Brunch, Dinner, Zoom and Wine

Capt. Richard N. Jenson: What are you doing there, soldier?

Soldier getting up from floor:  Trying to get some sleep, sir.

Patton: Well, get back down there, son.  You’re the only son of a bitch in this headquarters who knows what he’s trying to do.

Another day in trenches as we are living life in a dream.  John F. Kennedy once said “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians.” I have seen memes proclaiming that it’s like the Sixties, because gas is cheap and we have been grounded.  Another was stated that we are all becoming like a famous movie character “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. I am glad that gallows humor is holding up, so that we can find some silver linings in this terrible storm that has engulfed the world.  As for me, I don’t think that I look like The Dude, but it is a close race between Dr. Zorba and Larry Fine, though I am shaving, because I am not Jason Bourne and attempt to cut hair.

We had a wonderful Sunday during the lockdown.  We had an early Brunch.  My Bride made a Ham and Cheddar Souffle with Mimosas.  Then she and one of her girlfriends get together on their phones and watch the same mass on their computers, and her girlfriend even encourages my Bride to sing louder.  Sunday is kind of our day of rest from jobs and projects.  We normally eat dinner around five in the afternoon, but we had an early dinner.  We had Chicken Piccata, Rice Pilaf and Steamed Asparagus and Chocolate Pudding for dessert.  Ever since, she has discovered making a Piccata Sauce with different “proteins” and assorted add-ins for flavor, it has become one of her new favorite dinners to make, and I am not complaining.  We then, had almost three hours of Zoom to catch up with everyone, and I know that my Bride is itching to make a big family dinner, if and whenever the self-appointed Gods deem family gatherings are permissible.

We started off with Mimosas, for those that think that breakfast is a sobering reality.  We use splits of La Marca Prosecco DOC NV probably to the same exact mixing ratios that we discovered out in Las Vegas, where I think Orange Juice is dearer than bubbly.  The wine is named after the La Marca Trevigiana zone in the heart of the Prosecco region of Italy. This wine was listed as being one of the “Top 100 Wines of the Year” by Wine Spectator magazine in 2007. Since this wine is from the Prosecco DOC region it is listed as using the Prosecco varietal, instead of the other name of Glera.  The wine is produced by the Charmat Method, which keeps the cost down in production and it also keeps a few less bubbles rising up in the glass, and it is a bit sweeter by design, but it is a great way to start the day off.  For dinner and for the Zoom party, we opened up a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2013.   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.  In 1974 in a blind tasting their Riesling came in first place over Germany and California.  In 1976, they changed the name to Chateau Ste. Michelle.  The wine is aged Sur Lie for six months in a mix of French and American Oak, with ten percent new, and then blended with Chardonnay that was aged in tanks, so that there is a blend of crisp and oaky wine combined.  This wine for being seven years old was still very crisp and had a lot of fruit to offer.  It was an excellent wine to enjoy with the family after dinner and during the Zoom session. 

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Filets and Franc

“Major Strasser has been shot…round up the usual suspects.” 

Day 60 of the lockdown, so by my estimation, I have been clean four times, and I was excited like a little kid going on a school excursion trip.  The only difference was that I was just going to a hardware store and my Bride was going to get some perishables at the local small Michigan chain grocer, the big stuff we are still covered with, some of the stuff like milk and fresh vegetables.  It is becoming shades of World War Two as the markets are rationing certain items now and hoarders are creating artificial shortages.  You can only purchase two meat items at a time, and toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and disinfectants are the new Bitcoins of the new world order.  Meanwhile, I was buying some stuff to fix up the house, as well as a potential big job in the future.  Besides wearing masks, and hats (to hide sixty days of unruly hair, because only politicians can get their hat cut) we were sporting surgical gloves; we actually had a complete carton of them and who knows what other gems we may have, half forgotten about.  It was fun and I felt like a scofflaw, because there is only supposed to be one person in a car and we had two. 

We are still eating extremely well, as we continue to have these curious Banana Pancakes, to make sure that we are getting some Potassium.  For lunch, we are having soups or sandwiches, and I know that one day when I go and sit down in a restaurant, two of the earliest items that I will order is a cheeseburger and a pizza pie and of course later on, a duck dinner, foie gras and any veal dish.  Not that I am really complaining, because there is a God and through his providence, we are still eating.  My Bride, as well as myself grew up knowing that one had to have a balanced meal and she is intent on maintaining that goal.  We had Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus, and followed by Pineapple Angel Food Cake topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream.  While she is losing weight on the Weight Watchers food regimen, though the good news is that I have lost a couple of pounds and not gained, but then I am eating what she is, only more.

