Friday past, the 13th for those with Paraskevidekatriaphobia, saw witness to one of the great outdoor food events of this summer.
Dinner at Dieter und Heidi's was unbelievably good, from the prosciutto and melon to start right through to strawberry shortcake to finish. Main course was about 10 pounds of T-bones, grilled perfectly medium rare then sliced and drizzled with balsamic a la Toscana accompanied by cedar planked scallops as big as a small child's fist and fresh heirloom tomatoes bathed in nought but salt, pepper and good olive oil.
Bubble and Guinness to start then an incredibly delicate Reserve Cabernet from Nederburg vintage 1982. When first tasted I was worried about the old wine but 45 minutes of air brought out the fruit and it was a delight, sour cherry and prunes to be sure but still lovely with the beef, next up was a 1998 Single Vineyard Malbec from Valdevieso - the last from my cellar - and it was still vibrant and ballsy and a perfect compliment to grilled beef.
I doubt you would be able to find either of these wines anywhere but they did show the complex beauty of older wines as opposed to the full throttle wines we tend to drink regularly. Also served a bottle of Penny's Hill Red Dot Shiraz-Viognier which is available in limited distribution in BCLDB stores for $21.95 (CSPC#151670) which would have benefited from another year in bottle but is perfectly acceptable for those who like the "fruit Bomb" style.
Later in the weekend I had a bottle of lovely Spanish Red - Espelt Saulo 2005 from the Costa Brava in north-east Spain this blend of Grenache and Carignan was perfect with Bison burgers. The wine has lots of red fruit flavours and soft tannins with a great mouth feel and nice finish. The Espelt retails for $14.99 (CSPC#151332) and has wide distribution. I'm beginning to think that Spain is the new Australia in that I am constantly impressed with the quality of wines in the $12-$18 range, and also that the wines are becoming popular very quickly so the prices will rise accordingly.
On another, entirely unrelated note, the local newspaper group is raising the subscription prices of Vancouver's two daily papers. Well worth it I say, after all one of the lead features in today's Province (page 4) was a quarter page story, with colour photo, about four stolen kittens and the heartbreak it is causing a Surrey teenager - that's right folks world hunger and damaged nukes in Japan take a backseat to stolen kitties ......... well worth the extra dollar a month I say.