After the long drive from Detroit to Louisville and a couple of glasses of wine to relax, we started thinking about dinner. As I said, we schlepped a small refrigerator that runs both off of the car or on a standard electric plug and besides the wine that we had chilling in it, we also brought some other stuff. For starters we had brought some frozen pasties for our brother-in-law from his favorite place in Cadillac, Michigan that both he and his father enjoy, and we had sent his father his share earlier, because he lives near us. We also brought ten filet mignons for the dinner.
I have to admit that I am a carnivore and almost everyone I know is one as well. I know that many people prefer a steak with a bone, and I have to admit that growing up, we always tended to have porterhouse, T-bone or rib-eyes, but they were always well-done, and that is from growing up with parents that survived the Great Depression. Nowadays, I prefer medium rare filet mignon steaks as there is no waste, and I know that some claim that the meat closest to the bone is the best, but since we don’t have a dog, we can go boneless. The steaks were done in a marinade of olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary. My sister-in-law also prepared a diced up and then sautéed fennel, and it was the first time that I ever had it prepared that way. Between my Bride and her sister in the kitchen, I thought it prudent to just be a casual observer and then dine on the proceeds, and in retrospect, it was a wise move.
Since the ladies were busy in the kitchen, I decided that I should decant a bottle of wine that I had brought with us from our cellar, naturally the cork decided to crumble and I was all set to get a coffee filter and a funnel, but my brother-in-law had an wine aerator that I had not seen before, but my Bride said that she had and that I had talked her out of buying it, the aerator had a built in strainer; and I do think that I would have noticed the logic in such an item. While dinner was being prepared, we were still enjoying some more white wine. We opened up a bottle of Cobble Creek Vineyards Chardonnay 2017 from Paso Robles. Now I realize that California is ahead of the curve on some trends, but because I don’t have certain dietary problems, I just don’t understand all of the new verbiage on labels. I understand that “organic grapes” means the elimination of pesticides, but somewhere in the back of my brain, I just think that grapes are organic by nature. I am not sure how or what would make one wine gluten and another wine gluten free, but I am old fashioned, and the same is about “vegan friendly” as I would think wine would be perfect for vegans as it is plant based. I think that I had heard that the old method of fining the wine with eggs whites is what would make a wine non-Vegan, but I only thought of that being done by home-made wine makers like the old “Dago Red” wines as a kid. I am not being facetious or snide, I guess I just don’t stay as trendy as I should. Cobble Creek Vineyard was planted fifteen years ago, as an organic farm and they are part of Castoro Cellars. Castoro Cellars started off making wine, then they purchased their own equipment, then a winery, then a tasting room and then began purchasing and planting vineyards. It appears that Total Wines is a big seller of the wines and that make sense, as my in-laws do a lot of shopping there for their daily wines. The wine was very smooth and really a step up from most popular priced Chardonnay wines. The wine that we decanted was a Duckhorn Wine Company Paraduxx 1999 when it was still produced in St. Helena. As always, the label features a painting of a pair of ducks (Paraduxx from Duckhorn) and this label is of recent and rare visitors to the Pacific area two Mandarin ducks painted by Robert Carlson of Paso Robles, and this was the sixth of a series. This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. As soon as we started decanted the wine, the aroma from the wine filled the room and belied that it was a twenty-year-old. The color was deep with no browning to be seen. It was a big chewy wine and the three varietals were very harmonious. I think the wine could have been good for at least another ten years, that is how firm it was and with the filets, it was spot-on.