Meet the Taste Bud: Dick Snyder, Wine Pro
As co-founder of kwäf — with decades of wine writing (and tasting) under his belt — Dick knows his way around a bottle (of wine). He holds a Wine and Spirit Education Trust diploma — Level 4 toward a Master of Wine designation — and has been a fixture of the wine and food scene around Ontario through his magazine and website CityBites.ca. He also writes for such illustrious publications as Zoomer, enRoute, The Globe and Mail and Harry. Dick has travelled to some of the world’s famous wine regions, but can usually be found drinking his way around the globe at his favourite restaurants, or while strumming a Telecaster in his backyard. Dick is our resident writer and co-curator of our wine offers. “Wine writing should be fun,” he says. “Both to write and to read. I want people to learn something, but not to feel like it’s a rigid lesson. Anyway, learning is always more fun with a good wine by your side.”
1. Describe your perfect wine moment.
When the sommelier or waiter brings you a bottle, one that you’ve never tried before, and after a little bit of discussion and banter, she pours that first taste — and it’s everything you hoped for and more!
2. What’s your absolute favourite wine and food match?
I had a tuna steak on a bed of lemon pasta on the Amalfi coast, along with a glass of bone-dry Greco di Tufo from the Campania region. A simple meal with an outrageous panoply of flavours!
3. Finish this sentence: “More people need to taste…”
Gamay, the red grape of France’s Beaujolais region, which is also a grape that does very well in Ontario due to the similar soils and climate. Malivoire is one producer who’s making exceptional Gamay. It’s such a delight to drink. It’s fruity, soft in texture, gently in tannins and versatile with foods like pizza, pasta, lighter meats, and just easy picnic-type snacks.
4. When you're not drinking or tasting wine, what do you do?
I play one of my growing collection of Fender Telecasters, the best guitar ever made in the entire universe. Just ask Bruce Springsteen, Ed Bickert, Keith Richards, Albert Collins… and let’s also mention the great Joe Strummer.
5. What was the last (latest) wine you tasted and loved?
Well, I can’t get enough sparkling wine. And there are surprisingly affordable options — it’s not all about Champagne. I love Cremant de Bourgogne and Cremant d’Alsace, and also Cava from Spain. And if I can get them in pink, all the better! I also love the great Canadian sparklers made by Hinterland, Henry of Pelham, Flat Rock, Tawse and Chateau des Charmes, just to name a few (there are tons more)!