Two of our children live in Las Vegas, in a community known as Summerlin. Summerlin is a 22,500-acre master-planned community under development by The Howard Hughes Corporation in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada near the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (according to Wikipedia). While we were visiting, we were regaled with a barbeque at a park in Summerlin that had a large play area for the benefit of the grandchildren and a covered picnic area for the adults with a view of where the kids were playing.
Our daughter and daughter-in-law went to a couple of ethnic markets to purchase food prepared for the barbeque. To them Armenian food and Arabic food are identical, while I tried to explain some of the differences, since I had the good fortune to have my Grandmother cook our classic dishes, as she and my Grandfather had both made it to Canada after surviving the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians during World War One. Consequently my concept of Armenian food is much different from what my grandchildren accept as Armenian food. I think the biggest difference is that there are very few real Armenian restaurants, as most who would go to an Armenian restaurant would say that the food is not the same as they remember from their Grandparent’s kitchens and I would be part of that group. Middle Eastern food I feel came from the Ottoman Empire influence, and I feel that it is all based on Armenian cuisine, can you tell that I am biased.
Regardless on my innate biases, the food was delicious and enjoyed by all that went to the barbeque. We enjoyed a bottle of Frei Brother’s Chardonnay 2010. This was a delightful bottle of Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley, which we had bought at a major wine shop near our hotel as it was already chilled. I was concerned a little bit, because I am not a fan of 2010 Chardonnay wines from the Central Coast, but this wine from the Russian River Valley was very good, so even though both areas are in California, there was a marked difference in the wines.
Our daughter had also mentioned that at the Armenian market that she went to that day, that they had some Armenian wine. My interest was piqued, and in fact the next day she had a bottle of it as a gift for me. I had to laugh, because what she had bought as an Armenian wine was actually from Georgia, a country adjacent to Armenia. When I saw the bottle and the label I immediately knew that the writing on the label was not Armenian, but Georgian. The bottle of wine was Saperavi 2008; this is a wine that is made from the Saperavi grape varietal, also known as Kahketi grape that has been a staple of the Kahketi region of Eastern Georgia. I have not tried this wine yet, but the wine can be semi-sweet to a dry wine, and some of the wines have been known to cellar age for fifty years, but I will not wait that long before I try the wine.