We had gone down to Louisville for a couple of good reasons. One, we had taken birthday presents down that my Bride had collected from the rest of her family; and two, we were going down to see our nephew in a play. As they have always said, the best laid plans of mice and men… By now everyone is aware, unless one is living under a stone that a virus that was originally from a province in China, has wreaked havoc on the world. We did not see the play, in fact Kentucky was already closing down venues and the play was one of the early losers. Their daughter came in the night before, because her college was closing down, so the world may never see her lead in Little Women.
We were making the most of it, since we were there. After all, we had all these filets that we had schlepped down with us, and since we were going to have the dinner before the play, we were still going to have the dinner. Our host brought out one of their cooking toys, that they have brought to our house for cooking at the holidays, and my Bride has been discussing it, once again. They like to use the Sous-vide system for cooking meats, and it is employed by a lot of restaurants to help deliver the right temperature for each diner. Sous-vide, if you are like me, needs a little explanation; it is also known as low-temperature long-time cooking. It a method of cooking, in which the food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than usual cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature, and can be used for meat and for vegetables. The concept is that the items cook evenly inside without overcooking the outside and the meat retains moisture. Then the meat is finished on a broiler, grill or pan for the browning that is expected, especially for fine grades of meat. There were plenty of other sides to accompany the steaks, and yes, the steaks were perfectly presented at Medium Rare.
Since, we were bringing the steaks, we also brought the wine to pair with the dinner, and as a bonus, the wine even had a Detroit connection, and no, it was not wine created at Chateau Detroit. My Brother-in-Law would have gone into his cellar and grabbed some rated wines of the Medoc, possibly even some 2000 vintages that he had bought as soon as he could, but I will let him regale us, at another time with them, if he is so inclined. Tom Celani is lauded in the Detroit area for his largesse for charitable organizations that he helps in a grand manner. He and his father ended up creating one of the largest Miller distribution companies in the United States along with other beers and wines. Tom Celani fell in love with wines, first as a drinker and a collector and finally acquiring a Tuscan-style estate with seventeen acres of grapes and one-hundred-twenty olive trees in the foot hills of the Vaca Mountain range in Napa Valley. The first wine that we had was the Celani Family Vineyards Robusto Napa Valley 2018, and I had told everyone that I had wrote about the Robusto 2017. The 2017 vintage was labeled Proprietary Red Wine and so was the 2018, but the 2018 was entirely Merlot. The dinner was off to a beautiful start. Here was a beautiful inky dark glass of Merlot that promised red fruits and spices, and delivered in spades along with a nice finish of terroir with balance tannins. The next wine that we tasted was the Celani Family Vineyards Tenacious Estate Napa Valley Red Wine Unfiltered 2016. I had tasted and wrote about the Tenacious 2012 and we may have a bottle or two left of it in the cellar. When I first had the wine, I was told that it was created in the image of Le Pin and Chateau Petrus, and quite a lofty goal. The wine is a blend of seventy percent Merlot and thirty percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in new French Oak for twenty-two months and has become their affordable signature wine. This had a big nose of black fruit and strawberries, with a taste that was dominated originally by the black cherry, and finishing with some rich terroir and some great acidity for cellaring. If I was crazy about the pure Merlot, the addition of the Cabernet Franc put it over the edge. Outside of the bad news that was surrounding us, the dinner was an oasis in the maddening world.