I think we had the biggest Thanksgiving dinner ever, and no we do not do a Norman Rockwell type of dinner. We had tables everywhere this time. There were tables and diners in the dining room, the living room, the library, the breakfast nook and the family room. We were running out of space. First appetizers were spread out in different zones. The island in the kitchen was a large smorgasbord for dinner, and we had to set up the plates and utensils in the library, as there was no place on the island for them.
Earlier in the day before the guests arrived we had two roasters and an auxiliary refrigerator in the library, and that did not work out, as we blew a fuse. So we had to put one roaster in the kitchen and one stayed in the library. The oven and the range were also put to major use as well. I have to admit, that my Bride makes the best turkey and stuffing that I have ever had, and as I have stated in the past, I never enjoyed turkey, until I had hers. Her sister came up with a special dish that we cooked that morning as well, she had prepped a whole standing rib roast, and I am so glad that her butcher cradled the meat on the ribs and tied it together. I was not aware that it had been cradled and I was on the computer reading up on how to carve this roast, the hardest part was already prepped. May I say that this dish rivaled my Bride’s turkey and she was watching which dish was more popular as people filled their plates with all of the different foods that were laid out on the island. Suffice it to say that there were plenty of other dishes as well, and nobody was left out or hungry afterwards. After everyone was sated, the island was cleared of all the foods, and the island became a dessert table, and of course all of the November birthday people were sung to, before the desserts was doled out.
My Brother-in-Law with the great cellar brought up a bottle for us to enjoy, and he only looked at the label. After he put it on the table and we uncorked it, did he realize that it was a special commemorative painted back label, and that he must have gotten it at a charity event. I guess this bottle will not have the label soaked off, but will be kept intact on a shelf that I have in the cellar for special bottles. The wine was Beaulieu Vineyard George De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. This is probably the original and most meaningful “Private Reserve” in Napa Valley, in fact perhaps in the country. George De Latour was the original founder of Beaulieu Vineyard and the fruit harvested for this wine is from the original Rutherford site. This is not a bulk production wine at all, and the terroir was even more noticeable in this vintage, than compared to other bottles of this wine that I have had in the past. The back of the bottle had a painted label for the Primetime Emmy Awards “60” and I did some research and this event was in 2008, so these bottles must have been served at a very special party, as I can not imagine that this would have been offered to people who “swill” wine or any other alcoholic beverage that they can get their hands on.
The gauntlet had been thrust, and I decided to go into the cellar and find something to create a possible “awe” moment of my own. I went into the Bordeaux wine area of my rack and I thought, yes this will work. I brought it up, and handed it to him, and he recognized the label, but he had to put his glasses on to read the vintage. He smiled, and he asked me if I knew the history of this bottle, and I replied to the affirmative, as I had splurged and bought this bottle when it first came to the market and I have had it cellared ever since. We looked at the lead capsule that surrounded the cork and it looked rather “grungy” if I may say so. We then looked at the ullage of the bottle, and it looked as if there had been no seepage of air or liquid, as the bottle looked “store bought full.” I attempted to get a cork screw in the cork, but it was quite soft, and my Brother-in-Law used one of my spring steel cork screw, but alas the cork pushed right into the bottle. I went and got my always ready funnel, a coffee filter and a decanter. This wine was going to be tested and tried. The make shift filtration system allowed the wine to be fully decanted, and we were even admiring the color of the wine, and not to mention that there was no foxiness or oxidation smell to the nose. All good signs and I almost forgot to take a picture of the wine in the decanter, to show the rich color. We rinsed our glasses from the delightful cab to try this new bottle of a Cabernet blend. The wine that we decanted was Chateau Margaux 1970, one of the Premier Grand Cru of the Medoc, and a famed wine. My Brother-in-Law mentioned that this is not a wine that is known for a long life, like Chateau Latour, but he said the best of the French wines are always full of surprises. He and his wife, my Bride and myself all tried the wine, and remarked that most of the fruit was gone, but the tannins were still solid, and the terroir was still noticeable, but it may have been the most mellow Bordeaux wine that we have ever had, not feisty, but still totally intact. Only my Bride did not want to finish her glass and gave it to me, as she likes her wines, especially Cabs and blends to be big and in your face, and this wine was, I felt, sensual and demure. The rest of us could not get over the quality and life of this wine.