Saturday, April 24, 2010

Volcanic B-day

Following another round of tasting at the Playhouse Festival, what I really need to do is go home for a good sleep. But it is Friday night, the Canucks won big and the Cockney Queen is hosting a bit of an impromptu party. Turns out that one of her good friends was visiting from England and has been stranded because of the volcanic ash being spewed in Iceland.

Tomorrow night was to be one of those landmark birthday parties for her back in London. The Cockney Queen's place isn't all that far from the Trade and Convention Centre, so I ventured off for a quick chorus of "Happy Birthday."

Unlike at the Festival, people at the party weren't spitting. Whoa. After two days of spending more time over a bucket than I ever did even during my university drinking days, this comes across as a novel - and welcome - idea.

I could see that a great number of bottles had already sacrificed their contents to the Icelandic volcano in the hope of getting the birthday girl home soon.

Another welcome side effect is that I get to add a bottle to The List. It seemed such a shame to not add any bottles after all the sipping at the Festival, but here's a legitimate bottle that I actually helped offer up to the volcano gods.

428. 2009 Crossroads Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough - New Zealand)

It's almost like I was back at the Festival - a New Zealand wine that I've never seen before. And, bonus, I hadn't made it to the Crossroads table yet.

Although this wine is from the Marlborough region on the South Island, the boutique winery was started and is based in Hawkes Bay on the North Island. According to its website, the winery principals were so fascinated with the success of Marlborough Sauv Blanc that they figured they should buy up some land down there and get in on the show.

With a typical New Zealand profile, the wine was an easy way to finish off the evening.

So there you have it, Kiwi wine, British birthday girl, hockey-mad Canadians and the logistical sensibilities to realize that you can't really even have a birthday if you're stranded on foreign shores because of volcanic eruptions. The conclusion - the volcano gods will have to wait another year before we can sacrifice this poor girl to the big four-oh.

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