Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good Thing I Wasn't Stuck in Front of the TV

Not sure about all this coincidental frequency of late but here it is Game 4 for the Canucks and Blackhawks and I've got another wine tasting to head off to. This one was booked some time ago - long before we knew the Canucks would be facing such a big game - so, game or not, we're off to Maple Ridge with my sis, Vixen. Her great pals, The Guru and Bride of Frank'n'Wine (we really need to get her a new name) are involved with this annual tasting event at the Golf & Country.

I decided to wear my Canucks jersey again since it seemed to play to my advantage the other week at the Vancouver Playhouse tasting. The first thing Vixen said to me, with some incredulity, though was "How can you wear a hockey jersey to a Country Club?"

My response, "What are you talking about? They play golf there. They wear shorts. They like sports. My guess is that half the people there would rather be watching the game." And, wouldn't you know it, the first three men that we saw there were all in shorts and two of them commented to me about the big game.

Like I have no fashion sense. Sometimes I think she must mix me up with some straight guy she knows.

In any event it was a good thing that we went to the tasting. The game was horrific. They had a big screen playing the game in one end of the room and, much like the Canucks, most people had given up trying to keep up with the game part way through the second period. I was more worried about people throwing red wine at the jersey by the end of the game than I was about the club's dress code - especially when the score hit 7-4 for the bad guys.

There was quite a decent array of wines to try throughout the evening. A good number of the wineries in attendance were BC based, but even among those, there were some that I hadn't run across before. The balance of the wines covered the gamut - from light Italian bubbles to a new-to-the-market Argentine Tannat.

I don't think there was much doubt that the overall top table of the night was Pacific Breeze. With The Guru and Bride-y serving up wine at times, there were some healthy pours and some very decent wines. I'm going to have to open up some of their bottles that we're currently cellaring.

Add, to all this, some very tasty nibblies (lamb popsicles and spot prawns for example) and a $25 price tag and it (almost) made up for the terrible hockey result.

Not quite, but almost. The Canucks are now down three games to one. I never would have thought that the Canucks would lose both of their home games. Where'd they go?

As the end of the tasting approached, Boo, Vixen and I filled our glasses with some more Pacific Breeze and went out on the balcony patio to actually sit a spell and enjoy some wine. Guru and Bride-y soon joined us for a quick chat, but the Guru grew a little restless as he had an empty glass.

Normally, at these tasting events, I don't get to add a bottle to The List since we don't actually drink a bottle but, lo and behold, The Guru ran off to the bar and brought back a bottle for all to enjoy. And, talk about coincidences, he even brought back a bottle of Orofino. In fact, the very bottle that I'd planned to open tonight at home had we been watching the game on our own couch. Hard to believe. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought that Guru was actually reading this blog and knew that we were drinking Orofino throughout this series.

438. 2007 Orofino Beleza (Similkameen Valley)

The back label states that "Beleza" is Portugese for "beauty" and that the word is "used to describe a perfect moment or feeling." Certainly, the game gave us no perfect feelings that night (unless you were a Chicago fan at heart). Good thing the wine was much better.

Beleza is Orofino's new, signature entry in the BC Meritage stakes. Like many of its wines, this one is Merlot-based, with that varietal forming 70% of the blend. The balance features almost equal shares of Cab Sauv (14%) and Cab Franc (12%) and a smaller part (4%) of Petit Verdot. The 2007 is the first vintage that the winery has produced and, like most of their wines, it has garnered some good reviews from the wine scribes.

This is a wine that could easily be laid down for a couple of years to let it settle and integrate a bit. There's a lot going on in that bottle - with enough balance between the ample tannins and more subtle acidity to suggest that it should even be better down the road. Good thing we've got another couple bottles stowed away. We'll have to see if The Guru is available to help finish off a bottle down the road.

I can only imagine how good it could be with a bit more time and no crappy hockey game result to sour the mood.

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