Friday, May 22, 2015

A Half Corked Pasta Party

For the second year running, and that's literally "running", Mr. Cool and I have decided to lace up our runners for the Half Corked Marathon. My long distance running days may be 20 years and 30 fewer pounds ago and a half marathon may no longer be a run in the park for me, but the allure of running through gorgeous Okanagan vineyards and countryside is tough to say "no" to.

Especially when it's one of the hardest entry bibs in BC to nab.

Add to that, the fact that a healthy proportion of the runners are in costume and there are more than a dozen water, er wine, stations along the route, it's a no-brainer.

After the incredible popularity of the first couple of years - when all the spots were selling out in mere minutes - applications to run are now determined by lottery. I don't know the actual numbers but I've heard (from reputable sources, of course) that the odds are only 1-in-10 that a person will get in. When Mr. Cool and I finally wrangled our entry bibs, we were pretty stoked.

Since the run takes place through the Golden Mile and Black Sage Bench regions between Oliver and Osoyoos, Mr. Cool, the Mimster, Boo and I made the drive up from Vancouver and spent a long weekend there. It's become a tradition of the Half Corked Half to hold a pasta carbo-load - AND WINE TASTING - on the night before the race and we cottoned right on to that.

1923.  2014 Church & State Lost Inhibitions White (Okanagan Valley VQA)

Church & State hosted the Primavera dinner at their winery and they greeted us, upon our arrival, with a glass of their Lost Inhibitions White. As such, even though we tasted a great many wines from the various members of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, it seems appropriate to add a bottle of Lost Inhibitions to The List.

Lost Inhibitions is a new brand that Church & State has launched this year as it wanted a wine with bigger production numbers and, if nothing else, its array of labels caused a great stir amongst the local wine-buying public - especially since the wines were launched on April Fool's Day. Even though there are only a white blend and a red blend produced under the brand, the winery has started out with 96 different "Lost Inhibitions" labels. The labels are divided into two categories - Prude and Lewd. The Prude labels may be a little more "G-rated" as they were all run by the government liquor board to make sure that they could be stocked but with catchy phrases such as "Shut The Front Door," "You Little Minx" and "Carpe Diem Bitches," they'll still grab your attention.

The Lewd category of labels include such beauties as "You Bet Your Ass I Will," "Hash-Tag This Mother F#cker" and "Polite as Fu*k" and they're expected to be available at the winery itself and in private wine shops that might not be so concerned about consumer reactions. I have to admit that I bought a couple of them on the spot to give away as gifts.

Luckily, the wine in the bottle is tasty enough to get you to reach for another bottle - and perhaps a different label. The white is real "kitchen sink" blend of grape varieties - about one-half of the blend is an equal mix of Gewürztraminer, Sauv Blanc and Chardonnay, another third is Viognier and the balance is made up of Riesling, Orange Muscat and Roussanne. Not exactly a break-down you'll see on many labels or winery websites. I see, however, that a number of Okanagan wineries make unorthodox, mixed-bag blends like this on a fairly regular basis and, surprisingly or not, I tend to find that the resulting wines are often tastier than the same wineries' varietal white wines. I know Church & State more for its reds than its whites; so, I can't really comment on a comparison to the winery's whites but I think, regardless, that they might have hit on a winner with these Lost Inhibitions.

Neither Mr. Cool, nor I, could let loose with our inhibitions too much this night though. We did have our big run coming up in the morning and, tasty wine or not, that called for an early night of it.

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