An interesting thing happened tonight. The local kids museum here in Monterey, MyMuseum, had a fund raiser. Well, I guess it could be considered that. It was held at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club at Pebble Beach. Current joining fee is about $250k with a $100k a year fee. Big bucks. Well, we went there at the invitation of the head of the fund raiser. We offered to donate our wine for the museum. This was the bottle of wine that had survived the worst Katrina could throw at it. A 28ft storm surge and the total distruction of a 2 story home. This bottle not only survived but was given to us by our new friends Drew and Sam. We were supposed to open it on the first anniversary of the storm, but we just couldn’t do it. So we decided, well, this was a good cause. So we donated it.

They asked us to come to the dinner and give a short talk about how we got the wine and our experience with moving here to the Monterey area. So we agreed. What the heck, eh?

We got all dudded up, and headed into Pebble Beach to the country club. It was absolutely breathtaking. You look out from the clubhouse onto the golf course then on to the ocean crashing against the beach. It’s beautiful. Roberta and I stood at the glass windows and thought about how far we have come in our lives. Not only to survive all that we had, but to also be standing where we were.

Anyhow. Our bottle was included into an auction with a special dinner served by one of the best chefs in the area, Chef Joseph Sanchez. Well, the bottle and the dinner sold for $2800. After the auction we went up to Katie to tell her we would fill in any details about the wine she was interested in. Instead she told us to sit down and join their party for the dinner. Holy crap is the only way to describe it. Every course came with a glass of very very good wine. Some of which ran in the $200 a bottle range.

The only thing better than the meal was the company. We met Mike and Chrissy who bailed out of Houston for Hurricane Rita and now live in Pebble Beach. Katie, who bought the wine and dinner, and Robin. All great folk. We’re hoping they will come to our Katrina Party in August. They are all headed for Sun Valley for part of the summer, but hope to be back in the area before then.

Here was the menu for our dinner. Brace yourself.

Course 1: Hamachi-Ahi Tartare with Tobiko Caviar. Wakame Salad. Citrus Ginger Aioli and Won ton chips.

Wine: 2004 DuMol Chardonnay
Course 2: Liberty Farms Duck Confit Salad with fresh hearts of Palm. Grean beans, Baby Frisee and Roquefort Vinaigrette.

Wine: 2003 Tantara Pioni Vinyard.
Course 3: Grilled White Veal Tenderloin Medallion with Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Parma Prosciutto, Yukon Gold Potatoes and Black Truffle Demi.

Wine: 1998 Beaulieu Geroges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet.
Course 4: St. Andre Brioche Grilled Cheese. Humboldt Fog Goat and Manchego Cheese with carmalized Pear and Sun dried Dark Sweet Cherries.

Wine: 1999 Chateau Coutet Premier Cru Classe Sauternes Barsae
Course 5: Warm Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Wine: 1997 Vintage Porto
Well, the wine also got to me. I bid $3500 for a trip to Disney Land on a private jet from the Million Air terminal in Monterey. Good/bad, I lost the bid to Bill Hayward. It sure would have been a fun trip. It would have hurt, but the girls would would have been pretty stunned by the trip. Maybe next time. (-; Only one person out bid me.
To top the night off. Katie gave us our wine back. She said we should keep it, it meant more to us even though we couldn’t bring ourselves to open it. So, she paid $2800 for dinner, which she shared with us, and our wine, and then gave us the wine back. Go figure. She’s a sweet heart.

P.S. I’m writing this while still buzzed from more and better wine than I’ve ever had.