Monday, January 25, 2010

A Visit to the Theatre and a Glass of Shiraz

“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?” The day after I still have a smile on my face as I hum and sometimes belt out the lyrics to Rent. Yesterday, three great friends and I headed to Toronto to take a chance of getting “student rush tickets” for the Broadway tour of Rent. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, we headed to the Eaton's Centre for lunch with smiles on our faces and four orchestra seat tickets in our hands.

As we settled into our table at Mr. Green Jeans we dove into the topic of what wine goes best with Rent? A general consensus was reached: a cheap, nondescript, red wine drank from a paper bag. Hmmm, might be a little difficult in a nice restaurant with a wine list. Well, at least we have narrowed it down to red. After the perusing the menu I decided to go with a Shiraz.

When my glass of Shiraz arrived we began to discuss the wine. “Wow, it's a really deep colour,” one friend comment. As I stuck my nose in the glass and took a whiff, chestnuts filled my nasal passage or what I guessed was chestnuts.

Today I set out to actually become pretentious. I would find out why Shiraz is such a deep colour and if it really does taste like chestnuts. I learned that Shiraz can also be called Syrah, which clears up a huge misunderstanding my brain. The reason it is so dark? Obviously, because it is made from a dark skinned grape. More importantly, Shiraz is a full to medium bodied wine with lots of tannins. Translation: lots of taste. And the tannins (a chemical substance found in planets) are responsible for the red wine headache and that sometimes bitter taste. According to, flavours of black cherry, blackberry, plum, black pepper, clove, licorice, dark chocolate and smoked meat can be found. I am sticking with chestnuts; who are these “About” people anyways?

My research today has left me feeling a little more sophisticated and capable of discussing Shiraz with a bit of confidence. Although, I was a little disappointed to discover that chicken fingers was not a food pairing of choice...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunday Night Dancing is the Best

Most of my Sunday evenings are spent preparing for the new week: doing laundry, finishing homework and overall dreading the end of the weekend. So when my fabulous ladies suggested we check out a funk band and put on our Sunday night dancing shoes, I decide that wine and a funk show would make for a great first blog post.

Upon arriving at my friends I was faced with the decision of red or white. This is not a choice that I make lightly. Wine snobs would discuss "the pairing of a wine with a dish so that the full aroma and body of the wine can be felt on the palate," or thing like that. I don't do that. When considering red or white, I like to make the decision based on situation. In front of a fire: red wine. A picnic in the park: white wine. So now you ask, what goes best with a funk band? The answer is obvious. Funk music is fun, lively, light and makes you want to dance; therefore one needs a fun, lively, light white wine.

With a glass of Gewurztraminer in my hand I was ready to dance.
And danced I did. LMT Connection was the perfect fix for my need to dance. If I ever doubted my conclusion that white wine and funk go hand-in-hand my theory was proven correct shortly after arriving at the show. I watched a lady drink a glass of red wine and not even bob her head a band belted out one great funk song after another. Needless to say, the lady left and the glass of red wine was left on the table. If only she new that red wine belongs at an acoustic show not at a funk show.

What a great idea, Sunday night funk dancing. My Sunday night became a great way to start a week rather than a depressing end to the weekend.

The Unpretentious Wine Drinker

I love wine. This love is fairly new for me. It's only been about four years since I really considered wine a drink of choice. Before that time, most of my wine experience had been with "table" wine: the generic, usually mouth puckering, dry wine found at weddings. This turned me off the drink for a number of years.

When I first started drinking wine, I only drank white wine. As my palate become more "sophisticated" I switched to red and felt I was too good for the Riesling and Chardonnays of world and left them behind. Over the past year, I have discovered there is plenty of room in my life for Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Grigios and Gewurztraminers.

At this point it should be stated that I do not consider myself a wine expert. I am just a girl who enjoys a glass of wine and the socializing that goes along with that glass. I will recommend a wine to try and something fun to do while drinking that wine. Not pretentious, just fun. Maybe one day, if I try really hard, I can be a pretentious wine connoisseur.

Wait, who am I kidding?