Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wine tasting in the snow

Yesterday we had a drive to various vineyards around Wolfville. Because it's Canada and all Canadians apparently detest all other Canadians, all the vineyards were far, far away from everything else, and were almost all shut, despite large signs at the edge of the road proclaiming that they were open. Which suggests that the Canadians don't like other people enough to live anywhere near them, but are also fond of practical jokes/people getting snow inside their shoes. They're also rather obstinate - it's not a normal person, I would contend, who would attempt to make vine in the chilly climates of Nova Scotia. But then I'm not an oenophile, and anyone who calls me that will get a slap.

Eventually we did find a vineyard that was open, and thus at 11 in the morning I was knocking back small amounts of different Canadian wine, red, white and fizzy, and then finishing off with ice wine.

This last comes in red bottles that look more like one of those Sigg flasks that you'd carry up a mountain if you were a cheery Swiss out on a yomp, and contain a strange, almost syrupy concoction that tastes like slightly-off apple juice, with a gluey aftertaste that makes your vision blur for a second or two as you return to reality, unsure why you drank this stuff. We didn't buy any of that.

All this "woody", "earthy", (and heaven knows, perhaps even "woodlousey") wine wasn't so great for me (or perhaps it was that and being jammed in the back of a small car with a big coat on) but after an hour of driving around in the snows, I began to feel nauseous, and it was only after I could stick my head out of the window like a confused bloodhound, and sink another Tim Horton's Canadian Maple dipped doughnut, before I could even approach the semblence of humanity once more.

It wasn't anything to do with drinking all that wine the night before, nosiree. Well, maybe just a bit, but I wasn't feeling hungover like I do in Hong Kong after a sniff of the barmaid's apron: the sky wasn't falling on me while Great Cthulhu rose up from the depths to nibble on my toes, so it was probably just sleep deprivation (inflatable mattresses are an amusing idea in principle, and perfect for simulating being stuck on a waterbed in rolling seas, but not so great for slumber) and overheating.

Late in the afternoon, we drove back to Dartmouth, down a snow-covered highway. Once again I was shocked at how much of Canada there is, and how little of it seems to have people in it; if you drove for an hour in Kent, you wouldn't be in Kent any more (although you might see about as much intelligent life) whereas in Canada, the icy wastes seem to continue almost forever. Well, until you get to Dartmouth and can go to Toys R Us to buy an evil, argument-inspiring boardgame like Blokus...

I introduced two more Canadians to the wonder of the Christmas Pudding. Bless their hearts, they even brought out a fire extinguisher, as if there was something dangerous about heating up brandy until it evaporated and then setting it on fire. Once again, we went a little overboard with the booze and the pudding burned for five minutes before we could eat it, but it seemed another success. I will continue my Christmas Pudding evangelism in Vancouver shortly.


Post a Comment