I would like to think of my Bride and I as romantics, well let me tell you how we spent our last anniversary. We were over-dressed in our gymnasium sweat suit attire at a recycling center, which in my youth would have been part of a scrapyard. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned in a past article, my Bride lost her mother at the age of 96, which is a great milestone to achieve, and few are honored to make it, with sound mind and in good health. Years ago, when both of her parents were alive, my Bride pushed for them to create a trust and it served them well. Of course, I keep asking my Bride, what terrible thing did she do, that she named my Bride as the Executor of the Trust. She is even doing her penance without any renumeration.
All this is because all five sisters got together to try to clear out “stuff” accumulated over the last almost seventy years in their parent’s house and garage. There was a vintage pool table from the Roaring Twenties, not the “Mandated Twenties” of this century, that somewhere along the way, someone attempted to refinish one part, and that part has disappeared in lore, and the table was quite useless. We discovered how to dismantle it, and I am still wondering how they actually got it, into the basement, back in the Fifties. Anyways, as I wander, my Bride had rented a dumpster and most of the sisters, their spouses and children all chipped in for the physical work. You have to remember that the “our” parents survived the “Great Depression” and there was value in almost everything, and there was a method to their madness of making use of stuff. We all became quite adept at learning the value of “scrapping.” We made so much from recycling iron, steel, aluminum, brass, and copper that the dumpster, which we filled to the brim was paid for, which explains why we were so jauntily attired standing in line with the people that we see, who make a living touring neighborhood on trash and garbage day, picking up the stuff, that other people have thrown away.
We got home exhausted, but we had a dinner to celebrate. We had filets, potatoes and broccolini; and we didn’t even bother with a dessert. We were still in a recycling state of being and I went into the cellar to find something and I found a split, which was enough wine for us that evening after the day we had. Splits or half-bottles are always iffy, but there were plenty of other bottles waiting if necessary. I got my Durand, just in case, as well as a funnel and coffee filter. We opened up a bottle of Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998. Avignon was the home for the French Pope who did not want to live in Rome, hence the name. The firm was established in 1826 and Domaine Grand Veneur is their flagship wine as well as the base of the firm. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most famous designations in the Rhone Valley, originally thirteen varieties were allowed, and now it is up to eighteen, but three are the predominate grapes. The original rules were so strict and precise, that they actually were the basis for the Appellation Controlee laws. Years later, the curious law that Chateauneuf-du-Pape banning UFOs went into effect and is still on the books. This wine is made of fifty percent Grenache, twenty percent Syrah and thirty percent Mourvedre. The Syrah and Mourvedre are aged in French Oak and the Grenach is aged in concrete vats for fourteen months. Considering the age, the cork came out in one piece, but I did use the funnel and coffee filter, because of the number of dregs that were visible, and we still got two good glasses of the wine. The wine still had a very deep purple color, without any brown tinges, and offered notes of rich black fruits and spices. It was a big wine, even at twenty-four and offered tones of black cherry and plums, tobacco and cinnamon were secondary and the tannins had mellowed out and were very suave and finished with a nice long count of terroir. A hell of a wine to finish off the day, but especially my Bride’s job will continue for some time, thankfully, she is retired.