When there are so many people in a family, it is easier to have one designated party for all the celebrants for any given month. It does make planning easier and less chance of having family absent from the party. So there we were at one of the Sister’s home for the party, and everyone knows to get together there and just relax, if that is possible. Actually it was quite the day, because all of the sisters and families were there and represented, and that does not always happen, since one sister lives in Kentucky and the rest of us are in Michigan. It was also the same day that my Brother-in-Law and I went wine shopping to get away from the swirling dervishes in the kitchen for an hour or so.
My Bride and her Sister from Kentucky were the designated cooks and party planners, so we schlepped all of the food to another location, and they did their magic. There was some prep work that they could do the day before, like the marinating of the meats, but the rest was all done on the spot. There were concerns about having enough different dishes to satisfy all the guests, as some are not partial to Filets, so there was also chicken and salmon, not to mention hamburgers and hot dogs. Salads and sides were stacking up, and of course the meal ended up as by tradition as a buffet, and one takes what they want and then jockeys to find a chair and table space where they can eat comfortably. When the food was all cleared, it was time to bring out the desserts, and of course the Birthday Cake is decorated with the names of all the honorees of the month.
There were beverages of all types as well. Anything from water, pop and beer and of course wine was also present. There were many bottles of wine there for the crowd, and I think that by osmosis, even more people are drinking wine at these gatherings, but I will only discuss two of the wines from that afternoon. The first bottle that I will talk about is from Michigan, a state that is really making inroads for making fine wines, but it is not getting as much attention as the West Coast States. From Black Star Farms in the Old Mission Peninsula AVA we enjoyed Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay 2013. The “Sur Lie” refers to the method of leaving the residual yeast at the bottom of the vat, which imparts additional aroma and taste to the wine. The winery also does not use any oak in the fermentation or the aging of the wine; hence it is very crisp and dry. As a side note, this particular area of Michigan is on the same parallel that Napa Valley and parts of France occupy, even though one thinks of Michigan as strictly a cold weather state, and some of the great wine varietals are being produced there. The other wine of note that day is one that has been respected for years and even though it carries the tag “Private Reserve,” it really is and is not used as a marketing ploy. Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is a great wine, in fact, to date; I have not experienced a bad vintage from them. Georges de Latour planted the original vineyard in Rutherford, and all the fruit from that site is used by Beaulieu Vineyard for this wine, and is an homage to this wine pioneer. Even though the winery is in Rutherford which has its own AVA, the label reads Napa Valley, and perhaps it is from tradition, but it is an awesome wine and a wine that you don’t want to miss having, if you ever get a chance. Now to see what the September party will bring.