Monday, September 23, 2013

Tyrant and Panda Guy's Big Day

When the timeframe of my last post ended, the weather sucked. Rain was pouring down just as we were primping to attend Tyrant and Panda Guy's wedding. Luckily, 15 minutes on the Gulf Islands can see an entirely different weather pattern kick in. As we arrived at the lakefront site for the wedding, the sun was shining and the smiles were almost as bright.

Tyrant's and my friendship is into its fourth decade now and he's always been the consummate entertainer. He's one of my most mentioned drinking buddies in the Blog and we've chatted over and thrown back many a bottle of wine in our days. Seeing as how Tyrant has one of the most extensive wine collections I've had the pleasure of knowing, I was excited to see what wines he'd chosen for his and Panda Guy's big day. He didn't disappoint with a collection of some of the biggest icons in BC wines.

N.V. Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut (Okanagan Valley)

Everyone was greeted at the door with a glass of Blue Mountain Brut. I wasn't surprised to see this favourite bubbly. Tyrant had asked what my first choice would be for a BC sparkler and - even though there are many equally fine BC bubbles produced - I didn't hesitate in nominating the Blue Mountain. Seeing as how Boo and I served it at both our commitment ceremony all those years ago and, again, at our "formal" wedding when gay marriage became legal in Canada. The winery has a range of traditional method wines available now but the vintage and Rosé wines can be difficult to obtain. This Gold Label Brut is generally available and, at under $25, is a bargain.

Thing is, the bottle doesn't get a number for The List since it was added long ago, back at #261. As mentioned, this is a bit of a "go to" wine for me. Consequently, I'll gladly quaff it back anytime - number on The List or not.

After the scene had been set with Brut in hand and sun in the sky, the faithful were gathered out in the lakeside garden for the ceremony. Thinking back on one's own marriage ceremony seems rather de rigueur at every wedding, but this one held a little special magic for Boo and I. Tyrant and PG had asked long time friend, Hizzonner, to perform the nuptials. I believe this is only the third ceremony that Hizzonner has officiated at - the other two were both Boo's and mine.

When you add the fact that Tyrant had M.C.'d at our commitment ceremony reception and then remembered that Tyrant's old love, Cher, had helped decorate the cake and arrange flowers for this day as well as for our commitment, we started joking that Tyrant should have just engaged us to re-stage our wedding - albeit with a much expanded budget and a fiercely fabulous setting.

There was definitely one difference though. Tyrant recited part of his vows in Mandarin. The closest I had to worry about when it came to a foreign language was to speak slow enough so that Boo's relatives from the Southern US could understand seeing as how I couldn't realistically recreate a drawl.  Following the ceremony at hand, we tried to determine just how flawless Tyrant's pronunciation in Mandarin had been. Mandarin isn't the easiest of languages to fake and I always recall one story where a Cantonese friend was practicing his Mandarin at a formal dinner and got slapped by his wife for ordering rather "delicate lady parts" instead the crab. Who knows what Tyrant could have ended up promising?

2007 Monmousseau Cuvée J.M. Brut (AOC Touraine - Loire - France)

The "I do's" seem to have passed without incident and they were heartily toasted with Monmousseau. This far into the wedding, I wasn't having much "luck" in adding bottles to The List. I'd added the Monmousseau last December, at #1323. when Tyrant served it at his legendary Winter Solstice/ Mayan End of the World party. No wedding had been announced back then but maybe they were trying out the bubbles to see how they'd go over with the gang. Obviously well enough to see their corks popped all over again.

And I might add that, indeed, many corks were popped.

In going back over our photos, it would seem that I was more concerned about being caught up in the wedding and the event than I was thinking about the blogging to come. There were wines being served from an assortment of top BC wineries - including the likes of Black Hills, La Frenz, Laughing Stock and Red Rooster - but do you think I took a picture of all the different wines on offer. Not a chance.

Then again, I didn't try every wine on offer either. Even if I'd wanted to, some of the bottles were quickly gone as many of the guests knew the pedigree of Nota Bene and Portfolio just as well as I did.

I probably did some damage to a couple other wines through the evening - particularly downing some white wine while noshing on the sushi being made to order on the lake dock. (Tell me they weren't happy at this station when the rain clouds cleared up.) But I must have given up on wine pictures after reining in a couple reds to add to the bubbles.

1430.  2010 Marichel - Deep Roots Syrah (VQA Okanagan Valley)

As I was writing this, I realized I'd better check to make sure I haven't already added this bottle to The List as well. Both Tyrant and Lady Di have been big fans of Marichel ever since I introduced them to the new (at the time) winery on the Naramata Bench. I've added other vintages of Marichel Syrah to The List and a 2010 Viognier has been added but, luckily, I'm good to go with this Deep Roots Syrah.

Not that I could find out much about it online. The winery website doesn't refer to the wine at all but I figure that's likely because it was sold out and/or the "Deep Roots" label might have been a one-off vintage in 2010.

I do know, however, that Marichel might have been the smallest producing winery - and the least known amongst the bunch being offered - and, consequently, I cold keep refilling to my heart's content because not many others knew how nice the wine was drinking.

1431.  2011 Tribunal (Sonoma - California)

While checking to make sure that I hadn't added the 2011 Tribunal to The List either, I was surprised to see that I added the 2010 vintage to The List on the same night as the Monmousseau. Looks like Tyrant was doing some major "market testing" that night at the Solstice party. Either that or he was serving up some of his faves just in case the Mayan "predictions" were right and we weren't going to make it past last December and he wanted to go out on a good note.

In any event, the Zin, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cab Sauv and Merlot blend was the only non-BC red being served. Whereas Boo and I decided to serve Blasted Church and Church and State as two of our wedding wines in a tongue-in-cheek nod to the arguably blasphemous standing of our marriage, Brent wittily chose Tribunal as a tip of the hat to all the old law school chums in attendance and to the fact that there are still many folks who will sit in judgement of a gay wedding and proclaim guilt.

The only thing we were guilty of that night, however, was being guilty of being in love - and of enjoying all the wines and the delicious food at hand. Add in some love for the live jazz band and the plentiful dancing and the makings of a truly memorable evening were all there.

Incredibly, the afternoon's rain clouds stayed away until well into the evening - after most people had moved inside or left anyhow. So the outdoor beauty of the venue was fully enjoyed by all.

Although Boo and I had wished the happy couple all the best and made our way back to our cabin, I'm told that the boys' wedding had one final point of similarity to Boo's and my earlier ceremonies. We always joke that it ain't a party unless the police come by. Our commitment ceremony saw three different squad cars come by over the course of the evening and even our much smaller, formal marriage ten years later - held in our back yard with maybe 50 people - saw the police arrive to ask us to tone it down. When they told us our neighbours were complaining, I said, "I kind of doubt it since most of our neighbours are here," the response was that "these neighbours were two blocks away."

Considering Tyrant lives in a rural setting on a lake, I'm thinking the party levels must have kept building after we'd left.

I probably should have stayed longer.

Congrats boys! Here's to many years of happiness of good wine to come.

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