Friday, August 7, 2009

The 2009 Wine Picnic

Ok, so the first picture on this post doesn't exactly have anything to do about the wines I'm discussing today. But, it is a favourite picture of our's of one of our dearest friends, Miss Jaq. And SHE's a big part of today's wines.

We don't get to see Miss Jaq often nowadays since she's been living in the Middle East (primarily Abu Dhabi) for over a decade now. This was a picture that we took when visiting her in 2007. She's on top of one of the sand dunes at the oasis town of Liwa. She's basically looking in the direction of the Arabian Desert and Saudi Arabia - which started a couple miles from where we were. We did share a bottle on the dune, but that's another story.

Miss Jaq tries to get back for a visit to Vancouver at least once a year - generally in the summer since it can hit 50 degrees Celcius on a regular basis in Abu Dhabi. For the last so many years, we've had an annual picnic where we just laze away for the afternoon - with great food and wine. We look forward to it every year!!

For this year's picnic, we decided to venture to Queen Elizabeth Park. With all the heat and dry weather lately, there wasn't much in the way of lush green grass. So we opted for a bench overlooking the quarry garden - watching the various wedding parties take their waterfall shots as we whiled away the afternoon.

The last time Miss Jaq was in VanCity, we went to a big wine tasting (prior to the start of this blog) and she found a definite favourite that night. It wasn't a wine that we see often in the stores, so, when I saw a bottle earlier in the spring, I knew I had to pick one up for the picnic to be.

141. 2007 Quinta Ferreira Chardonnay (VQA Okanagan)

It's funny that this is our second Quinta Ferreira wine in like a week. Guess I won't need to go into any discussion about the winery. You can just go back a few posts.

There were only 275 cases of this wine produced. So, you can understand why it isn't found in every wine store and why we thought it'd be such a treat to surprise Miss Jaq with a bottle on the picnic. I'm not a huge fan of heavily oaked Chardonnays, but I think they've managed a decent balance of oak and fruit here. It's also gone under 70% malolactic fermentation (which will have to be a topic for another day).

It didn't last too long in the heat of the afternoon when matched up with the goodies for the day.

142. 2004 CedarCreek Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir (VQA Okanagan)

The CedarCreek, on the other hand, is one of Boo's favourites.

And with good cause.

Although the winery is undergoing some re-structuring of its tiers of wines, the Platinum Reserve series is their very best and they've only produced it in vintages that they feel are worthy of the designation. This is one of the Pinot Noirs that is helping put the Okanagan on the map for Pinot afficionados.

Past picnics have lasted for hours on end as we lounged around, but this one was a bit shorter than some - not for lack of food or conversation though. I wonder if it had anything to do the fact that we polished off those two bottles rather quickly and I couldn't find the third bottle that I was sure I'd packed. We determined that we either needed to find some more wine or take a nap. Since it was already 5pm, we opted to head home and make plans for the evening.

In the mean time, we declared the 2009 Wine Picnic a rousing success and toasted a fine tradition.

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