Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If only she were still on SNL


Is it just me, or do other people look at Sarah Palin and go "Wow, Tina Fey has absolutely nailed her !"


Monday, September 22, 2008

Where were you when Summer ended ?

According to the local morning newscast summer ended at 8:44 AM Pacific today. So, where were you ?

I was a few steps south of 16th Avenue on Cambie walking daughter to school. It is a stunningly beautiful day today so hard to believe summer is gone but soon enough the rains will come.

Had a brilliant dinner on Saturday at G's, superb grilled cow and some impressive vino. I didn't mention this earlier but we took a family vacation in the Okanagan in August and I got time to prowl the Naramata Bench for wines. As always the wines of Kettle Valley and LaFrenz were impressive but the best red wine I tasted was Lake Breeze Vineyards Tempest, 2005, this is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is difficult to find and sells at the winery for $39 but it is a shining example of what BC can do with Bordeaux varietals. Sadly I have only 2 bottles left after cracking one on Saturday so if anyone is headed to Penticton in the next little while please pick me up a bottle or two.

Had a great dinner Sunday as well but it was more about the friendship and the comedy than the wine and food.

Friday, September 19, 2008

NHL approaches, how bad will the Leafs be ?

I know the glasses are always rosy in September but I fail to see why everyone is predicting a huge fall off for Toronto. Last year's edition finished with 83 points and where is the huge drop off ?

I've seen estimates of 25 wins for the season, as opposed to 36 last year. Is Mats Sundin worth 11 victories on his own, if so that $10 million from Vancouver may be a bargain for the Canucks.

Other than the now inevitable loss of Sundin, a big one I agree, where is this devastation going to come from ? Toronto lost Tucker, McCabe, Gill, Kilger, Wellwood and Raycroft and added Frogren, Fingers, Hagman, Grabovski, Kulemin, Joseph, Van Rynn, Mayers plus a full year of Bell.

So Tucker for Hagman: depending on which Tucker and which Hagman you get let's call it even.

McCabe for Van Rynn: McCabe has more upside offensively and more downside defensively, again let's call it even.

Gill for Fingers: Fingers is either a very solid #4 or the worst player in the NHL depending on who you listen to, Hal Gill is well, Hal Gill but let's buy into the Leaf haters and give this one to the '07-'08 team.

Kilger for Kulemin: nobody has been rushing out to offer Chad a new contract that I've heard about. Kulemin is said to be a solid two way player with 25 goal potential, kind of what everyone hoped Chad Kilger would become so let's give this one to youth.

Wellwood for Grabovski: I haven't seen much of Grabovski but apparently he's offensively gifted with great speed and Wellwood was the softest forward I've seen in a long time and lacked foot speed. Lets give this one to the '08-09 edition.

Joseph for Raycroft: maybe Andrew Raycroft will get his career back on track in Colorado but he was down right awful in Toronto, the opposite of Grant Fuhr Raycroft always found a way to give up "the goal that beat you" Cujo can't be any worse so I'm giving this to '08-'09.

I still haven't added in any bonus that Frogren, an X factor, the possible improvement of Strahlman, a full season of Bell and the addition of Jamal Mayers, a role player but a really good one, may bring.

Much has been made of the Leafs perceived inability to score goals this year, and I'm sure they aren't going to have anyone challenge for the Art Ross Trophy, however Blake and Bell both punched well below their weight last year so there may be room for improvement there. I also think the Leafs will be a much more sound defensive and fundamentals team under Ron Wilson which will offset some of the missing offense.

So unless Cliff decides to truly tank and deals out one, or both, of Kaberle or Kubina I think this is an 85 point team. Classic Leafs they will be too good for the top 3 picks but not good enough for the post season.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Decent run on Reds and some other Observations

So I'm just going to use denial. I refuse to admit that I'm only blogging once every three months or so, in fact I'm blogging daily but I just don't post the blogs.

That's it, that's my story take it or leave it.

Anyway the kid is back in school and I have some time on my hands so I thought I'd actually post my blog today.

I've had a good run with red wine lately including two new products, one old favourite and one great bottle from the cellar.

Wine #1 Soleus Cabernet Sauvignon "Organic" 2006 - Chile, new listing, CSPC#705306, $12.99.

Anytime I can try Organic Cabernet for under $15 I'm going to give it a shot. This wine is made by the large, and under rated, Chilean producer Mont Gras. As befits its' price point the wine is fruit forward and ready to drink but not so one dimensional as to be boring. The wine has definite Cabernet character with black fruits and plums in the taste, it is medium to full bodied with moderate acidity and I think very solid value. The wine has good distribution in the Lower Mainland.

Wine #2 Nieto Senetiner Cabernet Shiraz "Reserva" 2005/06 - Argentina, Specialty Listing, CSPC#367193, $14.49

Nietro Senetiner is one of my fave Argentinean producers but they are sadly under represented in the BC Public store system. This Reserve Cab/Shiraz is the only product fron Senetiner that the BCLDB carries but it's a good one. As with most Argentine producers the Malbec is the best red wine but this full bodied blend has a lot to like, the nose is a bit smoky with some red berry and leather underneath. The flavours are cherry, spice box and a bit of strawberry and it has good acidity and a long finish. This wine drinks well above it's price point and is highly recommended, the wine has good distribution in the lower mainland.

Wine #3 Lungarotti Rubesco - Rossi di Torgiano 2003, Italy, CSPC#41947, $15.99.

An old fave the wines of Lungarotti are always good value, the wines are produced in Umbria which is sort of like Tuscany without the hype. This wine is a blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo and possesses much of the charm of a Chianti. I gave in to the fact that fall was dragging it's heels on Sunday and made stuffed cheese Manicotti in sweet basily tomato sauce and the medium bodied dried cherry, tobacco, leathery character of this wine with it's dry acidity was perfect. Great wine for tomato based anything and highly recommended. This wine has moderate distribution in the Lower Mainland.

The last wine I had recently was a bottle of Kettle Valley Merlot, McCrae Vineyard 2003 which we drank on Saturday night with grilled Angus Rib Eyes. Both the steaks and the wine were superb, the wine showing all those qualities which made Merlot so popular with the masses. The wine had gobs of red and black fruit flavours and was layered over sweet vanilla from the oak. The flavour just went on, and on, and on in an almost hedonistic way. The wine was so rich that we saved half of it for the cheese plate an hour later and it was still excellent. Sideways may have killed Merlot for many people but this bottle was outstanding, and sadly I have only one more.

A couple of "Life Observations":

Read in the paper today about a 60 year old couple who had been kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Somalia being rescued by French Commandos. Did I read that correctly: France has Commandos ? Wow, just Wow.

The BC Liberal Party, behind their leader Gordon Campbell, have decided that the fall session of the legislature is irrelevant and will be canceled. This after Gord got busted for breaking his own guidelines by taking a private jet to China with Peter Brown. I'm pretty sure the cancellation is to allow for the February coronation when Gord will change his name to "Gord il Cambo the First" and be crowned Emperor for Life.

I mean hey, if you're going to deny the democratic process why not go all the way.

I don't think they can win it all but man the Tampa Bay (don't call us Devil) Rays are fun to watch.