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

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quaff this: Weekender BBQ wines*

* ... or anytime, really. Any excuse is a good excuse to drink wine.

I spent the past weekend at my parents', getting fed and pampered and babied. The best part was having a moment to collect my thoughts while the Doodle tore the house apart, much to the amusement of Mum and Dad. Aren't grandparents great for that? All I needed was five minutes (OK, three days) spent relaxing, watching sappy girly movies, munching on Martha's various courses of amuse-bouches, wandering around in my mother's glorious garden, playing darts with me Da, and drinking wine. And then all was well in the world.

Voga Italia 2007 Pinot Grigio - When Mum brought the bottle out, I didn't know whether to drink it, or dab it behind my ears. Looks like a tall bottle of cologne. Out of curiosity, I checked their site, which takes the personal aroma slant even further: blistering with massive sex appeal, a jazzy intro plays while pictures of The Beautiful People parade across the screen. Step aside, Axe, this is the new scent. Crushed grapes. Beat THAT!

Now, about the wine ... Crisp, clean, refreshing. Could probably stand to be a bit warmer than the temp at which I drank it. A good backyard, chill-out-on-the-deck wine. I agree with the site in that it would go quite well with sushi or other light seafood. Shrimp cocktail, even. Cold appetizers, definitely.

Inniskillin Late Harvest Riesling - Figured this had 'dessert wine' written all over it, and thought that pairing something sweet with Mum's crab spread might not be the best idea, but she insisted, and it worked out beautifully in the end. Not as syrupy as other LH's I've had, this doesn't need to be stuck in the after-dinner category. On the contrary, the backbone of acid was firm, the usual honey tones stayed subtle, and the body was light to medium.

Patriarche 2006 Pinot Noir - I have yet to take any courses on French wine, so I haven't the foggiest idea about the stuff. I know having the varietal on the label is a recent change to France's once uber-strict appellation controlée system, but that's because noobs like me need to have it spelled out for them. Anyway, it was another good burgers-n-sausage kind of wine; light to medium, fruity but with subtle earthy notes and without the annoying New World green I find in so many p.noirs. And according to Da, it was dirt cheap, which is THE most crucial aspect about buying wine, of course. (At least it wasn't Partager ...)

After much lounging among the columbine, discussing future travels in wine regions and wondering what was on the menu for lunch, Doodle and I made our reluctant return home. Ahhh, if only weekends were longer ...

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