Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Wine-Fueled Culture Crawl

The last thing that Boo said to Mr. D. as he headed off to work was, "Don't let him buy anything." And, for once, Boo wasn't even talking about wine. Mr. D. and I were going to wander around some and take in part of the East Side Culture Crawl. The Crawl is in its 14th year and has become a highly anticipated weekend for the Vancouver's often sombre Novembers.

The Crawl is a three-day event that sees upwards of 300 artists - of all types - open their studio space to the thousands of visitors that take in the painting, jewelry, sculpture, woodwork, photography or any other type of medium that one of the East Side artists has decided to dabble in.

I don't know what Boo was afraid of. It's not like I buy art like I buy wine. Turns out, however, that he might have known a little of which he spoke.

Mr. D. and I were going to be wandering buildings and studio on a wet Friday night; so, we took a little encouragement along with us. It wouldn't have been possible to wander around with wine glass in hand, but taking along a couple of travel coffee mugs is a whole other thing.

653. 2009 Edgebaston The Pepper Pot (W.O. Stellenbosch - South Africa)

I haven't added many South African wines to The List; so, it'd be nice to spend a little more time on this wine, but that might have to wait. I see Edgebaston has a "Honey Pot" as well. Maybe a further look at the winery can be completed should we open a bottle of that. In the meantime, winemaker, David Finlayson, refers to this as a "fun, funky blend" of Rhone varietals. It's meant to be all about bringing out the pepper, spice and primary fruit in this Syrah, Mourvedre and Tannat blend (65/28/7). I've never associated the Tannat grape with the Rhone, but Finlayson is also quoted as saying, "Don't think about it. Just drink it." I can go with that.

I do find it interesting that the wine has made it to the Vancouver market when only 1000 cases were made. We're a long ways from South Africa - especially when we're only talking a thousand cases.

There wasn't much opportunity to talk wine with our busy schedule at hand. There was even less chance that three hours or one bottle of wine would be enough to visit all of the artists - but we did manage to fit in just enough on our tour to get into a bit of trouble. Through his association with the Board of Friends For Life and the fundraising Art For Life, Mr. D. has come to know a couple of the artists who's studios we visited. I love the bright colours that Carla Tak includes in her palate and when I saw a small piece for a reasonable price, I felt I needed to pick it up. I was pretty sure that Boo would understand - and, after all, I could always blame it on the wine.

There was a second piece, however, that was a little grander in scope. I have been intrigued by Eve Leader's distinctive paintings for a number of years - ever since she had a piece that caused a bit of a bidding war at Art For Life. Her art definitely isn't for everyone, but I find it compelling and have wanted a piece ever since that first night. Mr. D. and I did find one painting that fit my sentiments nicely - but even I knew better than to spend the more-elevated sticker price on this piece without a bit of consultation at home. Blaming a purchase on the wine wouldn't quite cut it in this instance.

As you can see by the photo accompanying this posting, I got the "go-ahead" to go back the next day and pick up the piece. Not that the painting will ever be a particular favourite of Boo's. The issue now is just to find some wall space for it.

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