Saturday, April 17, 2010

Burn The Floor

I managed to talk Boo into going to see Burn The Floor, the travelling Broadway show based on latin ballroom dance. It was one of the shows that I would love to have seen when we had that quick trip to NYC last year, but it wasn't in the cards. Being a sucker for those reality dance shows on TV, it was a natural for me when I saw it was coming for a short run in Vancouver.

Seeing as how it was just down the street, we went for dinner at Sanafir. Turns out we ate too much, likely drank too much and almost missed the start of the show when we lost track of time.

Sanafir features foods that are inspired by cuisines found along the ancient Silk Road. The dishes encompass Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian. With flavours jumping all over the place, I thought a white - maybe even with a touch of residual sugar - might match the expected spices.

414. NV Sokol Blosser Evolution - Lucky Edition (Willamette Valley - Oregon)

I'd never heard of Evolution before but the bartender said it was aimed at the Conundrum market. I remember having Conundrum once (before I'd started this blog and The List) and I recalled it as being a bit too far on the off-dry side for the occasion, but the bartender said he generally sees a second bottle go to all the tables that order one. I took him at his word.

Sokol Blosser has a history of being one of the pioneering wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley and I saw that one writer referred to Evolution as the winery's "cash cow." The wine is a blend of nine varietals - Muller-Thurgau, White Riesling , Semillon, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. The percentages of each varietal aren't released however.

Part of their reasoning relates to another interesting twist that the winery takes with this wine. Each release is announced as an "edition" rather than with a vintage year. The profile of the wine is always undergoing an evolution and, as such, the percentages are continually changing. In yet another twist, this is the "Lucky Edition" because Sokol Blosser didn't want to tempt the fates and superstitions surrounding the number 13. This is the thirteenth edition of the wine, so they've turned the tables and confirmed that this wine is based on good luck.

Wine maker, Russ Rosner, is quoted on the website as saying that, "in over 20 years of winemaking, this is by far the hardest wine I've had to make. It's like mixing 9 different colours of paint and trying to end up with a rainbow instead of a muddy brown."

I was pleasantly surprised with the bottle. While it did entertain bright fruit and a bit of residual sugar - that went well with the spices - it was still balanced with nice acidity. For $24 in the liquor store (not the restaurant), I think it is a pretty lucky find.

In fact, the bottle disappeared rather too quickly. We weren't half-way through our tasting menu before it was all gone. I wouldn't have had a problem ordering a second bottle, but I'm always thinking of The List and couldn't turn down the opportunity of adding a second bottle this evening.

415. Castillo de Monseran Old Vines Garnacha (DO Carinena - Spain)

Since we had progressed to the meat dishes, I ordered a bottle of Spanish Grenache. It wasn't exactly the bottle that I thought I'd ordered, but this turned out to be a good thing. I know that Castillo de Monseran is a well-known bargain wine in our market. This is the winery's higher priced (if $14 in the bottle shop can be considered a premium price) wine based on fruit from 50-80 year old vines and sees a bit of oak barrel aging.

Carinena is a town in North-East Spain that lends its name to both the surrounding appellation region and to the Carignan grape. Ironically, the region might be better known for Grenache - or Garnacha as its known there. Carinena is frequently cited as the birthplace of the Grenache varietal. It's only after it was established here that the grape migrated to its better known home in Rhone and the South of France. The regional wines from Carinena were relatively unknown until the 1980's as their wine was often used to blend with wines from the more established Rioja region.

I was particularly intrigued by the city's long-standing tradition of circulating wine through town fountains on occasion during the Fall wine festival. The tradition stems from 1585 when the ruling monarch, King Philip II, visited the town and the fountain was set to spout wine in his honour.

Expecting big fruit, this wine delivered. Lots of passion to get us in mood for all the Latin bump and grind that was to follow on the dancefloor. As mentioned, we lost track of time and had to hightail it down to street to make it in time for the curtain. I even had to leave a generous glass of my wine behind. Even for me, those last couple sips weren't worth missing a pulsing Rhumba or Tango.

My guess is that Boo and I will have to stick with the wine drinking as opposed to taking up some of the moves we saw on the dancefloor.

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