Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"You Better Work" That BBQ

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there'd been a plan to re-enact last year's Labour Day Tea Dance. Guess I've just been labouring a bit too much lately. No energy to pull off a big party. So, instead, we decided to have a little neighbourhood BBQ. Problem is, even as a potluck, it was almost as much work.

Boo was in charge of using his smoker to make pulled pork for the first time - and it was a full day affair. Add in marinated flank steak and apple slaw and the tasks just seemed to multiply. End results were awfully tasty though.

It appears that we didn't take many pictures however - and I don't even have a shot of one of the wines that drank that night. What's with that?

913. 2009 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (California)

I'm not even sure who brought the Zin but I thought it was a great choice for the pulled pork.

With its initial vintage having been made in 1976, Ravenswood has been at the forefront of California Zinfandel for many a year now. It's also the home of well known marketing efforts like "No Wimpy Wines" and "To Err is Human, But To Zin is Divine."

The Vintners Blend is part of the winery's series of entry level wines and, at $17 in BC government liquor stores, this Zin has been a popular party pick for years. I was a little surprised to see on the website that the Zin constitutes only 84% of the wine. It's fleshed out with Carignan, Petite Sirah and a bit of "Mixed Blacks" (whatever they might be - I wouldn't mind knowing though because they might well be new additions for the Wine Century Club list).

As well known as the Ravenswood was, the opposite was true for the second wine being added to The List.

914. 2009 The People's Pinot Noir Alexandra (Central Otago - New Zealand)

I'd never actually seen this bottle before and, as mentioned just a few wines back, I like to keep my eye out for Central Otago wines. It wasn't a surprise to me that Marquis and Red were the ones to discover it. They're always good for a bit of a wine adventure.

I couldn't find out much about the people behind The People's Wine. Their website doesn't really provide a wealth of information. They seem to spend as much time discussing the concept of the bottle and the blending of the wine with the art of Martin Poppelwell as they do about the wine and its production. Coming in at $19 though, it's at least half the price of any Central Otago Pinot that I've ever seen in our market. I'm thinking that, at this price, this is a bit of a "buy up all the excess grapes that we can and market a wine for the masses" kind of enterprise. The fact that the other People's Wines are sourced from all over the map - there's even a Barossa Shiraz.

Central Otago or not, this one's not going to jump to the top of my list of favourite Pinots. It seemed a bit bland and thin for that. But it was nice to see that there are more options than just the big game Pinots coming out of the region. I think I'll stick with the Zin though.

It might seem a bit strange that I'm only adding two wines to The List after this size of a dinner and party. There were plenty of wines (and beers) but I was playing the "good boy" and watching myself since it was a school night and work beckoned in the morning. We also started the evening off by introducing everyone to my newest booze of choice - Aperol cocktails. Not being a wine, I can't exactly add Aperol to The List, but I'll have to do a little posting on it since I'd been hoping to find some in town ever since we got back from Italy three years ago. All that time and I've only just located some recently.

That being said, the BBQ was a great little way to spend the holiday Monday. Three days and three dinners/BBQ's. Now that's a workout. With Labour Day behind us though, it just reminds me how much work I've got to do to get caught up again with the blog.

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