I was down in the cellar, looking for something interesting and singular, if I could and I found a potentially good wine, depending on how it matured.  I opened up a bottle of Ciccone Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Franc Leelanau Peninsula 1998 and estate bottled.  Silvio “Tony” Ciccone is a first generation American and his parents immigrated to Pennsylvania.  He eventually found his way to Detroit, got married and raised eight children while being an Optical Engineer.  All the time he had a couple of rows of grapevines in the backyard, just like his father did, and he maintained the Ciccone tradition of making home grown and hand made wine.  When Tony and his wife retired, they moved up North in Michigan to the wine country and in 1995, and the following Spring he planted by hand the first five acres with Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Gewurztraminer.  Two of his children have now taken over the business and his daughter is one of two female winemakers in the Leelanau County.  They know have fourteen acres of vines and the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Dolcetto in the area.   I opened up the bottle a half hour before dinner and I probably should have done it an hour early, as the first glass was rather indifferent, but then it really started to mellow out.  Neither of us could pinpoint the nose, and at first, it didn’t even taste like a Cabernet Franc, which is my Bride’s favorite varietal, but after an hour there was some layers of dark fruit still there, opening cautiously for us to enjoy, and like most Cabernet Franc wines it ended with a dry finish with terroir.  Maybe it is just me, but I always get more notes of terroir from Cabernet Franc at all price points, compared to most other grapes.  The other thing I noticed when we were up there and buying this wine was there was no mention of one of the other daughters that had some success in show business, by the name of Louise Madonna Ciccone, but maybe for another day.

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Salmon and KJ Great Estates

Bartlett: “Gentlemen, no doubt you’ve heard the immortal words of our new commandant: devote your energies to things other than escape, and sit out the war as comfortably as possible.”

My Bride and I have been most fortunate as we seem to weather this storm.  She has commandeered the dining room table, so that she can spread her work out.  Usually a little past 4:30 Monday through Friday, after she shuts down her computer and we go for our 5K walk in the subdivision.  I mean there is no place to go, the spa that we joined is shuttered, because of the lockdown, so we do some exercises at home and our walk.  The good thing is that the we have not been reported as selfish protesters, because we still walk hand in hand, no six feet space between us, and we walk in the fresh air with no mask, as we live on the edge. LOL. The last week or so, we have started to notice more people walking or riding a bicycle.  There are some strange new etiquettes involved when walking.  If we see people either walking or talking to their neighbors, without breaking pace, we venture out into the street for a couple of house widths, before getting back on the sidewalk.  It is really not that serious, as there is almost no automobile traffic in the whole area.  People wave to us from their porches or from chairs in their garages.  My biggest beef I guess is how people try to squeeze more cars in the driveway and then we have a choice of either walking on their lawn or back on the street, so it is back on the street for us.  In the 58 days of lockdown we have had the pleasure of walking in weather from the thirties to the seventies; and have enjoyed rain, snow and blasting sunny days, of course it is Michigan, so fluctuations are the norm. 

My Bride is still experimenting with the menu, as she is trying to make me not miss dining out.  She is also going and getting some of the different sauces and spices she has bought and never used, either because she didn’t want to take the extra time or she figured that her pain the arse husband might balk at something out of his comfort zone.  She was going to make Salmon, and I figured that she was going to use one of her tried and true recipes that I enjoy.  When I met her, she was basically a fish-eater and a white wine drinker.  I had to basically reintroduce her to red meats and to red wines and she hasn’t really complained about it.  She marinated the salmon in a Peanut Sauce, I don’t know about these things, it was better than I had anticipated.  Let us just say that it is a good thing that I am not a food critic. 

