Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brazilian Fireworks

1208.  2011 El Porvenir de los Andes - Laborum Torrontés (Salta - Argentina)
1209.  2008 Haras Character - Cabernet Sauvignon-Carménère (Valle del Maipo - Chile)

Palliation & Fireworks

The fireworks are flying.

1207. 2007 Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo - Single Vineyard Malbec (Patagonia - Argentina)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ch. la Pelouse

1206.  Château Cambon La Pelouse Cru Bourgeois (AOC Haut-Médoc - France)

Just quickly - big nose - long finish - complexity - without the big fruit

Wine Blogging Wednesday 79 - What Would Miss Chatelaine Take a Tipple Of?

(sung to the tune of k.d. lang's Miss Chatelaine - with profound apologies)

Just a sip. Just two sips.
Lift the glass up to my lips.
I can't explain how much I love my Champagne.

Every time, I drink more wine,
I start to spin in rays of bubbly sunshine....

OK. OK. I realize you're likely wondering what the heck I'm going on about. Believe it or not, that was not a just discovered, long lost verse of a Canadian classic. It's Wine Blogging Wednesday 79 and the Brix Chicks, as hostesses of this month's confab, have invited everyone to imagine what wine they see their favourite literary characters sip away on.

As much as I love to read, I have to admit that I don't seem to make much time for it nowadays. I don't run out and grab the latest Oprah pick and my old book clubs definitely disbanded eons ago.

Luckily for me though, the Brix Chicks are taking a very liberal view on what constitutes a literary character - "any genre, any timeline, any story." They all count.

Seeing as how we just saw the lovely and talented miss kathy dawn lang in concert a couple weekends ago, I figured I could take my constant cravings for the gal and channel one of her classic characters - and most beloved songs.

Once transformed into Miss Chatelaine, you just know that the scene has to be awash in Lawrence Welk bubbles. (Am I dating myself? I swear it was my Mom that watched him, not me.) And the colour scheme is pink, pink, pink. The only problem is that our heroine can't afford to grace her escape with real Champagne on a regular basis. I fear she lives more in a reality where Baby Duck and Lonesome Charlie are the handiest bubbles of choice for the masses.

Tonight, however, our Miss C. is exploring new shores and celebrating with a sparkler that doesn't sport a capital letter "C," but does hail from an exotic land from across the globe.

1205.  N.V. De Bortoli - Emeri Pink Moscato (Australia)

Now, a Pink Moscato is about as far a cry from vintage Champagne as it gets, but let's face it, most unsophisticated palates love the thought of Champagne far more than they enjoy the taste. This De Bortoli, however, is perfect for gals like Miss Chatelaine, for easy sipping on the patio or for waltzing around the living room like a love-sick beauty queen. With a alcohol content of only 8%, it'll allow an awful lot of waltzing and sipping too.

Our Miss Chatelaine will see the persistent bead (or bubbles) and automatically think romance and Champagne. She's going to be swept away with the heady bouquet of roses. She'll think she's in heaven with the sweetness and ripe strawberries that will race through her mouth and she'll know that no one can accessorize like she can when they see that vivid pinky, salmon colour in her glass while wearing her pink tulle and feathers.

And she'll be right.

If it's not obvious to you, this is light and sweet, but it's also very tasty and would likely disappear quickly at any brunch or as an apéritif at a grand soirée - and you get all that at a price point that might allow you three bottles for the price of a real bottle of Champagne.

Think Sex and The City in a bottle and I think you might catch my drift. As much as I love a serious bit of bubble, the Emeri Pink Moscato will be an easy go-to for any of a number of events.

Miss Chatelaine would definitely approve. As for k.d., you'll have to ask her.

And, on that bubbly note, my thanks to the Brix Chicks for taking on this month's WBW. I see that they're scheduled to attend next month's Wine Blogging Conference in Portland, Oregon. With any luck, I'll meet up with them there and discuss a few literary favourites - or, better yet, a few favourite wines.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gruner Veltliner

1204.  2005 Rabl - Spiegel Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal - Austria)

The Fond Farewell

1202.  2011 Blasted Church Hatfield's Fuse (VQA Okanagan Valley)

1203.  2010 Garry Oaks Blanc de Noir (Salt Spring Island - Gulf Islands)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bring Your Own Wine Finally Arrives

Yippee, I say.

Out of the blue, the BC government has announced that restaurants are now allowed to permit patrons to bring their own wine with them for dinner. I don't know that there's enough out there yet in the government media release to grasp all the devils in the details, but my initial reaction is hella favourable.

I haven't been privy to much opportunity at BYOW. In fact I can only remember one occasion when dining in Vancouver - and that was because I knew the restauranteur and it was a special occasion. There's certainly no chance of us ever having been able to buy a bottle of Penfold's Grange at full mark-up (mind you we didn't even buy the bottle in the first place but that's another story). I have, however, enjoyed BYOW when Down Under where it is far more common.

