Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bubbles, Biceps & Beads

It's time for yet another Pride Parade and this year's edition just goes to shows that, even when the basic show remains the same, there are always new and exciting aspects to the party. Firstly, we were lucky in that Boo didn't have to work this year! We were doubly lucky in that Miss Jaq joined us for the third year running.

Last year, we had a great little time setting up shop outside Lady Di's and She Who Must Be Obeyed's home. Despite the fact that the gals were away partying in Chicago for the weekend (poor timing if you ask me), they let us use their place as home base. I don't think they knew, however, that we'd be moving a healthy selection of garden furniture down to the street to set up a more festive and comfortable viewing station.

It certainly gained the respect of neighbours and passers-by. Plus, the primary bonus was that we were more prepared this year and we were able to bring along some vinous libations and go cups to make our party juice not so noticeable - a far cry from last year when we were limited to pre-Parade Mimosas and a bottle of wind-down wine. There is a certain cachet in toasting the better floats and costumes.

880. NV Voga Italia Sparkling (Trentino - Italy)

I figured it's a festive celebration, why not start off with some bubbles. From the time I saw the first stylish bottle of Voga Italia's product on the local shelves, I thought they've perfectly captured a marketing tool that could serve them well if the wine's any good. Their original bottles stood out enough on their own, but the Sparkling bottle kicked it up another notch.

What more could you ask for at a gay extravaganza - bubbles with style?! The wine's a simple Chardonnay & Pinot Grigio blend made by the Charmat method (a simple injection of carbon dioxide into the finished wine) which is the same method used for Prosecco. Knowing that, I'd pretty much expected a Prosecco-like wine and that's what it was - although perhaps somewhat drier than most of the Prosecco's found in our market. It certainly served the purpose of getting us primed for the main event.

881. NV Segura Viudas Brut Rosé (D.O. Cava - Spain)

As for the second bottle, it might not have been as stylin' as the Voga, but it was bubbly and it was pink. So, I figured it's Parade-worthy as well. By the time I was able to slip away and open it, the parade was well under way (after all I didn't want to draw even more attention to ourselves than our little suite had already managed). Just down the street from us, the cutest little fairy was enjoying herself almost as much as the big fairies were. So, I had one of our more colourful neighbours pose for a picture with her. This is a simple example of how wonderful the Parade can be.

Then again, the floats packed with dancing boys are another kind of wonderful all together. Part of our exterior design was a BBQ which allowed us to grill up lunch for our happy crew. This particular float just left me wondering how their wieners compared to our's. Nasty? You bet, but if you can't laugh at the Pride Parade, when can you?

As was to be expected, the colour and the colourful just kept coming and coming. There were plenty more pictures to add to this post - but I suppose the blog is as much about wine as it is about the events we drink it at and the people we drink it with. So, I'll move on to our third bottle and, by now, all the beef sausage at lunch (and beefcake in the Parade) had us thinking red wine.

882. 2006 St. Hallett Faith Shiraz (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Big and bold, we all needed a little Faith to keep our collective energy up. By now, our neighbour Red and her gal pal, Venus - two ladies that could challenge any of the dancing queens that I know had joined up with us, as had my niece, Stargirl, and some of her friends. A couple hours of dancing, clapping and catching beads can tucker an old guy out you know. Well, okay, maybe not really, but man does not live on bubbles alone. At least not this man.

As things wound down and we started getting close to the end of the parade, we finished off the last of the Faith and started working on the dismantling of our little sidewalk suite. We had at least two other groups say that they wanted to join with us next year in creating an even more festive party zone. In fact, I think they were more akin to challenges being issued. You know - same time, next year - but anything you can do, we can do better. Sounds like fun. Hopefully, Lady Di and SWMBO are still game. Maybe a few mirror balls and lasers?

Once we had everything back in the garden where it belonged, we hiked on down to the Pride Festival to check out the crowds and enjoy a final bottle of wine.

883. 2008 Puerto Bonita - Vinos Sin Ley - G5 (Vinos de Madrid - Spain)

Another appropriately named wine for the day - "Vinos Sin Ley" translates as "Wines Without Law." Naturally, all of this sipping on the street and at the Festival's beach parkside is completely frowned upon by the state. But, sometimes, a guy's just gotta do what a guy's gotta do. I've added at least one other Vinos Sin Ley wine to The List and I'm bound to do so again because I'm quite enthralled with their take on "creative innovation using nonconventional methods of harvesting, fermenting, blending, ageing and labelling." With Spain taking on an ever-increasing presence in global recognition for its wines, new takes on old methods can be invigorating.

Their G series of wines are all based of Garnacha (or Grenache) - just as the M series features Monastrell (or Mourvèdre wines). On the hillside, the girls weren't enjoying the G5 as much I was, but that might have been because Red and Venus had a dinner party they had to rush off to and they still hadn't been able to find the Trojan boys that were out and about. Venus was sure that at least one of them had to be straight because he was pointing his big sword at her during the parade and smiling.

We can all dream, can't we?

What do you say? Same time, next year? I, for one, can't wait.

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