A Birthday Toast

We had a chance to witness the ravages of utter destruction that occurred to one of our favorite restaurants, because of the harridan’s draconian rules.  We were going to originally have a birthday dinner, but the honoree has been working excessive hours and her family has gotten used to eating late, but my Bride and I have gotten used to eating maybe three hours earlier than their anticipated dinner hour, so we were going to take some wine and toast her, while they ate.  We made plans to go out for an early dinner and then catch up with them.  We were actually quite excited to go back to one of our haunts in another part of tri-county area, we even got dressed up for the occasion and that in itself was fun, and I know that I am “old school.”

I am not going to mention the restaurant by name, because we were both sad when we left the premises.  This non-descript building from the façade, had hid for decades one of the best kept secrets of the Detroit dining area.  The restaurant truly reminded me of a Manhattan local steak house, the place where the staff was well dressed and performed tableside preparations of certain dishes.  With the after affects of the Wuhan flu, it may be sometime before any fine establishment will be doing anything tableside and it probably will make the governor happy, because she has no experience in quality settings, I have to surmise.  After being away for basically a year, we were surprised at how run-down and seedy the dining room was in appearance.  My Bride had ordered one of her favorite entrée orders, Whitefish with Parmesan Breading.  I went with a Half of a Roasted Duck.  We were ready, and were we disappointed, it was so sad.  The fish was bland and the breading was not crisp, and the duck must have been on death march, as there was no meat on the bones, and the steak knife that was furnished with the meal, could not cut anything, even if there had been some meat on the bones.  The only thing that we both enjoyed was the salads.

I know that everyone was probably trying to figure out what wine I could come up with.  I am very partial to Pinot Noir with duck, and my Bride would have enjoyed a fine glass or two of Pinot Noir, but alas that was not going to happen with the nights selection and it could be, that there were still in the midst of getting a proper wine carte.  I went with the Isaac Fernandez Seleccion Biutiful Cava Brut Rosé NV, but on the carte, it was just under Sparkling and listed as Biutiful. The Biutiful Cavas are produced at a winery created in 2007 with state-of-the-art technology. The vineyards are based in Requena, a region that has been growing grapes since the 7th Century.  The vineyards grow Macabeo, Chardonnay and Garnacha (Grenache).  This particular wine is pure Grenache and was aged on the lees for about fifteen months. There were five-thousand cases produced.  The wine was very easy to drink, though if I had to guess, I would not have guessed that it was made from Grenache, but it was the high point of the meal.

When we got to the birthday dinner, the guest still had not arrived, but in due time the honoree appeared and the take-out dinners that were ordered were picked up. We had brought a bottle of wine to enjoy with them and it worked out well. Joyce Vineyards “Gabilan” Pinot Noir Monterey 2018 was wine that we had recently received from our wine club “A Taste of Monterey.” The winery works with thirteen other vineyards in Monterey, as well as their own vineyard.  Joyce Vineyards began when Francis Joyce planted a vineyard on a steep hillside on his property in Carmel Valley, and was the start of the original six-acre estate.  Joyce Wine Company is now under the supervision of second-generation winemaker Russel Joyce.  They are basically focused on Burgundian style wines and they produce about ten-thousand cases each year. This particular wine has the fruit from “Danny’s Vineyard” which is a special site the Franscioni brothers named after their late father in their Salinas vineyard and the land is basically decomposed granite and limestone. The vines are about twenty-five-years-old and they benefit from the strong marine influences of the Monterey Bay. The wine begins by whole cluster fermentation in open top vats with cold soaking for about five days and primary fermentation lasts for about seventeen days.  The wine is aged sur lie for ten months in neutral French Oak barrels and it is unfined and unfiltered.  There were four-hundred-twenty cases of this wine produced.  The wine offered a nose of dark red fruits and spice, while the taste of cherry and pomegranate with some pepper was the prominent tastes and a nice long finish featuring the chalk terroir.  All in all, it was the wines that saved the night for us, and my Bride also bought a classic Michigan birthday cake, and the favored ice cream flavors for the honoree.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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