Same Old

Perhaps it’s a sign that our Valentine’s Day was nothing out of the ordinary.   I don’t mean that cynically, rather in an every-day-is-filled-with-sunshine kind of way.   Most often, an occasion or a holiday warrants, for us, a relatively extravagant meal that we prepare, but this year, it was just what happened to remain on our weekly menu.  Our regular menu has, I suppose, evolved to a place where almost every evening we cook is an occasion.  Except for the nights when we make Kraft Dinner.

This year’s V-day was preceded by an attendance at the Food From the Heart wine and food tasting at the Ferry Building the night before.  This was reminiscent of one our first dates spent at a wine and food tasting in Calgary at the Stampede Grounds.  The Ferry Building was somewhat more demure and featured some really enjoyable wines from Napa, Sonoma, etc. but somehow they had neglected to put a champagne tasting booth next to the raw oyster booth.  A small oversight I suppose I can overlook for the fact that there were pulled-pork sandwiches, caviar blini and, thankfully, no Hungarian wines.

The next day, Saturday, we needed only to ferret out a delectable treat of a wine to go with supper.  Expensive wine is certainly a deviation from our norm and so much more appreciated as such.   We went to our new favourite wine shop/convenience store in Cole Valley where $150 bottles of wine are sold next to canned pork and beans and Big League Chew.   We discussed with the proprieter, Adel, what we planned to cook that night and that we were leaning towards a Malbec, but he suggested instead a Chilean blend from Maipo Valley with a hand-lettered “716” on the bottom right of the label.   It is the bottle number of that vintage of Antiyal 2005, of which 6900 were made.   Somehow, this little piece of knowledge added a new perspective to the wine, because to picture this one bottle as its number, I must see it relative to its 6899 brothers, and that is was among the first thousand to be bottled (presumably).  Curious: would it be different from bottle 5016?

  • grilled chili-marinated skirt steak with maple-chipotle glaze


  • french fries with fleur de sel and truffle oil


  • chevre rice pudding with pistachios, dates and candied kumquats


Some bold flavours to challenge this wine;  it was certainly enjoyable after breathing for awhile but I wouldn’t describe it as extraordinary, though neither would the meal itself warrant that praise.   However, when applied together to a small desk-cum-table facing our best and only view of the city at night, it was certainly delightful and romantic.

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