Friday, August 31, 2012

Jimmy Buffet/Caribbean Wine Tasting Party

Well, it’s that time again!  Another wine tasting party… These gatherings of our friends and neighbors are always fun.  Given the theme of this month’s party, plus its location…on Bev and Larry’s party dock…this promised to be a nice twist on one of our favorite group activities!
How about a little mango salsa ala Bev!  This went very nicely with the grilled jerked chicken.  I’m not much of a salsa guy, but I liked this one!

I guess I should lay out the schedule of events for one of our wine tasting parties.  Similar groups are quite formal in their approach to their wine tastings …with a few hors d'oeuvres wine evaluation check list, etc…but not this group!
We start with a few drinks…in this case Larry's Margarita’s, Bev's sangria, scotch (for me) and some ‘house/host’ bottles of wine.  Then we go directly into the food part of the evening.  So, that’s where I’m starting this blog…with the food!
Laurie and I decided that since we’re not really into cooking Caribbean cuisine, we’d go to the local pro in the area for assistance.  So it was off to Captain Ernie’s Caribbean Restaurant in Lenoir City Tennessee.

This is jasmine rice and black beans from Captain Ernie’s.  They were winners for sure!  When we picked up our order from the restaurant, they ensured that everything would stay hot until our group was ready to eat.  Our order was packed in a big Rubbermaid “Hot Box”.
Laurie and I also ordered this nice cornbread and these sweet fried plantains.  With 1 member of our group out of town on a business trip and 2 couples gone on vacation, there were only 13 of us to party on the, L & B'sfriend Joe & Bev's sister Pat.  Even so, all but one of the sweet plantains and 1 ½ pieces of the cornbread were gone by the time we finished eating.  Thank you Captain and Mrs. Ernie!
If I remember correctly, this nice mixed salad was from Jenny and Fred and Karen brought her husband Charlie's favorite ambrosia salad.  Both were a hit!
This photo gives you an idea of the setting for our wine tasting party… Not too shabby…the only home and dock in this secluded cove!  Facing the camera, Laurie photographed Martha, Karen and Martha’s husband, Irv.  Love the Flamingos and note the Red, White and Blue Flag just above Irv…USA all the way!
Here’s a bit more of the party dock…with Irv, Fred, Joel and yours truly in the background.  The dock is equipped with running water, a fridge, lights, fans and lots of electrical outlets for blenders, crock pots, etc.  Larry has a couple of nice big grills just off the dock on the shore.  Larry's buddy Joe had set up a new sound system that was playing Jimmy Buffet and related music in the background.
Here’s Bev, our hostess, with Joel, Fred and myself… 
Oh yes...the actual wine tasting!  It actually happened...long after dinner.  Every couple brought a bottle of wine... They were either white or a blush, given the theme of the party.  Since there aren't 'too many' actual Caribbean wines, we 'tasted' a variety of wines from the USA, Chile, Italy and Australia.
I think that Irv looks pretty relaxed…don’t you?!  He’s of Puerto Rican heritage, (former US Coast Guard & still has his hand in training)…and all of the ladies love to have him read any Wine Labels out loud in Spanish…even if it’s not a Spanish wine! They say it just sounds so much better when he reads it... (If only I’d really learned and remembered that French I took in High School...)
This is Bev’s sister Pat…with me in my Hawaiian/Caribbean shirt.  Larry had asked all of the guys to wear something “Caribbean” and this was as close as I could get… I am kinda built like those big Hawaiian guys...
In this photo…left to right…we have Jenny, Holly, Martha and Karen…with Pat’s dog Willie in the foreground.  Bev and Larry’s dogs, Sweetie and Coco also attended the party.  Any food dropped on the deck was quickly cleaned up!

We missed photographing two terrific contributions to our food largesse!  Holly brought a bowl of Caribbean Holiday Shimp
that were just great…and gone before the camera was put in action.  Martha brought not one, but two of her homemade Key Lime Pies!  Everyone thought that her pies were, to use today’s parlance, ‘the bomb’.  They were great...but by then we were all to mellow to remember to take a photo! 
Our host and hostess provided jerked chicken, both mild and spicy versions, as the entrée item on our menu.  Larry marinated and grilled enough chicken so that everyone could have at least 2 pieces.  It was all consumed!  Karen, who admittedly isn’t crazy about chicken, ate her share and then she told Larry that it was the best chicken she’d ever had!
And here he is…Larry, our host, grillmaster, BBQ expert and master gardener!  Of course, I went for his spicy jerked chicken…and it was terrific!  The marinade was killer good… 

FYI…Larry is also a ‘master blogger’…and you can view his blogs about food, gardening, travel experiences and family fun at 
One more look at the food…even the plates were festive.  Laurie missed the sweet plantains on her first trip to the buffet…but she made up for it later. Viewing this again, I'm hungry and I do believe that it’s time for dinner!

We missed photographing our buddy Joe…who had helped Larry and Bev with the dockside logistics.  In addition, I failed in my only and very simple duty… I forgot to take a picture of Laurie…whereas she took all of these pictures!
For those who might be interested, Captain Ernie’s Caribbean Restaurant is located at 501 North Highway 321N in Lenoir City, Tennessee.  Phone: 865-308-2000.  Captain Ernie spent many years running a fishing boat out of Key West Florida.  To view a sample menu, you can go to and scroll on down the page that pops up.
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…get a close up of that jerked chicken!
Thanks for stopping by at the party!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I hoped you'd notice that I didn't post the shot of my belly - hopefully everyone wil just look at the chicken. Thanks for the shout out and high praise.

  2. Dear Dave, This looks like a fun gathering, as I am sure it was with good food and good company. blessings, Catherine