Monday, April 8, 2013

Curling Dinner

Generally, I only get to add a whack of wines to The List in one night when it's our Dinner Club gang getting together or a Wine Boyz tasting. Tonight, however, Fisher threw a dinner for our curling team now that our regular season is over and the playoffs are about to begin.

And I can attest that the wine was flowing - particularly when you consider it was a school night. Guess we really worked up a thirst on the ice today. Ending the regular season with a win might have had something to do with it.

Despite the fact that we had two bottles of one wine and two of the wines have already made it to The List, I'm still adding four new wines to the total.

2011 Lang Vineyards - Farm Reserve Riesling (Okanagan Valley)

2006 Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz (Barossa Valley - Australia)

The Langmeil Shiraz is a favourite around our home; so, it's hardly surprising to already be on The List. The Lang Riesling isn't quite as common since Lang was in receivership and this is the first vintage of wine that's been produced in a number of years. Nice to see that the Riesling doesn't seem to have lost any of its tastiness.

1281.  2011 Domaine de Milhomme - Cuvée Le Mûrier (AOC Beaujolais - France)

Fish was new to our team this year and a rookie to the league. Turns out that he and his partner, Paddy, are wine aficionados as well. I'm all for chumming around, on and off the ice, with wine geeks - especially when Fish can dig into his cellar of wines for bottles like this Beaujolais that I wouldn't normally see otherwise. Fisher and Paddy are members of the Opimian Society and I understand their case deliveries can be full of surprises. This was pretty big for Beaujolais but I'm not complaining. I'm not sure that, in retrospect, I caught the "hint of blueberry, cognac and balsamic reduction" that the Opimian notes mentioned though.

1282. 2010 Pierre Henri Morel - Signargues Côtes-du-Rhône Villages (AOC Côtes-du-Rhône Villages - France)

The man behind the label is the Commercial Director at Chapoutier wines and Monsieur Morel established the winery in 2007 when he purchased the assets of a winery that had gone bankrupt. He makes two Châteauneuf-du-Pape with grapes grown on the home vineyard and three wines, including this Côtes-du-Rhône from purchased grapes. The wines are made by the staff at Chapoutier and this primarily Grenache sip is blended with Syrah and Mourvèdre to meet the specifications required by the AOC in order to be designated as Signargues - a small plateau region in the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. It looks like he's aiming to match Chapoutier's reputation of delivering nice wines at reasonable prices. It's certainly nice to see at least this one of his wines hitting our market because he's apparently only making about 250 cases of each of his wines.

1283.  2008 Quinta da Barreira Reserva Touriga Nacional & Cabernet Sauvignon (Portugal)

I think this was another of Fisher's Opimian bottles because I can't find much reference to the producer or the wine in local searches. I can't say that I can recall a blend like this. We're starting to see a few more still, red wines from Portugal in our market but most of them are entry level commercial bottles and the mixing of Cab and Touriga Nacional sure seems like a bit of new school Portugal to me. It would appear that Portugal will no longer simply be known for Port in local markets.

1284.  2010 Layer Cake Garnacha (D.O. Calatayud - Spain)

Seeing as how, thus far, the evening's additions to The List hailed from France and Portugal, I suppose it might make sense that we sipped back on another bottle from that part of the world. The last wine of the dinner - although we were long past the ever-so-tasty crab cakes and lamb stew that we feasted on - was from Spain. This Garnacha (or Grenache) is one of the newest entries in the Layer Cake collection. As a side project, California cult wine proprietor, Jayson Woodbridge, produces wines from regions around the world, picking what he feels is the top grape grown in a particular region and making big, fruit forward wines.

The Spanish Garnacha joins a Californian Cab (and Chardonnay), an Oregon Pinot, an Argentine Malbec, an Aussie Shiraz and an Italian Primitivo. The wines are continually lauded as over-delivering with bang for your buck. Despite the number of bottles that had already been polished off, there was no problem finishing this one off as well.

That last bottle pretty much polished me off for the night though. Being the oldest member of the team, I know better than to try and match the younger bucks glass for glass. For all I know, Kaz and M'og probably hit a bar on the way home. All power to them - provided they've sobered up for our playoff game next weekend.

There was no doubt that Fisher and Paddy passed Fish's rookie initiation! He's definitely invited back for next season - regardless of whether he offers to cook up another dinner or hit the wine cellar for us. Hell, he even earns a few "free" hogged rocks next year as a thank you for the evening. We might normally end our games at the club with a pitcher of beer, as opposed to a bottle, but get togethers like this might just harbour the start of a new trend. Curlers getting their rocks off with a bottle of wine. I like it.

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