Long before I came on the horizon my Bride has had a Ladies Christmas Party. Some have been attending since the first one and that is several decades ago. It is a pleasure watching her drive herself to a frazzle to make sure that everything is just right. She has her invitation list, her records from the year before, and a scrap book that grows and evolves from each prior affair.
The ladies all bring a dish to share, whether is an appetizer, salad, entrée and on to dessert, and everything is spread out for the others to enjoy. Each lady also brings a wrapped present to place on another table, and as they arrive they are given a number that they select from out of a bag; which determines their turn to select one of the wrapped gifts. They also from what I have gathered over the years, reveal their personal goals and/or aspirations for the following year, and they also have to hear read back to them what their last years goal was, and they have to reflect upon their achievements or lack of. There is plenty of laughter and good camaraderie, as there are new members added to the mix.
I normally make an appearance, greet all of the guests as an unofficial host, make a plate from the bounty of dishes that are there and then I go to my office and hide. I make an occasional return trip, because it must be that the evaporation level is high in my office, as I have to keep replenishing my wine glass. This year, since the debut of The Wine Raconteur, I made it a point to try a sample of the assorted wines that are also brought to the party.
I normally refrain from trying some of the wines; perchance perhaps because I am a wine snob, though I don’t feel that I am I do have preferences that have kept me from trying different wines in the past. This year, I thought that I would be more egalitarian and sample a bit of each wine to see, if I may have missed something due to my preconceived opinions.
The first wine I tried was a wine I normally have refrained from as I am not a fan of sweet wines, but in the nature of this blog I tried. It was a bottle of Barefoot Pink Moscato from California and as the label stated it was “deliciously sweet,” and I did find it to be drinkable, but much too cloying for my own taste, but I could see how it would attract a fan base as it is an easy drinking wine. The next wine I tried was from a dark cobalt blue bottle called Relax Riesling which was to my surprise a Qualitatswein from the Mosel region of Germany, but a non-vintage blend. It was mildly sweet with a certain balance of acidity, not a great wine for food as far as I was concerned, but I think it would be very agreeable on a hot summer day. The next two were Chardonnay wines from California. The first that I tried was a Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay 2010 from the Central Coast and it was a very straight forward Chardonnay with a classic crispness, but not much of an aftertaste. The surprising wine was the second of the two which was a Coppola Diamond Collection Chardonnay 2011 from Monterey County. When we were at the Coppola Estate in Napa Valley, I found most of the wines that I tried to be mediocre, but I was very impressed with this wine with a slight buttery finish to it. I shall look for this wine again. I then tried the two red wines that were on the bar area in our library. The first wine was the Melini Chianti 2010 that I served and wrote about on our second day of Thanksgiving feasting. This wine was originally brought to my attention by The Winegetter, a fellow blogger who usually waxes poetically about German white wines. I found that trying this wine a second time gave me the same pleasure as the first time, and quite a few of the ladies asked where they could get this wine. I doff my hat again to my friend Oliver. Finally I tried a glass of Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage 2010 from the Central Coast of California. I found this to be an enjoyable wine in the classic form of a good Claret or Bordeaux blend. Outside of the Chianti wine, all of the other wines were brought by the ladies to share with each other, and the one interloper.
It was a fine affair for the ladies who all seemed to have a good time, as some of them stayed until midnight or beyond. They were all good sports as well, because later on in the evening the entire house was clean, dishes were washed and we could have had another party. My Bride does have excellent friends and family, and I did the best I could to stay hidden so that they could enjoy themselves.