Some times a party is announced, just because. Especially after the lockdown, it doesn’t take much to get people together. Even impromptu parties can be easy, especially during the summer months. Most men like to barbecue, and years ago I did, but somehow, I lost that desire and ability, maybe I can coax it back, but thankfully there are others that truly enjoy it. Of course, most impromptu parties are kind of a “pot-luck” occasion and hopefully that works out. There have been many times when I thought we were a catering concern, with all of the multiple chaffing dishes, pots and pans, bowls, not to mention napkins and utensils. This time we only had to bring some libations.
There really was no shortage of food, and it seems that markets have made it much easier, when I wasn’t looking. In the old days, everything was created in the kitchen, and now so much is created at the markets and specialty food centers, without even going to a restaurant. I was surprised the last time we went to the cheese shop, to discover that they also were purveyors of pate. I guess I should get out in the world a bit more. I have also learned that perhaps I am the last to know, that smoking of meats is almost as popular as barbecues. Smokers are the antithesis of microwave ovens, in fact talking with people, smokers make “slow-cookers” look like fast food. I am also trying to come to grips with the concept of using an “air fryer” to “bake” a potato, as my brain keeps asking me why? Though I am delighted to say that our one son has become a dedicated smoker, just of meats, and the brisket that he made for the party was exceptional.
We started of with a bottle of Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc Mendocino 2019. Elizabeth Spencer Winery is the realization of a dream by the husband-and-wife team of Spencer Graham and Elizabeth Pressler. The have created a winery based on relationships with vineyards. Their first wine was a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 and they have continued producing this wine yearly. They have since developed relationships not only in Napa Valley, but also in Sonoma and Mendocino. In 2006 they became the stewards of the 1872 Post Office building in Rutherford for their tasting room. The fruit for this wine comes from three vineyards in Mendocino. Primary fermentation takes place over twenty days in cool temperatures and each lot is done individually and then blended and further aging in Stainless Steel. This wine was harvested in the first week of September and bottled in March. The wine offered a nose of citrus and lemon rind, while the palate offered tropical fruits, bright acidity and a shorter finish with just a touch of terroir. It is becoming the decade of Sauvignon Blanc for my Bride.
Another wine for this summer party was Daou Vineyards Chardonnay Paso Robles 2019. George and Daniel Daou, two brothers who were originally in the IT industry purchased part of the Hoffman Mountain Ranch in 2007 and in 2012 purchased the other part of the ranch and they now had two-hundred-twelve acres. Stanley Hoffman with help from Andre Tchelistcheff created the first modern commercial winery in Paso Robles after Prohibition. This wine is pure Chardonnay and aged for five months in French Oak, of which thirty percent was new. The nose offered ripe pear and apples with a touch of lemon and vanilla. The palate offered tropical fruits and spices and perfect acidity, and a decent finish of fruit.