In this very busy lifestyle that has become the norm, one is always heading from one destination to the next without taking the time to just admire the location. That is usually the case when we go to Ann Arbor in Michigan. It is a bustling community with many little shops downtown and quite a few restaurants and watering holes, not to mention that it is a college town. I would say normally we meet friends have dinner and leave, or my Bride will have business there and then she leaves, so we really do not wander around, except for the art fair and then we are looking at other things.
After a nice leisurely stroll looking at shops and people watching, we started to get hungry. Alas this was on a Monday and most of the restaurants were either closed or were going to open up later in the day and we were looking for lunch; and of course, a glass of wine or two wouldn’t hurt either. I was hoping to try someplace new, but that wasn’t appearing on the horizon, so we went to a place that we have enjoyed several times before. We went to Café Felix and because of the heat of the day, we were not going to be brave and dine out on the sidewalk, we wanted to enjoy some air conditioning and listen to the great mix of music that they play in the background. We were looking for something light and some dishes to share and we found a few to hold us over until later. We ordered a plate of Deviled Eggs, this seemingly passé dish that has been rediscovered and it was made with Dijon mustard, chives and each was served on a thin slice of watermelon radish, both for color and for taste. We also shared a small round of Baked Brie that was drizzled with Honey-Sriracha and a small French baguette. We were going to also have some Smoked Salmon Pate, but the kitchen was out, but they offered us a substitution of a Smoked Whitefish Pate and it was excellent. So, there we were having a little picnic in the midst of downtown Ann Arbor.
We were both looking to having some white wine to cool off with and my Bride had a glass of Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2015. This wine carried the marking of Appellation d’Originene Protegee, which showed that it was a sub-region of note of the much larger Languedoc-Roussillon of France. This wine was entirely made from the Picpoul (Piquepoul) grape, which kind of translates to “stings the lip,” because of the high natural acidity of the grapes when made into wine. The wine showed the acidity as well as a marked feature of minerals, which I would call flint-like. I went with something bubbly, because we were having a good time and I felt like having a different wine as well. I had the Poulet & Fils Clairette de Die Tradition Methode Dioise Ancestrale NV. Here is one of the lesser grapes of the Rhone Valley, but it shines in the village of Die. While Clairette de Die would indicate that Clairette is the leading grape for this wine, with the addition Tradition Methode Dioise Ancestrale, Clairette is only twenty-five percent of the mix, and the balance is Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, which is one of the oldest recognized varietals known. The other unique aspect of this wine is that while it is bubbly, the method that creates it, predates how Champagne is made. The wine is only fermented once in either oak or Stainless Steel and then is bottled without the addition of yeast or sugar and there is no Disgorgement step involved. I found the wine to have some enjoyable sweetness to it, without being overpowering and a set of continuous flowing small bubbles which was a delight to the eye as well. After our little lunch, we walked a little more and then casually, or as casually as one can drive in Ann Arbor, drove home.