Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 AIDS Walk

It's 27 years later and I'm still taking in the annual Vancouver AIDS Walk in memory of my little brother & lost friends and for those currently living with HIV/AIDS.  I've lost track of just how much money has been raised by the generousity of my family, friends and colleagues but, together, we raised just shy of $3000 this year.  I think that's the most we've ever raised.  As one of the top individual walkers (in terms of donations), I received a nice thank you card from the Positive Living Society advising me that our efforts will help over 80 HIV+ individuals access the proper medical care that they require for one month.

Boo had to work and was unable to walk with me this year, but Mr. D. was a more-than-willing replacement walker - particularly when the day's weather turned out to be gorgeous after a cloudy start.  It's become a tradition of mine to pop a cork on the Walk and toast my bro and those lost friends.  This year, the Walk proceeded around Lost Lagoon and right past Ronnie's memorial bench.  It seemed like a natural rest stop for Mr. D. and I - especially since the Out In Harmony Choir was performing no more than 100 feet from the bench.

1250.  2010 Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro (Australia)

The Banrock Station may not be the most premium of wines that you'll find on The List but I thought it was appropriate for the Walk as it was one of the wines that we served at my Mom's recent memorial and reception.  The winery, itself, says that they're aiming to produce "flavoursome, easy drinking wines" and that's exactly what it is.

I couldn't find out much about the wine itself but Banrock Station is one of the many brands falling under the Constellation banner.  Banrock Station is obviously a large, commercial producer of value for money wines.  They make a large assortment of wines and they export throughout the world.  Their website stresses the winery's commitment to the environment as much as it talks about its wines.

A small donation is made from the sale of every bottle to conservation projects around the world.  Those contributions have assisted works in 60 countries - including a project to save salmon in Canada's Great Lakes.  Their biggest project relates to the winery's properties themselves.  The majority of Banrock's lands are now part of a wetland restoration where they attempt to produce wines while demonstrating a greater respect for the land and the climate.  Their efforts include the introduction of Mediterranean varietals that grow "more sustainably in the South Australian climate" - particularly in that they are proving to result in greater savings in water and the need for irrigation.  This last point may play a part in the addition of the Mataro to this blend.  I saw no reference to the varietal on the website but Mataro is simply Aussie for Mourvèdre (French) and Monastrell (Spanish). I tend to like a bit of blending when a winery is going for cheap and cheerful.  It just seems to add a bit of depth or complexity to an admittedly simple wine.

The Shiraz Mataro was a fine choice for the Walk.  I like the charitable aspect of the winery's business plan and the wine was an easy one to enjoy without needing a meal to match up with it.  The toughest aspect of the wine was being able to take a sip while walking - without spilling.  It was also grand to have a bit of the bottle left when we grabbed pulled pork buns and beet fries from one of the food trucks that had set up shop at the end of the Walk.

A glorious day.  A great way to add a bottle to The List.  And two chances to make a small contribution to the community and world at large.

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