Monday, September 5, 2011

BBQ - Vixen Style

The sis, Vixen, tossed us an invite to drop in for a long weekend BBQ. Little soirées like this used to be regular events in her past, pre-kiddie life. They're not so consistent anymore - or maybe, Boo and I just never seem to make it (or aren't being invited). In any event, we made it this time and I think it's the first dinner at her place in years (for this blog anyhow) that hasn't involved Easter bonnets, Thanksgiving turkeys or Christmas gifts.

She'd planned to use an stalwart from my old Dacquiri Bash days - speed croquet - to get folks in the mood. Turned out, however, that either we're too old or it was just too hot to go running around the backyard and chugging the drink o' the day after hitting the end posts. Particularly when you could choose to just sit back in the shade and have a glass of wine or a beer.

It was a good opportunity to add some neat bottles to The List though, especially when The Guru and his Bride of Frank'n'Wine showed up, after the recent European trip, with a couple of treats from Guru's well-endowed cellar.

910. 2010 Young & Wyse - Amber (VQA Okanagan Valley)

This is the second time a bottle of Young & Wyse bottle is being added to The List. The first was a Merlot that we quaffed during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The relatively new winery was much anticipated seeing as how the Wyse part of the team is a member of the family that pioneered the growth of Burrowing Owl - one of the few wineries in the province that actually achieved something of a cult following.

As each year goes by, more BC wineries seem to be introducing a blended white. This second Young & Wyse addition to The List is a rather unconventional blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer (47%, 38% and 15% respectively) and it's named after Stephen Wyse and Michelle Young's daughter. In general, I'm partial to these blends as they seem to confirm that the strengths of each of the varietals can help bring out the best in the resulting wine. This wine is no exception. The winery doesn't produce varietal white wines yet, but my guess is that they wouldn't match the complexity of Amber. It was bigger than a lot of summer sippers, but I didn't notice any complaints in the back yard.

As mentioned, Guru and Bride recently returned from a bit of a field trip in Burgundy and Italy and they definitely had some fun wine stories to tell, but they also brought along a couple of bottles that I likely wouldn't have seen otherwise.

911. 2005 Domaine Philippe Girard - Premier Cru - Les Peuillets Vielles Vignes (AOC Savigney-Les-Beaune - Burgundy - France)

The (still) happy couple - maybe that's why Bride-y hasn't changed her blog name yet - are self-proclaimed Burg-hounds. They love their Burgundy wines and they brought along a bottle not only from the notable Côte de Beaune district, but also from the heralded 2005 vintage. I was rather glad when the Guru said that he wasn't overly enthralled with this bottle, because it didn't do a lot for me and I didn't want to offend him by saying so. Not that he would have cared - but he might have decided to rescind my invite to tour his cellar.

For those not totally fluent in winespeak, a red wine from Burgundy is invariably going to be a Pinot Noir. There are exceptions, but we won't concern ourselves with that because this was definitely a Pinot. The label indicates that the grapes are from old vines ("vielles vignes") and the website states that those vines are 60 years old. And, then, the winery, itself, has seen the winemaking tradition passed down from father to son for over five centuries.

At $50 a bottle in our market, I don't think it's a wine that I'd run out to buy for a future occasion.

Pretty nice offering for a backyard BBQ though.

912. 2008 Ricasoli Brolio (DOCG Chianti Classico - Tuscany - Italy)

The Chianti was more successful on the palate than the Burgundy - and I'm not always the biggest fan of Chianti. Maybe, in this case, the Italians had just had a little more practice than the French. Dme. Philippe Girard may have been around for five centuries, but Barone Ricasoli claims to be the "fourth longest-lived company in the world and the second in the wine sector." It is the oldest winery in Italy and "the name, Ricasoli, has been linked to wine since 1141, when Brolio Castle passed into the hands of the Ricasoli family."

Now, thatsa pedigree. Our BBQ offerings weren't exactly classic Tuscan cuisine, but the Sangiovese matched up well enough to "beat" the French. And what true blooded Italian wouldn't revel in that feat.

I'll freely admit that Boo and I were among the early departees from the BBQ. In my defence though, most of her other guests live closer and I WAS DRIVING. So, it's not as if I'd be able to drink and blog another bottle.

To top that off, if my time and efforts aren't related to this blog, there's not a whole lot of reason to stick around. Is there? (Just kidding Vixen)

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