Sunday, August 28, 2011

Picnic Time on the Banks

Having recently gone on the annual Miss Jaq Wine Picnic, I realized that we haven't made much time to get out and enjoy the summer weather now that it's actually arrived and stuck around for a bit. What better excuse could there be - than a sunny Sunday - to throw some odds and ends into a basket and hunker down for a bite, a few sips and a sunset? Particularly since we had to head downtown already to register for the upcoming curling season.

I gave Boo the choice of locations and he surprised me by deciding to head out to Spanish Banks to grab a log on the beach. It's definitely been some time since we've wandered out in this direction for something as decadent as a picnic or a walk. By the time we actually made the drive, found parking and settled on a spot to set up shop though, we were starting to lose the sun a bit. It may have taken us years to make it back to Spanish Banks, but, regardless, we were going to have to jump straight into the picnic and finish it off before we were surrounded by the dark.

Finishing off a bottle of wine - sooner than later - is rarely a problem for us though.

905. 2000 St. Supéry Merlot (Napa Valley - California)

My re-jigging of our wines at home resulted in a few surprises. I'm not entirely sure how we had a 2000 Napa Merlot hanging around. I know nothing about the winery and have never been one to grab many Californian wines. It could be that someone brought it by the house and we never got around to opening it, but I suppose we'll never know now.

Given the age of the bottle, I wonder if it was picked up and given to us as a bit of joke and nod to the 2004 movie Sideways? Could anyone who had seen the movie ever look at California Merlot without thinking of Jack and Miles' banter about never drinking Merlot - not even in order to get lucky?

Seeing as how Merlot is the pretty much the "go to" red grape in BC, we've never been as driven to avoid the varietal in our household. But then, I seem to recall Miles as quite the pretentious fool anyhow. I don't generally think of Napa when it comes to Merlot. There might be a ton of it available in the States, but I tend to think more of the Cab's, Zin's and maybe even the Pinot Noir's when it comes to California reds in our market.

I'm not even sure that St. Supéry puts a lot of emphasis on the varietal. Their website refers a lot to Cab Sauv and Sauv Blanc but it doesn't exactly extol the virtues of its Merlot.

The wine was approachable and entirely suitable for our occasion though. I don't know if it's even available locally, but I'm not sure that I'd be quick to reach for another bottle - maybe if I were going to re-watch Sideways, but I think I'll save my American buys for a varietal that isn't as available locally - or even as mass-marketed by other global regions.

How can you go wrong with a bottle of wine and a beach sunset though? Maybe Miles just needs to re-think his limits a bit.

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