Years ago one of the members of my dinner club belonged to the Essex Golf and Country Club in Windsor, Ontario. I remember meeting another of my club members and we drove together to go there. I had never been there, but as I looked at the map, it dawned on me that I knew the area from when I was a kid; I had even rode my bike with friends over the Ambassador Bridge to a park near where the country club was located. My friend looked at me as I started to take some back roads to get there and he was amazed, but I explained that it was like old home week for me to get there. I even took a side route to pass by where my Grandparents lived in Windsor, as I was the only one of my siblings that had even been there.
When we finally got to the country club, it was time to have our meeting and dinner. The club always has a cocktail hour prior to the meeting just for socialization. I even ran into some of my customers who were members there. In the Seventies and Eighties a lot of Americans took advantage of the exchange rate on the American dollar versus the Canadian dollar and had joined the Essex Country Club, as it was much more economical to belong. One of the members of our club had done this, and that is why we were at this venue. I remembered that I had ordered a Whisky Sour as that is my choice of a cocktail, and the mix that they offered, let us say that I have had better, so I looked at the available wines that were being offered and decided what would be the best wine to go with the dinner. The usual choices at my dinner club is a beef, chicken and a fish entrée, though this particular evening they were offering a pork dish, which was a fine change of pace. After dinner our host that belonged to the country club also brought out a bottle of his homemade Cherry infused Brandy to go along with our desserts.
Wines for the most part were not as popular then, as they are today. I had to get a couple of other members to agree on a bottle of wine, so as not to add an onus to our hosts for the evening. In Ontario, the wines are under the auspices of a liquor control board, so the selections are not as vast, as we would see in the states, and even back then the selection of wines were not as large as what is now available. We settled on a French wine, at the expense of a Canadian wine, and I got a bottle of Cotes du Rhone, unfortunately I do not have the neck ring that showed the year of vintage, only the label itself. The particular bottle was by a very large negociant in the Rhone are E. Guigal. I have had this wine over several years, perhaps decades and know it to be a good choice, and I have also had a bottle or two of Cote Rotie from this same house. The traditional choice of varietals for Cote du Rhone is a majority of Syrah, blended with some Grenache and a small amount of Mouvedre, so I am presuming this to be the case for a wine that I had around thirty years ago, as it is the basic blending format of today. I just continue to have some great memories around wine.