Jefferson Smith: “I always get a great kick out that part of the Declaration of Independence. You’re not gonna have a country where these kind of rules work, if you haven’t got men that have learned to tell human rights from a punch in the nose.”
That speech was delivered by an actor that my Bride would knock me over to get to, if he ever walked into the room, but I knew that, going in with my eyes open, knowing that my odds were pretty good. One of the things that is taking time to get used to, is that there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get things done anymore. I really thought that being retired would mean that I would be bored and have to find things to do, like counting how many lentils are in a bag. It hasn’t worked out that way, and now with everything else slowed down, I have even less time and eventually I will get this figured out.
My Bride is an considered an “essential worker” and thankfully, she is working remote from the house. She always had the capabilities to do that, but she really liked going in to the office. There is even less we time, for us during the day, as she is working now from 8:00 to 4:30 and sometimes she even works the drive time. Ever since she discovered that she could make Shrimp Piccata, she has been branching out with that sauce and cooking style to chicken as well. When we first met, she barely ate red meat or drank red wine and I did convert her to being a heathen, but her first choice will always be fowl or fish. She keeps experimenting with different ways to use the Piccata Sauce in the cooking of chicken, and I will not complain at all. A nice chicken dinner with a side of potato or rice and a vegetable is enough to keep me happy, just as long as she avoids the few vegetables that I don’t think should be consumed by humans.
I have been raiding the wine cellar and grabbing some wines to try. Some wines come under the category of “that is too good of a wine just for us” or “let’s just have our house wine,” since we cannot have dinner with others, let’s have a little fun. I found a lone bottle of Bernardus Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County 2010. Bernardus Winery and Vineyards was founded by Ben Marinus Pon about twenty-five years ago with the intention of creating premier wines in the Carmel Valley. His intent was to produce single vineyard designated wines and a Bordeaux blended wine. Bernardus has three estate vineyards: Marinus planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec; Featherbow planted with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon; and Ingrid’s Vineyard planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. All fifty-four acres of estate vineyards are in the Carmel Valley AVA. To compliment the estate vineyards Bernardus also has contracts with vineyards the Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands and others in the Monterey County. I am sorry to say, that Mr. Pon passed away in September of 2019 and his vision will be continued by Robert van der Wallen the current owner, who also understand the passion that Mr. Pon had for his winery. As a non-wine note, they have recently opened Bernardus Golf in Holland, and it will be the host for the Dutch KLM open. I also feel safe to say now, some twenty years later, that it was at Marinus restaurant on the grounds that I had my famous tasting of Screaming Eagle. Getting back to the subject at hand, I opened up this ten-year-old Chardonnay using my Durand and the cork came out intact. I poured the wine and this lovely golden hued wine filled the glass, and by now, my Bride has stopped making faces about a dark Chardonnay, until she has tried it. There is no longer any bias from either of us, that the wine is foxy or oxidized just by appearance. The nose was very soft and gave traces of terroir, instead of fruit or oak. The taste was excellent, a very subtle and heady Chardonnay where the fruit has softened to a drink that was unique and finished with a long suggestion of terroir. It really has been fun to try these wines, but sad to know that I am running out of these beautiful well-crafted wines that changed into a different butterfly after being in a cocoon for so long. Even Jefferson Smith might have stopped a classic filibuster to enjoy a truly wonderful glass of wine.