Family get-togethers are great and when they are a long weekend, there is plenty to party about. I would guess the real hard work is for the host and hostess, because it is their house, their dishes, their food and their wine. Though I know that there were contributions, it is a lot to do. As I say, it may be a long time before the entire family gets together in Kentucky, but while it was occurring there was a lot of fun. The logistics of booking the all of the hotel rooms, and we did kind of have our own wing on one of the floors was nice. The hotel also had complimentary breakfasts being served for a couple hours each morning, so that took a bit of a load off of our hostess, but as I look back upon all of us having breakfast together, we should have taken a couple of bottles of bubbly and made Mimosas, I mean, I must be losing it, as the thought never came to me, until I am writing this down.
As for the dinners, even though, I kept mentioning white wines and several different types of fish, being served, there was also good old American red beef. If you recall, when I was discussing all of the different dietary requirements for all of the guests, one of the residents in Kentucky has a very strict diet of beef filets, broccoli and green beans and no butter. In case you think that is an odd diet, this individual doesn’t have a spare fat tissue to be found and he is doing half-marathons, don’t look at me, I am not sure if I could handle his diet or his athleticism. Though I did indulge in filets on a couple of the evenings.
We had brought a case of wine with us, to mingle with the other wines that our host and hostess were serving, and even though it is like take coal to Newcastle, it is the proper thing to do. We also took some Rosé wines, because they are popular and everyone seems to enjoy them. One of our favorites now is Podere Ciona “Ciona Rosé” Toscana IGT 2016. Franca and Franco Gatteschi were looking for a place in the countryside to retire to and found this one-hundred-acre estate with a house from the 18’th Century that had been abandoned for about forty years. They purchased the property in 1990 and spent three years working on the main house. They also started planning a winery and in 1997 they had their first official vintage. They are located in the commune of Gaiole in Chianti Classico country. They had been making a Rosé for a couple of years using Sangiovese, the grape of Chianti and Cabernet Franc, unfortunately one year the local wild boars decimated the Cabernet Franc vines, so this particular vintage is made from pure Sangiovese, and was aged for three months in Stainless Steel. The entire production of this wine was a hundred cases of wine, and my local wine shop got the monopoly on the allotment of the United States quota. The wine had a nice dark salmon pink color, with a nose of fruit and herbs, with tastes of strawberry, and watermelon. It was very easy to drink and I find it much more enjoyable compared to the big boy Rosé wines from California that demand all the shelf space in most wine shops. I also brought some Michigan wine, because I have really found some excellent wines the last couple of years on our tours. We poured some Boathouse Vineyards Pinot Noir Leelanau Peninsula 2013 made from Dijon Clones and aged for nine months in French Oak and I found that this persnickety growing grape made a lighter wine, but as the vines mature, I also thought that I would like to see how this wine would age, and I have to say that the cellar time allowed this wine to offer some depth that it did not show when we tasted it at the winery, which made us happy, as we still have more at the house. The last wine that I will discuss, is a wine that I have been watching unfold and blossom in our cellar and we may have gotten the last case of it in Michigan. Yao Family Wines owns no vineyards in Napa Valley, but they do have a tasting room in St. Helena, with contracts with vineyards in Coombsville, Atlas Peak, Oak Knoll District and St. Helena, but the wines carry the Napa Valley AVA. The Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 was the perfect wine to end the evening with. The wine was almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, but there was 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, and of the Cabernet Sauvignon there were three different clones and each was vinified separately before the blending. Here was a wine that was aged for eighteen months in French Oak, of which 65% was new, and they had created a wonderful drinking wine even with a high 14.3 Proof, and each time we have cracked open a bottle, the nose, taste and finish gets betters bigger and better. That is what wine is all about, and the next time that we will all get together, will be in Michigan, because the acting twins are graduating in June, and their graduation party will be held here, to make it easier for all of the relatives.