We have had a year for high school graduates and there is nothing wrong with that. I was the first male with my last name to graduate, first from high school and then from college, of course for my parent’s generation they were battling being first generation in a new world and then there was the Great Depression occurring at the time. All of those DP’s or Displaced People as they were called back then in my family and circle were survivors of the first genocide of the Twentieth Century and they were not going to let the Depression ruin their dreams of a new life. They were too busy learning to read and speak a new language and they didn’t have time to sit around a wait for the government to enslave them with handouts and be on the dole. The times were tough, and most of the boys had to quit school to work, to help their parents out. Yes, I think of how fortunate I was growing up that I missed that, as we keep striving to make it better for our families. High School graduations are the norm now, but they are still a reason the celebrate, as we watch them getting ready to start their new life in college, where they will not try to get useless degrees for the real world that they will eventually face. Then there are some that are deciding on learning a trade, and this has become quite the topic of today, because the trades no longer require years of servitude, but actually pay the apprentices while they learn.
I have gotten off of my soapbox and will discuss the last graduation party that we attended. This last party, like most nowadays are held at the house utilizing the garage and renting tent(s) and chairs for the event. Actually, I marvel at the business that saw this trend and started the rentals of these tents, tables and chairs. In the old days, the grounds would be filled with the aromas of home cooked feasts proclaiming the nationality of the lucky graduate. Today, the world is a bit more vanilla and the new generation of kids know the cuisine of the trendy nationalities that are found in the popular priced restaurants in all neighborhoods these days. At this last party, the majority of the food was catered in on huge trays of “Arabic” food, though actually with the sweetness and spices used I would venture to say it was more Persian or Chaldean. There was plenty of beef, chicken and lamb for all of the guests, plus assortments of salads, side and anything else one would need. Then there were sweet tables as well, and even though I am not much of a cake eater anymore, I really enjoyed the pretzel sticks covered with caramel and then with dark chocolate.
You can tell the world has changed from when I was in high school, back then then beverage table would have mixes, pops and bottles of liquor next to tubs of ice filled with premium beer brands of the day. In Detroit, I think the biggest brands were Budweiser, Molson, Labatt’s and Stroh’s Bohemian; parents and students drank along side of each other, and there was hardly a bottle of wine to be found, unless perhaps a Mateus Rosé or later a Lambrusco. I have now devised my own plan for attending most of these parties, first I eat before attending, and that way I can pick at some of the food, if it is not what I want, so that I am not starving. I also bring a couple of bottles of wine for my Bride and me and who ever might want a glass; in fact, to play it safe, I also bring two wine glasses and a cork screw. The first bottle that was opened was a Smith-Berry Winery Vignoles NV from New Castle, Kentucky that we bought on our last trip to Louisville. While the winery was in Kentucky, the fruit for this wine came from Missouri, aged in Stainless Steel and in a bright cobalt blue glass bottle. The wine carried the American AVA designation and there was no vintage, because the wine did not have a specific AVA. The label said the wine was a “sweet white wine” and I would call it a semi-dry and it was a pleasure to drink on a warm day before the food was served. I also brought a bottle of red, not knowing what the main dishes would be, I chose what I would call a middle of the road red. Cantina Cardeto Umbria IGT Rosso 2016 and from the Wine Cooperative of the Orvieto Community and is one of their wines from their Town Series. The label is a reproduction of an old print of Orvieto, one of the towns in Umbria and famous in its own right, and if you had the proper sequence of labels then you can recreate the panoramic view of Orvieto from that print. Umbria is noted as being the only wine district in Italy that has neither a coastline or an international border that it abuts up to. This particular red wine (Rosso) is a blend of seventy percent Cabernet Sauvignon, twenty-five percent Merlot and the balance is Sangiovese. The vines for this series of wines are young with most between ten and twenty years of age. The grapes are harvested in September, macerated and fermented in Stainless Steel and then aged for two weeks, and then aged another two months in bottle before release. This wine for made for “instant gratification” as it was made to be drunk young, and not for cellaring. It was just a nice easy drinking wine that was smooth and unfussy and worked with whatever was being tossed at it. It was a nice party for all, and we look forward to the next one.