Escape Rooms seem to be all the rage these days. We just went to a big family get-together and there were about seventy people that showed up. The party was held at “Time 2 Xcape” out in Clinton Township which is on the other side of the world for us, but we were game for a good time. The entire complex was rented for the evening by this group, so that there was no rushing and everybody could visit in peace. To the best of my understanding, a group goes into a room that is sealed off and then there is a group endeavor to solve an intricately designed puzzle of questions to escape from the room in a finite amount of time. Neither my Bride or I actually entered into any of these chambers as there were so many that really wanted to, that we allowed those to use the tickets. As you may imagine, my Bride was one of the instigators of this evening of revelry and the logistics of getting everyone together was under her watchful eye. Since the company was not used to crowds of this nature, there was a request for people to bring tables and folding chairs for each family. Our car was loaded to the max with all sorts of necessities for the party.
Not only was our car filled with a folding table, there were plenty of chairs, and all of her records for collecting the fees for the night. It was also loaded with food. We got there early with some others to lay out the floor plan as best as we could for the crowd. I might also add that the evening was a pot-luck dinner and one whole side room became the food headquarters. There were several salads and munchies, there were all types of hot foods like chicken wings, kielbasa and kraut, Fettuccini Alfredo, Lasagna, Swedish Meatballs, a ten-foot long hero sandwich and other dishes, I think you can imagine how the room filled up with food. There was also a sweet table set up with cakes, cookies and that type of goodies. Also with today’s dining requirements there was even a table set up for Gluten-free foods. My Bride and her sisters worked to get everything set up, both before the evening and then for getting the evening set up properly. Several of the guys, myself included set up a card table in the back hall behind the designated kitchen area and we held court there, eating and enjoying some adult beverages.
While the food was pot-luck, the beverages were also “bring your own” and I was more than able for that task as well, not to mention that I think I was the only one that brought a corkscrew so that endeared me to several people as well. The beer crowd and the screw cap legions were all set without my assistance. We started off with an organic Bonterra Chardonnay 2016 from Mendocino County. The organic fruit was pressed and aged in assorted ways. Seventy percent of the juice was aged in a combination of French and American oak, of which only sixteen percent was new. The other thirty percent was aged in Stainless Steel; so, there was a variety of different juices to be blended which made the wine very crisp with just a touch of oakiness or as some say “vanilla.” Bonterra is part of the much larger umbrella of Fetzer Wines. The other wine that I took was J Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015. This was a blend of Pinot Noir from three areas. Seventy percent of the fruit came from the Olson Ranch in Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County and I have been praising the Pinots from that region for some time. Twenty-six percent of the fruit came from the Russian River Valley and four percent was harvested from Santa Maria Valley AVA in Santa Barbara County. The different wines were aged for six to seven months in a mix of French and American Oak, then blended and bottled. The winery began in 1986 by Judy Jordan, the daughter of Tom Jordan, founder of Jordan Vineyard & Winery fame. All In all, a great time was had by all and a fine harbinger of the New Year celebrations.