When I was a young man, I belonged to an organization that was dedicated to bringing together the teens of my nationality together for cohesion and fraternity. To accomplish this lofty goal, there were chapters across the United States and Canada, just in North America, and there were regions that the chapters belonged to, and there were regional conference, national conventions and even our own style of Olympic Games. There were Friday night “hook-ups” and dances on Saturday night and usually a picnic or another get-together on Sunday, before everyone went to home. It was a great way to meet people from across the country and to develop cultural ties and pride.
I mention all of this, because through the use of social media, I have recently watched the advertisements and come on attractions for the last Olympics that my former organization just had. Some of my old associates had attended this gathering along with their children and some with their grandchildren. Shall I say some traditions continue to this day. It is because of this, that I remember the second Olympics that I attended, which was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The hosting site was at the Constellation Hotel in the city of Mississauga which was located near the Pearson International Airport. Even though the hotel was near the airport, my cousin and I drove to the event from Detroit.
One night a group of us, ventured to downtown Toronto to have dinner, and then we would still have plenty of time to get back to the hotel for fraternization and a good time. We went to a French restaurant La Petite Place. Here was a group of teenagers dressed to the nines and discovering new food sensations and feeling big time. I seem to remember that we all ordered escargot for an appetizer, as none of us had ever had snails before and we all decided that we were going to be sophisticated. For our entrée we were much more prosaic and ordered steaks, probably Steak au Poivre or a variation of that dish, as we had blown our adventurous part of the evening on snails.
We even ordered a bottle of wine, after all having a pre-dinner cocktail, to make sure that we would be served. Since we were all dressed up, and most of us had facial hair, we must have look to have been of age or close enough, that the restaurant, did not want to make a scene, and potentially lose a large table of diners. We enjoyed a bottle of Chateau les Chaumes 1971 from the Cotes de Blaye. This is an Appellation just out of the Bordeaux region, but a similar type of wine, that it tends to be grouped on wine lists as Bordeaux, unless it is a really fine wine list. Blaye is one of the lesser districts, but is still in the Gironde. Actually to this day, I still look for wines on lists from this area, just to see, if I can discern much difference from Blaye from Bordeaux. It seems that restaurants now are more discerning and would rather carry Bordeaux, rather then trying to explain what a Blaye wine is. With the sharp increases that have been seen from the Medoc, these areas may become more in vogue, as a value wine.