Monday, March 2, 2009

Vela's Wine Tasting, and Canada Day

Hola everyone - from sunny, warm and windy El Yaque! I hope you all are well, and keeping warm in your part of the world. By all accounts, spring is on its way in some parts of the world, so hang in there......... If you really cannot take much more of Old Man Winter, might I suggest a restorative windsurf or kitesurf vacation in the South Caribbean?

Life here at Casa Nora is as lively as ever, with new guests coming and going (Barry), some guests returning for a second vacation this year (Super Dave), and frankly, some guests just never leaving....(Michelita.....!)

A few weeks ago, Casa Nora, for the first time in history, was full of Canadian guests. And Vela, the best windsurf station on our beach, was also full of Canadian sailors. So, Kathy (proprietor of Vela) and I had an idea. Since Al and I are never in Canada on July 1st (Canada Day) we thought we would celebrate Canada Day in February - in honour of all of our Canadian guests. So, we organized a Canada Day bbq - featuring all beef hamburgers with Cheddar Cheese, and Bacon, twice baked and stuffed potato skins topped with Bacon, mashed potatoes garnished with.....bacon, and to honour our multi-cultural Canadian heritage, we threw in a Greek salad, and a Caprese salad. Coolers full of beer? - goes without saying......! The only stipulation was - Canadians had to wear red and white. Non-Canadians (oh....those poor people...!) had to wear the colours of their national flag.

Example: Barry and Michele - Canadians.

Barry was to have vacationed here with a friend of his, who suddenly took ill.

Barry, posing at Vela with/without/for Carla..... Maryluz and I did our best to make Barry feel at home.

Super Dave, from Calgary, demonstrating some of his Super Powers..... Super Dave is a veterinary surgeon, and here is one of his patients.

Nora and Barry (Canadians), Elita and Estere (honorary Canadians), and Luzi (Venezuelan...dressed in the yellow, red and blue of the Venezuelan flag.) Very nice!

And here is an example of some Canadians, who cannot follow instructions - Jim, Kersti, Shaker and surprisingly, Big Al.

Super Dave claimed that his sunburn was his 'red'. Well, ok, I'll let it go at that......

Before the bbq, Tom and Kathy (of Vela) organized their first ever 'Vela Wine Tasting', where they showcased 2 whites and 2 red from South America. Included in the presentation, was the discussion and use of the 'Vinturi', shown below.

I will leave the mechanical explanation of the Vinturi to Tom from Vela, suffice it to say that the wine tastings included a before-Vinturi tasting and an after-Vinturi tasting.

The event was held in the churuatta in our garden. And Kathy took great care with the set up, including written descriptions of the wines to be sampled.

Tom and Kathy Mastbaum of Vela. Please note Tommy's spectacular red, white and blue shirt...... (They are both Americans.) Well done Tom!

Tommy making his presentation with the wines and the Vinturi.......

......while Kath described the food pairings that were to be sampled with each wine.


Tommy hard at work with the Vinturi, while Dave, using his super powers, is trying to deduce the inner workings of this device.

After the tasting of the 4th and final wine.........

...... when things were starting to go slightly wacky......

.....and sideways..... became more than clear that food was required. So. Luzi fired up the grill and grilled us all some fine cheeseburgers.

Having averted mass starvation........

......everyone found a place to sit............

......and we all enjoyed some great Canadian fare.

With Tom and Kathy's input, perhaps we will make Canada Day in February, an annual Casa Nora tradition!

Next blog: paradise......