Article by Tasting Team Members Glorious T. and The Cabinator
The Cherished Friends of Ahava’s Charmed and Cherished Wine Tasting Event has been a favorite tradition for the Toledo Wines and Vines team since it began 12 years ago at Cousino’s Navy Bistro at the Docks. Since that time, the team has only missed a couple of the annual events, and it has grown to over 400 people filling Fifth Third Field’s suite level space.
We have met some great people along the way, and the supporters of the Cherished Friends of Ahava generally have a personal connection, and are a dedicated and enthusiastic group of people. They have the coordination of this event down to a smooth and efficient production. The array of silent auction and basket raffle items was impressive, with many sought after items, including Ohio State memorabilia, spa treatments, gift cards, and vacation packages. Glorious T was unfortunately outbid on the oil painting of “your favorite pet”. A new carnival-like feature, “Ring Around the Wine” was a fun addition. For $5 you could throw a ring and win the bottle your ring landed around.
The buffet appetizer included a variety of tasty and savory options, along with an area of mini desserts. The food was substantial for those who were there to really sample the wines. The cost of $50 was a fair price. For sponsors of $100 or more, a “reserve” wine tasting was available. This had changed from a Reserve tasting of interesting wines to a small selection of mass market wines. The sparkling wine table included Piper Sonoma Brut, La Marca Prosecco, and a unique Rosa Regale sparkling red wine.
Meanwhile, Sara was featuring Mondavi Cabernet, La Crema Chardonnay, Davis Bynum Pinot Noir, and a very mineral focused Chateua Thunevan white Bordeaux. Sponsors also had, in addition to the appetizer buffet, shrimp cocktail and hummus.
Back in the main area, the place was hopping. Stony Ridge winery’s table had a steady stream of sweet wine fans. Other tables featured Meiomi Pinot Noir, Wild Horse, Joel Gott and other varietals. We had met wine rep Dave Weiden back at an early Charmed and Cherished Event, and he returns as an annual supporter. It was good to see him, and he was pouring a fabulous and popular selection of Chalk Hill Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sebastiani Zinfandel, Guenoc Claret, and Lost Angel Moscato. The very generous Heidelberg Distributing Company donated all wine for the event.
Proceeds benefit the Cherished Friends of Ahava’s Special Guest Program that provides spa and wellness services, at no charge, to men and women undergoing cancer treatment. Cherished Friends of Ahava, a non-profit organization based in Toledo, has provided services to more than 1,200 special guests in the last 12 years. This year’s event was held in memory of Mary Elizabeth Hammond.