This past year as I presume most have notice has been a very strange one in the annals of mankind. The lockdowns have culminated into family holidays with no family. I think that is what the warden here was hoping for and alas it has worked. I mean from strange rules like only one person in a car, masks while swimming, to only boats that have no motors and the list goes on. Families have become splintered, because it has been demonized as a great way to get sick. I have seen memes that offered invitations for catered dinners honoring the death of a family’s pet turkey, to family get-togethers in a certain aisle at a Wal-Mart. At least we still have maintained our gallows-humor about us.
Christmas Day was a very quiet day and I briefly mentioned it, but normally my article would have been about all the people, the food and the wines. Not this year, as we were all splintered off, which I am sure would make our termagant delighted. My Bride wanted to makes us a dish that she has enjoyed and now she also enjoys making the dish Coquilles St. Jacques al crème de Xeres, or sea scallops sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, pan-sauced with Sherry and cream with rice. A beautiful meal, just a shame that only the two of us had the good fortune to enjoy it. We had a delightful bottle of Cave de Genouilly Bourgogne Aligoté 2018, the almost forgotten white wine of Burgundy, but it has its own appellation. The Cave Des Vignerons de Genouilly was founded in 1932 as a co-operative of family growers in the Cote Chalonnaise region of Southern Burgundy. Today it includes ninety growers with one-hundred-eighty acres based around Genouilly, Fley, Bissy-sur-Fley, Saint-Martin-du-Tatre and Saint-Clement-sur-Guye. Bourgogne Aligoté is an appellation in Burgundy for white wines made from the Aligoté grape and the appellation was awarded in 1937. The grape has been in Burgundy since the 17th Century, but only represent about six percent of the vineyards there, but is grown in about three hundred parishes in Burgundy, basically for the vignerons themselves. The wines are generally made in Stainless Steel to allow the freshness and the crispness of the grape, if anything, some people are surprised at the high acidity and the resulting tartness that can occur, but that is part of the charm that I just recently discovered about this grape. By all rights this wine should be much dearer in cost, but since it is hidden under the large shadow cast by Chardonnay in the entire Burgundy region, it is unknown and hence most people don’t take a chance, but believe me, I will tout it often and to anyone that I get a chance to.
Which brings me to New Years and another disaster of a holiday that I won’t even get into, but I pray that it never happens again. It was definitely not one for the books, and my Bride and I, relaxed and watched a movie and had cheese and crackers and an early turn in, as we didn’t even wait to hear the firecrackers, as I am sure that no one was shooting rifles with the high cost of ammunition that I keep reading about. We had a bottle of Marilyn Monroe Wines “Blonde de Noirs” Cuvee Three North Coast Sparkling Wine 2004. I feel rather vindicated nowadays as I have been an advocate of the wines made and distributed by Nova Wines of Napa Valley from the first bottle that I had, when everyone chided me for trying a throw-away wine, and now they are actually getting respect for being a fine wine and totally respectful of the memory of Marilyn Monroe. We are talking about one of the earliest garagiste of St. Helena starting back in 1981 for friends and finally christened as Marilyn Merlot in 1981. Beyond the flagship Merlot offering, they have released other brands featuring different varietals and always featuring a different photo of the legendary movie star. One of the most curious features of this winery, is that the wines are always released on June 1, in celebration of Marilyn Monroe’s birthday. This particular wine is made in the Methode Champenoise or in the traditional way that is done from the Champagne region and the wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There was still a bit of the brioche and notes of red berries, and a very easy wine to drink and not totally bone dry. I definitely will try another one, when I get a chance. The best thing is that we did get a chance to chat with our children and grandchildren during these days.