When there is a major holiday to celebrate and when all of the family is together, there is always time for another party. Some families just grow exponentially and it comes to the point where one home is not big enough for everyone to get together. Never let it be said that my Bride is not creative or ambitious enough to create another get-together. She was one of the original creators of her monthly cousin’s luncheon and that has been going on now for at least a couple of years and it allows all of the female cousins, aunts, children and grandchildren to keep in touch over lunch and drinks. The location that they had been using all of this time was also booked for this event, as they have had a great track record with the group, and I have to admit that even my dinner club uses the restaurant about two times during the year.
To keep the party going without creating too many problems, the menu for the event was kept short and sweet. The offerings were to be Whitefish, Beef Tenderloin Tips and Chicken Alfredo with all soft beverages included and then a cash bar for those that wished to continue enjoying the Holiday Season. This meal just like all of the luncheons was planned verbally with a handshake and it was expected to run like clock-work, just like every time in the past. As they say “the best laid plains of mice and men” appeared that evening, as the restaurant had changed hands, the normal wait staff that she anticipated were not there, and there was some chaos involving billing. My Bride had informed everyone that the price of the dinners were going to be one price, the new owners while honoring the date and the menu, decided that the soft beverages included was not an option that they were happy with, so there appeared an additional charge for each diner. The restaurant figured that since there was no formal contract, they could get away with it, but for a short term gain, they have probably lost the cousin’s luncheon each month, as the cousins were already formulating new locations. I think the kicker was that a large Christmas cake was brought in, with paper plates and plastic forks, while the cousins were cutting the cake and serving it, the restaurant tacked on an additional charge for their service as well, which had never occurred with the former owners.
Leave it your Raconteur to find some bright spots of the dinner, as I always try to do. I got there after an hour drive from where I was working that day, and found that we were sitting with my Brother-in-Law and his family from Kentucky and they had arrived prior to me and he had ordered the first bottle of wine for “our” table. He was very pleased to see that the restaurant carried one of the wines he keeps at his home as a table wine and so he ordered a bottle of it. We started off with Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from Napa Valley, and this wine is from the Michael Mondavi family of wines, so it comes with a bit of pedigree right from the start. All of the fruit was harvested from the valley and included parts of Rutherford, Oakville, Oaknoll, Yountville, Wooden Valley and Oso Vineyard. The wine had also been aged in French Oak for fourteen months before bottling, so it was a very good choice and totally dependable. As we got ready to order the second bottle of wine for our table, I took a look at the wine list and I found an old and true friend of ours, and I knew that it would make my Bride smile with fond memories. I ordered a bottle of St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 which is also from Napa Valley, and they are located in Rutherford. St. Supery is a family owned and estate bottled winery that we have visited and bought a mixed case of their wines while we were there. This particular wine is blended with some Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot just to round out the flavor of the Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is not listed as a Meritage. It was a pure delight and we all enjoyed the wine as we finished off our dinner and the post Christmas party. One never knows what treasure can be found, until one looks.