Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do or Die - It's Game 7

What is it about the Chicago Blackhawks that just scares the bejeezus out of Vancouver Canuck fans? It might have something to do about the fact they're the team that have unceremoniously knocked the Canucks out of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the last two years. Might it be that, at times, they seem to have a way of making our all-star goalie, Roberto Luongo, look completely out of place in a playoff drive? Could it be that they're the defending Stanley Cup champions? Or, maybe, it's just that our boys were up three games to nil less than a week ago and now the teams are tied at three games apiece.

Whatever it is, tonight's game is one of the most important in Canucks franchise history. Win and the Canucks have shaken the monkey that is the Blackhawks off their collective back. Lose and the city may just give up entirely on ever hoping that the Canucks will deliver a Cup in our lifetime.

In any event, I needed to bring out one more Red Rooster wine. I figured the Canucks need something a little new in their arsenal; so, why not open a bottle that I only picked up yesterday - a bottle, however, that is garnering all sorts of press in our wine news because it was just awarded a Gold medal in the world's largest competition for Chardonnay wines.

786. 2009 Red Rooster Chardonnay (VQA Okanagan Valley)

The Chardonnay du Monde competition was recently held in France and it pitted 914 different Chardonnay wines, from 38 countries, against each other. Not only was this Red Rooster the only wine from Canada to win a gold medal - and only one of 13 wines to win gold that didn't come from France - it was named one of the Top 10 wines of the competition.

And all that for $17.

I dare say the odds of the Canucks winning this Game 7 were somewhat better than those the Vegas handicappers would have given Red Rooster when they entered this competition. But winemaker, Karen Gillis, and her Red Rooster team put it together and produced a real winner.

Regular readers of the blog probably know that Chardonnay isn't my first choice of white wines. I could end up re-thinking that position a bit after tasting this wine. From the first sips, it had a real approachability and balance of fruit, body and acidity - with just enough of an oak presence that you knew it was there but with no "oak monster" domination.

And, then, just as The Big Game started, if the great taste of the wine wasn't a good enough omen, wouldn't you know, we could see from our seats in front of the big screen that a rainbow had just appeared in the sky.

To get the juices flowing even more, all the stars seemed to be aligning with an early goal by Alex Burrows and the Canucks!

All Canucks fans know that it ain't over until it's over and a one goal lead is simply a scary proposition. With only a couple minutes left in the game, the Canucks were on the power play and just as things really looked like the team would finally be able to dispatch the Hawks, the impossible happened. Chicago scored a short-handed goal, with only two minutes left, to tie the game.

When the Canucks were penalized in OT, I'm sure the entire city was just as dejected as I was. But seeing the boys kill off that penalty was as big a relief as I think I felt during the game.

Finally, anxiety gave way to exhilaration with another Burrows goal. The celebrations could begin. Really begin! The Chardonnay was long gone by Burrows' goal, but it sure seemed like the Canucks were every bit the world beater that the Red Rooster was.

I don't know if Karen Gillis is a fan of the Canucks or not, but the Canucks should definitely be a fan of this wine!

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