“You wanted a place by the ocean. I had it opened. It was closed for the season. All these tables are for two people. Pick whatever one you want.” As we are all getting used to being locked in our homes, we now have masks to wear, and my Bride is still making and sending them to her friends. In fact, the first sets she mailed, the out of state people got them in about a week, the locals, who she was told would get them in three days, didn’t get them for three weeks, and one package was still never delivered. The joys of what is going on today and how we are coping. I think that I am working my way out of the funk and depression, though everyone that I have talked to, discuss the mutual ennui of the masses, that doesn’t seem to be shared by the governors. We are busy getting our communications using the phones, FaceTime and Zoom, just like everyone else. We are like all of the parents and grandparents who are missing the pomp and circumstance of witnessing the Graduation Class of 2020. We had originally planned on going to Vegas and throwing our eldest grandson a graduation party, by the time we get there, he may be in college, so we will have to have another plan for when we see him.
My Bride has been cooking up a storm, as I am sure is a common occurrence in all the home kitchens these days. As we have been going through the freezers and seeing what is what, because a lot of the food that we buy is for the big monthly parties and for other unique occasions at the house, and now, every evening is a unique occasion. One of the cuts of meat I noticed had a London Broil designation from the butcher shop and she was going to make a roast from it, which would have been fine, but I suggested that she make it as a London Broil. London Broil was all the rage in restaurants when I was a young man, and it is not an offer usually seen any more, since filets have taken center stage. It quite simply is a thick top cut, that has been marinated for several hours, and then broiled. We also both got a chance to use our new toys, her Joule Sous Vide and my Durand corkscrew. The trick is to cut the meat diagonally across the grain. It is a big flavorsome cut of meat, but not a delicate as a filet, and it is a bit chewier compared to the steaks being featured. She spoiled me, by also having Bearnaise Sauce to accompany it, as you can tell we are suffering here. We also had Sautéed Brussel Sprouts done with Bacon and Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Armenian Rice Pilaf. I was in my glory, and then to follow up this feast, for dessert she had made Crème Brulee.
I had been slowly liberating wines from the cellar, because we were way past using the opened bottles of wine. I am trying to make some room and looking at some of the single bottles that are down there getting a comfortable layer of dust from being undisturbed, some maybe since, I built the cellar. I found a gem, that I had never even posted about, though I have written about later wines that I have received through my wine club A Taste of Monterey. I found a bottle of Galante Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rose Hill Vineyard Carmel Valley 2003. The Galante family has a long personal history in the Monterey County of California. Jack Galante’s great grandfather, James Frank Devendorf, was the founder of Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1900, and later built the Pine Inn and the Highlands Inn (which we have enjoyed a couple of times). In 1969, Jack’s parents purchased a seven-hundred-acre cattle ranch in what was then rustic Carmel Valley. In 1983, the Galante family began growing premium wine grapes on the property, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1994, Jack Galante built a winery and used his grapes to produce his estate bottled wines. Red Rose Hill Vineyard sits above a large swathe of crimson rose bushes, higher up on the side of the valley to take advantage of the daily swings of temperature and the long growing season. This wine was pure Cabernet Sauvignon, and I didn’t want to take any chances, and I needed more practice using my Durand corkscrew. The cork came out in one piece, and after a half-hour of breathing, the wine was perfuming the kitchen all by itself and competing with the dinner being made. The wine still had a deep color, with just a trace of brownish-red at the rim. The nose was earthy and the tannins had softened and were very mellow, the fruit had faded and there was a nice long finish that evoke the terroir, and brought me full circle to the earthiness of the nose. It is kind of hard to describe an almost twenty-year old wine, if one has never had it before, because so many of the modern wines are big fruit bombs and they never get a chance to be cellared. This was the perfect wine to have paired with an old-style entrée for dinner, and it just made the moment light years from the current lock down that we are all enduring.