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, February 15, 2015

My Bunker Valentine

Because nothin' says lovin' like visiting a fallout shelter.

Seventy-five feet beneath the frozen tundra of Carp, Ontario, in the dead of a most miserable winter, there was a party going on. Deep in the bowels of the Diefenbunker, a crowd of wineaux, Cold War enthusiasts, chocolate lovers and cheese aficionados were gathered for Savvy Company's 3 Steps to Survival: Wine, Cheese and Chocolate

This was one of those serendipitous occasions where both Hubby and I were in our elements. For someone who works in nuclear non-proliferation, the Bunker is a treasure trove of historical gems. He walked wide-eyed through the corridors, geeking out over the war cabinet room, decontamination showers and circa-1960s "high-tech" comm systems of typewriters, rotary phones and monochrome TV sets.

He gleefully pointed out our neighbourhood on a map of Ottawa marked with concentric circles denoting the blast radius of a five-megaton bomb. Yeah, we would have been toast.

The claustrophobe in me preferred the spacious interior of the Bunker's social hub, the cafeteria. Thoughtful interior decorators and psychologists had even added "windows" to the room, large prints of breathtaking Canadian landscapes designed to lighten the mood. (Never mind that those same vistas had likely been obliterated by the five-plus megatons of All Kinds of Wrong that sent you down here in the first place.)

Feeling stressed? Nukes got you down? Here, look at this pretty picture.
But the cheer level was definitely maxed out for tonight's tasting. Hardly the type of rations the Bunker's previous tenants would have been offered in the event of nuclear attack, they were perfect for a Valentine's date night: platters of bloomy, runny Rang des Îles (Fromagerie Médard), and morsels of  tangy Swiss-style Hillbilly, made from raw sheep and buffalo milk (Canreg Station Farm). My favourite pairing was the Montebello Rebellion 1837 blue with Rosewood Estate's glorious mead.

And oh, the chocolate. Honey-dipped orange peel in a midnight-dark robe, and Frozen-esque milk chocolate snowflakes from Stubbe. Lindt's classic black-label Lindor. Port truffles from the Swan at Carp. Ebony bark studded with coffee, toffee, sea salt, caramel and chocolate wafer bits from Baroness Chocolates. Ohm nom nom nom nom ...

Doom and gloom aside, the Bunker is a one-of-a-kind venue for events. They even do birthdays, Easter egg hunts and weddings. Oh, and on Halloween, they host the Zombie Apocalypse.

I can just imagine what good ol' Dief would think of that ...

What would Dief do? Hubby checking out the exhibits; they even have Lego!

Lighthall Vineyard "The Fence" Sparkling Rosé - Drawn from pinot noir and refermented in the Charmat style, this had a lovely nose of strawberry-rhubarb pie, fine mousse, faintly sweet fruit, and a crisp finish.

Lighthall Vineyard 2013 'Toute La Gang' Pinot Noir - For something bottled a mere eight days earlier, this was stellar. Aromas of cool earth and undergrowth, followed by flavours of nutmeg, black cherries, tobacco leaf and other herbaceous notes I couldn't quite put my finger on. Chalky, restrained and well-defined finish. 

Rosewood Mead Royale - Clear and brilliant in the glass, with nary a blemish of sediment or cloudiness. Heady clover honey and wildflower on the nose; the wine's sweetness is held in check by balanced acidity.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I linked your post to my post on the Diefenbunker. Check it out at http://stephthewaywardpilgrim.com/.


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