The Cellar Diminishment Party


A small sampling of the wines

Every other year, a very generous couple hosts a blowout shindig at their house in suburban Chicago, called the Cellar Diminishment Party. They buy too much wine and need a little help in the consumption department. We are more than happy to oblige. I have been to the last three of these fun-fests. People come from all over the place for this party. The hosts whip out 150 bottles of wine and strategically place them around the house (Europe is in the basement, Pinot Noir on the piano…) along with water stations and dump buckets. Thirteen of us arrived in a van from downtown Chicago, during which time we had enjoyed some Stefania Chardonnay (don’t get too excited – you won’t be getting any of the 2010; yields were so bad that they only made nine and half cases and bottled them by hand.)


The weather was perfect – a little cool (“winter” to me) and perfect for sipping some wine in the backyard, which is where the mini vertical of J.J. Prum Wehlener Spatlese was being chilled. The years were 1985, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Yum, yum and yum. Plus, there was a whole lot of food in the backyard, too.


Somehow, a couch ALWAYS ends up in the wine cellar.

Yes, I love tasting a whole bunch of good wines (like the 1990 Chateau d’Armailhac) but the focus of the evening, at least for me, was not the wines. It was reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. There are plenty of people that I have previously met and others that I had only “met” online. It is always good to put a face with a name, or screen name for that matter, especially when I learn that we have more likes in common than just wine.


The evening held a lot of high points, so it would be impossible to name them all (like our old

That's me, on the left, freezing as though it actually were winter.

friend, talking to FKGuy about Canada, all the while thinking he was someone else entirely). I have been asked by a few people what my “wines of the night” were. Honestly, I just can’t name them. I had plenty that I liked a lot, I had a few that I didn’t love but most of all enjoyed an evening of friends, new and pre-existing (I’d call them “old” but I would have to answer to that).


It was a great way to start a fabulous vacation. Over the next couple of weeks look for food, adventures and more from our trip to Chicago and Colorado. I ate a lot, so, naturally, I have a

Game over.

lot to talk about.





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