By the time that you read this, we will all be safely past the hectic moments of the Christmas and New Year’s. We will still have lots of other craziness, but that is life I guess, especially when government intrudes, remember Prohibition? There were still debates about having a family get-together and how to do it. I am all for it, and I think that the more we avoid interaction, the longer it will take for our bodies to adapt. Otherwise, I think that there would be millions of homeless street people that would be littering the streets with carcasses, because I strongly doubt that they are practicing all the rules that we are being lectured to, by those that don’t follow their rules for us. It has been decided that families will be seated at separate tables with their families, but all under the same roof. Masks are personal preference, but I find eating and drinking just as difficult, as when we were first told to wear a mask swimming. I also abide to the rule that once you are sitting at a table, you are safe from any germ, it is supposedly walking to and from the table that is lethal.
We all met at another sister’s home that is more centrally located, as we are all scattered about, and we would also have a Zoom session later on, after dinner. My Bride made some of her specialties that everyone wanted. Our host was making the main dishes and using outdoor cooking equipment for some of the meat dishes, and the kitchen appliances for some of the side dishes. He had everything plotted on Excel for starting and completion times, and he was making a turkey and prime rib. There were plenty of appetizers and munchies, sides and of course, there were plenty of desserts. Interspersed with all of this, was the opening of gifts, and bundling up gifts for people that were A.W.O.L. (for any of several reasons) and of course the Zoom session on multiple laptops and cellular phones, so we had plenty of dissonance from the multiple speakers, and we also figured out that those nosy contraptions from Amazon also added to the squeaking as they had to be turned off as well, at least my in-laws won’t be bombarded by tons of unnecessary advertisements that the little spies report on, but we did get rid of the echo feedback.
It was actually a good wine day and we went through four bottles of wine and I will mention two of them, as they are not wines that can be found everywhere. One of the white wines that we started the day was Laurentide Winery on the 45’th Parallel. As I quote from their web site about their name. “Welcome to Laurentide, named in honor of the last great ice sheet that receded 10,000 years ago from the upper tier of the North American continent. With the completion of this great geologic event, the Great Lakes and surrounding lands assumed their present forms. The Leelanau peninsula was exposed and the rocks and fossils from a 350-million-year-old ancient sea floor started to formulate the soil that sustains our vines today contributing to the unique terroir of the region.” William and Susan Braymer have a classic, almost romantic history leading up to their ultimate decision to becoming winemakers. In 2006 they bought a cherry farm and began planting some grapevines. They now have six varietals planted on ten acres, and we opened up a bottle of Laurentide Emergence 2016, which when we went to the winery, this wine was listed under the heading of “Standard Sweets” as they were really touting this wine, and we agreed to a tasting. We are truly fans of dessert wines, but normally sweet wines we tend to avoid. Here was a wine that was a blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay and it was not a sweet wine, especially compared to the old sweet wines that at one time Michigan was known for. The few years in the cellar added to the wine it was more complex with some floral and fruit notes, but the acidity was very balanced and totally an easy wine to drink with socializing and noshes. Then on the other end of the spectrum and perfect for the prime rib was Boete Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Saunders Vineyard, Carmel Valley 2007. In the early ‘80’s John Saunders made wine at this Soledad Ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands as a hobby. He was so encouraged by his friends that he and his wife traded their two-hundred-fifty-acre citrus orchard in Soledad for fifteen acres in Carmel Valley that had gone uncultivated, because of a lack of water. The first well he drilled, was sufficient to irrigate his vineyard forever, and he is only growing on seven acres at the moment, so the wine is still a labor of love. By reading between the lines, I would venture to say that this is aged for about sixteen months in French Oak and probably produced about two-hundred cases of wine. Thirteen years later, this was still a big wine, but the tannins had mellowed along with the dark fruit and I had a second helping of prime rib to enjoy a second glass of this wine. Now if only Santa could figure out how to make the cellar bigger.