December and January are big months in our family for
celebrations. Aside from the usual
holidays we have a daughter in law’s birthday, my father’s birthday, my mother
in law’s birthday, Winemaker B’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, and my
brother’s anniversary. More than
any other two months on the calendar.
For my mother in law’s birthday, we headed up to her place
in the Sierra foothills. Usually
there is snow on the ground this time of year, but not this year. Drought years are interesting, and this
year looks particularly bad. From
a wine/grape perspective, there are likely two issues. First, the warm weather now may cause
early budding of the vines which, if there is a late frost, will significantly
impact grape quantities. Second,
just getting water to the vines will be interesting. Older vines with deeper root systems will likely have a
distinct advantage this year.
But enough of drought.
We were up there to celebrate, and so we did. Nothing too elaborate or fancy, but we took Lori’s mom and
her husband, and their best friends, out to their restaurant of choice, the
Sierra Banquet Hall in Camino, near Placerville. Their facility is a modern log “cabin” that the owners built
themselves. Cabin does not do the
structure justice, as it is two stories, and just beautiful. So a good start, just walking in to the
beautiful building, and finding a nice fire going in the fireplace. While the menu had pretty good variety
to it, 5 of the 6 of us opted for steak that night, either filet mignon or
ribeye. And we were not
For wine we brought a bottle from a local winery, a 2008
Auriga Wine Cellars Barbera, El Dorado County. We’ve posted about Auriga before, as it is conveniently near my mother in law’s house, has good
wine and very nice people. We’ve
used it for rehearsal dinner wine, as well as enjoying individual bottles. We had brought up the bottle of wine
from home, but luckily for me I had a few minutes to spare during the day, and
was able to go say hi and pick up a half case. (Their French Columbard sparkling wine, a few bottles of Zinfandel and more
Barbera, since you asked.) The
Barbera went great with our steaks.
I’ll probably be stopping in again next year for some birthday