A lot has changed since I graduated from high school. It seems to my memory, that we had graduation photos, ordered a class ring, ordered a year book and went to a prom. I remember driving out to pick up my date, and going to the prom, of course my group only stayed a little while, as we had other plans and one day I might even write about that memory. Nowadays, it seems like the kids rent a bus and go to some destination to have special photos taken before they attend the prom. Back in the dark ages, who even thought about that, parents took some pictures of the kids in their finery and then out for the evening. We ended driving out in rush hour traffic to a park that I wasn’t even aware of on a lake. This was for my Bride’s Godson, so we were going out to meet the students and the boy’s family. We eventually made it there in time for some photography and that made my Bride very happy, and I was amazed at the crowd of people that all amassed at the park with the same intentions. Then the kids piled back on the rented bus and took off for their prom and we met with the boy’s parents and decided to go out for dinner.
We were out in an area that we normally don’t go to, but I put my thinking cap on and remembered a restaurant that I remembered people talking about, but I had never been to, though I have drove by it on occasion. I called to see if they took reservations, but I was told that they do not take same day reservations, but they said that at the moment, it looked good. So, we all got into our cars and drove over to the Uptown Grille in Commerce Township. I guess the best way to describe it, would be to call it a roadhouse. From the outside it is not that enticing, but I have never let a façade deceive me, and when we walked in, I was surprised how large it was, and we had no problem getting seated. My Bride ended up having the Pecan Chicken with shallots and cranberries, sautéed in a Sherry sauce, topped with spiced candied pecans and green onions and mashed potatoes. I had been in the mood for some ribs for a while, and here was my chance to sate that desire. I just had the barbecued baby back ribs with a side of Cole Slaw and Macaroni and Cheese.
We were looking at the wine list and under “Interesting Reds” I found one that sounded interesting. We had a bottle of Peirano Estate Vineyards Illusion 2016 from Lodi, California. Peirano Estate Vineyards is going into their fifth generation in the business, and they were one of the original planters of Zinfandel in the area. They even survived the Prohibition Era by bootlegging wine, because as their site claims, Zinfandel was not on the map for wine production back then for the government. They really began making wine in earnest in 1992. The Illusion is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon which are all estate grown. Each varietal was hand harvested and vinified separately and then they began the arduous effort of finding the proper blend, which they did. They aged the wines in a mix of French and American Oak, and the entire process took almost a year from harvest. It was a very nice wine and it really paired nicely with ribs, and I guess it worked well with the chicken, as the wine was not overly jammy as a Zinfandel can be, but I think it was tempered with the other grapes.
Great wines pinpoint some really marvelous histories of important celebrations. I’ve seen a lot if changes in wine. I remember when there were no Zinfandels or Moscatos. Hmmm.
Wines like everything else goes in cycles or trends, but it is always good to have your steadies. – John