Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Tis The Season

For our Fourth Wines of Christmas, my true love drank with me,
At the Office Party...

For a number of years now, the office has celebrated the holiday season with a dinner party at Ciao Bella restaurant. The Big Guy has had a great relationship with the owner and they've closed the restaurant for us and put on a grand display of multiple courses. It's a good thing I wasn't raised Italian or I'm sure I'd be fighting the pounds a lot more than I already am.

It was a rather tumultuous year at the office - from as slow as we've seen to picking right up through the summer to the present. I think it's safe to say that we were all happy to be celebrating where we are now at the close of the year, as opposed to the start of 2009.

I know I was ready for a toast to the season.

286. NV Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene (Prosecco IGT - Veneto - Italy)

What better way to toast the holidays, particularly when at an Italian restaurant, than with a bottle of Prosecco? The crisp and fruity Italian sparkler is a grand way to get your fix for bubbles without having to worry about leaving the loved ones without presents because you emptied your wallet on Champagne.

Mionetto is a specialist in Prosecco and bottles an range of different wines. This Prosecco is the traditional one that the Veneto region is well known for. It is made from 100% Prosecco grapes - a grape not really known outside the Veneto.

It was a perfect start to setting a mood - although I think it was mostly Boo and I that took advantage and put a little frizzante into the evening. I thought it went especially well as an aperitif and with the initial seafood course.

287. 2008 Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec (Mendoza - Argentina)

As the food became more substantial (and continuous), we moved over to the red chosen for the evening. Finca Flichman is one of the better known Argentine wineries up here in Vancouver - particularly as delivering bang for the buck. Vancouver writer, John Schreiner, has written that they offer 29 wines and produce over a million cases a year - and this is after they've tightened up their quality and production methods after the winery was purchased around 10 years ago by the Sogrape group out of Portugal.

Malbec isn't necessarily my first choice for Italian food, the tannins can be a bit much for tomato-based dishes. No worries though, we were full of lively talk and fun and the wine kept things moving along.

On occasion, our gang has been known to throw back the tables and kick up our heels. Our dancefloor antics were curtailed a tad this year when the Christmas dance CD wouldn't play. Cutting a rug to An Ally McBeal Christmas isn't the easiest task - plenty of wine flowing or not. We did get a chance to practise our "turn the lightbulb" and "pat the dog" moves though when we found a bit of bhangra to groove to. Our best Slumdog Millionaire moves came to the fore when "Jai Ho" blasted from the speakers.

A couple of high energy songs tuckered me out though. Can't quite keep up the way I used to twenty years ago. It was hard to believe how quickly five hours came and went though. Good thing I got to sleep in the next day.

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