Friday 27 August 2010

First Post!

Although I’ve been waiting for the “right” time, it seems that now is as good a time as any for my first blog entry! Only time will tell how long this lasts; maybe people will actually read it and find it helpful, or at the very least interesting.

Yesterday I took in two tasting events after a short hiatus: having spent almost my entire monthly wine budget in the first week of August I’ve been loath to enter a wine shop since! However, the prospect of an (unfortunately) rare BC wine tasting at the 39th Avenue BC Liquor Store was too much to pass up – a rare gem in the midst of the usual hard liquor mega-brands events held weekly. It ended up being an entertaining if not interesting visit, with six different local wines being sampled, for somewhat uncertain reasons. You see, it occurred to me later that the wines being tasted were perhaps those the LDB is trying to gently move along, either due to oversupply or older vintages (e.g., I got to try the Township 7 2006 Merlot, despite the 2007 being the current release).

Amongst the wines on offer was Gray Monk’s Odyssey Rosé Brut, a blend of Gamay and Pinot Meunier. Despite the painfully small teaspoon-sized pours (into chintzy plastic thimble cups) I was able to appreciate the creamy, “moussiness” of this classically-made sparkling wine. It is apparently on sale at present for $25 from $27, and is surprisingly rare – only 220 cases made. Side-note: Gray Monk just recently won a Lt. Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wine for their 2007 Odyssey White Brut, of which significantly more was made – 840 cases – and it’s also on sale for $25. Taylorwood Wines in Yaletown has a limited number of well-priced (about $45) magnums of this fine sparkler available, and I look forward to picking one up soon.

A second wine well worth mentioning is Road 13’s new red blend “Rockpile”. Although I had tried it before – and am currently holding a bottle to see what it’s like in a couple of years – I was provided the opportunity to try it with food for the first time. Although BC Liquor Store tastings lack the charm of real glasses, they do provide some often-tasty bites to accompany the wines; the advantage of having a full kitchen at the Signature Stores. Rockpile is part of Road 13’s new move to blends, whilst casting aside almost all of their traditional single-varietal wines (even their well-loved Cabernet Sauvignon). This intriguing mix has almost everything in it – 8 different varietals – ranging from Syrah (60%) to little touches of 1% Viognier, Grenache, and Mourvedre! It was being served with some charming mushroom and truffle oil tarts, and I’ve got to say the combination was fantastic! I can’t wait to grab a few more bottles for the long winter ahead, when it will go great with the many earthy casseroles and stews we always make – with plenty of mushrooms! My only concern for Rockpile is that Road 13 has a long road (sic) ahead of them convincing a sceptical public to embrace blends, which can be more intimidating for those used to single varietals, and past knowledge of what foods to supposedly pair them with. Given the massive quantities of Rockpile I’m seeing everywhere (they made 4,500 cases in the first year for goodness sake!) I hope they haven’t bitten off more than they can chew.

Tomorrow I’ll briefly write about the Stag’s Hollow tasting at Taylorwood I attended immediately after the Signature Store tasting, plus the three smart purchases I picked up while I was there.

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