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 or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Friday, August 22, 2008

W(h)ine and Dine

There are just some days when I want to hang up the Mom hat for good. Between shouldering the burden as acting chief at work, and the Doodle’s latest predilection for excessive drama over every single thing (I want to wear a dress! I DON’T WANT TO WEAR A DRESS! No Mummy, you CAN’T TOUCH THE BUDDIES! That doesn’t go THERE, Mummy! I want my Daddy!!) I was ready to tap out.

Luckily, so was my friend, so we declared last night kid-free and got together on the back patio of Fourth Avenue Wine Bar. (We had originally planned on trying out the new B Sides Wine + Small Plates, but its opening has been delayed once again. All good things to those who wait.)

We jumped right in with our orders and immediately let loose with the venting. Over rants about temper tantrums and potty training, I sipped on a Le Ballerine 2007 Pinot Grigio (Italy), which was exactly what I needed right then: citrus, floral, light, refreshing. Nothing super-duper, but certainly a good patio quaffer.

Once the first round of kvetching was complete, I moved on to a Fleur de California 2005 Pinot Noir. A lot more subtle than the usual California approach to pinot noir; the server described it as being more French in style than American. The nuances of the terroir came through a little bit at a time: flinty and earthy at first, then showing tart cranberry and cherry flavours. Light to medium bodied, bright ruby colour, with a soft, easygoing finish.

All this was accompanied by a spread of luscious tapas plates: sage and lemon meatballs; chipotle shrimp; melted goat’s cheese with balsamic-drizzled crostini and plum compote; and the ever-popular Mediterranean plate. We shared a dense slice of carrot cake for dessert, paired with a Southbrook 2005 Framboise that tasted like a grown-up version of the Smuckers stuff you drizzle on top of ice cream. Oh, yum.

Night had crept in while we ate and drank; the twinkle lights strung around the balcony came on, casting a soft glow. With our major crises relegated to their respective pigeon holes, and our tummies filled with goodness, we were ready to return to our offspring with a fresh frame of mind and renewed stores of patience.

Until the next meltdown, of course.

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