Monday, August 2, 2010

Showing Our Pride

What better way could there be to start this year's Pride entry than with an advert from the Ontario Liquor Board that celebrates all things GBLT and cocktails of all persuasions. This may be a wine blog but I'm not sure that I match up with the ad's wine references. I'm fairly certain that I don't qualify as "a bisexual that can't decide between Cabernet or Chardonnay" and I can guarantee you that, despite having a distinct fondness for Rose this summer, I'm not one of "the trans folk who navigate the divide like a rose wine." I'll have to work on a witty catch phrase for Boo and I - or you can come up with one yourself. Best relate it to Riesling or Syrah though.

In the meantime, let's throw out a few gratuitous photos to support the two additions I am proud to bring to The List.

Unluckily for Boo, he had to work on this year's big day and the Parade, but, luckily for me, the lovely and talented Miss Jaq was in town and she was happy (if not downright gay) about joining me downtown for the Pride Parade. The Former Ms. WESA and KT invited Miss Jaq and I to their Pride Brunch where we had a great chance to prep ourselves for the big Parade with lively chat, tasty treats and Mimosas!

547. N.V. Freixenet Codon Negro Cava (Spain)

Good for both mimosas and simple sipping, this Spanish Cava is a great substitute for French bubbles. Very few folks would know what you were talking about if you said you were serving a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada, but our little brunch gang went through enough bottles to confirm that it's a blend that works.

As much as we could easily have lingered and increased our sparkle quotient, the beckoning fun on the street pulled us away from the comfort of the boys' deck-stravaganza. Considering it's likely the last brunch to be hosted by them in the West End, I'm glad we were able to drop in.

From the deck, we wandered down to the curbside real estate that Lady Di and She Who Must Be Obeyed had staked out - portable table and tiki umbrella setting a comfortable step up from the hard sidewalk. I particularly thought that the mini-mirror balls were a superb addition. As you can see, we arrived early enough to beat that portion of the 600,000 crowd that lined the route.

I suppose I need to breeze through the actual Parade because there weren't exactly any new bottles to add to The List. The Lady did offer "special coffee" but we didn't plan well enough to sip our way through all the life passing us by. Next year! We'll be better prepared.

I've always had a bit of a hankering for The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and I was glad to see that a new chapter had actually opened in Vancouver. Mr. D. and I (but particularly Mr. D) were actually blessed the night before by a novice sister of the Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe. I hope it's not our last encounter.

I thought this year's Parade was a ton o'fun. No doubt the Mimosas, special coffees and curbside seats all contributed to a little more dancing and interaction than usual. I thought that the costumes were better than ever - even if the dancing boy floats will never challenge T.O., NYC or Amsterdam.

Catching Elzee's ear during the Parade proved to be particularly beneficial on the bead front. One can never have too many beads - regardless of the dictates of the local gay rag's "boi about town" - who declared them passe. My guess is he's never even been to Mardi Gras. One can never fully appreciate the importance or joy of beads until Bourbon Street or the Krewe Parades are experienced.

The Parade was a long one this year but we managed to last until the last dancing boy wandered by. That was a bit of a feat considering that the Lady Di had to catch a plane that afternoon and we had to take down the curbside lounge.

Hopefully, we'll get another invite next year. We'll work even harder on the set up and party atmosphere.

Following the Parade, Miss Jaq and I wandered over to the Festival at Sunset Beach to take in the crowds and activities. It's become a new tradition of our's to grab a bottle of wine and sip on the hill as all the gay life wanders by and celebrates around us. We stopped at Marquis Cellars to pick up a bottle on our way to the beach. Our choice of wine did have a few selection parameters to keep in mind. One it was hot out, so a chilled white seemed useful. A screw-cap was rather critical. And Miss Jaq is partial to BC wines while at home. It wasn't an endless supply of options but we did pretty darned well.

548. 2009 Black Hills Alibi (VQA - Okanagan Valley)

Miss Jaq had never had a bottle of Alibi before, so I figured it time that she gave it a try. A blend of around 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, this classic white Bordeaux blend is a perennial BC fave. I remember that one of BC's better known wine writers once said that an earlier vintage of Alibi wasn't only a great wine, but might be the best white wine ever produced in BC.

That was a few years ago and I don't know if the same accolades are still being thrown about but Miss Jaq was pleasantly surprised and the wine was a great balance of cool, fruit and acid to pass some time among our celebratory friends.

Plus, we added another piece of sculpture from Vancouver's Biennale to our wine locales. Jaq didn't even know that the Biennale existed. She was totally intrigued because Abu Dhabi has gi-normous plans for its own Biennale in the years to come. This piece was right above our wine spot at Sunset Beach and seems to be one of the most appreciated pieces in the city. It's by Jaume Plensa of Spain and is called "We, 2008."

One last note for this entry. While Jaq and I were enjoying the Alibi, we were continually serenaded by heavy bass and dance beats. We went back up to Beach Avenue and an impromptu dance party had been set up by the Rave Babes. Miss J. and I joined in for so many songs - despite the fact that we were old enough to be parents to any of the dancing Rave Babes.

What was really a hoot was that this party was happening in virtually the exact spot where Miss Jaq and I watched our first Pride Parade together - maybe 25 years ago. We were sitting on the curbside (without all the accoutrements - or crowds for that matter) and a drag queen of the day walked by, smiled and pronounced with arms wide open, "Oh isn't that sweet, Milk and Cookies." One of my best Pride memories of all time.

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