Sunday, June 5, 2011

Now, That's Overtime!

Now that the first game -and the first win - is behind the Canucks, there's been a huge sigh of relief in VanCity. There's even been a bit of opportunity for levity.

Amongst the cartoons, songs and videos, I think my favourite has been the YouTube posting A Boston Bruins Fan in Vancouver. It's been posted by Greg the Bruins Fan who, to quote the Province newspaper, "describes himself as a typical Boston Bruins fan who loves his mother, hates B.S. and thinks the Vancouver Canucks suck and have no chance at winning the Stanley Cup. He also likes to swear. Lots."

After being talked about for a day or two all over Vancouver media, it became evident that "Greg" is actually Vancouver stand-up comic, Andrew Barber. Regardless, it hit the spot and more than a couple funnybones.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention what's become one of my favourite parts of Canuck home games: the singing of the national anthem. Over the last so many years, Mark Donnelly has created a totemic experience - one that continually gets me all gushy. If you haven't seen him perform, he sings the first four lines of the Canadian anthem and, then, he just spreads his arms and leaves it to the stadium crowd to sing their hearts out for the next two verses when he joins back in to finish the anthem with a little operatic flourish. I don't think I ever hear an anthem sung with such conviction and enthusiasm by a sports crowd - anywhere else. I find it's even better than when the Olympics crowds spontaneously burst into song on Vancouver streets last year. And that's tough to beat!

But, believe it or not, there's Game 2 and another Mission Hill wine to contend with. Tonight, knowing the importance of this game, I'm trotting out two of biggest, big guns.

819. 2000 Mission Hill Oculus (VQA Okanagan Valley)

820. 2005 Mission Hill Oculus (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Oculus is Mission Hill's iconic and signature Meritage or Bordeaux inspired red wine. If Game 1's Quatrain is part of the winery's Legacy Series, the success of Oculus prepared the road for the creation of the Legacy Series. Since its introduction in 1997, Oculus has garnered heaps of praise - from far and wide - as one of "Canada's best red wines." Even noted British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, has opined that the "good news is that Canada does now make some truly world class wine - and not just their famous Icewine."

Seeing as how this was Game 2, I thought two vintages might be the way to go - and it would let us do a bit of a comparison. Both are classic blends of Bordeaux varietals; however, the blends have changed over the years. The 2000 was made of three grapes - Cab Sauv (55%), Merlot (30%) and Cab Franc (15%) - while the 2005 had added a fourth varietal into the mix and re-jigged the percentages: merlot (42%), Cab Sauv (27%), Cab Franc (20%) and Petit Verdot (10%).

The cork was a tad suspect on the 2000 but, luckily, the wine was still fine. It was showing some signs of age, but it was still full bodied and balanced. I might have expected Boo to like this vintage more because of the higher Cab Sauv content, but, like me, he actually preferred the 2005. Typically, for me, it was the fruit being more evident on the palate that swayed me.

Having endured another close game between the two teams, the Canucks managing to score mere seconds into Overtime made the wines even sweeter - not that I mean that in an off-dry sense.

The fact that, at $80 a bottle, Oculus now costs about the price of a cheap Canucks ticket (not during the playoffs though), we don't get the chance to open a bottle often at our place. Having opened two bottles tonight (although granted the earlier vintages didn't cost as much), I'm sure as heck glad that the Canucks pulled out the win.

It would seem that one of our neighbours (ones that we haven't met yet) did some celebrating of their own during the game. Shortly after it ended, a firetruck and an ambulance showed up on our block as first responders. Guess there'd been an accident involving a rather exuberant fan. I took advantage of the situation to take a shot of the one of our local firetrucks. They've been sporting Canucks flag off the back of the truck during the playoffs.

I told you the city is pretty much all on the bandwagon right now - and being up two games to nil in the Final is as exciting as it gets!

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