With the long holiday weekend, the Louisville family came for Thanksgiving. They almost need a bus with all of the family members, luggage, electronics, gifts, assorted items and wine they utilize every square inch of their vehicle. They stay at a nearby hotel to us, because it is a great location for both sides of the family that they see when they are in town. The hotel is adjacent to a shopping mall that also has restaurants and a Cineplex for their down time. They always get a suite with an additional adjoining room and sometimes they still need more space, ah the joys of traveling. And if they already don’t have enough people of their own, they usually have our Granddaughter stay with them as well, to keep their daughter company. We usually stop by the hotel the night they arrive and help them unwind. We actually got to enjoy their company twice for dinner at the hotel while they were in town.
They have stayed so many times there, that they accrue extra perks, like bundles of dining chits and the restaurant there has excellent food. The restaurant also can make special allowances for their one son that has a very specialized dietary regimen that he has been on since he was an infant. They can use the chits both for room service or in the restaurant and they always invite us to join them. It is more convenient to eat in the dining room when there is a crowd and many of the staff will even come by, as they are recognized as regulars to the hotel, which shows great customer service. There is always an assortment of different dishes being ordered from Calamari, salads, pastas, seafood, steaks and sometimes even burgers. We have never had a bad meal from them, and I remember the original free standing restaurant that started them off, which is still functioning in a Northern Suburb, when I was in college, so I would say that they have been successful and I written often about our meals there.
Of course, after a long drive and the unpacking, the adults can appreciate the calming nature of a glass of wine, after all it is so civilized. One night we were enjoying Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay 2014 from Sonoma County in California. This is just a safe and always pleasant bottle of wine with just enough butter to please, without being over-bearing. Chateau St. Jean was founded in 1973 and have stood the test of time with their wines, even with such a popular grape as the Chardonnay. The winery is now part of Treasury Wine Estates and they have some very famous holdings to their name. Normally, I do not challenge by Brother-in-Law when he is ordering the wine, but I made a suggestion to him and he was quite willing to try it, in fact he ordered a second bottle of it and took the wine with him, back to the suite. The wine I suggested was Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2012. This is a Rioja wine from Spain made entirely from Tempranillo and the fruit is harvested from the Rioja Alta region. The Crianza designation is that extra step and expense from the winery for a finer wine, as the wine must be aged a minimum of twelve months in oak and then another year in the bottle before it can even be released. The Ramon Bilbao wines are also part of the larger Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. We always look forward to their visits and the wine just adds to the moment.