Tag Archives: Captain Vino

Dinner Last Night

I’m not a fancy girl, but I went to a fancy dinner last night. It was part of Denver Wine Week and we were invited by our pal, Captain Vino, Man-About-Town and Wine Guy Extraordinaire.

Hubbie and I put on real clothes and I even slapped on some make-up and high heels. When I was done, my 17-year-old son proclaimed me ”” and I quote ”” “stunning.”

He was being sarcastic, of course, but it still counts as a compliment because he said it out loud and I averted my eyes so as not to see the eye roll that accompanied it. If you don’t see it, it never happened.

Dinner was held at the gorgeous Opus Restaurant, closed for the evening for our soiree, entitled The Loire Valley Grand Vintners Dinner. It included representatives from the Loire Valley Wine Bureau talking about the wine presented at each course, the region in France that produces it and why it was paired with a particular food.

I believe it was the first time I used a map to follow along with my dinner. (All those times at Denneys don’t count because we really were lost.) And if you don’t count my mother at Thanksgiving, it was also the first time a chef had plopped himself down at our table to chat after preparing the meal.

Here’s the menu … I know I made it too big and it has screwed up your screen, but I wanted you to be able to read it.

Loire Valley Wine Dinner

It was a full evening for us. We enjoyed delicious food and drink, met new people, visited a restaurant we hadn’t been before and we also got to tell our favorite jokes.

Hubbie got to introduce me as his first wife (see, it’s funny because ”” oh, never mind) and when people learned we had our anniversary recently, I was able to say, “We’ve had 25 great years ”” 15 for him, 10 for me.”

And, because this was a four-hour dinner, I also got to use this variation …

Me: “We’ve been married 25 years.”

Complete stranger, trying to be polite: “How nice!”

Me, pretending to be horrified: “Oh! Not to each other!”

Let me just say that every dinner should include great conversation with interesting people, five types of wine, an artistic array of scallops, AND cranberry froth.

But then I guess it wouldn’t be special. Like having your son say you look stunning.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Fine W(h)ine

I’ve read news reports advising of the health benefits of drinking moderate amounts of red wine. I’ve also read reports saying that Elvis is planning a Vegas comeback and crop circles are divine roadmaps. But I won’t quibble.

I appreciate the fact scientists are watching out for America’s health. I am nothing if not the poster child for healthy drinking and eating. In fact, every single week without fail I eat a package of Twinkies to get my requirement of riboflavin and red dye #5. So quaffing a couple of glasses of red wine is not out of the question. Except for the fact I don’t really like red wine.

I have a friend named Bob, but I always call him Captain Vino because that’s the name of his business. And it’s way more fun to have a friend named Captain Vino than Bob. Sometimes I call him “Cap’n” and pretend he’s the Skipper of the SS Sugared Cereal.

But really, he is Wine Guy Extraordinaire with a vast array of wine knowledge and wine bottles. His wine cellar would impress … well, I don’t know any big deal wine guys, because I’m betting that Ernest and Julio don’t count, nor do the fine folks at Boones Farm. Trust me, though, it’s impressive.

When I am forced by circumstances to buy wine, I have a rather foolproof system, if I do say so myself. First, I pick up the phone to call someone else to buy the wine. If that doesn’t work, I drive to the liquor store and stand like a dunce in the middle of a giant smorgasbord of bottles, decanters, flasks and jugs. I know what you’re thinking, but standing like a dunce does not embarrass me. I see other patrons do the same thing, and I’m proud to say I haven’t yet staggered around and knocked over a display of something expensive and highly flammable. There are worse things than standing like a dunce.

Next I tell the clerk I’m looking for something with a nice bouquet, not too woody, a little irrepressible but not insincere. After showing me several lovely bottles, all with cumbersome corks and equally cumbersome price tags, I make my way to the cooler and grab a box of wine by its plastic handle, shouting, “AHA! Here’s the one . . . elixir of the gods!”

If Captain Vino knew I behaved this way, and if he were dead, he’d roll over in his grave. As it is, he will definitely roll his eyes in the manner we reserve for clueless dogs who crash into the sliding glass door because they can’t understand the difference between open and closed. Quite possibly the Captain will wonder how often I crash into the sliding glass door. Then he’ll sigh.

All is not lost, however, because there are things I adore about wine. For instance, I love the little charm bracelets that decorate wine glasses at parties. I understand they are to distinguish which glass belongs to which person. I’d love a reason to use them during parties at my house. Usually we rely on the time-tested method of giving each guest a different cartoon character on their jelly jar. Since there are no stems on jelly jars, if we used charms, we’d have to plop them right in the glass, so that might not be a great idea. I do have a couple of sets of wine charms, but we’d have to dig them out of the Christmas decorations because I hung them on the tree last year. They sparkled.

Another thing I love about wine is my fabulous wine rack. It’s filled with, I’m told, fabulous wine. More importantly, it looks great in the corner of my living room. Now if only I could fit a couple of boxes on it.

Are you a wine drinker? Do you have a favorite kind? Is white wine as healthy for you as red?