Friday, August 13, 2010

David's Thank You

It's hard to believe that almost year has gone by since we hosted Daveyboi's milestone of a birthday party. He's been trying to set up a dinner with us for months as a thank you. But between his being in and out of town continually for work and Boo's weird schedule, finding a suitable time was not the easiest of tasks. We finally managed to set up a suitable evening and, wouldn't you know it, during the afternoon Boo got mandated in to work nights. He managed to put off staffing until 11.30, but it also meant that he wasn't going to be able to slurp back on the vino like Daveyboi and I are wont to do when we get together (more so D. than me, but what's an extra glass or three between friends).

We started with some cocktails (okay wine) at Daveyboi's apartment and he'd been keeping a special bottle just for the occasion.

557. 2006 Bodega Pulenta Estate Gran Corte VII (Mendoza - Argentina) 1.5L

Daveyboi had been given this bottle as a birthday present last year and he kept it especially for this thank you dinner - and we were glad that he did. I knew nothing about Pulenta but Daveyboi had been told that there were an extremely limited number of the large size bottles produced and they aren't available in our provincial liquor stores. When I Googled the winery, I saw that there's another Pulenta winery in Argentina - and it has a wine or two in the Vancouver market - but it didn't produce this wine. Cousins or something like it.

It was a beautifully full wine that is largely a Bordeaux blend. By "largely," I mean that, as might be expected, Malbec plays a much larger role in the blend (45%) - after
all this is from Argentina - however, there is also a small portion (3%) of Tannat added in. That leaves the remainder to be divvied up by Cab Sauv, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

It was great of David to keep the wine for us to enjoy - because we did - however, he did save some of that 1.5L for some other friends as well. That just left us wanting more. Maybe when we head to Argentina in October.

Since the boi wasn't exactly ready for us when we arrived (he lives on West End time), it just meant that we had to open a second bottle of wine before we left the apartment.

558. 2008 Vinedos y Bodegas Pablo Menguante Garnacha (Spain)

Another new winery for me. What little I could find out was that it is a family owned winery in the Carinena region in Northern Spain. The Pablo family has a long tradition in the business and has been dedicated to biodynamic farming and viticulture for years.

The wines of the region are known for their characteristic intensity, although that traditional robust nature is evolving into a more fruit-forward, lighter, balanced wine. This one still has a pretty hefty profile for a Garnacha (or Grenache) - particularly when opened right after the Pulenta, but, for a Friday night before heading out to dinner, there were no complaints.

David chose to try Twisted Fork, a tapas-styled bistro on the Granville entertainment strip, that none of us had ever tried before. Atmosphere was great (despite, rather than because of, the drifter on the outside looking in on the background of our picture). Food was totally tasty - duck confit and lamb shank particularly hitting home. And really friendly service.

To top it off, we had another winner of a wine during dinner.

559. 2006 Pentage Syrah (Okanagan Valley)

We'd actually ordered this wine as the wine list was particularly BC-centric and this was one that jumped out at me as one that I hadn't tried previously. I knew of Pentage as a small producer from the Okanagan but not a lot more than that. I certainly didn't know that this bottle was a Gold medal winner at that All Canadian Wine Championship in 2009.

We thoroughly enjoyed it - both from the standpoint of drinking it on its own and pairing it with the food. I'm a little surprised that they're growing Syrah like this as far North as Penticton in the Okanagan Valley. Most of the better known Syrahs are a touch further South. Just goes to show how the Okanagan is full of surprises.

I'd easily go back again - to both restaurant and Pentage.

Big thanks to Daveyboi for a wonderful evening - although I did feel sorry for poor, old Boo since he had to behave, unlike Daveyboi and I, and head off to work once we left Twisted Fork. In a way it might have been a good thing for me. Had we been able to spend more time with the Boi, I would have been feeling way worse than I was the next morning.

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