Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quaff this: More birthday libations

My 32nd birthday celebrations have - after a long week of rollicking good fun - drawn to a close. The last of the festivities were held yesterday, with the fam. I offered up my house and my best dish, steak salad, to my guests, in exchange for the usual off-tempo, horribly out of tune rendition of "Happy Birthday". Oh, and the chance to slap my brother in the face with some cake. (I know I'll be paying for that later, but it was worth it.)

Mum brought a couple of stellar bottles up for the weekend, most notably a 2007 Marqués de Riscal from the Rueda region of Spain. The fragrant, perfumy blend of Verdejo and Viura grapes burst out of the glass before I could even get it close to my mouth. Light-bodied, with lots of peach and pear, delicate. But it's the aroma that really stands out and makes it an above-average sipper.

The other was a Tempranillo-Cab Sauv blend, a 2005 Bodegas Osborne Solaz. This went great with the steak; it showed off lots of fruit without being overpowering, and was grounded by a backbone of firm tannins. Medium-bodied, very versatile in terms of drinkability.

Then I got a bombshell dropped on me. Naked Grape's "Unoaked" Sauvignon Blanc. It was alright, certainly refreshing while I chopped up veggies and put out appetizers. Then I read the label, where my favourite line, "Cellared in Canada from Imported and Domestic Grapes", glared up at me. Gee whiz, Ma.

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