A dear friend of ours will be in town soon and asked if we could put her up for a couple of days. In my usual hospitable way I told her that we do not take credit cards, but we also slide the bill under the door on her last day. Of course my Bride does not find that funny at all, but thankfully our friend does. As a hotel, we do not offer many amenities, but the wine is wonderful and so are the home cooked meals, but we normally eat out when she is here. I met her the same evening as I met my Bride, as they were great friends even before me. In fact, she was the one that got me started on Marilyn Merlot wines and she bought the bottle strictly for the label, but the wines have always been enjoyable.
For years she would like to meet at The Capital Grille, a fine steak house, but also because it is located in the finest Mecca of shopping in the Greater Detroit Area. So the wallet gets damaged twice in one day, but that is fine, as my Bride does not get too extravagant. My only complaint about The Capital Grille is that I find it loud, but I surmise that it is in a shopping mall. I have never been to any of their other locations, basically because we have one at home, and when we are away, I like to try local places, which is getting harder and harder to find; everyone is a chain operation anymore. Putting that aside, the Dry Aged Steaks there are wonderful, and for a non-salad eater, I really enjoy their Hearts of Palm salad. One could feed a small village with the size of their sides, so sharing is the way to go.
One time we had a charming bottle of wine from Chile that we shared; the Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 from the Concha y Toro group. Concha y Toro is one of the oldest wineries in Chile from the 1800’s and they are situated in Maipo Valley which is called by some as the “Bordeaux of South America.” One of the first districts to be recognized in the Maipo Valley for their distinctive terroir is Alto Maipo and within this area is the Puente Alto where some of the most expensive and finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in Chile come from. Everything about this wine is done properly, including eighteen months of aging in French Oak barrels. So I am looking forward to another visit by our friend and see what we may discover.