Had a quiet week after seriously partying Christmas weekend. Christmas Eve at Maeve and Sean's with lots of yummy snacks and several bottles of wine. Christmas Day at Phyl and Ron's with way too much food - all really tasty - and a LOT of bubbles. JD and I came armed with 4 different bottles of bubbly, and 4 of us drank 3! Started off with a Mumm Napa Brut that JD and I picked up in Napa in July 2008, followed by the last of the WineShop at Home Rose Cava, and finishing up with a WSAH non-rose Brut Cava. Accompanied by all the usual holiday foods, of course, expertly prepared by Ron, Phyllis and Andi.
Day after Christmas, JD and Phyl and Ron and I went to the Mark Taper Forum for the new show by Culture Clash, Palestine, New Mexico, which you should all go and see. It's a funny, angry, moving event, asking some hard questions about what we're doing in life. Got a chance to talk to Richard Montoya and a few of the other cast members afterward, and they were gratified that we loved the show, and concerned that the reviews have been mixed. Go see it!!
Stayed close to home during the week, even working from home during day. New Year's Eve was at the LearnAboutWine Loft. Ian made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon, and all the guests brought wonderful appetizers and main dishes. Everyone also brought a bottle of Champagne and a red to share over dinner. Some wonderful stuff! JD and I brought a South African sparkling wine - Graham Beck NV Sparkling Brut, made from Chardonnay grapes. Really dry, lovely yeasty, toasty flavor. We also brought a 2007 Pied Violet Reserve Merlot to drink with dinner. All the reds were disguised in velvet bags for blind tasting and guessing. No one guessed the Pied Violet, of course, because it's a WineShop at Home wine - but several of the guests commented to me how much they liked it, and there were several much more well-known and expensive wines served. One woman said to me it was her favorite of the night! I took lots of pictures only to realize when I got home that the memory card in my camera was defective, so almost all of the snaps were blurred or double-exposed (interesting in a digital camera).
Trooped up to the rooftop to ring the new year with a magnum of Taittinger. Watched fireworks all over the city before returning to finish off the evening with home made chocolate cake (thanks to the lovely Camille) and a wonderful dessert wine supplied by Dan S. It was a Raymond Eloquence late harvest Chardonnay from 1996 or 1997, and it was WONDERFUL. Not too sweet, but full of caramel and mocha and raisiny fruit. Just lovely and a nice pairing with the rich chocolate cake.
Got home around 1:30 a.m. and slept later than planned. Luckily JD remembered to DVR the Rose Parade, as we arose right around the time the jet fighters overflew the house! Made some strong coffee and settled down in the living room with the TV and the laptop. A special treat today for me is Eve Hammond Bushman's interview with me in the West Ranch Beacon! Eve is an established writer about wine and life in the Santa Clarita area, and she has provided support and mentoring to me as I started writing this blog! Take a look and let me know what you think!
Watching the Rose Parade always makes me think about the amazing things people choose to do. I am always overwhelmed by the artistry, engineering and imagination involved every year. Not to mention snow-boarding bulldogs!
Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a great 2010!!