It is always a wonderful time of the year to spend time with family and we do, even if it is frowned upon in this era. All of my life, the Christmas season is about family, food and good times and I intend to maintain that tradition. Earlier in the week we had transported a carload of gifts to their house, because we couldn’t have brought the gifts and all the catering. I also have to say that the “boot” that my Bride has been saddled with has not deterred her from running around and going up and down staircases. The funny thing is that this year, we got off easy, as we didn’t host any of the two meals, we only catered noshes and wine, which we can do quite well, in my humble opinion.
My Bride got a new toy for herself, a food processor, I am sure that there may be another one in the basement, but who cares; because we may never find it. Any ways she was going to do appetizers and her Caesar Salad. Among the appetizers, and the reason we opened up the new processor was that she wanted to try a new recipe for a Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I watched her getting no where with the processor and suggested that she try feeding the ingredients in gradually and that worked, another reason I stay out of the kitchen. The dip was a hit, but at first, everyone thought it was Guacamole, as the processor really pureed the ingredients. I decided that the evening belonged to my Bride and I took among the wines for the evening her favorite “go-to” wine Famille Sichel Bordeaux Blanc 2017 was the wine that was poured. Famille Sichel is a family owned negocient firm from 1883 in Bordeaux, as they were in the procurement process for their locations in Mainz, London and New York. In 1938 they even bought Chateau Palmer, which at the time had fallen on bad times and have since brought it back to all of its glory. The family does not believe in resting on their laurels as in 2001 they even built a completely new bottling and storage facility in the Bordeaux region. This particular bottle of wine is a blend of the two leading white grapes of Bordeaux, namely Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. I don’t think that I would be amiss to opine that this wine was aged in Stainless Steel as there was plenty of fruit and very refreshing. It starts off with a nose of citrus fruits and finishes with some terroir with a decent finish.
Our Brother-in-Law and his wife were the hosts and they went all out for the dinner menu. He cooked a stuffed turkey in a gas-fryer on his front porch (I will add that my Bride also made stuffing and Armenian Pilaf) as sides for the main courses. He also cooked Apple-stuffed Pork Tenderloins in an oversized electric oven (my Brother-in-Law loves gadgets) and he also prepared a classic rendition of a Standing Rib Roast. One of the wines I brought for the evening and to pair with the Standing Rib Roast was also for my Bride, as we enjoyed Cain Vineyard and Winery Cain Concept Napa Valley 1996. The Cain Vineyard is located at the crest of Mayacamas Range that overlooks the Napa Valley and Saint Helena. While Cain Concept, is from vineyards lower down the mountain side going from Yountville to Oakville to Rutherford to St. Helena; known as the Benchland and all very special real estate of its own. This wine is a blend of seventy-eight percent Cabernet Sauvignon, seventeen percent Merlot, and five percent Cabernet Franc. Cain Concept is handled by the winery the same way as they produce Cain Five (which is the mountain vineyard) and it takes a total of just over three years of production. There are no notes, but I do know the wine is barreled as I have seen them stacked. The wine had a beautiful deep color for a twenty-five-year-old. The nose had softened and didn’t have bright fruit notes. On the palate the wine was layered and tasted more like an aged Medoc, which is not surprising and it had a nice long finish of terroir. I did notice that some were a bit surprised at what an older aged wine tastes like, because they are used to having big jammy fruit bombs from California and this wine was much more elegant.