Christmas Eve has passed and now it is a memory, as so many others before it, in my life time. We normally have the meal at our house, but another sister of my Bride wanted to celebrate it at her house, before her work schedule gets totally out of control and she has no life, and I can readily appreciate that feeling. I think this year there were too many people wishing for a white Christmas, now don’t get me wrong, I like a white Christmas, but just a dusting where the grass is covered, but the streets and sidewalks are clear. This year I think too many got carried away with their wishes as we had about six inches of snow. A trip to their house usually takes about forty-five minutes and this time it took twice as long, and the return trip was almost twice as long as getting there. It is a bit of a white-knuckle trip when you see multiple trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles on the side of the road that end up in the wrong direction of the traffic flow. Then there are the individuals that feel that if the speed signs say seventy, they feel that they drive at that speed regardless of the weather and road conditions, and I will never understand that thinking.
After getting to the house and unloading our car of the ham, the Armenian Pilaf, a pot of stuffing that she baked and the Caesar Salad that had to be tossed, I looked at the kids playing video games and went back outside to shovel the sidewalk, I mean my Mother-in-Law would soon be arriving and she uses a walker for assistance. I guess at sixty-three I can still shovel snow, as long as I pace myself. Then my Brother-in-Law came out with his snow blower and finished the job that I started. And speaking of my Brother-in-Law, this Canadian has become a Michigander for all intents and purposes. Here we had six inches of snow and still falling and he was trying out his new “greaseless” deep fryer for the turkey on the front porch and he was barbecuing pork tenderloins on the grill in the back yard. Something about Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. You know have a feeling for the menu for the evening, along with the many other side dishes, appetizers and desserts, made for a pleasant meal. Afterwards there was a long period of gift exchanging, because with that many people, it takes time.
There were plenty of adult beverages to enjoy, though with the weather, there was not as much indulging as there could have been. I will discuss two of the wines that we brought for the party. We started off with a white wine to compliment the snow and the appetizers. The first wine was “Thurissey” Vire-Clesse 2014. Appellation Vire-Clesse Controlee is relatively new, as it was created in February 1999 and applies only to the driest white wines from the villages of Vire, Clesse, Laize and Montbellet in the Maconnais district of Burgundy. Domaine Saint Barbe has a total of 8.2 hectares in the villages of Vire and Montbellet where they grow Chardonnay. I had been looking forward to trying this wine and I am glad that even my Bride liked it, as it was much different compared to the Sonoma Chardonnay wines that lately have been our “house” wine. It had a very pleasant terroir that was immediately apparent with a nice aftertaste that lingered just long enough, making you look forward to the next sip, and it had a nice color and a soft nose. The second wine that I had brought is a varietal that I like to pair with turkey and pork, though some think that I am in a minority on the pairing. Domaines Lupier El Terroir 2011 of Navarre was from the husband and wife team of Elisa Ucar and Enrique Basarte that I have befriended over the years in my writings and on Social Media. The fruit was harvested from twenty-seven different plots with vines from sixty-eight to one hundred years old. All those vines of Garnacha, in Spanish, that we more comfortably know as Grenache, dating back to 1903, and there were 1,688 cases produced. This wine bowled me over from the nose and the first taste and I knew that I had chosen correctly. It is one of those meaty wines that one can chew while tasting it and could hold its own against the deep frying and the barbecue flavors. Thank you Elisa Ucar and Enrique Basarte for your fine labors of love, and I feel that this wine was even better then when I first tasted it, because of the additional cellaring time.