Time Flies…

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Where did the last 8 months go? I am very disppointed in myself because I started this blog primarily because I was heading out to  San Luis Obispo, Templeton & Santa Barbara, California to visit wineries. I was hoping to share our experiences at the wineries. Obviously, that never happened. We did hit some fabulous places: Justin, Foley, Wild Horse, L’Aventure, Treana, Jack Cellars….The region is known for Rhone Blends (grenache, syrah, mouvedre…), Zinfandel & Pinot Noir. I was especially excited to taste the Pinot Noirs. My cousin Laura lives in the area and she turned me onto some I had never heard of Rotta, Red Soles & Jack Cellars. Jack Cellars was definitely my favorite. Pretty easy to guess what their speciality is…they make gorgeous Pinot Noirs.

My next big wine adventure of the year was passing the Certified Sommelier Exam! I took the Introductory Course & Exam in April (prerequisite) & then the Certified Exam in May. I will give an overview of the experience in my next post.

Wine at Charity Events

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I recently read an article by Jay McInerney of the Wall Street Journal outlining his New Year’s Resolutions. He vowed to not drink any wine at Charity Events in 2012. He was tired of drinking “lousy” wines. Vinojoe addressed Jay’s complaint on his blog “wineweekly.com.” I think it is a good goal for Charity events to come up with a better way to make the Events more palatable.

I have to agree with Jay that it is typically the norm for Charity events is to serve “lousy wine.” I am not a beer or liquor drinker so I often have to decide whether to drink at all. I get it that the event is for a good cause and the ultimate goal is to make money for the charity. I have always wondered why we can’t BYOB? I don’t mind buying a ticket for a dinner event where mystery chicken is served, but I would at least like a decent glass of wine.
I have been involved with a Gala Event in Rochester, NY for the past 6 years. We call our event OTBN…Open that Bottle Night… A fabulous concept coined by WSJ writers Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher. Guests buy a ticket for $150/person & bring a special bottle to share with their table. We haven’t had to print invitations for the last 2 years…we sell out 3 months before the event. The cause is very important: “Bivona Child Advocacy” which helps children that have been sexually & physically abused.

Most Charity events involve some kind of Silent or Live Auction. The Charity makes the majority of their proceeds from these auctions. If the wine is “lousy,” guests tend to bid less and leave earlier.

Wine Country Trip

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Getting excited for my trip next week to Paso Robles,San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. I plan to visit as many wineries as possible. I am working on setting up appointments right now at: Justin Winery & Hope Family. I will share tasting notes, pictures and hopefully some fun stories about the trip. I am traveling with 7 other women…all relatives!

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