Thursday, December 25, 2008

The friend, the wine, the good life!

Life is good! Friends are great! A good bottle of wine thrown into the mix just seems to help cement it all together. Sometimes when we least expect it all these things come together and we have one of those really great times in our lives. They don't need to be life changing! Just one of those "make you feel good" times!

A friend of ours, Gary, from Colorado, Denver to be exact, came down for a visit and to hang out here in Merida for a bunch of months. He plans to travel around and see some of Mexico and surrounding countries via his bicycle and local transportation as needed. He's rented an apartment and we have been inviting him to attend some gatherings with us. Hopefully making a few new friends and gaining information as he goes. This time of year there are many gatherings to attend so we've been pretty busy.

Ok, enough of that. The other day, a Thursday, he offered to take us out to lunch as a kindness for our undying, selfless, big hearted, well, aaaaaa, that's a load! So ok, he's a nice guy and just wanted to take us out. We chose one of our favorite restaurants, Campay, which is a sushi restaurant and on Thursdays their rolls are half price! (If you go be aware that their rolls come made with creme cheese so if you don't want the creme cheese in your roll, yuck, you must order your rolls "sin queso"!)

We had a great meal and when we left we needed to stop by Wally world and pick up a few things and asked if he wanted to come along. Well one thing led to another and we invited him over for dinner that night abnd he accepted. So we bought fish and a few other things and he bought steaks. See, I told you he was a nice guy! We finally got home, talked for a while, and started meal prep.

Now I need to inject here that Gary was, is and hopefully will always be a fellow enophile and we have probably tasted more wines at his house in Denver than any other place next to our own home. My knowledge and appreciation of wine was greatly enhanced at his house. Great times and wonderful wines were tasted, consumed, and talked about on many many days and evenings. Oh, and he's a really great cook too! So good wine, good food and great people made for fond memories that will stay with me forever!

Now for those that have read the blog I posted about my wine cellar, etc you'll appreciate the fact that I offered up the wines I brought with me to him to go with our meal. (Well, except for the wine I am saving for my 60th celebration in 09.) We talked and chose two Las Rocas 01 Garnacha from Spain. We felt that out of all the wines I had that these were two would be most likely reaching their peak or may have gone over the edge. So I popped the corks and poured some and the nose was a bit off and we both looked at each other with the unspoken "uh oh" in the air. Of course we knew that we had to give it a little time before we tasted it.

This wine was not an expensive wine when it was released but it was rated (if memory serves me correctly) at 92 or 93 points out of 100 by WineSpectator. Getting inexpensive wines with high ratings didn't happen every day. Also I feel I need to add that a high score does not guarantee you zip. It always comes back to "do you like it?" So there's only one way to know if you like it so I went to the store and bought a bottle. I opened it with dinner that night and it was wonderful especially for right at $10.00 a bottle. The next day I bought a case. Many times people that collect wine and have a wine cellar are believed to only collect expensive wines. That is far from the truth and I always loved finding and experiencing great wines at inexpensive prices. It had always been like a challenge to me and I loved the "hunt"! I even had given thought at one point to opening a wine store with all wines being under $15.00 a bottle.

So back to this happening........we sat the bottles and glasses to the side and we all leisurely worked on the meal to get it ready! Heck, that was fun in itself. We hadn't been together for over three years so we were talking and reminiscing while we prepped the meal. So the menu was simple, grilled steaks and fish along with some great sauteed veges! Something to be said for simple!

After about an hour and a half we tasted the wine and it was wonderful. Bacchus blessed us and we were thankful! We then reminisced about when the wine was released, how after it was released it became harder to find because of the rating, etc, and it was fun. Something I don't get to do any more down here in Merida.

So the fish and steaks were grilled while we sipped the wine and talked. The meal was served and our glasses refilled and Debi, Gary and I spent a lovely evening together. Simple and spontaneous......I like it! Ain't life grand!

Here's looking forward to the next friend, the next good bottle of wine, and another slice of the good life!

Happy New Year! Prospero Ano Nuevo!


vino4vino said...

Sometimes it's good to be reminded how fortunate we (I am) are. Tom, thanks for immortilizing (O.K., remembering), this day. It was JUST as you described it LOL! And it most certainly WAS a heck of a good time. My thanks to you and Debi for making my transition to Mérida not only easy, but delightful as well.

Su amigo

EJA said...


Just a note to let you know that I haven't given up on your blog, despite your reluctance to post anything.

I'll be down in March for my 50th. We're looking to put something together at Sid's. Lemme know if you and Debi will be around.

-- Josh