My Bride keeps in contact with plenty of her past associates and some have developed into long lasting friendships. She has groups of friends going back to the days when everyone and every business seemed to be located in downtown Detroit, and we have mementos still in the house. She has maintained school friends, work friends and national and state professional association friends. I joke that they adore her and put up with me, when I tag along, because I am such a quiet soul. The other day, we had an early dinner, because one of her friends doesn’t like to drive in the evenings and unfortunately that is a rather common lament one hears as one gets up in the years.
My Bride was excited and she was making a simple dinner that for a lack of a better term was “comfort” food. We started off with one of her new favorites where she bakes Triple Cream Brie and tops it with Onion Jam for a nice savory taste, instead of using fruit. Then she needs no prodding to whip up a batch of her Caesar Salad. Then she made a Turkey Pot Pie with lots of turkey and vegetables. It was mentioned that our guest prefers red wine, otherwise I would have selected a white wine with the meal. We had a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Merlot Columbia Valley 2006, and currently it is listed as Ethos Reserve. Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wineries in the State of Washington. They are known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, but are famed for their Riesling. It was founded as the American Wine Growers in 1954 by the merger of two that companies that followed the repeal of Prohibition; the National Wine Company and the Pomerelle Wine Company. The National Wine Company had planted Vitis vinifera grapes in the Columbia Valley, and under the consultation of Andre Tchelistcheff they planted even higher quality grapes in 1967. These were under the name of Ste. Michelle Vintners and the first wines released were Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Semillon and Grenache. The particular wine that we had was basically Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, as they claim that their Merlots are so big, that the Cabernet softens the tannins. The fruit is harvested from three of their vineyards and fermented separately until time of blending. The wine was aged for twenty-two months in French Oak, of which fifty-six percent is new. They make about thirteen-hundred cases a year. The wine offered lots of dark fruit notes, both for the nose and the palate and the tannins were very mellow with a good medium finish. A beautiful drinking fifteen-year-old wine.
We also received a clever and inventive wine box, though the gift was for my Bride,though I was mentioned during the selection process as it seemed that I would appreciate the gesture as well. The wine box had the appearance of an old steamer trunk, when luggage was hard-sided with leather and brass fittings. It was also covered with replica travel labels, like what people would glue onto the luggage to show that they traveled abroad, especially on the continent. It appeals to both of us, high on the nostalgia aspect, but also as a great table accessory for parties and a great conversation piece.