Sunday, May 15, 2011

A BittrSweet Garden Party

Weather-wise, it's been an overly grey and wet Spring. With the seemingly ever-present April showers, May flowers should certainly be in abundance. On the other hand, I don't know what all this wet in May is going to lead to. Maybe it's just the price we have to pay for the Canucks' long run in the playoffs. Who wants to be stuck inside watching a game when it's nice outside anyhow? I'll just have to keep telling myself that.

I doubt our friends, Bittr & Sweet, had counted on the continuing wet when they announced a build your own pizza and garden party. At its worst, the evening's weather was nothing more than a slight, misty drizzle - conditions a true gardener won't have any problem with. Not to mention a true partier/drinker - something this household has never had any difficulty attracting.

I have no idea how many pizzas were cooked up during the party but Miss Alicia was definitely the key to an endless supply of thin crusts and intriguing toppings. She did her best to grab every one of the guests to direct her to unique combinations that included such items as a Mexican black corn fungus, asiago, smoked oysters and balsamic syrup. Not exactly topics that one regularly finds at your local pizza-by-the-slice.

Remembering how, the last time we attended a little affair Chez BittrSweet, the evening's events were way more entertaining than the morning after, I made a deliberate decision to avoid any refills on the martinis - regardless of how good they were - and stick to just a glass of wine here or there. There are too many pictures still floating around from the last party for my liking.

It may not make for a lot of additional wines for The List, but it certainly made for a more productive Sunday.

803. 2008 Emiliana Novas Limited Selection Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley - Chile)

I think it's fitting that the one wine that is making it to The List is from Chile's pre-eminent winery when it comes to using organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard. Garden party. Organic wine. Seems fitting. Indeed, Emiliana dedicates a healthy portion of its website to describing its philosophy in winemaking and how the practicalities of organic farming actually apply to the winemaking process. Their "Interactive Vineyard" on the site was an interesting scroll of what you can encounter in their vineyards and why you might discover the same.

The website did describe the farming practices to a good extent, but I didn't find an awful lot of information about the bottle of wine that we'd enjoyed. For the vintages that I did find some sort of reference, the blend is primarily Carmenere - not surprising given the varietal's prominent status in the Chilean wine world. The Novas label, as a whole, is one of a number of lines produced at the winery and it is certified organic. They produce a few more premium wines that are fully biodynamic and that garner favourable press from some big wine publications.

At $16, there's some real bang for your buck. With a full palate of dark fruit, it was approachable enough to sip on while strolling in the garden - and the body was big enough to keep you warm in the cool dampness that enveloped you if you did stroll outside.

One good thing about stepping in from outside was that there was inevitably a slice of pizza just around the corner to warm you up. When it became my turn to accessorize the toppings with Miss Alicia, I decided to stay fairly classic and went with pesto, carmelized onions, prosciutto and two cheeses. Boo, on the other hand, was a tad more eclectic - spinach, onions, mushrooms and anchovies (his favourite).

I haven't heard whether the later hours were as rambunctious as BittrSweet's last soiree or if there are as many incriminating pictures, but that's simply because Boo had endured a rough day at work and had the good sense to head home to bed before the party had a chance to kick into a higher gear.

It also meant that we had the morning after to enjoy as well.

But I'm still going to ask about the pictures.

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