Now, I know that restaurants often rely on wine sales for a good percentage of their receipts, but I have to admit that, on occasion, I feel taken advantage of with some restaurant markups. I quite looking at restaurant reserve lists but I rarely actually order from them. It's not that difficult to figure out mark-ups when all the wines being offered are obtained throughout the provincial distribution system. Once those markups start hitting 150% and higher though, I kinda lose some of the enjoyment of eating out. I recall one lovely dinner where I figured out that the markup was about 250% above the bottle shop price. We darned nearly stuck to water.

I think being able to bring along a nice bottle from the home "cellar" is going to give us the opportunity to enjoy some special wines while letting someone else cook a marvellous dinner. I like that thought.

Those devils and details, that I mentioned earlier, will definitely still need to work themselves out though. The whole concept is a voluntary program and each restaurant can set its own parameters - such as the actual corkage fee, whether you can bring bottles that are already on the restaurant wine list or whether another application might come into play.

No doubt we'll see a lot of discussion over what will be considered proper etiquette. I just know that I'm looking forward to our first opportunity to try BYOW out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wash CAb

1201.  2005 Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley - Washington State)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AWAS Thorne-Clarke Dinner

Another post that I will have to expand upon.  An Australia Wine Appreciation dinner with Thorne-Clarke out of the Barossa and another "milestone" of a number on The List.

1200. 2003 Thorn Clarke Shotfire - Quartage (Barossa - Australia)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

C&C Charity Dinner

I definitely need to get back and write this one soon.  It was not only a bang-up of an evening, but I'm adding some interesting wines to The List tonight.  A Méthode Champenoise Peach Wine, a Hawaiian Pineapple wine and a Hungarian dessert wine.  Not standards in our household by any means.

1196.  Forbidden Fruit - Flirt Sparkling Peach (Similkameen Valley)
2009 Orofino Pinot Gris (Similkameen Valley)

1197. N.V. Tedeschi Vineyards - Maui Splash Pineapple Wine/Passion Fruit (Hawaii)

1198.  2008 Herder Meritage (Similkameen Valley)

1199.  2007 Késöi Szüretelésü Tokaji Sárgamuskotály (Hungary)

(And believe it or not I don't even get a new grape varietal for the the Wine Century Club. Apparently, Sárgamuskotály is a Hungarian name for Muscat à Petits Grains which I added awhile back.  Darn.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Giro di Burnaby

1195.  2011 Marqués de Cáceres Rosado (Rioja DOC - Spain)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To The Moon Norton

1194.  2009 Horton Vineyards Norton (North Carolina)

(When I finally get around to writing about this wine, I'm going to have to start with the fact that this bottle was way better than I expected. That being said, I won't be getting it shipped to us by the case. There was quite a nice nose but no real tannin to give the wine any structure.)

I do, however, get to add the varietal to my Wine Century Club tally.  That's the second new grape in a week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

k.d. lang live with a little Birthday Boneta

1191.  2011 Bella Sparkling Gamay Noir (VQA Okanagan Valley)

1192. 2010 Small Vineyards - Le Rote Vernaccia Di San Gimignano (DOCG Vernaccia Di San Gimignano - Italy)

(Boy, I need to write something about this one - if only because it gives me another varietal to add to my Wine Century Club tally)

1193.  2009 Hester Creek Cabernet Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley

Friday, July 6, 2012

International Kissing Day & Fried Chicken Day

Two days worth celebrating at once.  Eating Boo's fried chicken is definitely a kissable event!

1190.  2005 Lake Breeze Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley)

gorgeously full nose - but not over the top on palate - nicely balanced but still a fair bit of fruit

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Lt. Governor's Wine Awards

The 2012 Lieutenant Governor's Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wine were just awarded and to toast this year's batch of wining wineries and wines, Boo and I opened a winner from 2008.  This year, eleven wines were awarded the now prestigious award - with Painted Rock Estate winning two awards for the 2009 Syrah and 2009 Red Icon.  The other winning wineries saw some new and repeat winners.  They are:  Eau Vivre, Gold Hill, Hester Creek, Jackson-Triggs, laughing Stock, Poplar Grove, Road 13, Ruby Blues and Thornhaven Estate.

1189.  2006 Golden Mile Cellars - Black Arts Syrah (VQA Okanagan Valley)

As a quick side note, those in the know will recognize that Golden Mile Cellars is now called Road 13.  So, opening the Golden Mile tonight is likely all the more appropriate.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oysters & Anniversaries

1188.  2011 Joie Farm - A Noble Blend (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Canada Day & Euro Cup final

What can I say except that I'm completed confounded by the new interface that Blogspot has forced upon us!!  For the life of me, I can't figure out how to match up any of the writing to the sides of the pictures!  It's taken me an hour to try and figure out where to put anything here and I have to admit that I haven't got the slightest idea how any of the writing has actually shown up where it did.  

Something tells me that my catching up with the blog posts is going to be even more of a time-consuming task than I thought it might be. AAAAAAARRRRRGH!

1185.  N.V. Adriano Adami Dei Casel Extra Dry Prosecco (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG - Veneto - Italy)

1186.  2009 Castaño Hécula Monastrell (Yecla D.O. - Spain)

1187.  2004 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Brunello & Chop

1184. 2003 Altesino - Montosoli Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino DOCG - Tuscany - Italy)