Monday, January 3, 2011

Taking a Cab to Cuba

A couple of months back my folks announced that, along with one of my aunts and her travel agent daughters, they'd made arrangements for everyone to join up for Christmas in Cuba. Now, this is not an approach to spending the Christmas holidays that I'd ever seen this family embark on before - I mean like never before.

Naturally, the planners chose the one spot in the world that Boo, being an American, can't go. So, that created a bit of a dilemma for me. Join up with thirty-some-odd relatives for a first time ever Christmas extravaganza and leave Boo behind or miss out on the Cuba trip to stay home with my man.

Were the organizers trying to tell us something?

As you might guess from this post, he "prodded" me into the limo that my sis, Vixen, arranged to take us out to the airport. Whether he was jockeying for an extra special Christmas present or just being the magnanimous sort that he is, he said, "You need to go with your family. I'll try to pick up a couple extra shifts at work." "Just leave a couple of good bottles behind for me to drown my sorrows with." I might have made up the last sentence but it was intimated amongst all the goodwill sentiments.

Regardless of everyone's motives, it's off to Cuba and a week on the Veradero beaches. I figured that, since I'm going anyways, I might as well start things off on a good foot - and what better starting point could there be than a little celebratory bubble in the limo?

684. N.V. Greg Norman Sparkling (South East Australia)

I'd tried this Pinot Noir/Chardonnay, classically made sparkler a couple of years back at an Aussie wine tasting - and quite enjoyed it. I could never find it for sale in our market though. When I finally saw it on a local shelf a month or so ago, I grabbed a bottle.

Greg Norman, our golfer, cum wine connoisseur, is often perceived as another wannabe, celebratory winemaker, but he seems to be making a bit of name for himself off the golf course. Starting in his native Australia, he now has a second facility making Californian wines as well. He says on his website that he was "introduced to wine and the appreciation of a good bottle of wine back in the 70's when he started playing professionally in Europe."

I figure that he's probably celebrated enough wins on the links that he knows a bit about bubbles. This bottle's a medium bodied wine with a clean finish and a slightly off-dry profile. Very approachable if your tastes don't insist on sparklers that are biscuity with tart acids. Not overly exciting as far as the bubbles - or mousse - goes but it still plays true to sparkling wines.

I just know that there were only three of us enjoying it in the limo and the bottle didn't even last all the way to the airport. We could easily have done some damage to a second bottle - and I've realized that this could be a long trip.

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