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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Coming down off the Christmas high

The garage is overloaded with bags of crumpled wrapping paper and folded-up cardboard boxes for next week's recycling. The fridge is bursting with poultry remains, congealed side dishes and a Terry's Chocolate Orange I'm trying to ignore. Hubby has satisfied his Boxing Day urge for electronic gadgetry and is now fully prepared to welcome his HDTV with open co-axial cables. The Doodle has watched Wall-E so often in the past few days that I now hear her muttering "caution: rogue robots" to herself, in the same computer-generated drone from the movie. (And that was my gift from Santa!)

Me? I'm gleefully and gratefully poring over all the goodies Santa and Co gave me. Christmas isn't just for kids - it's for winos and foodies, too.

I've got plenty of reading to do over the next little while: Women of the Vine (Deborah Brenner), the Devil's Food Dictionary (Barry Foy) and the Wine Snob's Dictionary (David Kamp and David Lynch). Not to mention a subscription to Vines magazine, the first issue of which I am giddily anticipating.

New gadget: the Vinturi wine aerator that claims to deliver just the right amount of air as you pour wine through it into your glass. Instant decanting, no muss, no fuss. Keep you posted on how that works out. I am also now a full-fledged member of the National Capital Sommelier Guild, which organizes tasting events several times each month, providing ample opportunities to get in on Vintages pre-releases, try rare wines and hob-knob with other sommeliers, enthusiasts, students and wine-minded folks.

And, of course, there were a few bottles under the tree: Huff Estates 2007 Riesling Off-Dry; Huff Estates 2007 First Frost Vidal (SCORE!!! Mum found it at a gift/wine shop in C'town, of all places. Go figure.); Bouchard Pere et Fils 2007 Pouilly-Fuissé; and Errazuriz Max Reserva 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. To top it off, I have a spree at LCBO to look forward to! (Many, many thanks to M&D, MIL, Hubby, Bro and Dave!)

We indulged in a Louis Bernard 2006 Chateauneuf-du-Pape with Hubby's tourtiere on Christmas Eve. You wanna talk good matches? This was marvellous. Aromas of roses, mincemeat, cranberry and cherry, with more of the same plus chocolate, blackberry and spirits on the palate. It positively screamed 'festive'. Had a bit of a chalky mouthfeel at first, but finished up warm and smooth.

Christmas Day featured Clos Jordanne's 2006 Chardonnay and the '06 Charmes Gamay Droit, which were enjoyed by all. Also tried an apple-cranberry wine from Strathmore Orchard and Winery in Monkland, just outside of C'town. A little too bitter on its own, but tasted great with Mum's homemade zesty cranberry sauce.

We rolled our bloated selves away from the table after the carcass was picked clean and proclaimed the day a success. Doodle was so happy, she suggested we watch Wall-E. Again.

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