Some would say, it would never happen, but it did; and actually, I think I all but proposed the first night, but that would throw the count off. We did the entire nine yards and why not and it has been big and grandiose all of those years. Over the years, there have been times when caution was tossed out the window and other times, we are sometimes a pair of Casper Milquetoasts. We would like to be Nick and Nora, sometimes Sean and Mary Kate, or Walter and Hildy, a wishful Rhett and Scarlet and maybe even Felix and Oscar, but never the ill-fated and doomed Richard and Ilsa, but I guess The Wine Raconteur and The Bride is right up there, at least in my mind. Over the years, she has kind of dragged me kicking and fighting into the Twentieth Century and I may eventually get to the Twenty-first Century. I have learned to try some foods, that I may never have tried, some successfully and others not so successfully. Which is alright, because when I met her, she was basically a pescatarian and only drank Chardonnay, now she is a carnivore and enjoys almost every wine, both red and white, with only a few exceptions. I guess we are allowed to have some differences.
We were going to celebrate the evening with another couple, but at the last minute they had to cancel, and then we cancelled the reservation that we were really looking for, but we will eventually get together with the other couple at the restaurant that we missed out. We decided to go out, somewhere closer to home and we settled on Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, a small chain that started in Ohio. They do an excellent job and a very comfortable setting. I think that Morton’s is masculine, and The Capital Grille has become more feminine (at least here, because it is in a shopping mall and it is very loud to my way of thinking for an expensive night out) and Hyde Park fits us both very easily. My Bride wanted Oysters on the Half Shell, which I have never had, I have always had Oysters Rockefeller, so I tried one from her plate and I have decided that I can pass on Oysters on the Half Shell, no matter how pretty the presentation. We both had Lobster Bisque, which is laced and has some poached lobster added just before serving along with their great bread basket and a slab of butter that is seasoned on one edge and the other edge has Himalayan Pink Salt. My Bride went for a lighter meal that evening and had a Chopped Steak with whipped potatoes and onion straws. I had the Filet Mignon with potatoes and Bearnaise Sauce, and we also ordered a side of Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with bacon. The restaurant sent us out their version of Smores, all house made, different but good.
We had to start with a white wine, since we were having oysters on the half shell and then Lobster Bisque and I knew that I wanted to start with a Chardonnay. We went with the Cave de Lugny La Cote Blanche Chardonnay Macon-Villages 2016. Cave de Lugny is a cooperative that began with one-hundred-sixteen wine growers and now they are over four-hundred growers. The cooperative began in 1927 and was the second one established in the Maconnais. The appellation for Macon-Villages is the step up from the basic Macon appellation and Macon-Villages only applies to dry white wines made from Chardonnay grapes. I would venture to opine that this wine is aged in Stainless Steel because it was crisp and fruit forward offering citrus fruits and finishing with a touch of hazelnuts and some limestone terroir. My Bride was very happy and content, and after the soup she told me that she was already full, but we went on. My Bride got very excited for her red wine as we had enjoyed it during one of the virtual wine tastings that we did through Snooth. She was enjoying Murrieta’s Well Estate Vineyard “The Spur” Red Wine Blend Livermore Valley 2016. Louis Mel started planting grapes in the 1860’s and they were not just any grapes, but cuttings from Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux. In 1884 Louis Mel built and installed in a hillside a gravity flow winery. In 1933 Louis Mel sold his winery to Ernest Wente and the winery has been part of the Wente Family Estate ever since. Here is a blended wine that features fruit grown in two of their vineyards. The Petite Sirah and part of the Cabernet Sauvignon were grown in their historic Louis Mel Vineyard. The balance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc came from their Sachau Vineyard. All of the varietals were fermented individually in Stainless Steel, and then they were blended together and aged in French Oak for twenty-four months, of which half was new, a quarter of the barrels were used for the second time and the other quarter were aged in barrels used for the third time. While the wine is forty-eight percent Cabernet Sauvignon and thirty-two percent of the other famed varietals from the Medoc, there was twenty percent Petite Sirah to give the wine a Livermore Valley zing. Each time I have had this wine I have enjoyed Black Cherry and to my way of thinking that is high praise for a deep red wine. I was looking for something a bit softer and I went with the Alexander Valley Vineyards Wetzel Family Estate Merlot 2017 from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. In 1916 we had a bottle of their 1997 vintage and it was still excellent. The vineyards were established by Harry and Maggie Wetzel in 1962 and they have vineyards on both sides of the Russian River and they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Merlot and their first vintage was 1968. The wine spent fourteen months aging in a mix of French and American Oak and it was an excellent bottle of wine, especially for the price and it delivery black cherry in abundance and as I have often stated I enjoy a bottle of Merlot, I always have and I always will. It was a wonderful meal to celebrate our anniversary.