I found another lost soul that needed liberating from the cellar, it was Kendall-Jackson Great Estates Chardonnay Arroyo Seco 2000, in one of the heavy-weight bottles and the label etched in the glass.  I am going to go out on a relatively safe limb and opine that this wine later was renamed “Highland Estates” and now goes by the label of “Jackson Estate.” Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates is one of California’s largest wine producers with 10,500 acres of land in both Sonoma and Napa Counties.  The estate was founded in 1974, when Jess Jackson purchased and eighty-acre pear and walnut orchard in Lakeport, California which would later be in the Sonoma Valley AVA.  His first wine was a vintage 1982 Chardonnay and it was successful from the get-go, and it has snowballed over the years.  This particular wine is from the Arroyo Seco, Spanish for Dry Creek in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County and is famed for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  The wine was aged for about nine months in French Oak of which sixty percent was new. This is one of their prestige wines and not one for making a killing on, as there was probably only a little over four-hundred cases produced. For a twenty-year old Chardonnay, it had a beautiful soft gold color and an enticing nose of citrus.  The wine was full bodied and still offered some fruit and some spice, with a decent finish, my Bride did think that there was noticeable tinge of alcohol permeating through the finish, but I didn’t pick that up as much.  I have to admit that we are tasting some wines that we may have passed over for one reason or another, but so far all have been excellent and the sad thing is that they were all singular in the cellar, and they have all been enjoyed before they may have started showing their age. 

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A Michigan Dinner

Paul Crewe: “You know, there’s only one thing I’m sorry about.” Warden Hazen: “What’s that, Mr. Crewe?” Paul Crewe: “That you’re not out here with us knockin’ heads.” Warden Hazen: “I’m afraid I’m a little old for that.” Paul Crewe: “No, you never had the guts to begin with!”

The State of Michigan has always had a feast or famine environment.  At one time we were the Car Capital of the World, we were The Arsenal of Defense, and as the old saying goes “When America gets the sniffles, Michigan gets the cold.”  Michigan always felt a slow down first, and was usually the last state to get the momentum back.  Over the years I have seen the cycle first hand, and I have talked to others that have witnessed similar cycles, before I would have been aware of it.  In the cartoon strip and later the Broadway musical and then the movie there is the lyrical statement that was a satire of an expression once uttered in Washington “What’s good for General Bullmoose is good for the U.S.A.”

Well, we are still in lockdown mode, along with other parts of the country and my dear Bride, is still trying to come up with new dinners to make the evenings more enjoyable.  She has probably gone to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for week-long business trips for maybe the last twenty years, and there have been some years that I have accompanied her, depending on how she could arrange the visits that she had to do, otherwise, I would be sitting in an empty car, for hours on end.  On the trips that I have gone up with her, one common dish that I noticed, at almost every restaurant that we went to, was their adaptation of a Spinach Salad.  I have only had Spinach Salads while in Michigan, so I am not sure if it is a regional dish or not.  My Bride fried up rashers of bacon, until they were really crispy and then took some of the bacon fat (grease) added spices and then tossed this dressing immediately on crisp spinach leaves, and the leaves wilt and then garnish with hard boiled eggs, bacon and shredded Cheddar Cheese.  It may not sound like much, but it is quite substantial as a meal.  It was followed by Pineapple Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries.

Well, in the back of my head I decided to maintain that Michigan theme of our dinner.  On one of our trips to Mackinac Island, on two different nights we enjoyed Gruner Veltliner wines from Austria and really enjoyed them.  After that trip we have encountered more of this grape, both from abroad and now domestically.  I found a wine in the cellar that did not have a neck tag and it was in with some of the Italian Red wines, and so I saved this lost gem from collecting any more dust.  I grabbed a bottle of Shady Lane Cellars Gruner Veltliner Leelanau Peninsula 2013.  The winery was founded by Dr. Joseph O’Donnell, a neurosurgeon from Grand Rapids in 1987. It recently changed hands to Richard Fortune from Indianapolis, Indiana; whose family has been visiting the area for the last fifty years or so. This is another winery that I have found out has been mentored by Lawrence Mawby of L. Mawby Vineyards and from my further studies appears to be the un-official “Godfather” to the other wineries in the area. I can appreciate his concept, because for years in retailing the concept of a strong neighbor (competitor) makes the entire area better.  After that trip up North to the wine country, I discovered that I knew the winemaker, when he was the general manager for a great wine shop that was across the street from where I used to work for ages.  I would have asked for him, though I am sure that he wouldn’t have remembered me from some thirty years prior, and he traded in working in Dearborn, to being up in paradise in the Traverse City region of the state.  I just thought that a wine that had some bounce would work well against the bacon dressing.  The wine still offered a nice citrus nose, and delivered some nice acidic layers of some stone fruit and pear, with a nice finish that offered some pepper and terroir featuring mineral notes.  It was refreshing and very pleasant with the dinner.  

