Wine, wine and more wine

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“Drinking wine is just a part of life, like eating food.”

Who could argue with one of the best filmmakers of the twentieth century, Francis Ford Coppola?

Who would dare argue with an Italian who created the movie The Godfather and who owns his own winery in Sonoma?

Italians know wine.

Italians love wine.

And so do I.

April is BC Wine month. What a wonderful month to choose to honour my favourite beverage as it gives me an excuse to celebrate my birthday all month!

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is home to approximately 200 wineries but if you include the other parts of BC where wine is produced, the number grows to about 280.

According to the BC Wine Institute, the BC wine industry contributes $2.8 billion annually to BC’s economy, and draws one million visitors generating $600 million.

As a wine-loving Zoomer, I had the opportunity to help my daughter at the recent BC Uncorked event. I manned a table representing two different wineries situated on the Naramata Bench and six different wines.

Learning new things is a good thing as Zoomers know as it keeps our minds engaged.  You should have heard me sounding like a pro, occasionally checking my winery tasting notes which I strategically placed out of view.

“This white wine is 71% Gewurztminer and 29% Pinot Gris. It is a medium dry unoaked wine with notes of lychee, honeydew melon and sweet pineapple which pairs well with Indian food.”

I continue with one of my favourite summer wines.

“This Viognier is tropical with a lush, soft character and low acidity. It has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot and pineapple on the nose with a rich rounded mouth-feel on the palate.”

It gets better.

“This 100% Okanagan, BC grown Meritage has notes of black cherries and plums with a touch of smoke, toasted oak and a hint of leather.  Aged in new oak for 20 months. It is a blend of 45% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc and 22% Malbec. Pairs well with lamb curry.”

I say all this with such passion and authority that the guests are rushing up to my table to savour it.

I am having such fun although my back is killing me and my mouth is parched from talking non-stop for 5 hours.

But I am indefatigable as I gush about my favourite sparkling rose.

“This sparkling Pinot Noir with 5% Pinot Meunier offers a bold fruit character with lychee and floral notes. Dry and unoaked with strawberries and raspberries on the nose. You don’t need a sunny day to enjoy it as drinking it on a rainy November day will cheer you up.”

Oh I’m good!

And as Zoomers, we know one of the important elements of healthly aging is drinking enough water.  And wine is made from water!

It doesn’t get much better.

So the following weekend, I enjoyed the annual Vancouver Zoomer show where I asked a few attendees why Zoomers like wine so much.

“Drinking wine equals good times,” said Bill, 66. “It makes me think of good bread.”

His wife, Lana, also 66, likes the “sociability and ambience” created by wine.

Their friend, Sharon, 69, says “wine creates magic moments and good memories.”

There you have it…these active, retired teachers could care less about the tasting notes, bouquet or acidity of a wine.  To them, drinking wine is about sharing food and friendship.

So maybe we misinterpreted Marlon Brando’s iconic quote from The Godfather; “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Perhaps instead, he was referring to Coppola’s delicious claret!

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