When I was a college student, there was always a chance that meeting someone that was not from the immediate area. I remember that happening once and I ended up on date in Holly, Michigan. Which back then required a AAA map for the state of Michigan, back then it almost felt like I needed a visa and a travel permit. I was not then and I still am not a great distance driver, not that my driving is bad, I just am not crazy about being in a car for long periods of time, especially when I do not know where I am going to. This was the case, going to Holly. After I got there, it was fine. The destination was a delight, it was the oldest continous inn in the state, and the restaurant was acclaimed. The hotel itself was also famous as Carrie Nation once took her axe to the establishment for serving alcohol, and they even celebrated the event every year.
The restaurant prided themselves on being Nouveau Cuisine back then, but I remember the food being more Continental, than trendy at least to this novice diner. I remember having sharing plates of escargot in a classic rendition, as well as shrimp stuffed mushrooms to start off the dinner. Since neither of us that evening was adventurous with food, I had Beef Wellington and my date had medallions of beef and both were prepared very well. I remember being surprised that the potatoes looked like waffles; it is amazing what I remember vividly about certain situations.
We shared a bottle of Chateau Loudenne 1973, which is a Medoc wine and a Cru Grand Bourgeois. A Medoc listing tends to be a better guidepost than just a Bordeaux appellation, because it is a much smaller parcel of the whole district. With it being a Medoc, I think it is safe to surmise that the wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and perhaps Carmenere. One of the pleasures of writing this blog is the ability to go a revisit some of the wines that got me started in my pursuit of wines. Chateau Loudenne is one of the oldest Cru Bourgeois properties of the area, and they are still winning awards and well regarded in their classification. The property is now owned by The Moutai Group of China, and was the first vineyard that they purchased outside of China. All this from a long car trip, for a date, and as an update, the Hotel is no longer an inn, they closed for awhile, but the restaurant has been reopened, and is cause for a return trip at some point.