Saturday, December 26, 2009

Still Surviving

For Our Ninth Wines of Christmas, My True Love Drank with Me,
To the Final Survivor.

I probably shouldn't admit to this, but I likely watch more reality TV than I should. I'm a bona fide sucker for Amazing Race and Top Chef and Boo will tell you that I'm addicted to a lot more than that. "Addicted" is a rather strong term - and I think I could give them up easily. Well, maybe not Survivor.

At least I'm not completely alone in my enjoyment of Survivor. Elzee still keeps up with it and Mr. D. catches the odd episode (when all the cute guys haven't been kicked out yet). Even Boo found himself in a love/hate relationship with the evil Russell this season.

We'd been invited to Elzee's for dinner, but we moved the evening to our place when we saw that the Survivor finale was scheduled for that night. We've got a bigger screen and that time differential program with our cable. It's not exactly a Christmas-themed dinner, but it made sense to watch it in HD and know the winner much earlier in the evening.

294. 2005 Golden Mile Black Arts Chardonnay (VQA Okanagan)

It's been awhile since we've opened a bottle of Golden Mile (or Road 13 as it's now known). In fact, I think it was back towards the beginning of this blog and The List - it was last spring and the Canucks were still winning in the playoffs. We won't go there; not much survival in that playoff run.

Names changes, re-branding of wines and label changes made it rather difficult to follow the winery over the last so many years. To play on the Survivor theme a tad, I suppose all the movement at the winery is an effort to "Out play, Out wit, and Out last" the competition. I'm not sure that the current end result is going to be the favourable ending to that journey, but I do think that, as the new Road 13, the winery's marketing is going to settle down for a bit and that's going to help them out in the marketplace.

It's a good thing that it's the wine in the bottles that ultimately has to get the job done and, on the whole, I think the winemaking team is doing a good job. I don't necessarily think that I'd run back to this wine as a $35 Chardonnay, but it matched nicely with Elzee's carrot and brie soup.

Oh yeah, even though we moved the dinner table to our place, she'd already worked on putting together the menu. So, she simply packed it up and brought the soup and entree along with her. Now, this is a concept of throwing a dinner party that I could get used to. Just have your guests bring all the food while you open a couple bottles of wine.

We also discovered that a joy of digital TV is that you can just pause the show whenever you want. A soup course after they vote off the first finalist? Not a problem. You'd like your main just before the final vote? Let me hit that pause button. It allowed us to stop for dinner, avoid all commercials and still know the winner an hour before the show actually ended in our time zone. Gotta love it.

We also had to love Elzee's tourtiere!! None of us hail from La Belle Province but, if memory serves, tourtiere is a traditional meal in Quebec for Christmas. I don't know if Elzee's version would get a big "oui" from les Quebecois, but she can serve it to me any time she'd like to. It also matched up perfectly with a jar of Mr. D's jalapeno jelly.

295. 2004 Chateau Gloria (AOC Saint-Julien - France)

For us, this is one of those "occasion" wines and what could be better than an early Christmas dinner with two of our best friends. This is also a wine where formal tasting notes are common, if not expected. Those notes, however, are best left to those with better noses and palates than I. Suffice it to say, that Boo loved it. For me, I wouldn't stand around drinking a glass at a cocktail party to best enjoy it. This is a food wine and I thought that the meat and richness of the tourtiere matched it wonderfully.

Chateau Gloria, itself, is an interesting story. It produces well-received Bordeaux wines but those wines are produced outside of the historical 1855 Bordeaux classification which plays a huge part in the setting of wine values and prices. The reason for that exclusion is that the winery was only started in 1942, almost a century after the original classification was made. All of the winery's approximately 120 acres were purchased from "class growth properties" but the tradition - and vested interests - in maintaining the original list pretty much rules out the possibility of any reclassification in the foreseeable future.

Located in the Haut-Medoc region, the vineyards have been planted in a fairly traditional Left Bank composition - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, with 5% each of Petit Verdot and Cab Franc.

For those of us not able (or willing) to stock up on the big name Bordeaux wines at huge prices each fall, this is a reliable, higher end on the entry level wines from the region.

The only thing left after the Chateau Gloria and the tourtiere was Boo's pecan pie. We figured that, as Southern a tradition as this is, it's pretty close to the Quebecois sugar pies that would be a tremendous finish to the evening. The sweetness wasn't going to easily lend itself to a further wine though, so we stopped at the Chateau Gloria and settled back for a coffee and the final Survivor vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment