Chris Bose. Semi-auspicious blood red. Clotted, no sparkles. Streets are dirty. Nasty. Gum on the sidewalk. It makes you happy and somewhat remorseful at the same time. Disparity viewed while getting shit faced and a lingering finish all the way to Chilliwack. Black Cherry. New world. Where all the Nazis went. Unrepentant howl on the tongue. - Stag's Hollow Hart, 2010, Okanagan Falls. The themes derived on this night were "Cockroids. Ritalin. Bubble Gum on Sidewalk." Dance: Maxine Chadburn, Michelle Lui, Brian Solomon. Music: Finn Manniche, Jim Newton, Sean Stubbs, Don Harrison (New! Improved!!). Yvonne Chew photos here.
Michael Turner. Red and Yellow. Orange. In the 70s it was a compliment to avocado green. Liking it. Shedding refinery. Geranium. Interior bath smells. A learned relaxation, wetter, more savory than sweet, it lingers but you can kick it out. Average/Generic. Drink now old world Beyreuth opera house. -Reuilly Pinot Gris, 2012, Denis Jamain, chemin des petites fontaines. The themes derived on this night were "Cocaine Filled Peaches. Old Blood and Carrots. Worn Out Shag Carpet (The End Of Dreams)." Dance: Kelly McInnes, Sophia Wolfe, Elissa Hansen Music: Peggy Lee, Aram Bajakian, Tony Wilson. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Margo Kane. White and black. Red and primary Blue. Solid. Geometric pow wow. Green. more impressionistic. The earth. An old basement/building. Cedars brought inside. Scotch and beer. Water. Refreshing. Bitter. Effervescence. Edgy. Poor. Drink now. Turtle Island. Northern Quebec by the edge of a big river.- Le Troudu Diable, L'Imeratrice, 2013, Shawinigan. The themes derived on this night were "Thick Cream. Sweet and bitter tears. The departing van." Dance: Billy Marchenski, Carolyn Chan, Molly McDermott. Music: Max Murphy, Ron Samworth. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Bracken Hanuse Corlett. A series of black-outs. The contrast between night and day. Opaque bubbles. Dust. Old carpet and wet wind. Basement musk and 50 years of regret. Morning breath. Ashtray. Like an asshole inside your mouth. Lingering. Increasing in intensity. Excellent or Poor. Drink now. New influenced by old. Turtle Island Northwest Coast. - Sea Cider, Wild English, 2013, Saanichton. The themes derived on this night were "Desperate baby medicine. Pissed, drowned, bird on concrete. Leather bound ash hole wallet." Dance: Paras Terezakis, Arash Khakpour, Michelle Lui. Music: Max Murphy, Jeff Younger. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Cease Wyss. Dark red salmonberry. A journey to the rain and the sky, blue and white. Greens and brown. Not one thing. Opaque. To be discovered. Bitter sweet. Whiskey keg wood and liquorice fern. The taste of bark, roots and earth. Smooth bitter quality, lingering sweetness. Requires bottle age. Oregon grape. Tahiti. Mondragon Inlet. - Mt Lehman Tempranillo, 2011, Abbotsford. The themes derived on this night were "Terra Nullius Coitus. Disoriented Senses. Industrious Herbs." Dance: Justine Chambers, Alison Denham, Billy Marchenski. Music: crowman - Ben Brown, Meredith Bates, Chris Gestrin. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Henry Tsang. A lot of green. Fear that it will turn out brown or grey. Wants to land on green, seemingly natural but artificially enhanced and surrounded by a lot of grey. At angles it can have a sheen. Is it an oasis? Yeah. It’s opaque. Not just one thing. Smells of a certain version of nature and also a business. Natural order of the dominant culture. Sleepy. Confusion. Lack of clarity. Something sour then bitter. Starts off sweet without knowing it. Desires to blend in sweetness to balance the bitterness but fears that it, that he, may not. Good. Requires bottle age. Ricioto. The clash between the two. England. House of Lords. Musqueum. xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. Tantalus Old Vines Riesling, 2011, Kelowna. The themes derived on this night were "Immigrant baby daycare beloved bleached breast. Tastes like a headache. It's a liminal space, the spine." Dance: Daina Ashbee, Diego Romero and Hailey McCloskey. Music: Max Murphy, Ben Brown, Russel Scholburg. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Veda Hille. Black in the center. A splash of red, a little bit of pink on a bright sky blue background. Cherry blossoms, Slightly rotten fruit. A day old apple. Something with a bite out of it that's starting to turn. Pot. Familiar. But challenging. Something that I'd have to be able to eat a lot of. Starts light but deepens. Settles into perpetuity. Good. Requires bottle age. Concorde. New Iceland. Nether subterranean root. Kalala Zweigelt, 2009, West Bank. The themes derived on this night were "Young sausages. Spicy popped cherry. Trans Parent Sea. (The power of cunt)". Dance: Arash Khakpour, Aryo Khakpour, Chris Wright, Billy Marchenski. Music: Max Murphy, Joel Lower, Gary Wildeman, Bruce Freedman. Yvonne Chew photos here.
