Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dinner With A View

Ever since we got the chance to spend a short time with our old neighbour, Red, at Dîner en Blanc back in the summer, she's wanted to try and put together a dinner at her place.  After a couple of false starts, we finally pulled it off following her return from a vacation in Sweden to visit her new squeeze. As much as we miss Red as a neighbour, I don't know if I'd even second guess a move from our old hood - if you could end up with a view like this. I'm rather fond of our view of the tennis court and park, but this is something else.

On top of the view, the girl knows how to cook!

1476.  2012 Cono Sur - Bicicleta Viognier (Chile)

Red's always on a hunt for a tasty, well-priced "house" wine. The Cono Sur Viognier is her current choice.

I heartily concur with her reasoning. This Chilean Viognier has quite a different profile from the Viogniers we see from our Okanagan Valley but there's not really much surprise in that. It's a fuller body with less acidity but the fruit is still prominent and at $11 - in OUR market - that's quite the bargain.

As we took in the view - while sipping on our Viognier - Red played double duty as hostess with the most-est and chef in the kitchen. We knew from dinners in the hood, that the girl's got plenty of kitchen and dining experience to draw from. Her years in Italy are enough to make any pasta-loving guy - such as me - salivate at the thought of dining at her table.

Red's other dinner guests were just as appetizing as the first course of linguine with clams. We'd met La Gondoliera previously and, whenever she and Red get together, there's bound to be fun times. I'll leave it at that (for now). We hadn't met the other couple joining us but something tells me they're never going to think of traffic cones as they did before the evening's conversation.

2009 Church & State Chardonnay

No number for the Church & State since I've already added the 2009 to The List back at #1182. We liked it then and we liked it tonight. Richer than the Viognier, it paired nicely with the oil and butter of the pasta. The Viognier had a bit more acidity since the Chadonnay did see some oak, but we certainly finished off the bottle before all of the pasta seconds were finished.
1477.  2008 Orofino Pinot Noir (Similkameen Valley)

The Pinot Noir isn't generally the first wine I grab for when it comes to Orofino wines, but Red had asked for a lighter red to go with a fish course and I figured Pinot is about as classic a red as it can go when it comes to West Coast fish and BC reds. I definitely could have gone for a Gamay Noir - and Orofino has one of those as well - but I have way more Pinots in our "cellar" than I do Gamay's. And, I'm hardly one to pass on an Orofino wine if the occasion arises - as you might gather by the number of Orofino wines that have been added to The List thus far.

By now, the wines had us all in a boisterous mood. So, sing along with me..."Fish Heads. Fish Heads. Roly Poly Fish Heads. Eat them up. Yum." (Certainly some of the most interesting song lyrics you'll ever run across, I dare say.)

OK. So, we weren't really singing that (although the song does exist) and Red did serve the whole fish, but the heads were there if anyone was looking for a cheek or an eye to match up with the Pinot. Despite the wine's deep colour, this was far from an over-the-top, big Pinot. It still showed a subtle body and a profile that certainly didn't overpower the garlic roasted fish.

Admittedly, there may have been another wine or two over the evening that I didn't get to (and don't rightly remember) but, in my defence, I pretty much stuck to these three as I knew I had a big day ahead of me and that Boo needed to leave early because of his need to get up for work at 5.30 in the morning. The evening ended with some big hugs and the promise of more good times to come. Red's off to Venice in the new year for a conference and we're bound to do a little celebrating after that.

Beyond Venice, there's still plenty more to learn about this little (or not so little) story revolving around Mr. Sweden and about some new opportunities for adventure in Whistler that have come up. I'm happy to bring the wine if she brings the stories. Enquiring minds want to know.

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