The house has been in a bit of upheaval in preparation of Easter. Some people are truly organized and take everything in stride. We are reactionaries, I guess, as it was time for some deep cleaning, not that the house isn’t clean, but without having company over all of the time, some areas don’t get as much attention. Also, the large work area in the kitchen became an extra pantry location for basics to alleviate running up and down from the basement. We also decided to have some plumbing work done, because it is better to have everything done at one time.
The exciting thing is that we also cleared out the main refrigerator. One of her sisters had bought this new refrigerator that had a computer and monitor screen on it, and it kept track of everything that was put in it, to keep expiration dates current, but they had a problem with the software and it went back to the store, for a more conventional model. We were going through and tossing items that were in duplication, questionable age, items that could be potential science projects and anything else to make room for the big day of cooking and feasting. Believe it or not there were two bottles of wine that ended up getting hidden, because they were splits or half-bottles and bigger and bulkier items kept them from being seen.
The first bottle that was intricately removed was a fortified wine from Michigan, a Black Star Farms Sirius Cordial NV. Black Star Farms is the winery from Michigan that we now have joined their wine club, but this wine predates that trip and decision. This wine was created by the winery as their version of a Ratafia wine from Champagne or a Pineau des Charentes of the Loire. This was made from late picked Chardonnay that is gently pressed and then fortified with a brandy distilled from the same Chardonnay juice. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this wine was put in the refrigerator not with a rubber stopper that had the air pumped out of the bottle, but just with the original cork-seal top from the winery. I am the official guinea-pig and there was only one glass left, I had to know for inquisitive minds. I think that because it was fortified, it was still excellent and a great way for me to end an evening. The wine had notes of spice and honey and just drank beautifully. I did look up to see and this wine is now made with apple juice and maple syrup, so I am glad that I had this wine as I am not partial to apple juice. The second split had a rubber stopper on the bottle of Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Vidal Icewine Niagara Peninsula VQA 2013. Icewine production has become part of the backbone of the entire Niagara-on-the-Lake region and as always, it is a bit of a crap-shoot on the part of the winery. In fact, from this region, we have had Icewine with classic varietals that are now being cultivated very successfully there, as well as Vidal which has become a work horse for plenty of the cold-climate wineries. I am happy to say that this wine also allowed me a second evening of late-night bliss as the wine was still luscious and still fresh and I have no idea when it was originally opened. Some great wine memories and a refrigerator that has been emptied and ready to be restocked.