Our accommodations at the Inn at Bay Harbor reminded me of other resorts that we had stayed at, as it appears that one can own the rooms and allow the hotel to lease them when you are not using them. I say that because there was a locked closet which I have noticed at other resorts. There was also a full kitchenette with a stove, refrigerator, microwave, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, glasses etc. for an extended stay. I mean it was over-kill for us, since we would we be enjoying all the catered meals and probably only use the coffee maker in the morning, while getting dressed for the day. There was also a beautiful verandah with a couple of Adirondack chairs so one could sit and look out onto the bay. We had time to unpack, have a glass of wine in the room and get ready for the cocktail reception that evening.
The cocktail reception was on a terrace outside of the main dining room, under large tents, just in case of inclement weather, because earlier in the week, they had been calling for rain and storms, not what one wants in such a setting. I have friends that claim that it never rains on the golf course and I guess it doesn’t rain at a resort. There was a pleasant breeze off of the water and everything was idyllic. There were tables set up around the perimeter of the terrace where one could find the finger food, or more, to their liking. There were also signage describing the assorted offerings with current updating for gluten-free diets. There was plenty of fresh fruit, assorted cheeses and crackers, vegetables, salmon and whitefish dips. Now I am not a big fan of finger food per se, but the Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus topped with slivered Gran Padano and a Balsamic drizzle was worth a couple of return trips. The carving table also offered some delicious meats with the proper sides. Not to mention the sweet table offerings for dessert, and I am often fond of telling people that there are no calories when one is on holidays.
Of course, I did find my way to the bar, a few times, you know, getting drinks for others. There was a well-stocked bar, assorted beers, but I found my way to the wines. A couple of people stopped me, to ask me, if I was going to be photographing bottles of wine again, as I guess they found that a peculiar trait, but I conceded that I would as always. To start the evening off, I ordered a couple of white wines and it turns out that they were Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Russian River Ranches Chardonnay 2017 from the Sonoma Coast and that is a far and away better than what is normally offered in affairs of this nature, and neither of us complained. Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards was founded in 1973 by Brice Cutrer Jones and the main estate vineyard is two-hundred-fifty acres planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They have several other vineyards in the Sonoma region and they produce five different Chardonnay and four different Pinot Noir wines, all in the Continental style. This particular wine is a blend of maybe a dozen different vineyards. The wine is pressed whole-cluster and the juice is free-run and stored in a tank for a few days, before being aged in either new French Oak and neutral French Oak sur-lie and Stainless Steel for the balance; and aged for eight months. We are partial to this wine and this vintage offered aromas of pear and apple, with some balanced acidity and a nice finish mixing in some smooth buttery notes without being overpowering. The next time I went up, I tried the Rabble Wine Merlot Paso Robles 2016. Rabble Wines were originally known as Force of Nature and prior to that as Rob Murray Vineyards. The Rabble Wine collection features singular fruit from a singular vineyard and their intention is that this Merlot from the Mossfire Ranch is going to taste like a Merlot wine. The wine was aged for ten months in French Oak, of which fifteen percent was new. The wine opened up with promises of dark fruit and delivered along with some chocolate and vanilla and another good finish. The last wine of the evening that I tasted (of course for the sake of the article) was Owen Roe Sharecropper’s Wine Company Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017 from Oregon. Owen Roe had their first vintage in 1999, and during the economic recession of 2001 the Sharecropper’s Wine was created and initially began as a Sharecropper business with five different vineyards, but since then, Owen Roe now pays the farmers up-front, instead of making them wait for the finished product. The wine is aged for eight months in French Oak. This was an enjoyable Pinot Noir for an affordable wine and it brought with it, red berries and fruit, some spice and a touch of terroir. It was a very easy drinking wine and worked with the grazing atmosphere of the food for the reception. I would have been happy with any of the three wines, but I really touted the Merlot and finished off the evening with it.