“Love is lovelier the second time around
Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground”
A remembrance of a get away to Benmiller Inn in Goderich, Ontario, Canada, while it seems to be oh so long ago, and then again it feels like it was just yesterday. My Bride was not even my Bride when we ventured over to this resort, it was kind of in the middle of nowhere and it still is to a degree. The Inn is a series of mills that were converted into a quaint hotel or “bed and breakfast.” The rooms were all different sizes and some were unique to find, as they had retrofitted the grist and woolen mills for accommodations. Some of the decorations were actual clothes that had been loomed at the mill, and some of the furniture, as in the headboards, side tables, etc, was made from the machinery that had been disassembled and reclaimed for other uses and decorations. There was also an enclosed pool and spa, and an enclosed jogging area for when the weather was not agreeable. We were there during good weather, so we could not watch all of the skiers use the trails that surrounded the grounds. I remember we were walking around the grounds and there was a slight mist of a shower, and I ended up entertaining my future Bride with the sales pitch from The Music Man, and she stayed with me, go figure.
Since my family was originally from Ontario, I had a slight bias towards Canadian restaurants back then, left over I am sure from my relatives. Canada was just getting out of the shadow of being in the Commonwealth for ages, and the food tended to be on the bland and unseasoned food genre. Since I came from an Armenian heritage I was used to having spiced dishes with a lot of onions and garlic, and I was afraid that I was going to have “hospital” cuisine. Was I proven wrong at the Inn, and I was so happy about this discovery. We started out by having Caesar Salad, and this was before my Bride had her awesome recipe that I am now so spoiled by, and this salad was made in the classic way with enough garlic and anchovies to keep us both happy. My future Bride had an entrée of trout prepared with a Maple syrup rub, and I had a breast of duck that was properly prepared; so we were both happy with our choices. We finished off the meal with coffee and a Crème Brulee.
The wine list was not large at the time, and was more reliant on French wines, then California wines. This was also before the boon of wineries that exploded out on the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. Since all alcoholic beverages are controlled by the province, back then there was not as many choices, and because of Quebec, I am sure that French wines were more accessible and popular in Canada, though beer was the most popular beverage especially back then. What luck to have a Pinot Noir with that meal and a proper Pinot Noir at that, as we were having a Burgundy wine from the Cote D’Or. The wine came from Domaine Thomas-Moillard a large house in Burgundy that not only had land in some of the best Crus, but also they are a major blender for other areas as well. We were having Vosne-Romanee Aux Malconsorts (the vintage year is lost as it was on a neck ring, rather then being on the actual label). Vosne-Romanee is one of the greater villages in the Cotes de Nuits district of the Cote D’Or, and it takes a while to learn how to navigate the wines of Burgundy. Aux Malconsorts is one of the Premier Crus of the village, the story goes that when the districts were being designated the various owners of Malconsorts settled for Premier Cru and did not attempt to get listed as a Grand Cru. I guess they never dreamed of how valuable the plots of land in Burgundy would become, and what a Grand Cru would have achieved, nowadays.
“There are those who’ll bet love comes but once, and yet
I’m oh, so glad we met the second time around.”