Superhero Wine – Here to Save the Day! (Part III)

4-4-14

Shield-Captain-America-MovieFor those of you out there who are Superhero fans, Avengers fans, Marvel fans…you will know EXACTLY what the above numbers mean.  And if you don’t know, let me introduce you to my 14-year old daughter.  Anything I need to know about superheroes, I just go ask the expert. But this is not just ANY superhero.  We’re talking about her absolute favourite here.  It’s Captain America.

That’s right, in 11 days, the Captain returns in Captain America:  The Winter Soldier. Oh. My. Goodness…the long-awaited sequel.  My daughter is beside herself planning for the 8 pm pre-showing on April 3 with her 2 buddies, in AVX 3-D.  Good thing it’s Spring Break and she doesn’t have school the next day!

Captain-America-Winter-Soldier-Final-Battle-Concept-ArtSteve Rogers, aka Captain America was the typical “98 lb weakling”, dying to serve his country in WWII.  He saw several doctors in order to pass the medical exam required to be in the army.  He never passed, always being “unfit” for military service.  Undaunted,  he volunteered for a top-secret program to create a “Super-Soldier”.  Rogers is injected with a “super serum” and given massive doses of vita-rays.  After he emerges taller, and more muscular, the lab is raided, shots are fired, leaving the inventor of the serum dead, with no further research to be done on Rogers to perhaps duplicate the serum.

Left in the hands of the Colonel, Rogers is forced to wear a “uniform” and sell War Bonds across America.  While on tour, Rogers hears of the supposed demise of his pal Bucky Barnes.  Refusing to believe he’s dead, he ditches the War Bonds tour and seeks the help of Ironman‘s daddy, Howard Stark to fly him behind enemy lines to rescue his buddy.  While there, he runs into Johann Schmidt, a previous recipient of a serum gone bad, discovers he’s actually the Red Skull and then manages to free Barnes and all the other POW’s in the process.  Good move on Rogers’ part as he recruits the vigilante POW’s on a mission to put an end to all HYDRA bases (led by Schmidt) throughout Europe.  Rogers has grown rather fond of his “uniform” from the war bonds tour and decides to keep using it, but looks again to Stark for a weapon.  Other than the “A” we are so familiar with on Cap’s mask, the other identifying feature is of course, the shield.  Designed by Stark from vibranium, a rare, almost indestructible metal, which by the way, is completely vibration absorbent, is an extension of Captain America himself.  Where the Captain is, there you will find the shield.

Fast forward to where Captain America saves the day…literally.  The bombs have been released by the Red Skull, but rather than have them hit their intended targets, Cap steers the plane towards the Arctic where the plane eventually crashes with him inside.

With the crash, we assume the Captain is dead.   Instead, the super serum in his body keeps him in a frozen state for 70 plus years. He is awakened by the other Avengers in the 21st century, ready to face a new age of villains, specifically Winter Soldier.

Cap is a good guy, who in his down time (trust me there isn’t much for this First Avenger) likes to imbibe in Eiswein (since he was behind enemy lines in Germany back in WW II) and Icewine (Canada), now that he’s back in North America.  The Riesling grape is a grape known for its great ageability, and Cap IS an older guy; 😉 perhaps that’s why he might like this particular varietal and these wine types, not to mention the fact that he’s also spent a great deal of time frozen, which perhaps is why I feel he would have a certain affinity towards these wines. (Factoid:  it’s a good thing these wines are low in alcohol (9%) as the Captain has the inability to become inebriated, due to the super serum leaving him with a super charged metabolism.  After Bucky Barnes died, we witnessed the Cap trying…)

Riesling icewineRiesling grapes are left to freeze on the vine, which concentrates their flavours.  They get harvested at exactly -8C and are gently pressed. The key to Icewine is that unlike Sauternes or Tokay, these grapes are NOT affected by Botrytis Cinerea (noble rot), but are clean grapes that simply freeze on the vine. And in Canada, although there is Icewine made from the Riesling grape, a hearty grape hybrid was created specifically for this purpose, known as Vidal.  These wines, although sweet, can be very refreshing, due to the high acidity.  And you can often find notes of baked apples, caramel, honey, dried apricots or other tropical fruits, such as mango and lychee.   Eiswein is rare, and very expensive, but Canadian Icewine, although pricey, is a little more affordable.  I’d like to think that the Cap would’ve enjoyed these 2 beauties.  The Mission Hill Reserve Riesling has lovely notes of apricots, pears and honey.  Again, high acidity keeps this wine from being cloyingly sweet.  Pick any stone fruit dessert dish and this would be a winner!

The second beauty is Inniskillin Vidal (really the ‘home’ of Canadian Icewine, since 75% of Canadian Icewine comes from Ontario in Eastern Canada). This grape with its thick skin, was specifically created to handle the harsh, cold Canadian winters.  Again, the acidity lends to the freshness of this wine, and keeps the sweetness from being too cloying.  The beauty of this particular icewine is it can also be oak aged for further complexities.  Candied brown sugar adds to the flavours of apricots, peaches and mangoes in this Vidal.  Might I suggest a cheesecake with fresh peaches on top?Vidal Icewine

And the Cap may look all hard and bound up on the outside, but on the inside, Steve Rogers is a very sweet guy.  Let the man sit down to have a glass of Icewine would ya?  After that, THEN he can go save the day!

Cheers…and enjoy the movie!  I’m gonna hear all about it! (In great detail I might add…)

Somebody REALLY likes Captain America in my family!  This is the shield my husband made for our daughter, and it hangs on the wall in her room.

Somebody REALLY likes Captain America in my family! This is the shield my husband made for our daughter, and it hangs on the wall in her room.

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