I still find the Christmas Season wonderful and I am the type of person to wish people “Merry Christmas,” unless I know that they celebrate a different holiday; and I don’t do it for spite, but because I so enjoy the time of year. From the time that I was a child and my parents would take to the downtown Hudson’s store to visit the Toyland and to talk to Santa Claus, it was always special. Even my Favorite Daughter was remembering those days when she was a child, and she could not remember where I had taken her. For years we used to go to a friend of the family who celebrated with the traditional Italian way of seafood in all sorts of creations. Nowadays, one of my Bride’s sisters like to through the party, especially since both of her sons would be home from school.
It was an elaborate dinner, but the timing of the dishes was off, so you had to go back for different entrées as they were finished. Instead of deep-frying a turkey, this year my Brother-in-Law did the turkey out on the porch in a “hot air” roaster, as that is the best of what I understood. There was also a spiral cut ham that was in the oven, and I guess that the temperature control, kept getting jostled from all the crowd and the cooks in the oven, so the timing was also off on this dish. There was also a large tenderloin that was suffering the same maladies as the ham, and thankfully a meat thermometer saved the day for the roast, though some Medium Rare was raw for that cut of meat, of course one could always put the meat back in the oven to burn it, if necessary. As for the appetizers, salads, sides and desserts, there was not a problem and an abundance to choose from. Though at my age, I have finally taught my eye, that it is not as big as my stomach.
My Bride besides making some side dishes for the evening, our main duty was to bring some beverages for the event. I try to make it a mix lot, to try to make as many people potentially happy as possible. One of the bottles of wine was one that I was looking forward to try, because I am really enjoying Rosé wines more and more. The official name of this wine is Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Vidaubanaise, Le Provencal Rosé, Cotes de Provence 2018. Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Vidaubanaise translates in English to The Master Winemakers of the Vidaubanaise. This a wine cooperative that was formed in 1922 and today is now in control of six-hundred hectares in the heart of the Appellation Cotes de Provence. The vineyards are located on the limestone foothills of the Maures massif, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps. Le Provencal is from the highest quality cuvees produced by the Maîtres Vignerons. The Cotes de Provence is the largest appellation in Provence and it has a few sub-regions as well. The entire region is famed for their Rosé wines, as well as a Red wine made from the Tibouren. The Rosé Wines are made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Syrah and Mourvedre. The Cotes de Provence originally was first established as a VDQS in 1951 and in 1977 it attained AOC status. After the harvest, a portion of the grapes undergo a cold maceration at various temperatures and lengths of time according to the grape variety, which produce an array of aromas. The remaining grapes are processed in the traditional method of direct pressing. Then all the wines are blended and aged in Stainless Steel until early February, and then bottled for maximum freshness. This wine was very balance with a crisp acidity and a nose that promised some strawberry and a refreshing finish, a good wine with the appetizers and cheese. I was very happy with the wine. The last bottle that I will discuss is a bit of a bittersweet moment, as the owners have retired and sold the winery. Marilyn Remark Winery had been producing Rhone style wines since 2003, after they returned from a trip to the Rhone Valley and decided that was their goal. The Marilyn Remark Los Ositos Vineyard Grenache 2012 will probably be the last wine we receive from A Taste of Monterey, but they did buy the entire inventory from the winery, so there is a potential that I may see another offering, though I know that I still have some other wines from the winery in my cellar. Los Ositos Vineyard is the Salinas Valley, just south of Arroyo Seco, so this wine carries the AVA of Monterey. Most of the Grenache wines that I have had from Monterey have been full bodied and jammy, and this wine was true to form, it was big, which no age showing and I have developed quite a fondness for Grenache with turkey and a nice change of pace.