Saturday, September 19, 2015

Eighth Annual Labor Day Party and Wine Tasting!

Finally it was the big day…Bob and Nona’s 8th annual Labor Day Party and Wine Tasting.  Of course, what I was looking forward to the most was the food!

Our host and hostess, Bob and Nona…good friends for many, many years!

Nona and Bob’s daughter Debbie and her husband Rich were the co-hosts.  Debbie’s specialty was organization and planning while Rich served as the master chef and sommelier for the event.

Debbie still finds it challenging to call me Dave or David… She tended to call me or refer to me as “Mr.” I can only hope that she wasn’t calling me Mr. in deference to my age!

This was the set up for the actual wine tasting, although I must admit that a fair amount of other wine was consumed prior to the tasting itself!  Note that the bottles are concealed in red cloth bags and they each have number assigned to them…

For those who are into red wine, you may be interested in the names of the wines selected by Rich for this event:

·       Briego Crianza Ribera Del Duero 2009.  Rated 91 by Wine Advocate.
·       R Collection Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  Rated 90 by Wine Spectator.
·       Conte Di Bregonzo Amarone 2012.  Rated 92 by Wine Enthusiast.
·       Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2013.  Rated 89 by Wine Spectator.
·       Layers Barossa Shiraz 2013.  Rated 90 by Wine Advocate.
·       Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Merlot 2013.  Rating?  The famous 2 Buck Chuck

      In addition to Bob, Nona, Rich, Debbie, Laurie and me, these were the guests that attended the 8th Annual Labor Day Event.  Most of the attendees were from their neighborhood.  Bob and Nona are really lucky to have such great and caring neighbors.

Dawn Marie, (with her wine), came up to Clearwater from Miami.  Laurie and I came from East Tennessee.  Debbie and Rich live on Long Island as do one of the other couples in attendance…

Time for the actual wine tasting itself!  Everyone had a score sheet.  The goal was to pick which wine was which just by tasting them, write down the number on the bottle by the wine’s name, and rate them from 1 to 5. (Best to least liked)
In a wine tasting back in East Tennessee, I’d won the contest by guessing right on all of the wines.  The irony in that is that I can’t drink red wine as it can bring on a bout with the gout!     

And the winner is…our Host, Bob!  He managed to unseat his son-in-law Rich who had won the tasting contest the 3 previous years…  Note the money in Bob’s hand.  Each attendee put a dollar in the pot, winner take all!  I managed to come in tied for 3rd place…with only 1 correct guess.  Bob had 3 right… 
I don’t recall which wine came out on top with the best overall score but I do recall that 2 Buck Chuck came out fairly well…

As I’m more of an ‘eater’ than I am a drinker, this is the part of the party that really flipped my switch!  The ‘official’ appetizers were the Crab and Corn Chowder, Corn Bread, Shrimp with cocktail sauce and Richie’s Grilled Hot Wings… (Terrific Richie!)

However, as you can see from the collage, the neighbors provided an additional overwhelming variety of tempting goodies! 

How about a ‘bit’ more food!  As you can see by the signs that Laurie printed, the entrees included Blackened Grouper, Maine Lobster Claws with Drawn Butter, Biscuits and Barbeque Recipe Homemade Potato Salad and Roasted Corn Off the Cob… Wow!  Talk about a plethora of good food… Laurie was especially happy as Lobster is her favorite food and I loved the Grouper! 
Note: Additional wine flowed with the meal and beyond!

Oh yes…there were a number of desserts for those who could still eat after all of the other food and wine!  There was Key Lime Pie, Peach Pie and Blueberry well as Blondies and Brownies.  I did manage a brownie and 1.5 pieces of pie.  Following the wine, dinner and dessert, a few other beverages were sampled just to round out the evening!

This was a great party with great hosts and fun folks!  We had a policeman, techies, a pilot, 2 flight attendants, an exectutive secretary, management personnel and a bunch of retired folks as well… It was a great mix!  Many thanks to Bob and Nona for inviting Laurie, Dawn Marie amd me and insisting that we actually show up this year! Thank you Bob & Nona & Rich & Debbie for a wonderful party with great friends & neighbors! Excellent!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! 

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. What a feast of food and wine. Sounds like a great time. You mentioned calling people Mr. If I've called someone Mr. (or Miss as they say in the south), the habit is almost impossible to break. And if it was Mr. from work, which yours was, it is impossible to break. Calling them anything else just doesn't sound right to the ear.

  2. That is one fantastic spread and sounds like a great excuse for a party. I like the way they did the wine tasting and that it had both the component of rating and guessing the wine.