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O Canada!

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So, our journey north comes to an end. I am listening to The Tragically Hip, watching HGTV, and missing my family and friends already. But mostly, I will miss seeing Decked Out. That show looks awesome! Kidding: family and friends.

We are sitting on a plane, heading back home to Mexico, care of Westjet. Our daughter is entertaining us by examining all of the items in the seats, as well as the heads of the people sitting in front of us. Specifically their hair. They love it. They complain to the flight attendants, but they love it. Secretly.

Canada treated us well, once again. It is wonderful to be back in the land that we love, surrounded by the quiet organization that our people are fond of, their abrupt politeness, and the ubiquitous traffic of Toronto.

We saw a lot of friends. Got caught up on old friendships. Drank Guinness. Lots of Guinness.

It must be said that vacations home cannot be truly called vacations, however, as most of your time is spent driving from one friend, or group of friends, to another. Tie that in with a baby who likes her freedom like a tiny William Wallace, and it makes for some truly enjoyable moments in rental cars.

Baby: “Mama, mama, mama …”
Me (to Cara): “Sweetie: baby.”
Baby: “Mama, mama, mama …”
Me (to Cara): “Sweetie.”
Cara (opening her eyes, half unconscious from chasing Baby around various restaurants, cafes, and friends’ houses while I was chatting with friends over coffee): “Hm?”
Me: “Baby.”
Baby: “Mama, mama, mama …”
Cara (to Baby): “What do you need, sweetheart?”
Baby: “No.”

One hundred metres later …

Baby: “Mama, mama, mama …”

And if you really want to spice things up, get your child to learn early communication skills in a foreign language. Is “Day-doh” finger, or part of a nursery rhyme? When she says “Mee-yah, ” is she calling for her Grandmother, or telling me to look at something? Does “Wah-wah” mean that she wants water, or that she’s mocking me?

Then there is the inevitable guilt you feel when you cannot make plans with everyone who wanted to meet your baby, which is quickly followed up by the righteous indignation you feel whenever someone tries to guilt you thus, since they knew when you were going to be back in town, and why is it your job to work around their effin’ schedules? They can bloody well come see you, if they want to meet your baby so much! Who do they think they are? How dare they?

Thank you, Guinness.

This week, as promised, we took a try at Lighthouse VQA’s Cabernet Franc. We also made a trip to Australia and sampled Wolf Blass‘s Grey Label Shiraz. You know, just for a curve ball. It was a gift from my brother and his fiance on our engagement. It came with a really nice card that shared how they feel about us.

We got them a photo of us at the CN Tower.

Wallet size.

On the menu: Nothing. I drank Lighthouse by the sea of my heartbreak at leaving behind kith and kin.

We had a barbeque earlier to commemorate my father’s and uncle’s birthdays. Later, Cara and I packed for our return trip. Packing is a lot of fun. I love it. There’s nothing like capping off your vacation with chores.

Wine: Lighthouse VQA, Pelee Island Winery, Ontario, Canada, Cabernet Franc, 2009, $16.95 CAD
Rating: One-and-a-half Bottles. No, wait … Two Bottles. No … One … Yes. One-and-a-half Bottles … Two Bottles. Gaahh!!

This was a tricky one. First of all, it’s not bad. It really isn’t a bad little wine at all. It’s peppery and spicy. (Cinnamon? Not sure.) For a Pinot Noir, it wasn’t bad at all. But for a Cabernet Franc it was a little thin. I guess I have a concept of Cabernet Francs as being big and bold, but perhaps that is not always true, and perhaps not even fair. That having been said, I couldn’t put it down. And it really didn’t cloud my head at all, like some reds do (see Wolf Blass, Grey Label).

I really did like it, but for what I thought it was going to taste like, I was a little let down. That’s why I had such a hard time giving it a rating. Nevertheless, it went well with the evening, sitting in the television room with my parents, talking about Canadian politics, and watching the season finale of Desperate Housewives.

The night before we tried the Wolf Blass, and I would like to take you there now.

Wine: Wolf Blass, Grey Label, Australia, Shiraz, 2008, $35.00 CAD
Rating: Two Bottles

I love Wolf Blass and most Australian wines. Although there is a belief out there that assigns an unwarranted value to all wines from Australia, Wolf Blass generally deserves its distinction.

This is a fairly big wine – fruity, with black cherry and pomegranate. Bold and strong, Wolf Blass’s Grey Label is a sure hit for stormy nights. I really enjoyed this wine, as did those who shared a glass of it with me. I left a pleasant taste and reminded me of autumn.

So what’s with the disclaimer above, you ask, dear reader? Well, my sister, Jenn, and my brother-in-law, Scott, let me in on a new classification of wine. They have found that with some wines, especially the bolder wines Australia has made famous, they get a little … ornery. Argumentative, even. They tend to pick fights when they drink these wines. They call them: “I’ve Got Something On My Mind Wines.”

Is their classification justified? Well, I told my parents on Saturday just what I thought about the whole Osama Bin Laden thing; political strategies on President Obama’s part and all. Was it an open discussion? Not so much. Was it an authoritative discourse from someone who has learned all his political science from watching The West Wing? Yes it was.

This would make a very fun dinner wine. This would spark some conversations. A lot of pointing with wine glasses would happen with this wine, a la Drunken-Aunt-At-Wedding.

TSB Top Tip: avoid ordering this wine on first dates. Or within the first year of a relationship. And especially on anniversaries. Unless you like the unvarnished truth about yourself served on a plate of embellishment with a side of remember-the-time-you in a you-never-you-always reduction. (Serve it with friends of certain leanings for a lesson in what minorities tend to do.)

Well, that’s all for this week. We still haven’t figured out what we’re going to do for next week. Or drink. It’s definitely outdoor cooking weather down here now, so we will be grilling a lot more. Plus, we are starting to get into whites. (Not the people; the wines.) Our foray from a few weeks ago taught us all a lesson. We’ll update you when we make up our minds about the wines.

Until then,



3 responses »

  1. susan roberts

    Nice read with my morning coffee, sounds like a wonderful visit home, I know that your family down south is glad to have you back. Look forward to this coming Sundaybottles. hugs Susan

  2. Milton Leppink

    Wonderful work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Thanks =)

  3. When you start with whites, go for the Kim Crawford New Zealand Marlborough Sav. Blanc. great with seafood, salads or my fav just by itself. Hopefully there is a Costco where you are.



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