Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Day to Take It Easy

It would seem that we successfully saw Vixen and Big Trucker married yesterday and I think we all needed a bit of a rest day. We made it home in the early afternoon which was perfectly timed for a late lunch on The Drive and an afternoon nap. Vacation or not, our #2Kangaroos (as they'd taken to calling themselves on Twitter) were just as pooped as Boo and I. Boy was I glad that I'd managed to get the day off of work.

Our evening ended up being just as laid back. It's amazing what a little al fresco and a night of TV can do to revitalize a tired puppy.

1659.  2012 Tantalus Rosé (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Rosé in the garden patio comes pretty darn close to my idea of summer perfection - particularly when it's a glass of Tantalus that you're sipping on. I have to admit that my mind immediately goes to Riesling when I hear Tantalus mentioned - and that's likely followed by their bubbly. Given the stellar reputation (well earned I might add) those wines have, it might be understandable that I sometimes need a gentle reminder that there's even more Tantalus wine out there to be sipped.

The Rosé is a blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. I can't think of many wineries growing Pinot Meunier in the Okanagan. My first thought, on hearing that Tantalus has some older vines (planted in 1985) still producing, is that they'd be using them in their sparkling program. That's not the case, however, at least not presently. The winery's bubbly is all Riesling. The Meunier is dedicated to the Rosé. Okanagan producers can be full of surprises; that's for sure.

I took the picture in front of our raspberry vines because it was a great reminder of the fruity acidity that is so abundant with the wine.

Following last night's banquet and our hefty lunch earlier in the day, our guests let me off easy for kitchen duty. They swore a little pappardelle and a simple tomato, basil and prosciutto sauce would be more than enough. So long as there was plenty of wine flowing as well.

I mean, duh.

Our next bottle wasn't exactly Italian, but I figured a Portuguese red can fill in on the odd occasion. I'd pulled this bottle out earlier in expectation of opening it for one of the World Cup games. Indeed, I'd expected to open a few Portuguese wines during this year's competition but their team was knocked out much earlier than expected - and I felt that I needed to open at least one bottle.

1660.  2006 Quinta do Crasto - Crasto (Douro D.O.C. - Portugal)

The Crasto is made from grapes that are well know in Portugal but they're largely unrecognized elsewhere in the world: Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional don't flow off the tongue nearly as easily as Merlot, Cab Sauv or Pinot Noir.

Having advised Merlot Boy and Margarita that Quinta do Crasto is a perennial favourite at the Vancouver International Wine Festival - particularly when Miguel Roquette is manning the tasting booth. A quick viewing of Miguel's picture had Merlot Boy ready to swear off Merlot and fly off straight to Portugal. Margarita said that he'd have to somehow manage to get there before her first.

The wine wasn't a hard sell.

I may have gotten off easy with kitchen duty but Boo decided to make his trademark pecan pie for our Aussie guests. Not that I'd ever try to dissuade him from making a pie.

1661.  2010 d'Arenberg - The Stump Jump Sticky (Adelaide Hills/McLaren Vale - Australia)

That pie is one sweet mother; so, any further wine would have to be just as lush. I'd run across a bottle of The Stump Jump Sticky and grabbed it. I'm an easy sell on stickies but I don't think even the Aussies had run across this one before. We were all intimately familiar with The Stump Jump as an every day bottle to be reckoned with, but a sticky from d'Arenberg was another thing.

The wine is a blend of botrytis affected Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon and Pinot Gris and is a relative bargain compared to Sauternes or to BC's icewines. It was tough to hold up to Boo's pie but it was a great finish to the evening as we did a bit of a binge viewing of more Archer episodes. Not only was the wine a sweet finish but we could only imagine how much fun Archer could have with a "sticky" wine. For those who are familiar with the show - "phrasing."

Good thing we had a relatively easy day though because we were scheduled to be back on the full ride with prepping for the neighbourhood Canada Day picnic now mere hours away. Heavy sigh.

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