We had celebrated David's 18th birthday last week at a restaurant, but Betsy's cousin and family were in town last night; Betsy and her sister threw a family party at our house, using the visit and the birthday as excuses. Betsy made smoked trout canapes to be followed by a pasta/shrimp/tarragon salad, fruit salad, & green beans with pistou, her sister made a caprese salad. My only contribution was setting up the croquet course and the tables on the patio.
In honor of the birthday I pulled out the only 1988 white I had, the 1988 Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru. Not especially high hopes- middling vintage where some wines are tired, negociant wine, a generic 1er. It was actually pleasant if not compelling - had a nice light golden color, a hint of nuttiness, sweet pear fruit. Light oxidative notes were in the background, not dominating at all. A bit lacking in intensity, and not much on the finish. But this was a casefiller at some low low price, certainly filled its duty as a symbol of the birthday. B
A bit better with the food (lighter and more sprightly)was the 2004 Haut Rian (Bordeaux) - a serious QPR winner ($8), clean lemony fruit with hint of grass and a little gravelly mineral note. B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.