We tend to have gatherings at our house, you may have noticed, as over the years I have written about many of them. The main reason is that my Bride is a wonderful cook and hostess, and the other small reason is that I am never sure what I can expect elsewhere, and God knows that I am fussy. Actually, that is why I prefer meeting in restaurants, so I can anticipate; I can also research a restaurant, something I cannot do for an individual. There are some people that I have confidence in, but some I do not know what to expect. When it is here, I don’t have any worries, except for what wines to grab from the cellar.
My Bride still stays in contact with some of her schoolmates, some going back to elementary school days. There were eight of us for dinner, and I was rather the odd man out, as I wasn’t from the schools, but I am from the era and that makes the conversation a little easier. My Bride also goes so far as to pick out music from that era for the background, even though everyone is there for the conversation. Even the day worked out, as it was between bouts of heavy snow. I had even gone so far as to plow the street on both sides of our driveway to make parking easier and more accessible. As the guests arrived, they were seated in the living room and we had a table set up for munchies or appetizers, to allow the conversations to begin flowing. It started rather simple with some cheese and crackers and fruit, and then followed with spinach pies and a “Mexican” casserole similar to a botana, that had demarcation lines to accommodate people that were Gluten-free or had dairy issues. Munchies are always a good time for me.
The first wine that we opened up has always been a good stand-up, guaranteed good bottle. The Joseph Carr Josh Cellars Chardonnay 2017 is a wine that I never worry about, as it is always fresh, citrusy with a touch of oak/butter in the mix. Joseph Carr began in 2005 making his line of wines, representing the best of vineyards for a California version of the classic French wines. In 2007 he created the Josh Cellar line to represent California wines in a more relaxed, and affordable price range and named this collection after his father. The fruit for this wine comes from both Mendocino and Monterey counties, both respected for producing quality Chardonnay grapes. Joseph Carr is part of the much larger Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, and as an interesting side note, Joseph Carr lives in Cape Cod when he is not making wine. The second wine that I grabbed from the cellar had the potential for being iffy, only because I may have kept it too long, but since I had other back-up wines, I wasn’t really concerned. I opened up the Wrath Estate Fermata Chardonnay 2009 from Monterey. The cork was perfect, the color was an excellent golden shade and the nose was very subtle. There was no signs of oxidation or foxiness that one could encounter from an older white wine. The wine is called Fermata, which is an Italian word for halted, because the fermentation process is halted at the halfway point to keep the acidity high and then it is aged in French Oak for ten months. The fruit for this wine comes from their estate that is just outside of the Santa Lucia Highlands and the cool growing cycle and the rich mineral laden ground is perfect for the Chardonnay vines to struggle with. The two words that I heard the most bandied about was “layered” and “complex” especially when they compared the gold color to the first wine. We were getting ready to move to the dining room.