Our first night of getting situated up in Crystal Mountain in our vacation home for our Michigan adventure. After schlepping all the groceries into the house, the sisters took it upon themselves to make sense out of the larders for the next couple of days. It is good that we brought up our auxiliary electric car refrigerator as we ended up needed the additional space for a couple of days. On our trip up, we had to make an extra stop and not even out of our way to Cadillac, Michigan to pick up an order that the Louisville contingent could not pick up, because they arrived too late in Cadillac to pick up it. We picked up an order of Pasty, and not the glittery or tasseled pasties that the dancers in Burlesque used to wear while performing.
You may not know what a Pasty is, but in keeping with the theme of Michigan, it is relevant. Historically it is Cornish and recorded from the 1300’s, originally a dish for the Royalty, but it ended up as a dish for the masses, and especially for miners, as the dish would remain hot for a long time and could be reheated on a shovel over a flame if necessary. A Pasty is a self-contained savory pastry dish that does not require a pot or a pan to make and is filled with beef, potatoes, onions, spices and rutabagas, and some wags claim that the pastry shell will not crack even if it falls out of the pocket of a miner and falls to the bottom of a mine shaft. You may ask what a Cornish Pasty has to do with Michigan, and you would be right, except that it was widely used by the Finn immigrants that ended up in the Upper Peninsula as miners in the 1800’s. My Brother-in-Law’s family is Finnish from the U.P. and he is a maven on them. These were from one of his two favorite Pasty shops in the Lower Peninsula and we were having them for dinner the first night.
We certainly did not have any problems pairing wine with our dinner. Actually, we started enjoying our dinner wines, while dinner was baking. The first bottles that we opened that evening was Bonterra Chardonnay 2017, a California Chardonnay with a touch of Muscat and Viognier to add some aromatics and an extra layer of nuance in the taste. Bonterra is part of the much larger Fetzer Wines and the Bonterra line is crafted from Certified Organically Grown Grapes. Seventy percent of the wine was aged in a combination of French and American Oak, of which fifteen percent was new, and the balance of the wine was done in Stainless Steel for a nice balanced wine that was great on its own and with our Pasty dinner eventually. We then went with another tried and true friend to finish the evening and that was the Rodney Strong Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma County 2016. The winery was founded in 1959 and originally used bulk grapes under the label of Tiboron Vintners. Then in 1962 they bought Windsor Vineyards and then in 1989 the Klein Family bought the winery and kept Rodney Strong on, until he retired. This basic wine of theirs is also a blend of French and American Oak (fifty/fifty) with the wine on the lees for six months, and also some aged in Stainless Steel. Our first night was just some easy drinking and then we called it a night and looked forward to the next wave of family to join us the next day.
You can’t go wrong with a bottle of Bonterra. Sounds like a fun gathering!