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Easter, Zoom and Two Whites

“Now, I can be a good guy, or I can be one real mean sum-bitch.”

I think that we are all going through the motions of day in, day out.  Even my Bride has mentioned that she is tired, though she can’t pinpoint why. We are fortunate to be riding out this storm.  It was our first Easter without a crowd, there were Easter dinners where the count was close to thirty people, and prep work almost required a week.  Now, it is just my Bride and I, and for my Bride she loved being the Mother Hen and making sure that every ate and ate well. I mean it is hard to do all of the communicating on the telephone, FaceTime and now Zoom.  It has become the bright and shining moment to see family members and get some voices other than our own.  She gets excited the day before a big Zoom session and that is good, she plans on an early dinner, so that we are ready.  We even get dressed like we are going to go out, which is something we reminisce about, and she claims that I miss it more than she does, but I know she does as well. 

She decided that she was going to make a Kielbasa dinner again, part of it, is because she bought a package of Kielbasa to feed a battalion.  I would have been over-kill for her to have made a leg of lamb, or a standing rib roast or for that matter a ham.  I actually won her over to Smoked Kielbasa over Fresh Kielbasa, as I feel that it has more flavor, and she agrees, though there will always be times when we will have the fresh.  The Sauerkraut used to be just boiled, and now it is drained and sautéed with onions, garlic, potatoes and slice Kielbasa.  This gives the Sauerkraut a smokey and drier finish and gives some layers of taste instead of just the cabbage.  She also made Chocolate Pudding for dessert, she is trying to make the meals interesting and a focal point.

We opened up another one of the bottles that she had just purchased, Voga Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2019 to pair with the Kielbasa.  Voga Italia is a brand of Italian wines launched in 2006 and are instantly identifiable by their cylinder style bottles and resealable caps.  They produce white, red, sparkling and sweet wines and they also now make a vodka, and they only market instantly identifiable varieties as well, like Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Merlot, Prosecco and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Venezie in the name, most people think is for Venice, the historic and romantic city of canals, island, bridges and gondolas, but it is actually for Tre Venezie, Triveneto or “Three Venices.”  These three are Venezia Euganea, Venezia Giulia and Venezia Tridentina and they were three Italian administrative regions which existed from 1866 to 1919 and now correspond to Veneto, Friuli-Venezie Gulia and Trentino-Alto Adige; Delle Venezie covers the entire area with the exception of Alto-Adige or Sudtirol. The DOC laws allow that the wine must be at least eighty-five percent Pinot Grigio and then there is a long list of local grapes that may be used to blend in.   This wine is produced using Stainless Steel and the maturing time is not long, so as to keep the freshness of the fruit.  This is just a great easy-going wine and it paired very easily with the dinner.  My Bride was so animated and enjoyed the Zoom session so much, that I guess the Pinot Grigio just evaporated and I had to go and select another white wine to continue the evening with, as the one-hour session actually ended up going for almost three hours.  I had to go and open up a second bottle of wine, as we were having so much fun, and I opened up a Michigan wine that we picked up on one of our trips up North to the wine country here.  We had gone and tasted some wine at the winery and one of the wines we went home with was this Laurentide Winery Chardonnay Leelanau Peninsula 2016.  Laurentide Winery is on the 45’th Parallel.   As I quote from their web site about their name.  “Welcome to Laurentide, named in honor of the last great ice sheet that receded 10,000 years ago from the upper tier of the North American continent. With the completion of this great geologic event, the Great Lakes and surrounding lands assumed their present forms. The Leelanau peninsula was exposed and the rocks and fossils from a 350-million-year-old ancient sea floor started to formulate the soil that sustains our vines today contributing to the unique terroir of the region.”  William and Susan Braymer have a classic, almost romantic history leading up to their ultimate decision to becoming winemakers.  In 2006 they bought a cherry farm and began planting some grapevines.  This wine was listed as being un-oaked, and it was just stellar, even better then I remember it to be when we were there.   My Bride was really into the wine, or maybe it was the Zoom moment, but we had a great time that evening and another wine that almost evaporated as well.  The Michigan wines are really getting better each year.  I hope that this is the last year that I ever have to encounter an Easter that was so pitiful.  I feel sorry for the Great Grandparents and the Grandparents and the little children that had to suffer, forced to be away from loved ones. 

