Today I am a fountain pen…
Cousin Amalia (my niece, brother Tad’s daughter) sang her Torah portion and Haftarah brilliantly on Saturday at Temple Beth El in La Jolla (where I was bar mitzvah, too). And she gave a wonderful speech about commitment and faith.
It was really lovely to see her on the bimah with her parents (her mom Diane also sang a Torah portion!).
A lot of people asked me about the wines that we selected for the party that evening.
The white was the Bianco Latimis Isonzo del Friuli by Ronco del Gelso (in the Italian region of Friuli, for those who are not familiar with Italian geography, in northeastern Italy). It’s a blend of Friulano, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling Italico grapes. It showed beautifully on Saturday evening. Great freshness, nice fruit and acidity, and great value.
The red was Carema by Produttori di Carema cooperative. It’s made from 100 percent Nebbiolo grown in Italy’s western Alps in the region of Piedmont. Even though it has nice tannic structure, it was lithe in the glass on Saturday and again, its freshness and acidity made it pair wonderfully with the Neapolitan-style pizzas that were churned out of an onsite mobile pizza oven.
Great party and I’m so glad people enjoyed the wines.
Whenever I attend a Jewish event, I am invariably and inevitably asked what I think of Manischewitz “wines.” Most are disappointed when I tell them that it’s not exactly the most wholesome “grape product” that you can put into your body.
In southern California, where healthy eating and living are practically imperative, it’s easy to find organic produce, cage-free chicken, heirloom beef, and “housemade” ketchup.
But the nostalgia of Manischewitz is so powerful that it was served on Saturday for Kiddush after services only to be followed by organically farmed microlettuces later that evening.
I wrote about Manischewitz a few years ago here for the Houston Press (for those curious, you might be surprised by what goes into Manischewitz).
All in all, this has been wonderful trip and visit for me and the girls.
They’ve loved grandma’s house with its many treasures.
They’ve loved getting to know their cousins Amalia, Abner, Oscar, and Eli.
Everyone has been so welcoming and sweet and the girls have had a blast.
That’s Tracie P and Lila Jane, below, watching the sunset yesterday evening from grandma Judy’s apartment at Seal Rock (La Jolla Cove).
Sadly, our short family vacation comes to an end tomorrow. I’ll see you on Wednesday…