What a wonderful way to spend the day. The downtown district of Holland was so interesting, not only for the mixture of shops and restaurants, but also so idyllic. The downtown district had pulled up all the sidewalks and had it replaced with paver stones, but before they laid the stones, the entire district had a system installed whereas the entire area has no snow or shoveling which makes it great for visitors. There were also little areas of statuary to accentuate the small-town flavor and make one feel at home. Most of the time I stayed on the sidewalk, people watching and appreciating the architecture and facades of the buildings while my Bride shopped. I think her shopping that day may have doubled the cost of our long weekend, but besides getting herself some new clothes, she also bought future birthday presents as well as some additional Christmas shopping. With all of the walking, we decided to have a quick bit for lunch, so as not to ruin our dinner plans.
We started looking at the menus of some of the restaurants up and down the street, in hopes of finding some good wine as well. I mean why not, we were relaxing and had no time table to observe, other than our dinner reservation. We settled on a quaint spot and walked into their coffee and pastry shop and had to walk around to get a table for lunch. AlpenRose has been in Holland for twenty-five years at least and looking at the menu it seemed more Austro-Hungarian instead of Dutch, but that was fine. We both wanted to get a bowl of soup just to hold us until dinner and as I looked at the menu, if we ever get back to Holland, I think that I would like to have dinner there. Their French Onion soup was a blend of seven different onions, beef consommé, Swiss cheese, crouton and topped with haystack onions.
The wine list which was not huge was well thought out and had some fine wines and none of them were on the list just for pretense, even the wines that were sold by the glass. My Bride had Gouguenheim Valle Escondido Tupungato Malbec Reserva 2012. Tupungato is a sub region of Uco Valley, the premier wine district of Argentina and where Malbec reigns. The winery was started in 2002 as the owners bought an old winery and brought it back to life. The Reserva is aged for eight months in French oak, whereas the basic wine is only aged for four months. For a new wine, this Malbec was very easy to drink and delivered what one would expect from that grape. I on the other hand ordered an old friend that I seldom see any more, so I was excited to try it, as we had bought a lot of their wines when we visited the winery. The St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was excellent. This wine was entirely made from their own vineyards in Napa Valley utilizing grapes from their Dollarhide Estate Vineyard and their Rutherford Estate Vineyard. While the wine was basically Cabernet Sauvignon it was blended with a small amount of Petite Verdot and Malbec. St. Supery was established in 1989 and we have fond memories of going there during harvest. This particular wine was aged for eighteen months in French Oak before bottling and it was wonderful. In fact, there was a table of women next to us that were ordering wine and a couple of them were thinking red, so I could not help, but interject and suggest the wine that I was drinking and when they tasted it, they thanked me for the suggestion. Then we were off for more shopping until dinner.