The first Friday in December is the date for an annual event at our house, it is the Ladies Christmas Party and it is always a full house. The funny thing is that for years I always had worked on Friday nights, so I would enter the party towards the tail end, make my greetings and then I would disappear. It is a mix of relatives and business associates of my Bride and she enjoys the activity to the max. As soon as the guests arrive, they sign in and get name tags and then they pick out a number from a container. The guests all bring a gift to share, a dish to share and the chance to declare their intentions for the following year, and if they were there the year before, they get to hear what they had aspired for, from the last year. My Bride also has all the scrapbooks with the notes, attendees and plenty of photographs from each of the earlier parties. This year was the first for me to hide in my office for the entire party, let us say there was way too much estrogen in the house for one man to endure.
There was plenty of food set out on our kitchen island from the “pot luck” dinner. Most of the food was finger food or appetizers. I noticed an assortment of cheeses and crackers which is always a great way to start nibbling. There were several platters of jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, and of course an assortment of salads. One of her girlfriends makes the most spectacular garnished Deviled Eggs and they are always a big hit. There was plenty of food for all to enjoy, and then what would a Christmas Party be without a selection of desserts and sweets. I know all of this first hand, because after greeting many of the revelers and numerous trips up and down the stairs to take the coats of the guests up to the guest bedroom, I ended up in the kitchen to make myself a couple of plates of food to take to my office to avoid the party.
My Bride had made sure that there was plenty of Chardonnay chilled as that is her favorite party wine, and yes it was the Kirkland Signature Sonoma County Chardonnay 2014, and I sure hope that my broker has Costco stock in my portfolio. I grabbed one of the random empty bottles of wine that was also brought to the party by one of the guests, as I am always curious to see what others are drinking. There was a bottle of Chateau Grand Traverse Select Sweet Harvest Riesling NV and this is a winery that we have often visited when we are up in that part of Michigan. This wine is aged in Stainless Steel and unlike most of the wines that they produce, only carries a Michigan appellation as I am sure that this may be one of their largest volume products and they secure the fruit from across the state and is continuously made, hence the lack of a vintage year. The other bottle that I will discuss is the one that I had selected earlier in the day from the cellar to take up to my office, knowing that I was going to be in seclusion for the evening. I grabbed a split of Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998. This firm was established in 1826 and Domaine Grand Veneur is their flagship wine as well as the base of the firm. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most famous designations in the Rhone Valley and this wine is made of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre. The Syrah and Mourvedre are aged in French Oak and the Grenache is aged in concrete vats for fourteen months. I am always slightly concerned about older bottles in splits, because they tend to age faster, but here was another bottle that was still fine and it made for a great wine to enjoy while I was writing and in seclusion. Towards the end of the evening, I went back downstairs to say good night to all of the guests and all of the women had helped to clean up the house before they left, and God willing they will all be around to attend the next party.