Saturday, February 14, 2015

Desert Hills Gamay

We/ve been watching a new condo development go up on The Drive for what seems like years but the commercial spaces at street level have started opening. We've walked by JamJar, a small restaurant that serves Lebanese folk dishes, for awhile now and it always seems to be crowded; so, Boo and I decided to start the weekend off with a visit.

There was a bounty of hot and cold mezze to choose from - well beyond the regular hummus and baba ghanous. Not only did all the dishes on offer sound delicious but many of the names brought back grand memories of our two visits to the Emirates when Boo and I experienced some Arabic culture with Miss Jaq while she was working in Abu Dhabi.

Seeing as how the dishes encompassed all ranges of tastes, I thought a lighter red might pair nicely. It wasn't a big wine list but I've always liked Desert Hills' Gamay and it was there. So, I was happy to give it a go.

1861.  2013 Desert Hills Gamay (Okanagan Valley VQA)

As Gamay Noir goes, this was a big one - bigger than those I recall from Desert Hills in the past. Maybe it was just the vintage and the heat on the Black Sage Bench but I don't think I would have identified the wine as Gamay if it had been served to me blind. Not that it mattered. There was still an abundance of fruit and a bit of spice on the palate that matched the subtle spicing on our lamb and beef dishes.

Between the mains and an assortment of mezze, we likely ordered more than we needed. So, we passed on the dessert and waddled back onto The Drive to make our way home.

As we strolled by Cafe Deux Soleils, we noted that it was hopping and that the evening's draw was - wait for it - a drag show. CDS is known for open mic nights and slam poetry, but drag? Granted, I've seen many a drag show - top of the line pro and first time amateur efforts - but this was something neither of us had encountered in our neighbourhood. And it was about to start at the entirely reasonable hour of 9 pm.

I haven't seen a lot of drag in over the last decade or so. The shows are generally found in the downtown bars and start too late in the evening for this old boy's liking but, all the same, I've been aware of a growing stable of East-side drag divas. I just hadn't actually seen a show further east than Main Street. How could we pass it by?

This was also the first time I've seen Thanks Jem - and her guest gal pal Celestial Seasons - in action. Anyone serving up Annie Lennox is okay in my book.

All in all, not a bad evening. We got to take in two new welcome additions to our hood in one pass. I know we'll make our way back to JamJar (hopefully with Miss Jaq in tow) and I'll just hope to hear of more drag on The Drive.

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