I am a graduate of the Detroit Public Schools and I am proud of the fact. I think that I have more fond memories of my Elementary and Junior High School days, but that is because my High School was away from the neighborhood and we were all splintered off to different schools. I have mentioned Woodrow Wilson Junior High School often. Our first reunion which was an open year get-together was at a bar and I was kind of railroaded into chairing the second reunion that was the start of an enjoyable event. I even had the honor of addressing the last graduating class of the school and that was pure pleasure. Now that I am semi-retired I am not totally a master of my schedule, but I was able to go to a recent planning session for the up-coming event and I am looking forward to it. I do lament that in this age of instant gratification, people have no desire to pre-plan or make a payment for something down the road and I don’t understand it. There is a malaise that has become all too evident today, that people want to reap the rewards that others do, which in the long run will destroy the desire of those that do, to persevere.
The last planning meeting that occurred was at a restaurant from the old neighborhood, instead of a bar and at my age, I enjoy having dinner with friends, instead of just drinking. The meeting was held at Vince’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria and I go back to the days when it was just a carryout pizza joint, where they handed you the pizza over the top half of the screen door, before they added the restaurant and banquet facilities. I looked forward to having my favorite dish of theirs, the gnocchi with meat sauce, since it is a dish that somehow has disappeared from most menus.
Prior to the planning meeting the group met in front of Woodrow Wilson Junior High School for a group photo and it was a hot afternoon. So, I decided to cool off first before dinner with a glass of La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015. This wine is made by Sello & Mosca, the largest wine producers on the Isle of Sardinia and have one of the largest contiguous wine estates in Europe, though they are now owned by the Campari Group. Vermentino is the most important and known varietal on the island, and is also known as Rolle, Pigato and Favorita. The wine is a very pale straw yellow and offers a crisp taste featuring very strongly the mineral taste of the terroir. With my dinner of Gnocchi, I switched gears and had a classic red wine to compliment the meat sauce. I had the Castello Banfi Chianti Classico DOCG 2014. Chianti is the perfect wine for such a simple dish that I had, and the Sangiovese laden wine. This particular wine is only aged in wood for a couple of months and does not have all of the nuances of some of the great Chianti wines, but it reminds me of a much finer production of the classic “Dago Red” wines of my youth, and that was part of the entire evening. All in all, it was fun and I am looking forward to the upcoming reunion.