Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pie & Wine

Two neighbourhood holiday bashes in two weekends. What's with that? You might actually start thinking that we like our neighbours.

But, how can you not get excited about a "Pie & Wine Party?" OK, so I don't think I've ever been to one before, but I like pie and I love wine; so, what's not to like?

This time around, it's not a group affair but a more manageable house party being hosted by Nature Boy and Mr. Principled. There was a pie sale fundraiser at work and Mr. Principled did the right thing and bought a full selection of pies for the evening - even so far as to have a gluten-free crust and sugar-free filling available.

This was not necessarily an evening to attend if you're at all concerned about fitting that Christmas party dress or New Year's Eve tux - unless you have some serious self control. The pies were all made by a collective of grannies and stay-at-moms and you know that they had their pie crusts down and flaky. It was sort of like Lay's potato chips - you couldn't only eat just one piece.

N.V. Civ & Civ Lambrusco di Modena - Amabile (DOC Lambrusco di Modena - Italy)

There were plenty of wines to go with all the pies as well but, wouldn't you know it, I started with a non-vintage wine that I've already added to The List. They may have changed the label and the district may have received DOC appellation status since I added it as #590, but it's still the same wine and I can't (not even as a Christmas present to myself) add it to The List a second time.

I was rather rushed at the time I wrote about the earlier bottle though (note to self: when aren't you running behind with these posts?) and didn't say anything about the wine. Lambrusco is both a grape varietal and a type of wine that is made from the grape (and/or its many clones). The wine can often be found in a somewhat sweetened version, called amabile, that has some slight frizzante or sparkle to it. At one point in the 70's and 80's, Lambrusco was the biggest selling Italian import in the US. Not so much any more.

I don't recall going gaga over the bottle we'd previously tried and I can't say that this bottle did a whole lot for me either. If I'm thinking about a fizzy red, I'd definitely lean more to a Brachetto d'Acqui or a Sparkling Shiraz. The sparkle for the evening, therefore, needed to come from the conversation and with neighbours such as Nature Boy, Rock God and Shameless Hussy in attendance, you know there's going to be no shortage of things to talk about.

1019. The Fort Wine Company - Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry 180 (Fraser Valley - BC)

Unfortunately, the second wine that I tried tonight didn't do anything more for me than the Lambrusco did. Mr. Principled said that this bottle was sold to him as a dessert wine. I don't know what kind of desserts the clerk likes to eat - but they sure can't involve sugar at all. At least the winery website refers to this as a "table wine" and not a "dessert wine." Although some might take it as a good thing that the wine truly reflected the base flavours of the fruit it was made from, if you want to imagine this wine, just imagine biting into a raw cranberry. Not my favourite flavour profile for a beverage (although I do like cranberries floating in my Metropolitan martinis).

The winery was started back in 2001 when tugboat captain and cranberry farmer, Wade Bauck, had an abundance of cranberries. He has since expanded into producing six table wines - from cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, pears and apples - and five dessert wines - again from cranberries, blueberries and apples and raspberries and blackberries as well. I didn't see a vintage on the wine label but I did not the number "180." I'm not sure if this is maybe the 180th bottling of the wine or something like that but I can't say as I'll be worried about rushing out for another vintage so that I can add that bottle to The List. Not so likely.

Al lin all, not the best night for new wine sensations. Good thing I like the neighbours.

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