While Ms. Yoga was up visiting us, it was not just all for pleasure, she also was up drumming up some business and making new connections, or in the modern parlance, she was networking. Ms. Yoga and my Bride both ended up leaving me high and dry to venture off to Grand Rapids for a two-day trip, as they could both accomplish some business and have some great time to catch up with each other on the commute both ways. They stayed at the Grande Dame of hotels in Grand Rapids, namely the Amway Grand, which is a beautiful hotel in the downtown area. The Amway Grand many years ago added an entire wing to the soaring hotel that it already was, and I prefer to stay in the original wing, if possible, because it has the charm of an older and more genteel times, but they ended up in the new wing, which is so similar to other hotels of the same ilk.
The hotel has had many changes even. from the last time, we were there and that includes the restaurants as well. The two of them had dinner at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. Over the years we have dined at several different and divergent restaurants all under the auspices of the famed celebrity chef. I miss the days when the hotel had their own restaurants, as I do enjoy dining in singular restaurants, instead of chains, when possible. The hotel decided that they needed some names to attract new businesses, so they went with Wolfgang Puck and Ruth Chris; and there really is nothing wrong with either, but they are just homogenizing the dining scene across the country. I sometimes feel that I am like John the Baptist out in the wilderness bewailing the loss of individual communities, but I guess I may, because my Armenian first name is named for this Saint. There I go rambling on, but to get back to the duo, they decided to have dinner and they had Pad Thai, which is a dish that my Bride does not get a chance to eat that often, as I am not inclined to dine at most Pan-Asiatic restaurants, and I am not sure if Mr. Puck would be considered an authority on Thai cuisine.
They did have a very interesting wine with their meal and that caught my attention. They were enjoying Domaine de la Terre Rouge Fiddletown Viognier 2014. I am sure that they went with a Viognier wine for the taste and the delightful nose that a great winemaker will deliver. Domaine de la Terre Rouge is an organic winery in Amador County, in the Sierra Foothills of California. They produce about thirty different wines, most with a production of five-hundred cases or less of each wine, so it is a wine that will probably not be found in a corner market. This Viognier was harvested from the Rice-MacDonald Vineyard in the Fiddletown Estate AVA. The wine was fermented in Stainless Steel and then transferred to older French Oak barrels, with a couple of new ones for nuance and aged for about five months. The message I received from my Bride with the accompanying photo was “this was a really good wine!” After dinner, they stopped and had another glass of wine at the bar, and I guess they finished the bottle off, and took the bottle for the unique label for me. Alas, the label is not savable as it is printed directly on the glass, but I now have the cork to commemorate the bottle. I recently wrote about the wine at a tasting that I attended, so I will not get into a discussion about the wine again, but it was Tank Garage Winery Nothing Gold Can Stay Chardonnay 2015 from Napa Valley. All in all, the duo had two great wines for the evening.