Tim Crouch. Somehow, Fred Loimer’s Kamptal Grüner Veltliner 2011 combined with what Tim Crouch swore us all to secrecy about, became musky grass, the Tetra Pak heirs, and slightly aroused vagina. And then, somehow, Michelle Lui, Arash Khakpour, Aryo Khakpour, Bruce Freedman, Max Murphy, Gary Wildeman, and Joel Lower transformed those things into experience quite joyous. I believe the deities approved. Awesome.
Paul Plimley. Jacques Picard Champagne Brut Séléction + Paul Plimley, Alana Gerecke, and Max Murphy = Vomit, oyster farms, density, and whatever you want in this moment. “Engagement and pleasure measured over time.” Yes. “Nectar of Firmament.”
Chris Bose. Stag's Hollow Hart and bitter pining. Charming Deceit and Jesus Coyote. Bose and Bukowski, more beer and vodka, and oddly, all weekend the liminal Ex's of Sook Yin Lee. That and nearly a full moon over my mommy. What a strange and beautiful mid-life weekend on the spine of the old new world. Thanks again to Mr. Murphy, Chris Bose, Daina Ashbee, Maxine Chadburn, Shealagh, and Ashok Mathur.
October 27th, Alternator Gallery, Kelowna -The View 2009 Pinotage, "the Boer in the bourgeois valley smells the pig in the colonial Hotel. Pioneer!" Excellent show from Mr. Murphy Laen Herschler, Daina Ashbee, Maxine Chadburn, Laura Avery, Darren Williams, Natalia and Neil! plus Bernie bought me a whiskey and Fluffed my FYF (ah sweet sour memories).
First @ BopHopShop Vancouver - Pims No.1, and Paul Ternes. One hundred year old tractor treading the shag carpet, and the taste of light at BC Place stadium. Beautiful evening that took me back to the early 1980's - it's joys and terrors. Mr. Murphy, Paul Ternes, Daina Ashbee, Maxine Chadburn, Laura Avery & Mr. Murphy's Six Piece Jazz Improve Ensemble (horns, bass and drum & vocals).
Wild Goose Mystic River Gewurztraminer 2011-Everyone loves a fat and juicy Gewurtz. damn it!
Mt Boucherie barrel aged Sémillon 2006. I love their dry and to the point Sémillon in general but this is the last of their oak aged Summit Reserve series for this grape. I’d like to encourage them to do more.
La Frenz Viognier 2011. Winning tons of awards, but more importantly this was the favourite wine of Michelle, the severe, ski bunny bombshell waitress from Provence at Campagnolo. She once asked me if I’d like to share a cab home, and I unthinkingly said, “No thanks. I live just across the street.” I’ve bought an extra case to drink by myself, alone.
Tantalus Pinot Noir 2010 - iconoclastic acid freaks after my heart
Wild Goose Pinot Noir 2010 - an extracted south valley expression. (I just like buying stuff from the Krugers).
Stags Hollow Hart - A lovely, well integrated hands and feet made port from 2012’s BC winery of the year.
This year our theme is “not the usual reds!”
No Bordeaux blends, or cute Napa imitators here. BC reds that taste like it, damn it!
But first we'll start with some bubbly!
