Get simple.

Earlier this week we celebrated our youngest daughter's 12th birthday. One of our crazy traditions is to allow each child the pick of what they want for dinner on their special day. No holds barred, out to their favorite restaurant as fancy as they would like, or we will happily prepare whatever their little heart desires. It is their choice, and as long as it is within reasonable driving distance and does not involve illegal importation of a banned food group the world is their oyster. When we put the question to Sammy and the answer was out before the question was finished, Spaghetti with tomato sauce, garlic bread and a Caesar salad. I quickly responded “absolutely, you got it” but was thinking to myself…is that really it? No Steak au poivre or trip to the Capital Grille, no sushi or even Shrimp Scampi, one of her all time absolute favorites. Nope, a simple spaghetti dinner, nothing fancy at all. So I asked her why she picked that particular meal and her response was priceless. “Because Daddy, I like it and we get to be home together”. My 12 year old's wisdom stopped me dead in my tracks. No pretense, no extravagance, nothing more than the innocent simplicity of a home cooked meal together with her family. She is absolutely right, what is better than that?

As this holiday season gets cranked up into the chaotic frenzy they seem to invariably become I hope you all have the chance to enjoy a simple dinner with your family, nothing could be more special!
Oh and Wine, yes we had that too, but it was right on theme. La Storia Cuvee 32. A wine produced by Trentadue winery in the Alexander Valley of California. You can pick it up for about $16.00 just about anywhere. It is predominantly Sangiovese (the grape that Chianti is made of) however it is blended beautifully with Merlot, Cabernet and Montelpuciano. It is soft and silky, has a beautiful mouth feel with just enough tannin to keep it ever so slightly on the dry side. Big dark fruit with hints of pepper and chocolate are the tastes I noticed. It was delicious and went marvelously with our spaghetti. Give it a shot; it is straightforward, inexpensive and really tasty.

Enjoy the wine