Everyone tries to keep in touch with former schoolmates. There is something comforting about the old days, call it nostalgia or just a longing for what seemed a simpler time. I think that is why school reunions in any form are so popular. I don’t go to my high school reunions, because the class was so huge and the students were from all parts of the city of Detroit, and very few were from my neighborhood. On the other hand, most people actually grew up with the students from elementary school through the high school years, and that is what my Bride did. There were some students that she kept in touch with from those early days. Three other couples joined us at our house for dinner the other night to celebrate their continued friendship, and this has been a recurring event, and not long ago they all got together to for a class reunion and the school’s nickname was the Shamrocks.
At the beginning of the evening, they were all exchanging gifts like framed grouped class photos and computer discs of the last reunion. Some even brought some appetizers to our house to start the evening off properly. One brought a cheese deli tray to munch on, and one brought a tray of her famed Deviled Eggs, and I might add that, that tray was the first to be finished. My Bride had been corresponding with the other couples to make sure that the menu that she had planned would work for everyone. She started off with her Caesar Salad, but because of Gluten-free requests, she refrained from added the sautéed bread crumbs that she normally uses, instead of croutons. She also made a Pork Tenderloin and one of her favorite newer dishes, Salmon with a Bourbon Sauce. She also had made a Gluten-free version of Armenian Pilaf, that I thought suffered a bit through the translation (but it worked out alright) and Broccoli. For dessert, she decided to make Bananas Foster that wonderful dish that started at Brennan’s in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. I might add that the house smelled wonderful.
In the living room, where we started out with the appetizers we enjoyed a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay 2015. This is a crisper version of their more popular Vintners Reserve Chardonnay. While this wine also carries the California appellation the fruit only came from Monterey County, Santa Barbara County, Mendocino County and Sonoma County. This wine was made from fifty-one percent Stainless Steel and forty-nine percent neutral oak, so as not to be as oaky or buttery as what a lot of California Chardonnay wines have become noted for. For dinner, we enjoyed a couple bottles of Marilyn Merlot Napa Valley 1997 from Nova Wines, Inc. Now some may cringe or make a face, but I will tell you that I have been won over by the quality of the wines, from what started off as a “garage wine” in 1981 has become a winner. There are a lot of wines that could not make it in the bottle for ten years, and this wine was wonderful, it had mellowed out some, but still delivered a great bottle of Merlot, and I did not notice any difference from the first bottle to the second. While it is a Merlot, there was fifteen percent Cabernet Franc blended with it, and it is there tradition to release the wines on June 1, as that is Marilyn Monroe’s birthday and each vintage has a different photograph of this icon of American films. I have not had a bad bottle of this wine, so I shall keep getting some, even if the labels and name have a certain amount of kitsch to them.