Years ago, and I mean years ago, when I was in high school, I belonged to the Armenian Youth Federation. I remember checking out the downtown hotels for a conference to get the best arrangement for the club and to keep the costs down as we were all teenagers. One of the hotels that I looked into was the Book Cadillac Hotel, which has reopened in Detroit in the last couple of years after being shuttered for a period of years. I had a couple of meetings with the sales department, and I guess between my suits and my moustache I appeared older, even though I was acting in a capacity for a youth group. On one of the trips to the sales department, the salesman took me out for dinner and drinks to “sell” the hotel, and who was I to say no? I mean, have you ever met a teenager that didn’t have a great appetite? The salesman must have known, but he ate as much as I did that time.
I remember that I did not have to even make any decisions, as my contact person was doing all of the ordering. I started off with Clams Casino, followed by a bowl of Lobster Bisque with the lacing. It was the first time that I ever had a spinach salad with a hot bacon dressing and I did enjoy that salad. For the entrée, I cannot remember the name of the dish, but it was jumbo shrimp (prawns?) stuffed with crabmeat in a lobster sauce, and it must have been a double order, because the plate was laden with the shrimp (see the things that I can remember). After dinner we enjoyed a couple of Hummers, this is a drink that I believe was born in Detroit and is a cocktail in a milkshake, and I might add, rather lethal.
I was being wined and dined in royal style that evening and we had a bottle of Romanee-St.-Vivant Domaine Marey-Monge 1967. This is a Pinot Noir wine from the Cotes d’Or of Burgundy. I have to say that this wine is a bit more than just a Burgundy wine; it is from the Cote de Nuits and the village of Vosne-Romanee. One of the most famous Grands Crus of this village is the four acre estate Romanee-Conti, which is owned entirely by the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC), which also owns all of La Tache, and parts of Richebourg, Grands-Eschezeaux, Eschezeaux and Montrachet. The only reason that I mention the DRC is that they produce and market the wines of another vineyard in Vosne-Romanee owned by the widow of General Marey-Monge. This was a leasing arrangement and the DRC had first options on the property and they finally purchased the vineyard and this label no longer exists. I think that the salesman wanted to try this wine, and I got to be the lucky recipient of his expense account.