Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Traditions In the Hood

Gatu Bela is back in town. And that calls for a drink (like I need an excuse).

Gatu Bela was our neighbour for decade and the number of conversations we had over the fence or through the kitchen window are legion. It's always an occasion when she returns to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland from her new seasonal home in Mexico. Gatu Bela has declared that, after ten years, there will be no Mexican Cat Dance fundraiser this year but it might just have been replaced with another tradition, lawn sushi.

What started out as an impromptu gathering last summer when Gatu Bela was visiting the old hood seems to have morphed into an annual event - on a slightly grander scale to boot. Last year's six-some grew to all of the regular neighbourhood gang who were free on a Tuesday night. Okay, so the weather wasn't as sunny as it was last year and not many actually ate outside on the lawn, it was still a fun opportunity to catch up, eat a little raw, dead fish and add another couple of bottles to The List.

1635.  2013 River Stone Malbec Rosé (VQA Okanagan Valley)

River Stone Estate was a pleasant surprise from the Half Corked Half that Mr. Cool and I ran back in May. I was lucky to get one of the last pours of Cornerstone, River Stone's premium Meritage wine, at the pasta party the night before the race and the winery was manning one of the later "water" stations during the race. By that point of the race, I was welcoming any excuse for a bit of rest/sip.

I can't recall having run across their wines previously; so, Mr. Cool, Mimster and I stopped in for a tasting before we made our way home from the race. I picked up a handful of River Stone wines and this is the first that I'm adding to The List - after all, don't Rosé and summer nights go hand in hand?

We don't really see Malbec Rosé coming out of the Okanagan. It might be a common pour in Argentina but not so much here. You can add this to the more food friendly side of the BC Rosé spectrum - as opposed to the simple patio sippers. The wine was bold in its acidity and its tendency towards rhubarb than to the strawberries and sweet plums that often show in BC Rosé. I'm more than happy to go the food route with my Rosé though. And, I'll look forward to pulling the cork on the other River Stone wines that we picked up.

1636.  N.V. Maison L. Traminer & Fils - Roncier (France)

I'm not sure which of the neighbours brought this non-vintage red but it garnered a bit of a buzz amongst some of the crowd. I dare say, however, that the earthiness of the wine was better on its own than it ever would have been with the sushi. I'm also a little surprised that the gang was as enamoured with an Old World vin de table Pinot Noir. Maybe it was the fact that it was fleshed out a bit with some Syrah that tipped the palate for the general populace.

Again, another producer that I was unaware of, but that's what I like about seeing what other folks bring to the table. It's a great way to try new wines and new producers.

My favourite part of the evening though may not have been the wine but the great laugh we all had as a discussion topic moved on to Twitter. Gatu Bela does not tweet - although life in Mexico could be an interesting starting point - and she asked what "hagtashing" means. Baby Mama (who has quite a following under her real name) tweeted that out amidst the laughter and she received a great response, "BE HER FRIEND. They have been immersed in more useful things."

Words to take to heart. Perhaps I need to spend more time on blog entries than trying to build a Twitter following. Or, maybe more to the point, I need to limit my blog posts to 140 characters. It'd be a whole lot easier to keep up if I were to try that. 

Food for thought.

And on that happy note, I'll hagtash it out of here. 

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