The Mother Of All Foodie Events

Normally, events hosted by the foodie group I belong to, which has over 700 members, attract 16-20 folks to weekly dinners. But Thursday’s event brought out a record 40+ for a wine tasting.

The price was right: $10 for a logo wine glass which we used to sample up to some 50 wines. And, a coupon for a 10% discount on any purchase that night. And to make sure we could handle all that wine, there was food (including pizza and habanero chicken wings that fell off the bone since they were cooked in a crock pot and not fried).

Among my samplings were a very smooth, sipping quality rum infused with chocolate. I’d have bought it except that I already have 23 bottles of wine to finish off plus a bottle of Tortuga Mango Rum. I also checked out various types of sake and a plum wine. I did buy the plum wine. I don’t think I’ll become a sake fan. Not that I don’t like it but neither does it appeal to me.

The wine tasting ended at eight, so I suggested the “usual suspects” and any new folks wanting an extended session adjourn to Miller’s Ale House. I was surprised when that wind down group numbered about 18, also a new record. I think the “usual suspects” may increase to about 15, which is just bubbling below the “main event” turnout. There were still about five stalwarts at Miller’s when I left at about 11. Three of them were the “usual suspects.”

Tallahassee is a “small” town of 300,000 so I wasn’t surprised to run into a former co-worker having dinner at Miller’s (which has a 12-ounce prime rib special for $13  on Thursdays) with an Atlanta-based federal official who happened to be in town that week and who I‘ve known for over 20 years. Turns out one of the Miller’s group, who I had just met, is a consultant working in a program administered by that federal agency.

And that federal official has jurisdiction over Florida for one aspect of the program, which is why he was visiting. So I mixed business with pleasure by introducing them. As in the Philippines, who you know is at least as important as what you know, especially in the relatively rural areas of the deep South.

Next week is going to be especially busy. One of the group is celebrating his birthday with two different events: a luncheon today (Sunday) and then dinner on Friday.

And on Thursday there’s a dinner at one of the very upscale Italian restaurants. Since I’m starting to lose the battle of the bulge, I’m trying to minimize carbs and Italian restaurants are very carb heavy, so I may just have a large crock of onion soup and an appetizer of coconut shrimp. About the only entree I can consider is shrimp scampi but their version uses breaded shrimp, which I’ve not seen before. (I presume they can leave the breading off if I ask.)

I’m undecided on Thursday’s beverage. A lychee mojito sounds very tempting. As does a Prosecco and peach puree concoction. Or perhaps some coffee in the form of a coffee martini: Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, and a shot of espresso served straight up. Since I’m a coffee elitist, the coffee martini has the edge…

I’m retired, so it doesn’t matter to me how late into the night these dinners go but I wonder how the others manage to get up for work the next morning. Of course, they’re younger than me.
But I’d not trade retirement for being younger and working!

The Miller’s group was so large we couldn’t get everyone in one photo… Only the top of my head is visible in this photo because I’m at the far end.

wine