Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post-Holiday Cocktail Party & Wine Tasting 1.5.08

It's been almost a month since I last posted. You see, the holidays started on December 12th for me this year, and the past month has been a whirlwind of parties, shopping, cooking, and an absolute upheaval of my normal routine, which is packed way too full in a normal month. I have been meaning to do a play-by-play of the various happenings of the past month as they happened, but I think in the interests of time I will start with the most recent development, the latest party at 3434. I spent all this time putting up my tree and decorating the house a la Martha Stewart, and here it was 2008 and time to take it all down. Damn I hate taking that crap down, it takes a whole day and the house is trashed and I have to make 30 trips down the basement and bribe my male friends with food and beer to help me drag the tree to the curb. Not to mention dissassembling the outside lights, yuck. I decided since I went to all the trouble of decorating I would take festive to a new level and invite 50 of my closest friends over for a post-holiday gathering. It seems as if everyone brought something, either a couple of bottles of wine, or some appetizers like Franks outrageously good crabcakes, or Colin's incredible cake that lasted about 2 seconds out on the table, or some amazing cheeses a la Maria and Jose.
The above picture is the amount of wine that was consumed by about 40 people, who also drank 2 cases of beer and some vodka and tequila as well. The fact that 90% of them were cyclists who had to get up for a ride the next morning, and who rode a really hard 95 miles that day, is pretty impressive. There were actually another 3 bottles of wine that were partially consumed but luckly I polished those off this week. My guests also ate every scrap of food except for some cheese and humus, good work.
And since this was a wine tasting after all, I did discover a white and a red worth mentioning, both excellent wines and less than $25 a bottle:
Sterling Vineyards 2005 Napa Chardonnay from California.

and from Southeastern Australia: "The Stump Jump" (what mtbiker can resist that name?)
a blend of Grenach, Shiraz & Mourvedre grapes, vintage 2005.
There were many other notables as well.

. . . Speaking of blends, this time I was inspired to invite not only my cycling buds from the Pretzel and beyond, but some of my (gasp) non-cycling friends. Well here's proof that members of The Cult do indeed have something to talk about with those who don't put in 4500 miles a year: I got many comments from various attendees about what a unique group of people it was and how much fun they had not only hanging out with their friends but also meeting new ones. It kind of makes all the work and expense worth it; every cent and every single wine glass that had to be hand-washed the next morning.
The last guest left around 2 am, I only stayed up until 3:30ish and cleaned up a little, and no I did not make it to the ride the next morning, but I heard many of you did and were HURTING. Sorry! Anyway, here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure . . thanks for coming and making it a night to remember.

If you brought a dish I have your trays/containers etc. Please email me and let me know when you can swing by and I will leave them out on the porch for you.