Saturday, October 19, 2013

Prairie Fairies Fowl Supper v.2013

OK, so I should be totally up front about this post, we're all about the event this time around and not so much about the wine. We downed a bottle and it'll be added to The List but the brutal honesty of it is that I really only grabbed the bottle so that I could fit this year's Fowl Supper into the blog - and even if we weren't popping corks on the best of bottles, it's one of those annual events that we are sure to mark on our calendars as soon as the date is announced.

Now in its 14th edition, the Prairie Fairy Fowl Supper is the signature event for the Fillmore Family Foundation and through those years, the Fowl Supper has grown from a throwback dinner for a small batch of "orphaned" prairie boys to the annual sell out extravaganza for 700 plus prairie fairies and their friends. Seeing as how I've written about the Fowl Supper each year that I've been writing the blog - 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 - I won't regurgitate an expanded history on the dinner so much. If you do go back through those posts, however, you will note that Boo and I haven't been coming to the event all these years because it's a stellar event for tasting wine. It has, however, raised more than half a million dollars for chosen Vancouver charities.

This year's dinner was titled "Ruby Red - Far From Dead" and was a tip of the proverbial ballcap to the Fillmore Foundation's fictional matriarch, Linda Fillmore, and her "80th" birthday. Linda's definitely looking good for "80" but, being the saucy gal that she is, I'm sure Linda would say that she owes it all to staying busy (read "naughty") and to a regular dram or two.

1455.  N.V. Sonora Ranch Pinot Noir (Bottled in BC)

I don't think tonight's Pinot is going to have any Burgundian or Oregon producers quaking in their boots but, if nothing else, it helped put a bit of kick into our cowboy boots and provide sustenance as our table counted all the coins collected this year. When having to serve 700 hungry folks at a buffet, deciding who gets to eat first can be a bit of an unenviable task. The Fowl Supper has traditionally awarded first dibs at the buffet to the table that turns in the most coins for charity - no bills allowed - and returning pros know that the winning tables hand over more than a couple grand each. It makes for a lot of counting though. Luckily, our crew donated over $1300 and, accordingly, lined up in about 4th position.

Boo, Mr. D. and I finished off our Pinot Noir over turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Sonora Ranch is part of the Artisan Wine Shop family - an off-shoot of Mission Hill. Artisan's wines include well known - and rather enjoyable - brands like Fork in the Road, Prospect Winery and Rigamarole, but it also produces a sh*t-load of commercial wines like tonight's Pinot. By using the term "sh*t-load of commercial wines," I'm not saying that they are undrinkable, just that they're definitely aiming for wine buyers that reach for cheap and cheerful bottles. In fact, despite not knowing anything about the provenance of the grapes used in making the wine - a joy of "Bottled in BC wines is that the grapes or juice could come as bulk wine from anywhere in the world - I think the wine was somewhat more sophisticated than the South African Two Oceans wines that have been the Fillmore Family house wine for a couple of years now.

We moved on to beer after our bottle though. 'Nuff said?

One of the hallmarks of the Fowl Supper is that it draws a wider array of folks than just displaced Prairie Fairies - from some real 80 year old aunties to the high school skipping team and hunky opera singer that served up plenty of talent. Even Vancouver's Mayor, Gregor Robertson, showed up this year to suffer a bit of abuse from Linda. Indeed, the Mayor has been a great sport at and supporter of the Fowl Supper for years - even returning after having the manner in which he "appreciably" fills out his jeans announced to the crowd during a previous edition's entertainment. All in the name of good fun, I suppose.

That and the fact that the Foundation's beneficiaries are truly wonderful - and some of our favourite - charities around town. This year's largesse was split between A Loving Spoonful, McLaren Housing Society of BC, Out in Schools and CampOut.

And there you have it. Life may not always be full of 90+ point wines, but there's little doubt that memorable times can be had even if the wine doesn't quite match up to the occasion. Now we just have to try and convince Linda to serve up a few wines worthy of the Fowl Supper's pedigree.

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