We found ourselves up at Crystal Mountain in the northwestern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Crystal Mountain is now a year-round resort, but originally it was known more for skiing, but they have parlayed the grounds for all seasons. Some of the lodgings are actually owned by individuals and the management of Crystal Mountain handles the rentals for the owners and one will find locked cabinets in the rooms and chalets for the property of the owners that don’t want to keep hauling goods back and forth. We found ourselves up there for the annual Sumer Retreat Board Meeting that my Bride attended and I went up, as the wall-flower spouse; I guess business and pleasure can intermingle and for me it was all pleasure. We were in the main lodge, but the suites were more than generous, in fact in the living room there was a Murphy Bed, while the bedroom had a king size bed. There was an extra large jacuzzi bath, and an efficiency style kitchen as well, which we didn’t need, but how can you not enjoy a suite that has wine glasses and a corkscrew waiting for you.
It would have been a more leisurely drive up, except that my Bride scheduled five client stops along the way, so we really couldn’t relax a bit when we got there. We basically unpacked and went to the cocktail reception the night before all of the meetings. I am looking more and more out of place when we go to a resort, because I still like resort wear and I like wearing summer color sport coats, which I think shows respect to our hosts, but somehow resort wear can have almost the appearance of gardening attire, but I am old school for sure. The reception was held under a very large tent with tables set up for different foods and it was a casual strolling buffet set up. There was a large table devoted to appetizers, including White Fish Pate, which is the fish for the State of Michigan. There were chafing dishes of assorted foods, including Gluten-free, which has become rather normal for affairs of this nature. There were also two carving tables set up, one for turkey and one for ham and each had assorted relishes and sides for the meats. There was also a very large sweet table just for desserts. I noticed that all the tables were quite busy and the culinary skills of the resort was very capable.
Just off from the main tent was a bar which was very well stocked. There was a large selection of beers, including some of the popular craft-beers that are becoming well received. The actual bar of liquors was quite impressive with some very well-known brands with the proper mixes available. There was a nice selection of wines, probably about twelve different types and not the usual catering hall quality. Since the day was rather sunny, my Bride and I both went with some chilled white wines. My Bride went with Monkey Bay Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from the Marlborough district of New Zealand. Legend has it that Monkey Bay was named, because monkeys were sited on the grounds, even though they are not indigenous to the country. Marlborough is the largest wine district in New Zealand, and the lion’s share of the grapes grown and made into wine is Sauvignon Blanc. This wine was pleasant enough, though I noticed that it was not as fragrant or as citrusy as most of the wines that I have had from the region. I decided that I wanted an easy going white wine that would work with all of the food that was on the tables so I went with Bowers Harbor Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2017 and a Michigan wine to boot. We have been to the winery several times and they now are part of the Old Mission Peninsula AVA which was granted in 1987. Bowers Harbor was established in 1991, originally it was a horse ranch and they grow most of the basic grapes that are found in the area like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Franc, as well as some Cold Hardy grapes like Chambourcin and Vignoles. The wine was not the best example of Pinot Grigio, but it was far from the worst that I have had over the years and on a nice hot, sunny day it was perfect.