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Happy Birthday, Baby

We delayed Sunday by one day this week to accommodate Cara’s birthday.  Hence, why we’re a day late posting.  Or two.  No, just one.

AND … my family is visiting from Canada, so it was quite a thing.  Joseph, Cara’s dad, made dinner, which was amazing.  It being such a long weekend, however, (Rene’s birthday was Friday, which we were still recuperating from on Sunday, which led right into Monday, and well into the night) we didn’t really get into the wine that much.  Also, there were babies everywhere, which made it difficult to actually sit and enjoy anything in a wine glass.

Why is it that babies wait for fun events to have total meltdowns?  Must be an evolutionary trick.

Anyway, with ten adults and two babies, it was a full house, which, after all, is the meaning of Christmas.

Er …

On the Menu: Spinach Salad, Potato Salad, Beef Roulade, Pork Roulade, Apple Crumble Pie Crisp Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie

Joseph used to own and operate his own fine dining restaurant in Kelowna, British Columbia, so when he offers to cook, we feign resistance and then quickly get out of his way.  In case you are unfamiliar with a roulade, it is typically a cut of meat rolled around some kind of filling, like vegetables, cheese, other meats … awesomeness …

It was one of those dinners that people just sort of ate leisurely, without thinking too much about it, and just enjoyed it.  (I spent most of the dinner with Caia upstairs, since she was exhausted and kept having small-scale nuclear events with the crying and the screaming and the rending of clothes.)

The Apple Pie Crispy Crumble Cake Dish is this deep dish apple pie thing that Joseph made that makes you think of all things good and home.

Basically, the perfect birthday dinner.

While many of us drank various libations that night, we did try to remember that we had bought some wine and it was to be tried.

Wine: Diavolo, Reserva de la Vina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2009, $44 MXN
Rating: Two Bottles

That’s right: forty-four pesos.  That’s $3.34 USD.  For a bottle of wine.  You can’t buy a glass of wine for that!  So I know you are wondering how such an abomination got a two-bottle rating from us.  I’ll tell you … it wasn’t easy.  It wrested it from us like so many firearms from so many cold, dead fingers.

Okay, it’s a very light wine.  Very simple.  There really isn’t anything to it.  Some light berry flavours.  Slight mustiness and earthiness.  But really, not much of a powerhouse.

But incredibly drinkable!  If you were to try this wine, without knowing that it costs forty-four pesos, you would think this was a marginally forgettable, but not at all unpleasant wine.  Compared with some of the bags of ox urine that we’ve paid much, much more for in the past, this is a wine that you could easily buy, drink, and not worry about.

And believe me – the snob in me wanted to trash this wine.  I was laughing about it the entire weekend after I bought it.  “This is going to be so terrible,” I thought.  “But I simply must try a forty-four peso bottle of wine.  Who do they think they are?”  The snob in me wanted to give this, at most, one bottle.  The drunkard in me, however, wanted to give it three bottles, since it isn’t every day that you find a bottle of alcohol that can hurt your liver without hurting your wallet.

In the end, we settled on two.

Wine: Hahn Winery, Pinot Noir, Monterrey, California, USA, 2010, $18.95 CAD
Rating: Two Bottle

This wine came all the way from Canada.  Well, California, but my parents brought it down with them from Canada.  It was on a plane, is my point.  My friend, Vanessa, a fellow wine-lover, suggested it as an import we probably wouldn’t be able to find down here.  Which is true.

This was a very interesting pinto noir, I thought.  Peppery on the nose, it also had subtle hints of cherries, strawberry jam, and watermelon.  Allowing it to breathe really brought these aromas and flavours out.

My only issue with this wine was the feeling that if I had left it alone for a couple of years, it would have been truly remarkable.  Alas, it is a problem living in the tropics, as keeping wines from going off due to heat and humidity is basically a nightmare.  So you’ll all have to do it for me.  If I could, I’d buy a case of this stuff and just wait.  Try one each year.

Oh well.

As it was, it was a very enjoyable wine.

Part of my family leaves tomorrow, and that is sad.  It’s been great having them around, and watching Caia get to know her little cousin, Edie.  Turns out, they both like Play-Doh.  Who knew?

We’ll re-wish Rene and Cara very happy birthdays.

Next week will be a smaller affair.  Only eight adults and one baby.

Until then,


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