Thursday, July 2, 2015

Canada Day on the Block

In the six-plus years that I've been blogging this Wine Odyssey, there are a number of events and people that show up on a regular basis. Today's post combines both annual event and bona fide drinking buddies. The annual July 1 - Canada Day BBQ hasn't been going on for as long as our Holiday Dine Around, but I think it's safe to say that most of the hood pens the BBQ into their calendar as soon as the new year's pages are opened.

Somewhat surprising - when you considered the copious amounts of booze that arrives at the party - I've only got one bottle to add to The List this year. Part of the reason for that is that we do live in Yeast Van (a new moniker for East Van) and all its craft breweries. There was a healthy assortment of growlers in attendance. Plus, as I'll note later, there was a special guest appearance this year that resulted in our polishing off more tequila than I've seen since university days.

Good thing the one wine was a good one.

1950.  2014 Poplar Grove - Blanc de Noirs Rosé (Okanagan Valley VQA)

Funny, but ever since Boo and I joined the Poplar Grove Wine Club, our cellar has seen a slight proliferation in the number of Poplar Grove wines to be found. Admittedly, we joined the Club largely for the winery's robust reds but we're learning not to ignore the whites and this rosé either.

For the last so many years, I've found myself gravitating to more and more Rosé wines. I'm liking them year round as a great meeting ground between white and red but I find them particularly tasty on hot summer days. Poplar Grove's version is a traditional saignée where, after crush, the juice is left on the skins for around three hours before it is "bled" off from the tank. This practice not only results in a Rosé wine but it also builds on the body and profile of the wine this Rosé juice was taken from.

The wine's called a Blanc de Noirs (or White from Reds) as it is predominantly Malbec (41%), Merlot (24%) and Syrah (19%).  I don't know what the French would have to say about calling the wine a Blanc de Noirs when there's a healthy dose of Viognier (16%), a white grape, included in the blend.

As if I care.

The first vintage of Poplar Grove's Blanc de Noirs was in 2011 and, they made so little of it, it sold out in a matter of weeks. They've looked to increase production in subsequent years but it's still subject to  limited availability. Luckily, it looks like we might have a little more reliable handle on a source.

el Jimador Tequila Roposado (Mexico) (Guest Alcohol)

The reason for our extraordinary use (or misuse) of Tequila was the super slushy blender that I borrowed for the day.  My brother-in-law, Big Trucker, won a "Man Cave" at a Super Bowl Party earlier in the year and the blender was part of the prize package. It promised vast quantities of perfectly blended margaritas with the flick of a switch. Margaritas and Tequila may sound more appropriate for a Cinqo de Mayo celebration than a Canada Day BBQ but, you know, boys and their toys.

We decided that Mango Margaritas would be prove a particularly tasty means of trying out the blender. I think the fact that I only needed to open one bottle of wine is an indication of just how the margaritas were received (over and over again).

Good thing this blog revolve around reviewing kitchen equipment. I don't know that the blender was the be all and end all of blenders - event thought the margaritas were tasty. In some ways, I think it's easier to just make the old fashioned way in a regular blender.

Next year, our Canada Day party may just revert to good old Canadian wine and East Side suds.

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