Tuesday, 9 July 2013

So a rabbit walks into a bar ...

I am a sucker for a furry face. Our suburban backyard is an oasis for the neighbourhood "buns".  I could not be happier. I admit to spending a little bit too much time gazing out the kitchen windows watching "the buns" nibble on clover and lounge in the summer sun.  I've also seen what can only be described as "a bun-off" in which two "buns" jumped over one another over, and over, and over again, in some sort of dance.

(It was quote possibly a mating ritual, but this is a 'family blog' and so we'll leave it as "dance" and not really worry too much about what it's all about ...)

"Bun-spotting" has become somewhat of a sport at our house.  The thrill of seeing "bun" in the backyard is matched only by the excitement of seeing MULTIPLE BUNS in the backyard.  It is a thrill, like no other ...

Or so I thought, until a few weeks ago.

There I was ... all "minding my own bid-ness", checkin' my email ... and lo ... what is this hidden amongst the spam, facebook updates, travel website newsletters and my 407 bill? 

An unsolicited email from none other than NATALIE FREAKING MACLEAN (pretty sure her middle name is NOT "freaking", however ... I digress.)

Now the dreamer in me is like "holy crackers Natalie Maclean and I are like ACTUALLY emailing one another, I must have been REALLY COOL in a past life!"

The realist in me (ie nagging Miss Doubtie-pants that lives deep in the recesses of my soul) is like "are you sure this is REALLY her?  I mean, the internet is full of fake-o weirdos."  

And yes, in all fairness, MAYBE she has an Assistant that does her emailing for her ... and MAYBE I'm just being a total nerd-fan, but ... she said she liked the way I approached food and wine and asked if I'd be at all interested in contributing wine reviews to her website.

The wine-guru of all wine-gurus!

Unless it's her Assistant ...

Heck if her ASSISTANT thinks I'm someone to approach, then THAT'S good enough for me!

Sign me up, pass me a bottle and hand me my laptop!

My copy of her book "Red, White & Drunk All Over" is worn at the corners.  It sits on my bedside table on the off chance I wake during the night and need to be whisked away to a vineyard deep in the heart of Burgundy *swoon*.

Her latest book "Unquenchable" accompanied me on our most recent trip to New Orleans.  I have dog-eared every page in the Ontario section with EVERY intention of visiting the wineries she writes about.  (Not to mention the other countries for when I strike it rich and head out travelling in a vain attempt to relive my lost youth ... 'cept this time I'm not sleeping in hostels, 1/2 star "hotels" and waking with weird rashes on my body ... ew ... bed-bugs ... ew, separate story!)  Where was I?  Ah yes ...

After calming myself down ... and telling everyone in my office ... calling my mother ... emailing DH ... my best friend ... the postman ... err, you get the idea ... I thought to myself ... "you don't know anything about writing a wine review you fool".

And I'm right.  I know virtually nothing "technical" about wine - other than "yum, I like this" or "ew, this tastes like trash that's been left out in the August sun" (true story btw).

So now I'm all in a tizzy. 

The last few bottles of wine DH and I have opened, I've stuffed my nose inside the glass, swirling the liquid around until it nearly splashed on our cream coloured carpet ...  I've opened bottles to let them breath ... I've given some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation ... I've tried to pick out notes of cassis and hardwoods ... tannins ... I've sloshed the wine in my mouth trying to recall "wine tasting 101" from the last winery tour we did ... I've concluded that our IKEA white wine glasses are pieces of crap ... I've read other wine reviewers comments and thought "how do they know what rating this wine should be given!?!?!"

I put my head down in vain.  I contemplate opening a can of lager ... or making a martini ...

And then I hear DH pour something into my glass.

There's a gentle 'gurgle' as the bottle unleashes a pale yellow wave into my aforementioned inappropriately designed IKEA wine glass ... I breathe deeply (okay it was an "I give up" sigh if the truth be told, but I did intake some air).

Wait ... what's that ... does anyone else smell citrus and maybe green apple?!?!?  I grab the glass and take a sip (read: "huge guzzle") ... a mineral-swirl dances across my palate ... I squeal with delight ... DH pours himself a glass and smiles in that wise-old-owl way he has. 

"You just needed to STOP thinking about what you SHOULD be tasting and DRINK-UP WOMAN!"  Oh he is wise isn't he?

So friends, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, what I hope will be the first of many (unknowledgeable) wine reviews!  There will be no official rating scales.  There will be no poufy 'tasting notes' ... there will only be ShortStackFoodie thoughts ... what we liked about it, what we didn't like about it, what we ate with it and would we buy it again.

The first review (inspired by our amazing visit  last spring to Waupoos Winery) - White Rabbit 2011.  It can be seen here.  I am sure that in a few years time I will look back on this blog post, cringe and think "what on earth were you thinking writing such nonsense" ... but for now, nervous as I am to hit "post this review", I've done it ... and I'm looking forward to the next bottle ... whatever it may be. 

See ... you knew I'd tie the backyard-rabbit back into this post somehow ... secretly though, you thought I just went off on a tangent didn't ya'? :)

Funnily enough, as I left for work this morning a baby-bun appeared as if by magic in the clover patch in our backyard.  He was no bigger than a chipmunk. The rain pelted his little bunny-ears and I thought "what's he doing?!?! Shouldn't he be at home all snuggled in his bunny-bed?"  But, undeterred, he munched on ... blissfully unaware that he should worry about anything ('cept the neighbors cat) a lesson for us all me thinks.

Happy sipping friends, and if there's any wines you'd recommend, do let me know.

I must confess - this is "last years baby bun" - I was unprepared for the appearance of "new baby bun" this morning.


  1. Oh my! Such cuties! I sometimes see some deer wandering nearby in my neighbourhood. I'd really love to adopt a bunny and let them live in the back yard, wander and come back when they feel like it! :D About wine, I don't know too much about it. But I do like the fruity ones that are less than 11% alcohol. That seems to work for me. Stronger than this and I need 3 days to go back to normal, I feel so sluggish. Yeah, not a big big fan of alcohol in general. But a good rosé is nice from time to time. :)

    1. Deer and bunnies = perfection :) I'm totally on board with Bunny-adoption, how great would that be!?!?!? Thankfully our cat has ears that are larger than life, so we refer to her as "the bunny-cat" ... best of both worlds I suppose. Throw in her dog-like tendencies and we have 'the tri-fecta' of all creatures great and small!

      You have inspired me to put a rose in the fridge for tonight - many thanks new-friend, great suggestion!