Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Get Together wines and beer (Ontario / Australia)

The evening started with a growler of beer and ended with a debate over an Ontario Meritage, the middle consisted of two wildly different Tasmanian Pinots.  Sounds like a party, and it was.  

The wife and I decided to invite some friends over to make up for cancelling on the US Thanksgiving get together we were originally planning (I had to go out of town that weekend).  Our drinking started early because of the miracle bird - a turkey that was calculated to need 7 hours to cook somehow only needed 3 to be completely done ... it is our first Christmas miracle.  My wife and I sat on the couch in the living room and knew we needed something to drink ... that's when we pulled out the growler (1.9L) of Niagara College Teaching Brewery Glutton free beer ... yes we wanted a beer but nothing heavy - we had guests coming after all, and this one hit the spot.  

People started to arrive some 3 hours later - the beer was gone but we had plenty more, including a NCTB Oatmeal Stout that proved to be popular with us and a few guests.  For dinner I twisted the cap on a bottle of Josef Chromy 2009 Pinot Noir "Pepik" - which was delightfully Pinot-esque with that sour cherry, cranberry and slight earthy tinge, this was a very good Pinot Noir from a country not known for making great pinot (Australia) but from a region I have grown to really enjoy Pinots from (Tasmania).  I wanted to have a bit of a contrasting Pinot in bottle number two, so I twisted another cap on a bottle of Tamar Ridge 2007 Pinot Noir 'Kayena Vineyard'; another Tasmanian offering but this time from the 2007 vintage, which must have been way hotter because the alcohol was a whopping 14% where as the first was only 12.  This one showed more of a cooked fruit flavour, more robust with more plummy and black fruit qualities - more along the lines of what you expect a delicate grape like Pinot to become in a hot region like Australia ... but there was still some finesse shown in the making of it so it wasn't jammy ... it past muster.

After dinner a debate began over a bottle of Ravine 2010 Meritage - someone mentioned that had seen my review and wondered what wine I had tasted, as they had tried the same wine and was nothing like what I had described.  I quickly ran downstairs and grabbed a bottle and poured some glasses - I was vindicated, but my guest insists that the wine we tried tonight and the one they had tried previously, while labelled the exact same, were not the same wines ... curious.

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