Tony Aspler ~ The Wine Guy
Born London England
Married to Deborah Benoit Aspler
First Book Vintage Canada 1982
In 1995, the Ontario Wine Awards were founded by Tony Aspler
In 2007, the Wine Media Guild established the Wine Writers’ Hall of Fame to recognize and honour, by induction, individuals who have made significant contributions to the body of wine writing and education. Each year, individuals who have had exceptional careers and significant achievements as wine authors, journalists or educators are nominated and elected by a committee of their peers. Consideration is on a global basis. Previous Inductees include, among others: Michael Broadbent, Robert Parker, Kevin Zraly, Steven Spurrier, Matt Kramer, Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, James Halladay, Peter Sichel, Gerald Boyd, Dan Berger, Ed McCarthy and Karen MacNeil.
In 2012 Tony was the first Canadian to be inducted into the New York Media Wine Writers Hall of Fame. In that year Tony was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
Grapes for Humanity
Grapes for Humanity Canada raises funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world, with the assistance of the international wine community.Through wine tastings, auctions, dinners and other wine-related activities, they raise funds for the less fortunate around the world. Proceeds from these events go directly to those in immediate need.
The focus of Grapes for Humanity Canada has expanded to embrace those in need as a result of natural disasters, economic hardship and children at risk. The foundation is particularly interested in the welfare and education of children in the Third World
Deborah and Tony Aspler, opening a High School in La Union, Guatemala
Vintage Canada (3 editions) – 1982 (Prentice-Hall)
The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence
Prior Winners of the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence
2000 - Peter Gamble
Tony Aspler Wine Services
Tony Aspler can provide the following wine services for you: Corporate and private wine tastings Client appreciation wine tastings Food and wine dinners Wine evaluations for estate or insurance purposes Wine auctioneering Staff training in wine service Consulting on wine lists and menus
His thoughts on Ontario wine Industry
What has caused this sea change in Ontario wines?
There are basically five factors, one of them accidental.
If you have ever tasted Concord grape juice, you will be familiar with an aroma and taste of labrusca grapes. When fermented, these varieties, like Niagara and Isabella, give off a smell that the wine community calls “foxy.” The marker for labrusca-based wines is a chemical called methyl anthranilate. It’s a hard smell to define—I have never been close enough to a fox to confirm this descriptor. Thomas Pinney, in ‘A History of Wine in America: From the Beginnings to Prohibition (1989)’, quotes the Russian-born American winemaker Alexander Brailow: “People have tried to compare the smell and taste to things that they know. In Russia, for instance, they say that the grape Isabella, which is grown extensively in Crimea for red wine, smells like bedbugs. It all depends on the association and personal taste.”
Isabella, incidentally, was the variety most responsible for the spread of phylloxera through the vineyards of Europe in the 1860s. Cuttings of this vine contaminated with the phylloxera louse were shipped to the Rhône Valley for planting because of its resistance to powdery mildew,a fungus that had afflicted French vineyards from the 1850s.The scourge of phylloxera laid waste the vineyards of Europe. Its estimated damage: two and one half times the cost of the Franco-Prussian War. Ironically,the saviour of Europe’s vines was the very cause of the initial disaster. North American labrusca varieties are immune to the depredations of the phylloxera louse. Now virtually all European vines are planted on North American rootstock.
What I have learned in my pursuit of the grape through my columns I can distil into the following incontrovertible rules.
1. Wine always tastes better in the presence of the wine maker.
2. The bottle you drop will not break. It will bounce and hit the most expensive wine in your cellar which will break.
3. A great wine will taste terrific even out of a Wellington boot.
4. A $100 wine will not taste ten times as good as a $10 wine.
5. Champagne is the only alcoholic beverage you can drink for breakfast and nobody will look sideways at you.
6. You can drink red wine with fish but not with kippers.
7. The bottle of cooking sherry you found in your grandmotherís attic is worth exactly what she paid for it.
8. Donít save a cherished bottle for the great occasion. None will ever be great enough and the wine will turn to vinegar. Cheers!
Tony Aspler’s website can be found at www.tonyaspler.com and www.iWineandDine.com .
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