Monday, April 6, 2015

Bunny Shades and Bubbles

Time for another family Easter dinner at my sister, Vixen's. She said that this year's was to be lower key and not as stress filled. That could only be less stress on the cooking and hosting side because there's no avoiding the inevitable stress that permeates Easter dinner with our family. After all, Easter dinner means making the cherished paper plate Easter bonnet. Never meant to be a competition, but you just know that the trash talk will be flying and that there's going to be judgment and ridicule to spare if your bonnet is anything less than spectacular.

To encourage greater ingenuity and cachet with our bonnets, everyone is allowed to bring along one embellishment - a little something to give you some added "Je ne sais quoi." I figured I'd snagged a real winner this year when I found a pair a bunny sunglasses. And, then, I had to let out a big, old "You Bitch!" when Vixen pulled out virtually the same glasses. So much for my unique extravagance and spectacular one-upmanship.

Good thing there was some wine to soothe my rattled nerves.

1889.  N.V. Stoneboat Faux Pas Rosé Brut (Okanagan Valley VQA)

I thought that I'd bring along a bottle of bubbly to help with the celebrations. Plus, Stargirl, my oldest niece, is starting to take a liking to wine and I thought a Rosé Brut would be a good fit for her, especially since this bottle is fashioned to be a bit of a BC Prosecco. The Faux Pas Brut Rosé is a fairly new companion bubble to Stoneboat's popular Piano Brut. Made in the Charmat Méthode, the winery website states that this classic method "is an ideal process for natural carbonation while preserving more youthful freshness and aromatics of the finished wine."

If the Faux Pas proves to be as popular as Piano, I'm sure the winery will be hoping to produce more than the 250 cases they managed with this vintage. This bottle went quickly enough with our gang.

1890.  2012 River Stone Pinot Gris (Okanagan Valley VQA)

River Stone is a small family owned winery that I ran across (literally) during last year's Half Corked Half in the Oliver-Osoyoos region. I think it's the northern-most winery on the Black Sage Bench, a little south of McIntyre Bluff and just north of Oliver. They were one of the wineries that had a "water" (read "wine") station along the route.

The Pinot Gris is one of two whites produced by River Stone (the other being a Gewürztraminer). The winery name alludes to the primary nature of the vineyard's soil and it certainly seems to lead to a more prominent minerality to the wine than is often found with BC Pinot Gris.

Thankfully, all the wine helps the imagination flow for our Easter Bonnet designs. Everyone is then expected to parade their bonnet at the start of dinner and, as Vixen delivered the evening's carrots in her finished bonnet, she was as proud as a peacock. Although I don't exactly see a paper plate incorporated into that bonnet. Looks like a disqualifying factor to me.

1891.  2009 Bodega Castillo de Maluenda - Punto Y Coma Garnacha Viñas Viejas (D.O. Calatayud - Spain)

Our last wine of the night was a big, fruit laden Grenache. It was probably a bit much for our dinner of ham but, as is often the case with Spanish Garnacha - full bodied or not - the wine can be sipped along all on its own.

Punto y Coma is one of the brands that produced by the Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón, a large collaboration of three wineries that joined, in 1999, together to further "develop the grape growing, wine production and commercialization" of wines for 34 of the 67 municipalities forming the Calatayud region. It would seem to be working for them seeing as how their wines have made it all the way to our little Canadian Easter Bonnet Parade.

And, the way I see it, the more wine that makes it the better because not only do all the bonnets look better after wine but you can always drink more if you need to assuage your wounded pride if your bonnet isn't as well-received as it so rightly deserves to be.

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