Saturday, April 4, 2009

...And We're Off...

I've been wanting to find a fun, and hopefully, interesting way to keep track of our adventures in wine for some time now. I've been toying with blogging as being the means of reaching that end. Being the computer-challenged chap that I am, the odd thought about taking a stab at a blog is about as far as anything has progressed so far. The Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival and its myriad of bottles last week made it just that much clearer that, the longer I delayed, the more opportunities I was missing out on.

So, today's the day and I get to start with a bang!! I'm adding our first seven bottles in the count.

For a couple of years now, every so often, a group of us gets together for a blind tasting of wines to try and discover some new faves or find out a bit more about a particular wine or wine-producing area. I've been calling it our "Wine Boyz" nights since there was a four-man cadre that formed the backbone of the tastings. We've had tastings of Bordeaux blends, BC whites, Aussie reds, grenache and so on.

Last night's theme was totally new - everyone was to bring a wine that was either a varietal they'd never tried or heard of before or was from an area that they'd never really thought of as a wine-producing region. We were hoping for some really different wines to show up and, you know, we pretty much did. I don't know that any of them would necessarily have been choices that I would readily have reached for to take home from the liquor store.

But we had to laugh when - out of all the wines in the world there were to choose from - two people brought the same wine. Both of them truly took the theme to heart - it was the tannat grape and the wine was from Uruguay. They both may well have chosen the only Uruguayan wine available for sale in the city and tannat is hardly a varietal that many could talk about. But what made it even crazier was that one of the bottles was corked!! And it was our neighbours that brought the corked bottle - after they'd brought a corked bottle to the last tasting. What are the odds!! Are they storing their wine along with the dirty diapers they currently have gracing their home?

In any event, the first wines on our road to 2001 are:

1. 2007 Woop Woop - Verdelho (Australia)

2. 2006 Arndorfer - Gruner Veltliner (Austria)

3. 2006 Domaine De L'Ecu - Gros-Plant du Pays Nantais - Melon de Bourogne (Loire)

4. 2007 Domaine du Tariquet - Sauvignon (blanc) (Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne)

5. 2005 KWV Cathedral Cellar - Cabernet Sauvignon (South Africa)

6. 2007 Cantina Santa maria La Palma Alghero Le Bombarde - Cannonau di Sardegna (DOC Sardegna - Italy)

7. 2007 Pisano - Reserve Tannat (Uruguay)

Despite the hope of discovering a new varietal that just jumped up and said "buy me, drink me, love me," it was the more recognizable South African cab and the French sauvignon blanc that proved to be the favourites among the gang. 4 of 7 picked the sauv blanc as the top white (although I picked the Gruner Veltliner) and 6 of 7 picked the cab as their fave red. No one picked the tannat as their favourite and 4 of us said it was the least enjoyable. With the whites, 4 of us announced the Nantais as nasty.

Here's hoping that there's lots to be enjoyed in the remaining 1994 bottles to be imbibed!

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