I grew up in Southwest Detroit and the Fourth of July holds a very favorite feeling for everyone that I grew up with. The area was a true melting pot of Detroit and everyone got along. Independence Day was the perfect day for the area and it was also the only parade for the area. In the old days J.L. Hudson sponsored the Thanksgiving Day Parade which competed with Macy’s in New York, but only Vernor Highway had the parade and after the parade we all ended up at Patton Park, that was named after “Blood and Guts” Patton, and at the end of the day, there were fireworks that was sponsored by many of the businesses in the actual trading area. There was a pride in the district, even with all the changes, the area was vibrant. For years I was in the different phases of the Boy Scouts of America and eventually I became the Parade Marshall for all the assorted groups in the area and would count cadence for the entire stretch of the parade, and even took the heckling from my friends all along the parade route, as the parade was several miles. Alas, this year there was no independence, our harridan governor tightened the noose around us all again, after a little breath of fresh air. The peaceful protestors, the looters and the vandals did not make the disease margin increase, because none of those people were around long enough to be tested, but some young people in two different bars created an uproar and have caused her to take away our independence, except in small groups. Of course, this is not the case, in the region where are governor has her summer home. Nothing has changed in that region.
Well it was an interesting day as we were going to have a family get-together at one of her sister’s homes, as she has a pool. The day would start off with water aerobics and then would morph into a party and we would actually even celebrate all the birthdays for those that were cheated because of the last hundred days. Even my Mother-in-Law was going to get out of the house to see her family and at 94, she may have missed Mother’s Day, except by a Zoom session, but she felt that enough was enough. My Bride and I started off the day with Mimosas along with Poached Eggs, Bacon and Bagels. We figured that would get us through the start of the day. We then loaded up our car, and perhaps we should get a catering truck. She had either made or prepped the majority of the menu for the day. We were having Potato Salad, Caesar Salad, Fruit Salad, Corn on the Cob, Bratwursts, and Barbecued Pulled Pork. There was also a Pasta Salad and Smoked Chicken from others. She also had packed up assorted cheeses, crackers and other munchies. And there were Lemon Merengue and Key Lime Pies, and she brought a Sander’s Bumpy Cake with all of the honoree’s names on the cake. There was also plenty of gifts being passed out during the day as well, it felt like days of old, if for no other reason but to tweak the nose of our harridan governor.
We started the day with Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV for our Mimosas. Mumm Napa is located in Rutherford and is one of the leading sparkling wine producers in California. The winery was created in the Seventies under the auspices of G.H. Mumm, one the leading Champagne houses in France. All of the sparkling wines are produced using the Methode Traditionelle and using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris. The first vintage was in 1983 and labeled Domaine Mumm, the name was changed in 1990 to Mumm Napa. This may have been a bit of over-kill for Mimosas, but I am now on a mission to go through the cellar and check on some of the bottles that may have been neglected or forgotten about, or even worse mis-placed. This was a beautiful bottle of sparkling wine on its own and with a tincture of Orange Juice it still was able to shine through. Later in the day, we opened up a bottle of Voga Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2019 for a pleasant white wine to compete with the Sumer sun. Voga Italia is a brand of Italian wines launched in 2006 and are instantly identifiable by their cylinder style bottles and resealable caps. They produce white, red, sparkling and sweet wines and they also now make a vodka, and they only market instantly identifiable varieties as well, like Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Merlot, Prosecco and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Venezie in the name, most people think is for Venice, the historic and romantic city of canals, island, bridges and gondolas, but it is actually for Tre Venezie, Triveneto or “Three Venices.” These three are Venezia Euganea, Venezia Giulia and Venezia Tridentina and they were three Italian administrative regions which existed from 1866 to 1919 and now correspond to Veneto, Friuli-Venezie Gulia and Trentino-Alto Adige; Delle Venezie covers the entire area with the exception of Alto-Adige or Sudtirol. The DOC laws allow that the wine must be at least eighty-five percent Pinot Grigio and then there is a long list of local grapes that may be used to blend in. This wine is produced using Stainless Steel and the maturing time is not long, so as to keep the freshness of the fruit. We also opened up a bottle of Podere Ciona Semifonte 2017 and I have tried many of the wines made by this winery. I was reading the history of the winery on their website “Franca and Franco Gatteschi were looking for a place in the countryside to retire to, after many years of working in Italy and abroad, when they came across a small, beautiful, albeit run down property: 100 acres of land, mostly wooded with 10 acres set aside for cultivation, of which 2.5 acres already had vineyards; a house from the 18th Century, abandoned for more than 40 years; and, above all, a view without equal on the Chianti hills, with Siena in the distance.” It really sounds idyllic and makes one ponder how this property was neglected and ignored for years. “They purchased the estate at the beginning of 1990 and they immediately started the reconstruction work on the main house (it took nearly three years). They also set up a small but well- equipped wine cellar for making wine. In 1996 they permanently moved to live on the estate and the following year, the great 1997 vintage, saw the birth of the first “official” wine of Podere Ciona: A Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva.” The Podere Ciona Semifonte Gaiole in Chianti IGT 2017 and is termed a Tuscan Rosso wine. Toscana IGT is the most famous of the IGT designations and it actually has three sub-regions already, and there are ten provinces that are allowed this designation. Tuscany is the home of Italy’s most famous IGT category, but it was where this category forced the hands of wine classification for a new designation, because some of the wine makers felt constrained by the current rules, and originally had to use the lowly Vino de Tavola or Table Wine designation for their new wines. Finally, in 1984, Sassicaia was granted its very own title of DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia and the floodgates were opened. IGT is Italy’s version of the Common Market’s designation of IGP. This particular wine is eighty-five percent Merlot and fifteen percent Alicante Bouschet, the same varietal that they add to their Chianti Classico. This is a high-altitude Merlot planted on a mix of quartz and clay of vines that average about fifteen years of age. The wine has been aged for twelve months in French Oak and then cellared for eight months in the bottle, before being released. Of course, I have always been partial to Merlot and this wine was showing red fruits like plums and cherries and there was still a lot of spice as this was a young wine. I think it was a hit, and I am not sure if I can get anymore, as there were only about five hundred cases produced. There were no organized fireworks for the evening, just random individuals, of course there could have been some real fireworks, if the governor’s husband never was able to get their boat in the water at the marina up North.