Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bottle Hopping

My days of cutting a swath through a parade of parties in a single week are so far behind me, it's a rare occasion that I'd even try to fit two into one night. But here we are - taking a true test of social stamina.

Like a great many of the sipping partners I have that grace these postings, Camper and I were buds back in university days. Despite the annual Christmas e-mail exchange exclaiming that we need to try and get together in the upcoming year, it just doesn't seem to materialize as often as we'd like. It's generally a tallying of years - rather than months or weeks - between visits.

When I ran across her name and number in a directory at work the other week, I gave her a quick call. Voicemail only. But, when she got the message the next week, it did lead to an impromptu, and last-minute, invitation to dinner as Camper had invited another couple from that old gang over for a BBQ. Boo was working and I'd already committed to a party that night, but I figured that the opportunity doesn't pop up that often; I'd better try and fit in at least an hour or two or regret it as a "whaddya mean you're too old to fit two parties into one night" kind of moment.

118. 2008 See Ya Later Ranch Nelly Rose (VQA Okanagan)

Plus, there was bound to be some wine around and, lately, I'm not one to toss a vinous opportunity out lightly. As you might guess by the advanced nighttime lighting of this bottle shot, there were so many laughs and memories that my best intentions to leave by 8.00 turned into a "gosh, it's 9.30 already" run out the door.

Just as last night's Wine Boyz went summer, I figured a rose would hit the spot. I hadn't seen this wine from SYL before and I can't help but note the marketing choice to call their rose "Nelly."

The label says that the wine is named after one of the winery's originator's favourite dogs. C'mon. There may well have been a puppy named "Nelly," but this has to have been a conscious choice. Pink/magenta label. Rose wine. Nelly. I don't know if SYL is marketing the wine to and during the Vancouver Pride Festival, but they likely should be. It all reminds me of Kim Crawford's rose, Pansy. They come right out on the label and say that the wine is specially made for the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras.

This Nelly is a blend of Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc and Gewurtztraminer. An interesting blend if there ever was one. For a rose, it had a lot of colour and heft to it, but Camper and I managed to do a good job on that bottle.

It was tough to leave, but there was another soiree to attend. The second event was a group 40th birthday party for a couple of our neighbours. Since there were three celebrants, I suppose it was a 120th b-day party.

The shin-dig was well under way by the time I arrived and it was evident that the wine had been flowing freely before my arrival. The red was pretty much done and there was one part glass of a rose to be had. So, I spent some time with the white.

119. 2007 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough - New Zealand)

New Zealand. Sauvignon Blanc. It's one of the most identifiable combinations in the world of wine. I won't try to add anything to the topic.

It was great to see that the party featured its own concert by Karen Lee Batten, the now-country crooner that was a finalist on Canadian Idol in 2003. What a wonderful surprise and treat! There was some singing. A bit of dancing. I'll toast that kind of party favour any time.

I'm going to assume that the music and wine choices were courtesy of our Illuminare Gal and not Sham-A-Lama. The latter is a beer, scotch and cigar kinda guy. I had to move on (to bed, not another party) as the scotch and smokes started making their appearance. But I heard that one spousal neighbour went to retrieve a wayward husband from Sham-A-Lama's wicked grasp around 3.30. I think I used to last that long into the night (or morning as it may be). Happy Birthday to the young'uns.

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