Winter is here and the mountains are calling! This year more
than ever Canadians are planning to get outside and play
in the snow. If you are one of the many, consider packing
along a wineskin. Once an essential piece of gear for skiers in the 1960s
and ‘70s, the wineskin fell out of style in the ‘80s, but this pandemic is
the perfect time to bring it back. Gone are the days of passing it around
and sharing with friends. Now, to be safe, the wineskin needs to be our
own personal container. There is nothing like a little wine and fresh
air to bring a boost to the soul and the immune system!
The wineskin has a long history in Spain where it is known as
the bota bag or “botas de vino,” originally used by shepherds. It is
easily recognizable by its kidney-shaped, plastic nozzle and the
long-braided shoulder strap which allows for hands-free transport.
Bota bags use a pine or juniper resin to keep sealed. These original
wine skins needed to be broken in and seasoned to ensure water
tightness and reduce the possibility of the resin affecting the wine.
Although the more modern wineskins have latex liners, I still
recommend rinsing your wineskin thoroughly first with water and
then with an inexpensive wine to remove any residual taste from
the liner. Once the wineskin has been rinsed, it is ready to hold
your favourite elixir. To christen your wineskin, pick something
special to you. Wineskins like wine, they get better with age. This
year, perhaps this old favourite will help make your winter a bit
more fun.
What is in my wineskin? I am on a port wine kick lately, so my
pick is the Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2015. Taylor
Fladgate pioneered this style in 1965, so 2015 marked their 50th
anniversary. A Late Bottle Vintage, or LBV, is a port from a single
vintage that has been aged in the barrel four to six years, and is
ready to drink upon release. For a wine to be called a port, it must
be made in the Douro Valley in Portugal. However, many fortified
wines around the world are made in a “port style.” Or buy local with
the Black Sage Vineyard Pipe 2010 from the Okanagan Valley. Both
the Taylor Fladgate LBV Port and the Black Sage Vineyard Pipe are
perfect for the holidays. A bit decadent, their lush flavours of black
cherry, cassis and blackberry will take the chill off when you are out
on the trail. Pair it with some dark chocolate for a true out-of-body
experience! Now it is your turn: #whatisinyourwineskin?
A little something to warm you up in the back country

FINAL IMPACT December 2020

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