Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Chanukkah Gathering

It never ceases to amaze me how lucky we are to live in Vancouver where there is such a wide-ranging and cosmopolitan make-up to the city's inhabitants and to its cultural celebrations. At our office alone, I work with folks that were either born in other countries or are one generation removed. It's a small office, but those countries have included India, Hong Kong, Albania, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Afghanistan, Poland, Italy and Korea.

It's no surprise that Vancouver's multicultural populace also has a wide assortment of religions and religious celebration as well. Two of the homes in our immediate neighbourhood are Jewish and we were invited to a Chanukkah party to join in the celebration.

I can't say that I know much about Jewish celebrations and the stories that go with them, but I do know that K-Pop makes a mean latke - and I can't say as I run across any other opportunities to enjoy the tasty potato pancakes.

Plus, I know these folks well enough to know that there'll be plenty of wine and craft beer to add to the festivities.

1478. 2011 Giesen Pinot Noir (Marlborough - New Zealand)

I always look forward to seeing what wine K-Pop and Baby Mama decide to serve.  K-Pop has an in with Barbara Philip, the first Western Canadian to earn a Master of Wine designation and still the only female MW in the country. So far, I've discovered a couple of winners that K-Pop has scored on a tip from Barb. Seeing tonight's Giesen, I'm feeling rather smug in that I'd uncovered Giesen a couple of years back at the Vancouver International Wine Festival - although, admittedly, I keyed in on their Sauv Blanc at the time.

Having opened the Orofino Pinot the other night, it would have been interesting to compare the two cool climate Pinots side by side. Like the Orofino, this was on the easier side of bolder, New World Pinots but it still had enough fruit (as opposed to earth and mushroom) on it to make it entirely appropriate for lighter fare like a latke or as a stand-up, cocktail wine. I was simply glad that most of the other guests were fawning over the assortment of craft beers - since I didn't have to fight anyone off for refills of my wine glass.

The Pinot maybe didn't go quite as smoothly with the cheesecakes and cookies as it did with the latkes but, then, I doubt many reds would have.

Watching the lighting of the menorah - the nine-branched candelabrum - was a treat. I don't think Boo's and my plugging in the Christmas lights has quite the same meaning or emotion. I also thought it was neat to watch the kids playing a dreidel game. I've heard the word "dreidel" before but I guess I didn't know what it was since I probably would have guessed it was a dress if I'd been subjected to a pop quiz. I didn't take the kids on at the game though. They seemed pretty proficient at it - and it might have distracted me from my cheesecake.

All in all. Another tradition. Another wine. And what looks to be a grand start to the holiday season.

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