December is an exciting time at the restaurant. Family gatherings and company parties are festive and lively, and being surrounded by people having a good time and celebrating the season makes it rewarding. Of course, we will also have our own company party after the hustle and bustle of this month has past. Throughout the holidays, our dining room has been adorned with a 12 liter wine bottle, which is the equivalent of one and a half cases of wine. This bottle will be opened for the annual Park Kitchen holiday party, and the staff will certainly drink it in holiday style.
The French have a long-standing tradition of bottling wine and champagne in large bottles. The bottles themselves are given the names of biblical kings and figures from antiquity. A 3 liter bottle is called a Jeroboam, a 12 liter bottle is a Balthazar, a 15 liter bottle is a Nebuchadnezzar, and a 30 liter bottle (though I've never seen one) is a Melchizedek. These bottles are so large that they usually require a special pendulum to pour it without spilling. Opening this kind of a bottle would naturally be a festive occasion!!