845 Saddle Crescent.    Kind regards to all, and enjoy the Spring weather just around the corner.  -- Reg

Click here to see report
Group 2 - February 2023

Six Probians sampled 6 red wines from  around the World, solved some of the World's problems and enjoyed some laughs along the way.

The wines were as follows by group scoring:

1. Carmen Cab Sauv #358309 Chili
2. Roma, blend  Vintages #638726 Italy
3. Left Field Border Blend Vinttages #25807 New Zealand
4. Cathedral Cellar Shiraz #561142 South Africa

4.  Angel's Gate  Gamay Noir #107714  NOTL VQA
5.  Pascal Toso  Malbec #162610  Argentina
Group 3 - February 2023

The theme was Shiraz wines from Ontario and Australia. The Shiraz section on display in a local grocery store shows 2 Shiraz wines from Ontario and 4 from Australia.

The local LCBO has 4 from Ontario and 4 from Australia mostly the same brands, except the LCBO had 2 additional high-end Canadian wines not in the grocery store.

Host Paul Walters decided to have Group 3 taste 2 Shiraz wines from Ontario and 4 from Australia.

Here are the results:

     1. 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif   Australia                        $17.95
     2.  Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz  Australia   $20.95
     3.  Wolf Blass Yellow Label Shiraz   Australia          $18.05
     4.  Konzelmann Shiraz Barrel Aged  Ontario           $13.95
     5.  CreekSide  Shiraz VQA   Ontario                        $15.95
     6.  Rosemount Diamond Shiraz  Australia               $15.95

A great time was by all and issues in the Toronto mayoralty office and in Ukraine were thoroughly discussed and partially resolved.

Group 1 - February 2023

Group 1 met at the home of Denis Bailey to sample a selection of “Red Wine Blends”. Members present were Alan Lytle, Dave Irwin, Marcus Miller, Ken Boughton, Mike Read and Denis Bailey. Participating as a guest was fellow Probus member Craig Tyers, who wanted to experience a wine-tasting event before committing to joining. Pairs of blends of similar styles from different countries were compared (1 & 2; 3 & 4; 5 & 6).









Château du Carpia




Bordeaux, France




Trius Red 2020

Bordeaux- inspired


Niagara, Ontario




Côtes du Rhône

Nature Organic 2020

Côte du Rhône


Southern Rhône, France




Hahn GSM 2020

Côte du Rhône-like


 Central Coast,

Monterey, California




Primus the Blend 2019

Cab Sauv blend


Colchagua Valley,





Claymore London

Calling 2019

Cab Sauv/Malbec blend


Clare Valley, South




The Carpia Bordeaux from France was generally preferred over the “Bordeaux–Inspired” Trius Red, which was regarded as overly fruity in comparison. The Perrin Côte du Rhône and the Côte du Rhône-like Hahn were similar and both considered quite good. They were different from the two Bordeaux category blends, showing strong fruit flavours that reflect the predominance of Grenache wine characteristic of Côte du Rhône blends. The Primus blend was thought to be somewhat flat and was disappointing. On the other hand, the Claymore London Calling was delightful, with a complex, balanced full fruit flavour, and was the highlight of the event.
Group 3 - January 2023

Group 3 started the New Year wine tasting at the home of Jack Doney. In the absence of Bryce Atkinson the group had the pleasure of Mike Preston attend. Many topics were discussed but importantly the group resolved that everyone in 2023 have good health and enjoy fellowship with good friends and family.

Five wine selections were Ontario, Niagara Region and 1 from Spain. They
ranked as follows.
  Region      Type                                   Wine                                                Price           
1. Spain        Red                Marques de Riscal - Rioja Reserva                    $24.40
2. Ont           Red                VQA House of Wine-  Baco Cabernet                 $12.45
3. Ont           Red                VQA Cave Spring - Gamay                                 $17.95
4. Ont           Red                VQA Wayne Gretzky-  Cabernet Merlot              $16.95
5. Ont           Red                VQA Cave Sprints - Cabernet Franc                   $19.95
6. Ont           Red                VQA Flat Rock Cellar - Pinot Noir                       $24.95

Jack Doney

Group 2 - January 2023

Group 2’s tasting was hosted at the home of Mike Preston. The theme, beside enjoying fellowship and wines, was Californian Cabernet Sauvignons.
"Oh the weather outside was frightful but the wines inside Delightfull”. (All made it home safely).

       Wine                   LCBO #         Prod                 Region            Price            Scored
1. McManis                184069        McManis                Lodi                $19.95                 1
2. The Show               478727       Beiler Wines          Napa               $18.05                 2
3. Bread and Butter    247544       Jamieson Ranch   Napa               $19.95                 3
4. Three Thieves        54353          Beiler Wines         Napa               $16.05                 4
5. Robert Mondavi      452672       Rober Mondavi      Napa              $18.80                 5
6. Gnarly Head           130138       Gnarly Head          Lodi                 $15.00                 6

Group 3 - December 2022

Group 3 met on Wednesday Dec 14, 2022 in the condo of Reg and Alison Perkin. Present were Bryce Atkinson, Jack Doney, Doug Gilpin, Neil Paget, Paul Walters, Marty Wanat, and Mike Preston (substituting for Don Steen who was unable to attend due to illness).

Reg had chosen 3 Pinot Noir and 3 Malbec with the advice of the Vitner David at the Dixie/Dundas LCBO. The wines originated from Argentina, France, New Zealand & USA. The big surprise was the last one we tasted, a Pinot Noir from California, which tasted  more like a Malbec, was the most expensive and scored the highest.

       Wine          LCBO #        Type            Origin             Price            Scored
1. Hob Nob       184069       Pinot Noir     France             $15.05                 5
2. Catena          478727       Malbec         Argentina         $21.95                 3
3. Cahors          247544       Malbec         France             $18.95                 4
4. Stoneleigh     54353         Pinot Noir    New Zealand   $21.00                 6
5. Luigi Bosca    452672      Malbec         Argentina        $17.95                  2
6. Meiomi           130138      Pinot Noir     USA                $23.95                 1