About fifteen years ago, we were living in St. Charles, Missouri. . .the girls were in 2nd grade and kindergarten at Null Elementary School–a true neighborhood school–when Brian got it in his mind that we needed to move to a bigger house. Our first home in Missouri was a split level; three bedroom/two and a half bath home in a cul-de-sac that was the epitome of suburbia. We had retirees, we had young families, we had bad neighbors and regular folks. Even as the girls were getting older, Brian installed motion-detector lights outside, so they’d come on if there was movement–done because of a travel schedule that was kind of weird–and thus help Jean know that there had been some movement outside. Little did we know — until talking with him — that our neighbor, Jimmy who worked for Coca Cola and usually left around 4:30 am would intentionally drive towards the house just to turn the lights on! We still laugh about that one today, but then…
The house we moved to in October of 1998 was a two-level home not too far from our original home–also on a cul-de-sac–but a much larger street, so the neighbors were diverse and plentiful. One of the best parts about having young children is that you meet other families with kids around the same age. . .and thus a move was made that has impacted our lives to this day. Carol and Terry were already living there with their kids and so were Janet and Mark with theirs. . .the house next to us went on the market shortly after we moved in and that’s when Denise and Rob and their kids moved in. Chemistry. It’s a funny thing, but in neighborhoods, chemistry makes ALL the difference in the world. There, we got together–numerous times for baseball games, football games. . .no reason at all. . .and the more stuff we did together, the more we felt like we belonged. Having previously blogged about Halloweens’ with a cooler of beer on the wagon, and Rams football tailgating, we shared some amazing times with these folks. . .people we still call friends to this day. Living in a cul-de-sac is different than living in a thru-street. When you live in one, you look out for each other. You notice things and when something happens, almost everyone on the block knows about it. The girls thrived in this setting, so its’ with some regret that Brian wishes he’d stayed put in Maryland Heights, but decisions are decisions and we move on!
This was all brought back tonight when we opened a bottle of 2011 Cul-de-Sac Chardonnay. . .it’s the grocery store’s answer to “Two Buck Chuck” and at $3 a bottle, you’re probably better off leaving it on the shelf. Now, surprisingly, the nose was fairly refreshing. . .notes of lavendar, apricot and a hint of butter came across loud and clear. It’s the taste the ruined the moment. . .yeah, not the smooth chardonnay taste one would have expected from such an inviting nose. No. . .instead it was like sour grapes. Like, you know, when you bite into a granny smith apple and that area right behind your jaw just kind of freezes up. . .well, that’s what happened with this wine. Supposedly, this wine pairs well with veal, chicken, pork loin, lobster, crab, halibut, shrimp, cheddar & havarti cheeses, cream and pesto sauces, and vanilla pudding, but we never gave it a chance. With all do respect, it ended up down the drain. While there are four other varieties of Cul-de-Sac, we can save you from trying one of them. What you choose to do with the others is entirely up to you.
Even living in a cul-de-sac, we’d probably never drink this wine. Of course back then, we were all about the beer. Most enjoyed the finest in Bud Light, some of us preferred Bud regular! At that point in our lives, wine was something that our parents drank and we’d stick with beer thank you very much. Holy Cow! We’re becoming our parents. . .except that they wouldn’t drink Cul-de-Sac either! Remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.