Sunday, November 16, 2014

Two, Two Landmarks In One

As you'll note if you scroll down the blog through the more recent posts, I've taken some literary licence and jumped over a bunch of bottles that make up this 2001 Bottle quest. I promise you all the "missing" bottles were opened - and finished. I've just decided to try and stay a little more current AND flesh out those missing posts when I get a chance.

Part of the reason for doing so, was that I'd kind of lost track of what number I was at in my tally. A little sleuthing revealed that another landmark in the blog's tally had come and gone without me knowing it. Luckily, my #1800 bottle was befitting of that landmark number but I'm sure I was only so fortuitous because we were celebrating a landmark that night - my little sis, Vixen, was turning (ahem) 39+ (again) and we had a little surprise soirée for the young lass.

Despite the fact that she'd had a the biggest party of her life a couple of months back when she got married, she wanted a big party for her birthday. I told her that she shouldn't look to me because she'd exhausted that account when she "demanded" that we throw her a Jack & Jill shower before the wedding. She was so mopey though that I told her, if no one else threw her a party, I'd have her and Big Trucker over for dinner. Since we'd been talking about the possibility of have her friends, The Guru (as in wine) and Bride of Frank-n-Wine, over as well, she arranged for them to attend when it became apparent that there wasn't going to be any other party.

The only "problem" with the surprise plan was that Vixen was expecting a big dinner and hadn't eaten all day. Luckily, since we have neither the space nor the budget to throw a dinner party for two dozen folks, we were ready to keep a sufficient array of hors d'oeuvres going through the evening. Otherwise, Vixen was going to be a helluva hooched little sister. And, at her age, the morning after recoveries aren't as quick as they used to be. With all the kitchen and hosting duties, I didn't have time to drink all that many wines during the party - despite the large number of corks that were pulled.

In between kitchen and bar duty, overhearing conversations on Botox and everyone telling stories on how close folks had come to giving away the surprise element of the evening, I did manage to return to my glass enough to try these four wines:

1797.  2008 Desert Hills Cabernet Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley)

A number of Desert Hills wines have been added to The List over the years. Having Burrowing Owl and Black Hills as neighbours on the Black Sage Bench, they see their share of visitors at the winery and that's how we first ran across them all those years ago. This was a bottle brought by one of the party guests though.

I often find Black Hills' big reds to be a tad on the over-ripe side of things - all sorts of huge, dark fruit that I can find to be a bit stewed - but this blend was a little more subdued than their more premium Meritage blend, Mirage. Boo was more than happy to find a little more wine still in the bottle when he went to refill his glass.

1798.  2009 Giesen Marlborough Pinot Noir (Marlborough - New Zealand) 

The Guru brought this Pinot along (from his voluminous collection) and I think he might have discovered Giesen the same way that I did - at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a couple of years back. I think they've gained a bit of a foothold in the local market with their good value entry level wines. I don't get to sit back and sip with The Guru very often but I'm always intrigued to see what wine he brings along whenever we do get the chance. Interesting to see that he earmarked Giesen as well. - particularly since he's quite the pinotphile.

For some unfathomable reason, a lot of Vixen's gifts involved alcohol. Perhaps, in an odd way, she does take after her big bro. I know she was taken with the bottle of Marilyn Merlot that Boo and I gave her. Vixen has long had a jones for Marilyn Monroe. This was a perfect way to indulge two of her Vixen's great loves. I'm hoping she's going to open it when I'm around and can add it to The List.

Just prior to the slide show, gifts and cake, however, I presented Vixen with another special gift - and we immediately popped the cork - plastic though it was. Funny thing was that Vixen knew what it was before she'd even opened the gift bag.

1799.  N.V. Andrès Baby Duck (Canada)

As defined by Urban Dictionary: "cheap wine...younger kids drink it now for recreation. Older folks can't believe it's still around."

You would be correct if you raised your eyebrows, and thought this doesn't seem like a bottle that a supposed wine lover would celebrate with, when you saw a bottle of Baby Duck being added to The List. This particular bottle was given to me by Vixen when I turned (ahem) 39+ as a joke (I think). Surprisingly, we weren't quick to pop the cork. As I kept having to dust the bottle as time passed, I decided I might as well keep it and give it back to Vixen on her birthday.

Not many bottles of Baby Duck are aged for six years before they're opened. So, this is a very special bottle and, I feel, deserves to be on The List - even if it isn't as high falutin' as some other that have been added. I don't think, however, that Baby Duck is supposed to be as tawny coloured as this one was. Isn't it normally pinkish or something like that? In any event, there weren't many takers but Vixen and I toasted each other and then we added some Aperol and Orangiata to make a sort of Spritzer. It wasn't exactly the same as relaxing on a Venetian piazza, but it was tolerable enough that my niece, Stargirl, and her roommate, Five of Seven, each had a glass as well.

Baby Duck. Go figure. I'm just glad that it wasn't my #1800 bottle added to The List. Can you imagine the shame? As fortune would have it, #1800 was a pretty special bottle - but in a different manner from the Baby Duck being "special." Worthy of being a landmark number on The List, I'd say.

1800.  N.V. G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut (Champagne AOC - France)

We were pretty much down to immediate family by the time we popped the cork on the Mumm's. Vixen had brought this, thinking we might toast her b-day during dinner, and who were we to deny her that pleasure? I don't think you need me to tell you that the Cordon Rouge was head-and-shoulders better than the Baby Duck.

As tasty as the Mumm's was - and as fun as the gift opening and the slide show of Vixen's (ahem) years, the biggest screams of the night emanated from the kitchen when Vixen tried on Elzee's shoes - only to discover that they not only fit but that they were Manolo Blaniks. After watching countless seasons of Sex & The City, even I know that this is a big thing for gals that love shoes. Vixen certainly qualifies for that. I don't think, however, that Elzee agreed to loan them out - and I know she definitely wore them home that night.

All the same, Vixen was thrilled with her party and I'm pretty stoked to find out that (even if we didn't know it at the time) we celebrated another landmark number in the Odyssey with a stellar bottle of wine.

I'm going to keep much better track as the last landmark numbers approach so that I can give them their proper due. Now, I just have to find a way that I can keep a promise to stay ahead with my writing the actual blog posts. Given past history, that might not be as easy. Here's hoping.

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