We had a surprise birthday for my Sister, as she attained a milestone year, but we shall leave it at that, as it would not be gentlemanly of me to give out her age. This surprise party went perfectly without a hitch and oh the mechanism that turned, creating it. It was all under the guise that she was going to meet one cousin and go to another cousin’s house, so that there would be a “dog-sitter” available and then another cousin was going to show up and then the cousins would all go out for a dinner and a show. There was texting galore going on to make everything work out perfectly. She was totally surprised with all her cousins and aunts there to help her celebrate.
There were enough appetizers there, that everyone could have made a dinner just from that and we were munching on them, while waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. There was a large platter of jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce and no matter how much was wolfed down, it didn’t seem to make a dent in the array. There was the spicy Armenian Basturmah, a cured meat with a pungent scent and flavor, that I tend to avoid from working with the public, because the spices seem to stay for a couple of days after eating it. Of course, there was the accompanying Armenian String-cheese, falafels and some delightful stuffed mushrooms to snack on as well. There was a large dinner with two salads, one tossed and a Caesar Salad. There was Bourbon Salmon, Armenian Keftah, Armenian Pilaf and Armenian Macaroni and Cheese; can you tell that the menu tended to be leaning toward the Armenians. The Birthday cake was amazing and it was surrounded by matching cupcakes.
As for the libations, there was an ample selection for all tastes. There was an assortment of liquors and beers for some. There was also a selection of wines arrayed and I thought I would mention two of the wines that evening. Sofia Blanc de Blancs 2015 is from Monterey County, and Sofia is the actress/ director/winemaker daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. This is a very easy drinking sparkling wine that most people can enjoy without any fussiness. It is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Muscat that was aged in Stainless Steel and finished in the Charmat method, the more affordable bulk-method way of producing sparkling wine. The other wine that is always a crowd pleaser is Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico 2007. This is a wine that one usually sees on menus as Ruffino Gold Label (Oro) and it is not issued every year, only when it is a great vintage. This wine comes from the demarcated zone known as Chianti Classico and Ruffino uses their famed Gretole and Santedame Estates for the fruit in the sub-region of this area known as Castellina. Naturally with this wine eighty percent is made from the Sangiovese grape and the other twenty percent is rounded out with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The grapes are aged in an assortment of oak, Stainless Steel and concrete and aged for thirty-six months, twelve months longer than required by law for a Riserva from Chianti Classico and then it spends additional time in the bottle before it is released. I think that it is one of the best of the area and considering all that is involved in the production is quite affordable. All in all, the evening was perfect and from the guest of honor, on down, everyone had a great time.