Monday, November 23, 2009

Large Turnout Enjoys Wine Affair

More than 500 were in attendance on Friday, November 20, to 2009_1120wineaffair0005enjoy an elegant evening of wine at the Northwest Ohio Kidney  Foundation’s 18th Annual Wine Affair. The event was hosted by WTOL-TV’s Chrys Peterson.
Wine was provided by 12 distributors:
  • 55 Degrees
  • Berman
  • Bowling Green Beverage
  • DJP Selections
  • European Wine Imports
  • Hammer
  • Heidelberg
  • Natural-States Wines
  • Private Reserve
  • Vanguard Wines
  • Wines LLC
  • Wine Trends
There was a nice selection of food from area restaurants including Kotobuki, La Scola Italian Grill, Poco Piatti/Beirut/Byblos, Mancy’s Blue Water Grille, the Melting Pot and Wixey Bakey.
My wife and I began the evening with a taste of DV Merlot from Private Reserve distributors. This French Merlot is from the Med Atlantic wine region, which I must confess I hadn’t heard of before. It’s always nice to gain a little education – along with a nice glass of wine. We also sampled a nice DV Chardonnay.

One feature that was absent and I hope the Wine Affair has next year is a listing of the featured wines. This would make it easier to plan your tastings and ensure that you don’t miss any special wines.

2009_1120wineaffair0006 Tucked in the back corner with a delightful assortment of wines was Michelle Ross of Wines LLC.

One of her offerings was Trinity, a proprietary blend of Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Pinot Noir from South River Vineyards, an Ohio winery in the Geneva area. I found this to be a very enjoyable, light blend. The star of her lineup was a Super Tuscan Orbiao from the Redi Winery in Montepulciano. This had nice blackberry layers and and intense flavor that’s velvety. We also spirited the remains of a bottle of Taft Street Chardonnay back to our table as the evening wound down.

Spiderman, one our tasting panel and dinner companion, always asks those pouring to give us a glass of their most popular wine. It’s a nice way to identify the stars at each table. As we hit the Heidelberg table we were served a nice glass of St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon. This Sonoma wine was ripe, rich and chewy with a round finish.

From Vanguard we really enjoyed the Hey Mambo red bistro wine from The Other Guys, a blend of  Syrah, Barbera, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Malbec, and Alicante Bouchet grapes. This is an interesting blend with plenty of black cherry and leather.

Our friend Cory McQuillan from 55 Degrees was pouring the very nice white Cuvee A from Anne Amie, a Willamette Valley winery in Oregon.

At the Berman table there was a great selection including Gascon Malbec, Las Rocas Grenache and Layer Cake Shiraz. These are three sure to please wines. I love Malbec and the Gascon has a delightful complex flavor at a great Quality Price Ratio. The Las Rocas was a2009_1120wineaffair0003 favorite with the Wine Affair crowd. The Layer Cake Shiraz from Australia has dark, dense aromas of berries and provides an explosion of flavor. Tricia Rasar was certainly pouring some tasty selections.

From Bowling Green Beverage, Melissa Crocket provided a nice sample of Tangent Pinot Gris from Edna Valley, California. This was flavored with tropical fruit, stone minerality and had a nice balance.

Our final glass was a wonderful white Bordeaux Chateau des Tuquets 2006. courtesy of Krystal Di Matteo and European Wine Imports. It has a complex aroma of citrus fruits with a crisp acidity. This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. I was very surprised that this lists for only $9.99. This is a really wonderful wine.

Due to the large crowd, there were some long lines at registration and the food stations and the dessert disappeared some time before we were able to work our way to it. Since we weren’t participating in the live auction, the evening lost some appeal when the wine stations were shut down for the auction.

However, these are certainly minor points in an truly enjoyable evening. Congratulations and thanks to the planners, sponsors and attendees of this event. Thanks for supporting the very worthy mission of the NWO Kidney Foundation.
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