This evening, my wife and I attended the second Wines of the World dinner organized by the manager of the Coronado Center, a venue operated by our property owners association. The first event, focusing on the food and wine of France, was interesting but had plenty of flaws that almost made us decide not to attend the second. I’m glad we did not let the problems of the inaugural event keep us from tonight’s program. We had a hell of a good time!
Tonight’s event was labeled Wines and Beers of the World, Germany. Unlike the first event, it was held in the venue’s outside patio, which was a brilliant move. And, unlike the first event, the food and drinks were served; for logistical reasons, the food and drinks at the first event required guests to go through a poorly-orchestrated buffet line and wait in line for wine. Not tonight. We received service relatively quickly, and the beers and wines served were good. Some of the food could have been better prepared or served but the event was, all things considered, a success. The price of the second event increased by fifty percent from the first; it was a well-deserved increase, considering the dramatic improvement in the service. And, at the end of the evening, it became apparent (to me, anyway) why the event had improved; the venue manager listened to and acted on feedback he had gotten from the first. His willingness to listen was on display when, tonight, several people suggested the next event not focus on wines and food of Italy and Spain but, rather, wines and food of one or the other. He responded by saying the next event will focus on Spain, with Italy coming later.
Aside from the food and drink, we were fortunate to sit at a table with people who were…how do I put this…fun! Janine knew one of the women and I knew one of the men (and she knew a couple of others, but didn’t realize it). The group was a blast. They talked about places they’d been, food they liked, wines they enjoyed. And laughter! There was a lot of laughter!
Though I was the youngest person at the table, I felt like I was among a bunch of people who were very young at heart. It felt wonderful! I had rather low expectation for this evening; those low expectations were exceeded by two orders of magnitude.