Not for me, I have been retired and in fact, we never even recorded the day or anything, it just kind of happened. My younger brother retired and his wife had a surprise retirement party for him. She did a great job with all of the planning, because everyone was kind of a co-conspirator. All he knew was that he was going to a wine tasting that evening, he had even tried to get some of his pals to go golfing that morning, but they all had prior commitments. So, I am sure that he was looking forward to having some wine and relaxing with some friends that were also going to the party. My Bride was asked if she would take some photos and she is pretty sure that she took photos of everyone there, she even printed up a photo album and a complete disc of all the photos as well, she is very organized and likes doing things like that.
It was good that we had to get there early, because I and most of the others could not find this catering hall, and some navigation systems on some of the phones could not locate it either. It was kind of funny, that everyone was saying the same thing, unless they actually had prior knowledge of the facility. Most of us ended up gathering out on the rear verandah or patio of the facility, overlooking the river, and actually we could basically see his house on the island, not far from the bridge that connected the island to the mainland and the park setting. We were all kind of told to get into the main hall and to be quiet, as the Man of the Hour was coming, and we could all see his new gift to himself for retirement cruising on the island, the car is very distinct. The surprise worked and he was broken up emotionally from the moment.
The facility is a catering hall, and they did quite a decent job duplicating some Armenian dishes, because naturally everyone at our table and the adjoining table were all eating basically the same choices from the large array offered at the buffet. By the way the bar was opened early for all the revelers, and they also had some appetizers arranged for everyone to munch on, until the main event. Most of the guests were enjoying beers and mixed drinks, but my Bride and I stayed true to form and had some wine; and I am sure that no one would be surprised by that tidbit of news. All the wines were from Cupcake Vineyards and it was established in 2008 by The Wine Group. The concept of Cupcake Vineyards is to offer value-priced wines from different regions like Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, Chardonnay from the Central Coast, Malbec from Mendoza, Riesling from the Mosel Valley, etc., etc., etc. The wines are bulk produced, but a step up from jug-wines of yore. We started with the Cupcake Vineyards Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2020. This wine had notes of citrus fruits and melons. On the palate a crisp wine of apple and pineapple that had a finish of honey and lemon zest; it was a bit too sweet for both of us. With dinner we had Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon California 2019. This wine had notes of dark fruits, and on the palate, I noticed mostly plum with a little blackberry and it finished with some spices. The wines were better compared to other wines we have had from catering facilities, but hardly up to the caliber of the food that they served. All in all, a delightful evening and the surprise worked.