Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boxed Lizards & Rabbits

It's hard to believe that we're reaching the tail end of August. Can Fall be long off? It hasn't exactly been a summer loaded with picnics, but we found the opportunity to fit at least one more in for the summer.

Boo and I thought we'd hit Granville Island to pick up a few dinner treats. We then decided to move along to the other end of False Creek and set up shop in the recently celebratory Olympic Village. Now open to the public to wander through - and, hopefully, buy up all of the unsold condos - I hadn't been down here yet except to go for a run along the Seawall.

We figured that we'd also managed to fit in a quick sip/cocktail at another of the Biennale installations. Cocktail, yes. Biennale, no. Apparently the 15-foot high sparrows aren't part of the exposition but are permanent pieces of the city's public art program. I guess it was fortuitous that we didn't spend the entire picnic there since it wouldn't have even counted as a check mark in the Biennale wine column.

We carried on down to the edge of False Creek and its views of the downtown skyline, the Science World dome and the Olympic Village. The Village may not be fully populated yet but it boasted a steady supply of folks on a stroll for people watching. Seeing as how I figured there aren't going to be a lot of picnics in the foreseeable future, I brought along both tetra-pak boxed wines that I'd picked up for such an occasion. Neither wine was expected to excite, but I do hear, every so often, that boxed wines are improving in quality.

569. 2007 Cheviot Bridge Thirsty Lizard Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (South Eastern Australia) 1L

I'm not so sure even the winery intends that you'll expect a wine named Thirsty Lizard to be a 90+ point wine. Surprisingly though, the Sem/Sauv blend wasn't that bad at all. I don't think it'll leave premier Bordeaux white wine producers shaking in their boots, but it is from the same people that bring us the Long Flat range and I think that's a bit of pedigree in the bargain, value wines. This one was easily worth the $11 that the litre will set you back. I wouldn't have a problem opening another box given similar circumstances.

I can't really say the same thing about wine number two.

570. 2008 French Rabbit Cabernet Sauvignon (Vins de Pays d'Oc - France) 1L

This is probably more along the lines of what most people generally think of when they conjure up boxed wine. The French are making conscious efforts at improving their more basic table wines. I think they're going to have to keep tweaking this one. If the Lizard wasn't going to spook Bordeaux producers, this Cab isn't likely going to elicit even a "spit in your general direction" by Left or Right Bank chateaux.

Something tells me that there were more medals being won by the athletes that wandered these paths during the Winter Olympics than either of these wines will win. In fact, if the box of Rabbit hadn't told me it was a Cab, I wouldn't have guessed that in the least. Ah well, just like at the Olympics, you win some, you lose some.

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