Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spot Prawns and Tantalus - Tantamount

We never throw any shrimps on the barbee during of visit Down Under. So, what better preparation of last night's leftover spot prawns could there be?

As a local resource, spot prawns didn't garner local praise until recent years. The Spot Prawn Festival and higher end restaurants starting to prominently feature and advertise exciting dishes has definitely changed that. I adore the spot prawn season and am ever-so-glad that virtually the entire catch no longer goes to Japan.

They can be prepared in so many delicious ways and they match up beautifully with so many BC wines. Throw on a little olive oil and garlic - the prawns, not the wine - BBQ them up and serve them with some chilled wine on the patio. It's a match made in heaven.

We might have gone with an Aussie wine last night, but we returned to our BC roots tonight.

1142. 2008 Tantalus Riesling (VQA Okanagan Valley)

One of my favourite dishes deserves a favourite wine as well. I've added a couple of Tantalus wines to The List already but that was some time ago at #230 and #872. It's not like I can add huge numbers to The List, however, Tantalus only makes five still wines - Chardonnay, Dry Rosé, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Old Vines Riesling and their total production, all in, is less than 2000 cases. (I won't even list the two icewines and sparkling wines because they make so little of it that it's almost impossible to find them.)

The winery's vineyard is considered one of the great Riesling sites in the Okanagan. The site was originally planted with grapes in 1927 - long before anyone had even thought of the Okanagan as a wine region - and is one of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in the the province. Those original vines weren't the vinifera varietals that we see planted today however. Tantalus has some of the oldest Riesling plantings in the province but even those only date from 1978.

Tonight's wine isn't the Old Vines Riesling though. Tantalus Riesling uses the fruit from the 1985 and 2005 plantings and, I think, is actually more approachable for drinking at earlier stages. This bottle had a bit of age on it as well though. We tried this '08 back at a BC Wine Appreciation Tasting back in 2009 when it was a favourite of the crowd in a blind tasting when it was paired with two Aussie Rieslings and a French Alsatian wine. I'm a little surprised, actually, to find that we still had a bottle.

It still held up nicely though. Tantalus is known for its bracing acidity and the extra years had softened that acidity up nicely.

The BCWAS is hosting another joint tasting with the French Wine Society and they're going to feature a blind tasting of Tantalus and French wines. You know I'll be there and will be looking forward to it.

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