-I love Tantalus and their acid freak style Pinot Noir and Riesling. So when I heard several years ago that they were making a traditional method Riesling “Champagne” from their awesome old vines, I made sure to be there on its release. Lucky I did, because there is no more. It’s sold out. I haven’t tried it yet because I’m waiting for you to help us drink this very rare case.
and now for the reds:
-Arrowleaf’s First Crush red (Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, and a touch of Dunkelfelder). A beautiful red head with dirt under her fingernails sold this to me. How could I resist? It’s fresh, lively, well priced and a real expression of the North Okanagan - confident and not afraid of that "terroir" undertone of old trout and sandy lake bottom.
-Mt Boucherie's Blaufränkisch 2009. Kal and Nirmal Gidda make great straight-ahead expressions of the grapes they grow throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen. Blaufränkisch happens to be the first grape that made me consider wine as something other than a fruity method of intoxication. Its racy, spicy, volatility seems to promise deep insight into its dark Hungarian-derived heart. An illusion unto itself, never quite coming together - but well worth the dark journey. Blaufränkisch and B.C. were made for each other.
-Gold Hills Syrah 2011. The Gill brothers have been “Golden Mile” growers for years, but only recently decided to produce their own wine. They’ve done pretty well. winning this year’s "LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN B.C. WINES". This is a really pleasant, simple, generous, fruit driven Syrah.
-and my long time favourite red in the OK, Hester Creeks Cabernet Franc 2010 Reserve. There is a great story about the old cabernet franc vines that this wine is made from. Hubris, arrogance, provincialism, bullying and theft... but it might open me to libel charges, plus I can’t keep the details straight, so ask me at the event after I’ve had a few. Fantastic grape. Fantastic wine. Volatile, complex, funky, delicious.
-Then to finish, a really lovely Tawny Port from La Frenz. They win tons of awards, all well deserved, and this one got some “double platinums” from somewhere prestigious. But I bring it to you, to finish the night, because it tastes just like Christmas lies. You’ll be wanting some for December.
Booze for Body-Scan : Sweet Gyre. February 14-16 2013.
I asked the performers to describe their sensations when they thought of performing Body-Scan: Sweet Gyre. Specifically the appearance, the aroma and the feeling in their mouths - the palate, that they each associated to the work. I incorporated those answers, along with a few others about place and quality into the International Sommelier Guild tasting template and translated that into the selection of booze.- DMc
1) Jesse Zubot: “...distant, complicated, far away, damp animal spirits, sweat and plants. Dry, because these days I haven’t been eating and sleeping properly, but this performance is about moistness...Bulgaria, the Caucasus, the Queen Charlotte Islands ”
I picked the Domaine de Grachies Cotes de Gascone 2011 - basically the base white wine (ugni blanc and colombard) used for the distilling of Armagnac in a hillbilly-ish region of Southwest France. Very dry and crisp. A pre-spirit, as it were, that I am salivating in anticipation of. -it delivered. Jesse approved.
2) Benoît Lachambre: “...No colour, mushy, slippery, smells a bit of ochre, latex, cloves, some earth... luminous, wet, minty fresh, cool lingering...very old, ancient prairies when it was a sea.”
I matched the above to a Malagouzia Zafairaki 2010 organic, made from Malagousia, an almost extinct ancient grape variety native to Macedonia, making a comeback in Greece as an aromatic medium bodied dry white, - citrus and minty. As it’s Greek, I’m also hoping for some overtly unctuous cloves and earth. - scored big time with massive bonus lifts of latex.
3) Lee Su-Feh: “..rich bursts of colour, shimmering billowy soft, bergamot, honey, earth, ... aftertaste of chocolate, rose water and spicy cinnamon trailing... BC, all over the place, middle of the Pacific.”
I broke the bank and went for the Rotie Cellars, 2007 Northern Blend, from Walla Walla, Washington. From the banks of the Columbia, washing the BC interior out to the Pacific, a rich “Northern Rhone Inspired” blend ( syrah and viognier). Made by a wealthy retired resource extracting mining engineer. An American “family man” with cultural aspirations. Taste the local bourgeois ambition. Is it not also delicious? -Yes. It is delicious.