For years I was part of Small Business and every year at Christmas time some of the employees would lament that we didn’t have a party. My boss who was the head of the corporation always use to say that it would be cheaper to throw a party, but he felt that a Christmas Bonus was a better incentive to keep his employees. Over the years I learned how smart and intelligent he was, because the only way a corporate party would compete is if he flew my Bride and I to Paris and we had dinner at a different Michelin Five Star restaurant each night for a week, and a spacious suite over-looking the Eiffel Tower. In today’s real world, most companies don’t give bonuses or parties and God forbid if they called it a Christmas party. I have also talked to some people that have attended the parties that their company had thrown and each person was given one drink ticket and then they were on their own, and that is understandable, because some people could try to show how much they can drink when someone else is paying for it. I bring all of this up, because we attended an employee party, and this was the first time that spouses were invited. Trust me, my Bride and I were not interested in over-indulging, in fact, my Bride’s whole focus was going to be the dance music after dinner.
The company had sent out many memos about the evening, including the suggestion that the men dress for the party. One could see a clear demarcation line of the generations employed by the cut of the clothes. There was also a memo that was sent out for everyone to select a dinner entrée and there was a choice of three: “Airline chicken” which I have discovered at an earlier event is a chicken breast and a wing, Salmon with pineapple salsa and wild-mushroom ravioli. I was cautious and went with the chicken and my Bride went with the salmon. For a good hour or two prior to dinner there were servers at the event with an assortment of hot and cold appetizers, and they were popular with the crowd. The salad before dinner was a version of what is known as a “Michigan” salad with a Champagne vinaigrette. After dinner there was a very nice sweet table set up.
I thought that the company did a very nice job, as there was a large bar set up in the room, with an assortment of beers, a fine selection of liquors and they had a choice of three different wines. We actually tried two of the three wines during the course of the party and they were workmanlike and not the typical catering wine selections. We started off with some glasses of white wine that paired decently with most of the appetizers. We were drinking Guenoc California Chardonnay 2017 which is part of the Langtry Estate & Vineyards, which is part of the much larger Foley Family Wines. I was intrigued to discover that Langtry Estate is actually the thirty-five square mile get-away for the famed actress Lillian Langtry, but this wine was not from their vineyards and probably is a money maker for the winery for their more craft-like wines. It was a good basic Chardonnay, so we were happy. We then switched over to Donati Family Vineyards Claret 2014 a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot and from the Paicines AVA, which was new to me; actually, the more I write about wines the more new things I discover. Paicines AVA is the southernmost region of San Benito County in the Central Coast. It was actually known and used for the growing of bulk wines and extensively used by Almaden until they were sold and split up, and now there are some winemakers that are doing their own thing. The red wines produced by the Donati Family Vineyards are aged for twelve to eighteen months in a mix of California and French Oak barrels. This was a very easy to drink Claret and we stuck with it, through our time on the dance floor and judiciously leaving before the affair was officially closing for the night.