Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Young & Wyse

I'm getting the feeling that these posts during the Winter Games are perhaps a tad Olympics-centric. In their infinite wisdom, the Games organizers don't want us to BYO Wine to any of the sporting events. Funny, that. You can buy their beer, but there's not going to be any getting a bottle of wine past the airport-like security found at all venue entry points.

The consequence of that decision seems to that I've got lots of pictures and stories to tell, but not a whole lot of wine to report on. I figured the Olympic theme of drinking wines from countries that have won recent gold medals would be the tie-in, but I'm thinking I just might need to find a way to feature a little more grape action.

Unfortunately, that approach will have to wait for another day. Lots of pictures from today but only the one bottle of wine to report on. I took in two events today and the first was big league hockey. I scored these tickets over a year ago but had no idea who would actually be playing in it until just a couple of months ago. Turns out that, for a game that Canada wasn't playing in, this was a big one. Russia vs. the Czechs.

The sis, Vixen, joined me for the game since Boo was working (again) and it was a good one. The Ovechkin hit on Jagr was one for the ages. I was truly surprised at all the Russian and Czech fans that were in attendance. Flags, cheers, jerseys - you name it. I couldn't tell a Russian cheer from a Czech one but it was a heck of an atmosphere - and with both teams' fans and all the Canadians wearing red, the venue was a sea of red. It left us imagining what it would be like later that afternoon for the Canada/US game.

After the game, Vixen and I met up with No. 1 Daughter/Niece, Stargirl, because she and I were heading off to one of the Medal Ceremony/Concerts that night. While wandering around the streets and taking in the Olympic Cauldron again, we stopped by a young guy leafing through his belongings. I saw an official looking accreditation badge that said "UK Team" on it; so, I nudged the girls to ask if he'd agree to having his picture with them. No idea who it was, but I did see the name "Adam Pengilly." Turns out he's a silver medallist from last year's World Skeleton Championships - you know the event where the athletes go head first down an ice track at speeds that can hit 150km/hour. He didn't win a medal at these Games; however, he was only one of two athletes that were elected by the other competitors to the IOC Athletes Commission. As Vixen says, "Cute too."

You can see how crowded it was getting around the Cauldron by now as well. And this was actually one of the slower periods on the streets because it was getting close to the big hockey game and most everyone was trying to land a spot to watch the showdown. We were finding that any restaurant or bar, that had a TV of any sort in it, was full and usually had a line-up - and this was with the game still an hour or so away.

We ended up accepting an invite from Lady Di and She Who Must Be Obeyed. They were getting ready to throw together some pizzas and watch the first hockey game that REALLY mattered - so far. A quick stop to pick up some appies and a bottle of wine and we were, unexpectedly, golden.

Yesterday's gold medalists - Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, China and Korea - didn't exactly offer up the foremost wine producing nations to choose from and the liquor store closest to Lady Di's place isn't the largest in town. The result was that I went with another Canadian wine since, Jon Montgomery, our gold medalist in Men's Skeleton from the day before served up one of the moments of the Games so far. His stroll through Whistler Village and a honking chug from a pitcher of beer that was passed to him clearly needed to be celebrated.

372. 2008 Young & Wyse Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Young & Wyse is one of the newest wineries now serving up its wares in the province. Their first vintage was only released last November and it sports but two varietals - this Merlot and a Shiraz. I grabbed this bottle because Stephen Wyse, one of the driving forces behind the winery, has a bit of a pedigree with BC wine production. The Wyse family is synonymous with one of the province's "cult" wineries - Burrowing Owl - and, as a bit of intrigue, I'd heard that this winery was going to be opened under the name "Black Sheep." I see that there is a stylized black sheep on the label, but I don't know that we'll see much more about that story in print.

There still isn't a lot to be found out about this new venture, but the vineyard is located in the Osoyoos area (can't be that far from Burrowing Owl) and they are apparently preparing to release a larger number of varietals in the months to come. I'm sure we'll back to try them as well.

The wine was better than the outcome of the hockey game. It might be just as well that we had to leave before the end of the second period. Once Vixen, Stargirl and I moved on, the game started going more the Americans' way. The medal presentations were fine - although we managed to be there on an evening when no Canadians were being presented medals. To make that little point a bit worse, I had to watch that darned Apollo Ohno and the Koreans that beat out the Canadian boys last night get their medals. I'll admit that I clapped much louder for the other winners, particularly the Dutch skater from the long track. Maybe I'd have been a little more receptive if there'd been more wine to whet my whistle.

These ceremonies, in general, were featuring some pretty decent bands after the medals. Wouldn't you know that our bands had to be Canadian stalwarts from the 80's. I can't say that I was the biggest fan of either Trooper or Loverboy even back then. At least I knew most of the songs. Stargirl, who has yet to turn Sweet 16, said that she'd never heard of either one of the groups and didn't recognize a single song - even when I could sing the words. As a result, she spent a good portion of the evening texting her friends. We didn't last until the end.

No medals, no big hockey win, some aging rockers. Quite the evening, eh. Oh well, I suppose there's always tomorrow and another bottle of wine.

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