Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heart of a Canuck

Oh yeah. It's that logo again. It's time for the new NHL season to start and "Heart of a Canuck" is the team theme for the year. With the Canucks' drive for Vancouver's first Stanley Cup (as the Canucks anyhow) falling only ONE game short, there hasn't been a whole lot of down time since that fateful loss and "scuffle" that followed.

The water coolers around town haven't been abuzz with tonight's first game of the season as much as you might expect though. Don't get me wrong, the talk is all about the Canucks, but it's not about the game. Rather, the big stir is all about the nude photo of city favourite Ryan Kesler that's going to be featured in the upcoming ESPN Magazine's body issue. How they managed to morph/Photoshop Kes' head onto my body, I'll never know, but we had to gently nudge a couple folks at the office away from making the shot their default screensaver.

Unfortunately, the team was sporting far less-revealing uniforms when they hit the ice tonight. After all, this isn't Aussie Rules Football. But the new season still calls for a notable BC wine to start it off.

949. 2006 Alderlea Reserve Pinot Noir (Vancouver Island)

As I believe I've mentioned in other posts, we don't see Alderlea wine over here on the Mainland much. The winery's production is less than 2000 cases annually; so, they tend to keep all of it on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The few times I've tried Alderlea wines, I've quite liked them though. It was an easy decision, therefore, to grab this bottle when I saw it on Salt Spring Island - despite the hefty little mark up the bottle shop was taking.

Being a bit of a special bottle, I thought it'd be a good choice to celebrate the new season. When I noted that the label art was pretty much a perfect match to the background in Kesler's photo, I knew it was the right choice.

Even with the similarities in staging the label and photo background, however, the powers in charge couldn't have been thinking only about this blog. Despite Kesler's being nude, I don't seen any Pinot. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.)

Back to the wine though, owner and winemaker, Roger Dosman, is known for his early experimentation with different varietals and production methods. The Cowichan Valley wasn't exactly a wine region of note when he started planting his vineyard in 1994. He's overseen the introduction and replacement of a number of varietals - much like how the coach and general manager of a hockey team have to mix up players and lines in an attempt to get the team to click. As an example of his innovation, Pinot Noir after all isn't the easiest of varietals to work with, Roger has taken to "tenting" the vines for a couple of weeks at the start of the growing season and that seems to have helped with the ripening of the temperamental Pinot.

I have no idea if that tenting played any part in the resulting vintage of this wine but the wine definitely had more dark fruit on the palate than I would have expected for an island wine. Had I been tasting the wine blind, I'm not entirely sure that I would have even identified it as a Pinot.

The wine fair somewhat better than the team did tonight. The game had its good points, particularly in that the Canucks came back from behind against a strong Penguins team - but all that effort was only to lose in a shootout.

As I heard the other day on the radio, "There are two seasons in Vancouver - Summer and Hockey." Seems like Summer's over. It's going to be hard to follow up on last year's stellar campaign. Hopefully, this year won't drive me to drink. At least not more than I already do. After all, I do have to finish off this blog.

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