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A Hats Not a Hat ’til it’s Tilted

“Nobody goes to jail unless they want to. Unless they make themselves get caught.”

It was Day 45 and we are making the most of the situation.  During the French Revolution when people were literally losing their heads, they actually changed the calendar.  I was watching a wine lover on Instagram and he was using corks and arranging them as hash marks like drawing on the wall to keep track of the days, but he grew tired or disappointed and gave up.  I have read all sides of the arguments, because I mean we do have more time on our hands.  My only complaint is that I have not read of politicians that have had to live in confinement, then I would feel better, because then they might have empathy, but they seem impervious to what they are doing, as long as they get their name spelled right in the news reports.  We are watching the standard calendar and hopefully counting the days, and hoping for time off for good behavior.  Another thing that I am surprised at, is that wine sales are going like gangbusters, and I can’t blame the independents and the wineries for ways to sell their products, rather then sit back and go bankrupt. 

My Bride has been quite the creative one, trying to not make the same dinners over and over.  Some are elaborate and some are more basic, and some are just old-fashioned comfort food.  We ate out quite a bit, and certain restaurants that we went to, had special dinners that we would like.  Now that we are home, she is trying to keep us out of a rut.  This particular evening, she made a feast, featuring sautéed center cut pork chops with caramelized onions and garlic.  She also made Rice Pilaf and Steamed Asparagus.  We both have fond memories of center cut pork chops, and I will probably order them more in a restaurant setting compared to her, but on occasion she still orders them.  Asparagus is also a childhood memory for both of us, as we can both recall being in Canada in the Spring and stopping on the side of the roads to go and pick wild asparagus to be boiled (back then) and slathered with butter and salt and pepper, though I still like a little butter on them. 

I went down to the cellar and went searching for a bottle that looked interesting, and not just a repeat if I could, but some times with a cellar, there are cases and six-packs that were bought to be stored for a while.  I was looking in the area where I keep the Merlot wines, as I have always been partial to them, since the very early days.  I brought up a bottle with a label that read Sinatra Merlot 2001.  I told my Bride, that I am not sure where this wine came from, as I didn’t remember buying it, and I don’t remember getting it as a gift, though I am leaning more towards the gift idea, also because people know that I enjoy a unique label and I have been a life long fan of Francis Albert Sinatra.  I probably know his repertoire of music better, compared to any musical quartet or singer that should be of my era.  I told my Bride, this may be a crap-shoot, but it has been down there long enough, so I uncorked it, and let it breath a while.  We were both amazed at this wine that we had anticipated to be a curiosity, and it was even great a couple days later when we repeated this meal.  A beautiful wine that still had a great nose of dark fruit, good color, a great mix of cherry and soft tannins, with a good lingering finish.  The wine also required decanting as there was considerable sediment, which also made the wine open up even more.  I had to look at the bottle for more information, because my curiosity was totally piqued.  The wine carried a sticker from American Cellars Wine Club, which I have never belonged to and I had to look them up.  It appears that they are still in business and are considered the flagship wine club of the brand Vinesse.  They have participated in a number of rewards and points clubs (Delta and American Airlines) and offer wines by a club purchase or by the bottle.  Then I read the back label for some interesting information.  The wine was produced by Cab Frank Winery of Buellton, California, and in some further investigation, it appears that they are no longer in business, and I found out that there was a 2000 vintage as well.  The Sinatra Merlot Santa Barbara County 2001 had a good read.  “Francis Albert Sinatra passed away on a cool evening in May of 1998.  Early, the next morning at a small winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, two young winemakers resolved to make a tribute to the singer who given them so much happiness over the years.  That harvest they collected the best grapes from their small family-controlled vineyards and produced a single barrel of wine.  At each stage of the winemaking process the cellar filled with the swinging sounds of vintage Sinatra albums.  There they finally crafted a wine of such tremendous quality and passion that they planned to it to themselves, until the Sinatra family learned of the project.  A tasting commenced and a union was formed.  Since that first barrel, this wine has been produced as an homage to the great artist.  A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Frank Sinatra Foundation, a non-profit charity established by Sinatra to benefit children.”  Some of the write up sounds pretentious, but nineteen years later, for the wine to be this wonderful, it was some excellent winemaking and not done by hacks.  I had to look it up, one barrel of wine produces twenty-five cases of wine or three-hundred bottles, so it was not a big production.  Now, if I can figure out, who gave us such a wonderful gift.   

