Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thanksgiving Transplant

We missed out on turkey dinner this year for Canadian Thanksgiving. I think we were likely dining on guinea pig, alpaca, blood sausage or the like in South America at the time. So, it was a welcome invite when Mimster and Mr. Cool announced that they had a turkey with Boo's name on it - not that they were calling him a "turkey" or anything. They just remembered his American roots and thought a gathering of the vacation photos was in order. We had South America. They had Cuba and the other guests, Spartacus and Diana, had Paris.

Mimster is known for her dinner table spreads and there was no disappointment on that front tonight Not only was there Boo's turkey, but Mimster had thrown in ham, sauteed brussel sprouts, baked and mashed potatoes and all sorts of other trimmings. Plenty o' food to give thanks for - and plenty o' spirits as well.

Mr. Cool and Spartacus are both known to like their specialty beers and scotch, but the evening's pours on that front, unfortunately, won't get more than a passing mention here. I'm having enough problem trying to keep up with the wine - let alone adding in all the other possible ways there are to pass an evening. We still managed to work our way through three wines though - all three from wineries that have seen at least one wine already added to The List.

647. N.V. Mionetto IL Prosecco (DOC Treviso - Italy)

Is there a more traditional way to celebrate, toast the good times and give thanks than with a little bubble? Things don't get much easier going than with Prosecco and this one from Mionetto is gentle, fruity and all about being good for almost any occasion. Not meant to compete with traditional Champagne, this wine is fashioned from the Prosecco grape in Northern Italy (above Venice). The winery uses the Charmant method to produce the sparkle in the wine - meaning that the second fermentation, that results in all the bubbles, takes place in a pressurized tank instead of individual bottles. Being a faster and easier process, it also allows you to buy more bottles than you could for the same price of Champagne. All the more to celebrate with.

648. 2007 Joie Re-Think Pink Rose (Okanagan Valley)(1.5 l)

It's not too often that the opportunity to open a larger format of bottle presents itself. Boo and I had this magnum (double bottle) of Joie Rose and figured a Thanksgiving dinner is about as good an opportunity as one can get. Rose, turkey, ham - sounds great to me. The winery's website states that they feel the Rose is likely their most versatile wine when it comes to matching it up with food.

You can tell that the folks at Joie take their Rose seriously. Not just a simple addition to a portfolio, made from excess grapes or juice, their Rose is predominantly a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir, with some Pinot Meunier and a bit of Pinot Gris added to flesh out the structure and flavours. A lot of thought goes into the wine. Indeed, Jurgen Gothe, one of Vancouver's most prominent wine writers wrote that he figures Joie Rose needs to be ranked as one of the best pinks in the world. Good thing we had twice as much as we would have normally had in a bottle.

We must have been enjoying the first wines just fine because I never even got around to taking a close-up picture of the evening's third wine. If you look carefully on the table in the accompanying picture, you can identify the bottle if you can get past the goofy look and the Joie.

649. 2007 Peter Lehmann Clancy's Legendary Red (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Believe me, it's not a deliberate slight on my part to give the Clancy's the short shift. I figure that, by the time we opened the red, we were already fully ensconced in dinner and there were more important things going on than a picture - like drinking the wine.

Lehmann wines have previously made The List and there are, no doubt, more to come. So, I won't go on about the winery or the man this time around. Continually referred to, in the wine press, as a "great value" or a "smart buy," Clancy's is well-known in our circles as a crowd pleaser if you're looking for an approachable red that still packs a punch. A take on the Australian tradition of blending Shiraz with Cab Sauv, the folks at Lehmann have added in some Merlot to soften the wine on the palate a touch.

So, all in all, it was a wine of good food, good company and good wine. Sounds like something worth giving thanks over.

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