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 20, 2011

Changed for the better, for good

I spent this past weekend reconnecting with old friends. You know the kind - years, sometimes decades pass between encounters, but when the phone rings or the door opens, it's as though you merely stepped out for a moment. The conversation picks up right where you left it off. And it feels pretty damn good.

I was nervous heading out to meet up with them. How much had they changed? How much had I changed? Would they judge me, the way I looked, the way the kids behaved, the car we drove? Was it going to be an awkward, Grosse Pointe Blank kind of scene? Did I bring a good hostess gift? (Huff Estates First Frost - really, you can't go wrong. Aims, hope you enjoy it!)

I needn't have worried. We may be slightly different women now, some of us with kids, some with adorable pugs that go by the name of Batty. Some pursuing a passion or a profession, or if lucky enough, both. All of us with a bit more wisdom and a few more learning experiences under our belts. But standing there, together in that room, was like first year in university all over again.

We laughed, we ate, we drank (oh, did we drink). Sobering moments to remember loved ones; exchanges of side-splitting inside jokes and embarrassing stories. All afternoon, and long into the night. Into the wee hours. We all groaned that we are "getting too old for this", but kept on talking. And drinking. And laughing.

How lucky am I to have such amazing friends? Here's to the next one, ladies - and let's not wait another 15 years before we do it again!

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives
For a reason, bringing something we must learn ...
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you

Who's to say if I've been changed for the better?
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

- from "For Good", Wicked original Broadway Soundtrack
With these rekindled friendships came great wine, of course - reunions are that much better with a few exceptional bottles to share:

Burrowing Owl 2009 Pinot Gris (Okanagan, BC) - This one we shared with my Pruttah, who came all the way from Quebec City to see us. She rolled into town late, we fired up the fondue pot with Costco-brand cheese mix and cracked open the wine. Bread, cheese, wine. Bread, cheese, wine. We exclaimed over and again, in ever-louder and increasingly slurred voices, how awesome the wine was. A bit of sweetness, moderate acidity and plenty of stone fruit, citrus and floral notes. It was so good I'm going to have to track down some more.

Oroya White 2007 (Tierra de Castilla, Spain) - This was an unexpected, delicious find. Our celebratory dinner out was held at Wasabi, a classy spot for sushi down in the Market. I arrived a half hour late (because once you have two kids, you can't show up on time for anything) to find the ladies sipping on this. Crisp, light, subtle lemony flavours with a touch of saltiness. The tasting notes described it as being perfect for sushi, a wine that brings out the umami of the seafood. I was bowled over by the quality and its chameleon ability to blend in with anything on the plate - tempura, raw fish, sticky rice, cucumber, avocado, you name it.

Conundrum (Caymus Vineyards, California) - You like Obsession? This is next on your list. I'd heard of this wine before; it has the same cult following Ironstone enjoys with its own white-blend wonder. Conundrum comprises a proprietary blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, viognier and muscat canelli (although my sources say there are actually five varietals in the mix, one of which is never revealed so as to maintain a tight hold on the patent.) Slightly less sweeter than the Obsession, it's a wonderful year-round sipper, quite versatile in terms of food matches.

Giovello Prosecco (Veneto, Italy) - I'm a big fan of their pinot grigio (more so cuz I love the bottle) so I've been eager to try this. Just off-dry enough to soften the mouth-puckering acidity, with firm bubbles and a mineral backbone. The Giovello was still being poured around 2 a.m.-ish, but didn't leave me with the usual unpleasant side-effects commonly felt after a bubble-induced buzz.

1 comment:

  1. As one of the "old friends" (but finally glad to be the youngest of the bunch), it was definitely good times and good wines. So glad to have reconnected, especially with such an expert! I look forward to more recommendations and more laughs in the future!


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