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One Never Knows

James Bond: “How about a cigarette?” Donald “Red” Grant: “Not a chance.” James Bond: “I’ll pay for it.” Donald “Red” Grant: “What with?” James Bond: “Fifty gold sovereigns.”

That little bit of dialogue always comes into my head, when I think of how the powers that be operate.  I had an uncle that served with the Merchant Marines in World War II, and when the Korean War began, he was drafted, because Merchant Marine service did not count as service to the country, it may have changed now.  So, there was my uncle going through boot camp with grunts that were probably ten years younger than himself, and even worse, he ended up at the front lines in Korea.  I remember how he used to always tell me about one part of his military experience, in that he might be on the front lines and receive his cold K-rations for weeks at a time, he always said that his cigarette rations and his beer rations were always available.  He was the first individual that I ever met that always complained that the government wanted their soldiers drunk and full of nicotine.  He said that soldiers that didn’t smoke, started smoking, because they felt that they were being cheated.  He survived the war, but he always had a disdain for the way he was treated, and he really couldn’t complain, because he was actually older than most of the command at the line.  I bring all of this up, because for some odd reason tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets are essential, the stores may not have toilet paper or sanitizers, the state makes sure that they can still gouge the citizens for the big-ticket taxable items, because we certainly are not driving anywhere.

We are eating a lot of leftovers, but by design, which is a good thing.  We make enough food for a dinner, so that there will be enough for a second day or sometimes a third, or it may make an appearance at lunch or even breakfast.  Now it might be my imagination, but bananas seem to have the shortest life span that I have ever seen.  They must be spraying them with green dye, because it seems that the very next day, they are becoming ripe and then over ripe faster than two people can eat them.  My Bride has discovered a recipe that makes “banana pancakes” using baking soda and eggs and not flour, she said that they are very difficult at first to flip them, but once she got the hang of it, it is good, and we are not throwing away bananas every week.  Another good thing is that we are eating together a lot more, before confinement, we were both on the go, so the only time we actually ate together was at a restaurant, and hopefully everyone still remembers what restaurants are.  The only thing I know for a fact, is that the price of groceries have escalated, because I hear about it each time she returns and I hope that we are invested in grocery chains, as I did not want any investments in fast-food chains, and my broker looked at me like I was crazy, but I don’t care. 

All of this rambling is because, I had really hoped that there was no way that I wanted to contribute to high taxable items during confinement, because I figured that we have enough wine to last a long time, just like all of the food in the freezers.  And then it happened, my Bride was all excited when she called me on the way home from getting some groceries.  She told me that she had bought the wine that we had at the bar at the 1852 Grill Room in the Island House on Mackinac Island last year.  She didn’t remember the name of the wine per se, but she remembered the unique bottle that they used, and to be truthful, I was surprised that the Common Market would allow such a distinctive bottle as they are trying to homogenize the wine industry, or so it seems.  This particular winery uses a bottle that is more a cylinder, instead of the traditional wine bottle.  When we were at the bar waiting for our table, my Bride had a Negroni and I had requested a Moscato and was served a Voga Moscato IGP from the Pavia region of Italy and my Bride really liked the taste of it.  We were actually up on the island, because my Bride had a business meeting there and I tagged along.  While we were there, Ms. Yoga called the restaurant and bought us dessert, so I had a Hummer, a famed Summer Cocktail that was created in Detroit eons ago, and a fond memory of Ms. Yoga from another time.  I got to thinking about the wine some more, because she had bought four bottles of Voga Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2019, and the funny thing is that they had this wine two years ago at an Italian restaurant, and I ended up going with a red wine that night.  This is just a very easy to drink wine that is unfussy and matured in Stainless Steel and during these days of lockdown we have availed ourselves of this wine with a myriad of different dishes and it has been good.  So even with all our wine, we still stayed current and added some money to the state coffers for a sin tax, as we used to call it.

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