Eastern Ontario (Ottawa/Kingston)
Favourite Wine Memory
Co-hosting an Il Borro and Castiglion Del Bosco wine dinner with Salvatore Ferragamo for 350 people onboard the Globe & Mail Mediterranean Odyssey Cruise ship, moored off the coast of Tuscany. Before the dinner Salvatore and I sat on the ship’s rooftop patio and drank a few Heinekens while chatting wine, fashion and shoes. How cool is that? Salvatore Ferragamo also likes to have a few beers before a wine dinner! His Il Borro IGT Toscana was among the first wines to enchant me into this business, and it was a complete pleasure to spend an evening with the man behind the wine.
At the risk of sounding cliche, I have to say Chardonnay. But here’s my logic: if I rhyme off my favourite wines they all have Chardonnay in common—Champagne, Chablis, White Burgundy, Cotes du Jura white, and of course our wonderful Ontario Chardonnays. I definitely love red wine too, but I find myself most often reaching for fresh, crisp whites with lots of texture and minerality. I’m a fiend for minerality…so I keep arriving at various forms of Chardonnay. For years I’ve been threatening to get a tattoo that says “Chablis is my spirit animal”.
Almost as much as I love wine, I love really good Tequila and Whiskey, with a preference for straight Ryes and good Bourbons. Margaritas and Old Fashioneds all day long!
Canadian National Team Rower. Funded by Sport Canada and the Ontario government, I rowed varsity at Queen’s University for 6 years and with Team Canada for 2 years.
Probably scampering behind the tractor at 5 or 6 years old, transplanting little tobacco plants in the spots where the planter had missed. Growing up on a tobacco and vegetable farm, I didn’t really have a “first job” per se; there was always work to be done from the beginning.
Oysters, cheese, and less frequently, cigars.
Anywhere outdoors. On weekends I can be found in the amazing wilderness that surrounds Ottawa: camping with my fiancee, fly fishing in Tremblant, bird hunting with our English Springer Spaniel, or just working in our vegetable garden. The best part is cooking and eating your own produce from gardening, hunting and fishing. There’s nothing like a good bottle of wine with fresh game and veg!
I listen to a little bit of everything, but country music dominates my playlists. I play pedal steel guitar in a honky tonk band, so people like George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, and Merle Haggard top off my Spotify “most played” list.
Actor Who Would Play You in the Film of Your Life
Someone like Garret Hedlund would probably best represent both my downtown wine life as well as the more down-home country side of my life.