Monday, April 18, 2011

A Game Day to Be Reckoned With

Talk about your busy days! By the time Game 3 between the Canucks and the Hawks was set to kick in (and another Red Rooster wine was to be opened), I was pretty much tuckered out. The things I'll commit to in order to keep this Wine Odyssey and the building of The List moving on... I tell ya.

First up was an early start to the morning and a decision to join 50,000 of my closest friends and subject myself to the inevitable aches and pains of the 10k Vancouver Sun Run - or, as I've taken to calling it, the Sun Dawdle. Now, there was a time that it would have taken a lot more than 10k to faze me - but those days are probably a decade and 20 some odd pounds ago.

I would never completely blame my "personal worst" time on this blog, but it's not too shady of me to say that, if I'd spent less time at the computer blogging and more time pounding the pavement to train, I likely wouldn't have been labeled the "old, fat, slow guy" at work. Even if it was me that coined the phrase.

After the Sun Run, I was ready for a drink - if not a nap - but I needed to get a few chores done before heading off to a small tasting at Marquis Wines in honour of World Malbec Day. I didn't even know that grapes had their own days, but, apparently, at least the Malbec varietal does. The organization, Wines of Argentina, christened April 17 World Malbec Day as a means of celebrating the emergence of the varietal as a global force in the wine world and of further marketing Malbec and its largest producer.

The Argentines must be doing something right because there isn't a bottle shop or restaurant in town that doesn't have an assortment of Malbec bottles to chose from - and, lately, not all of them have had to be at the cheap and cheerful level to succeed.

The tasting was short one, but I did discover another couple wines to look forward to in the future. For the here and now though, there was a housewarming to attend. Angel had purchased her Vancouver pied-a-terre downtown when she returned to Canada from being years abroad. Once it had been determined that her television would be big enough to permit a realistic viewing of Game 3, it was off to catch up with a bit of a reunion with a few of the legendary Kits Girls.

Having been most recently abroad in Italy, Angel has that continental appreciation of sparkling wines and she had more than a couple corks popping as Bella Jianna, RoZee, Flyboy B and Nor-ee helped christen her new abode.

773. N.V. Pasqua Prosecco Treviso Extra Dry (DOC Prosecco Treviso - Italy)

774. N.V. Sumac Ridge Tribute Gold (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Angel had grown to love Prosecco while living in Italy and she was especially happy to find this Pasqua at the recent Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival. Normally, Pasqua Prosecco isn't available in our market but the winery brought it in for the Festival and Angel strategically bought up more than her share of what was available.

With the Prosecco being lighter and fruitier, she followed it up with the more traditional bubble from Sumac Ridge. They may not be able to call it Champagne (since it isn't made in the Champagne region), but everything else about this bottle is classic. Sumac Ridge released two versions of Tribute for the 2010 Olympic Games held in Vancouver last year. We already tried the Silver label at Jeaux and Matinder's Olympic dinner (#346), but this was the "select" Gold label.

The hope with these two sparklers was that we'd not only match the bubbly personalities of the Kits Girls but we'd be able to toast some "golden" efforts by the Canucks when Game 3 got under way in Chicago.

775. 2009 Red Rooster Malbec (VQA Okanagan Valley)

776. 2006 Red Rooster Malbec (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Seeing as how Red Rooster is the companion winery for the Canucks' first round in this year's playoffs and how it was World Malbec Day, it only seemed natural that I bring along one of the Okanagan's first efforts at producing the varietal in Canada. The 2009 is the newly released vintage and I brought it along to serve up at Angel's. Turns out that I was home in time for the final period and Boo "insisted" that he get his fair share as well. So, we opened the 2006 that we had left in the cellar.

Now, you know it's hefty "wine time" if we bring out one of the few 2006 bottles still standing. 2006 was the first year that Red Rooster produced Malbec as a varietal wine. The vines were planted primarily to be used for blending in the winery's Meritage, but they found that the 2006 vintage was so tasty that they decided to bottle it as a varietal wine. Since our "baby" under Red Rooster's "Adopt-A-Row" program is one of the Malbec rows that went into the wine, we got first dibs at buying some of the limited production.

Luckily, we jumped at the chance and the wine went on to win a Gold medal at the 2007 Canadian Wine Awards and, perhaps even more prestigiously, picked up a Lieutenant Governor's Medal for being chosen as one of BC's top wines - only nine medals were awarded in 2008, the year Red Rooster's Malbec won.

With such an eventful day and all the great wine, it's almost easy to forget that there was a hockey game to boot. However, the Canucks lived up to the challenge and much to the delight of the city won their third straight game and - even if the win was a tad unexpected - this one was in the Windy City.

Do we dare hope that our boys can finally shake the playoff monkey - that is the Chicago Blackhawks - off their collective back? We'll keep toasting the Red Rooster and the team in the hope that they can.

No comments:

Post a Comment