–submitted by Mike Wilson
The Wine Fellowship Group had a Bring Your Own (BYO) Event at Mike and Patty Wilson’s on Tuesday the 24th of June. There were 15 attendees, and each Rotarian brought a bottle of wine, their story to go with it and a snack to accompany it. Great fun was had by all! I rated every bottle of wine as excellent (17.75-18.5/20 on my scale),for an extraordinary fleet of wines.
They started with three cold wines: a Santinori Assyrtiko to accompany a tapenade; an Alsatian Pinot Gris (Rotenberg from Domaine Zind-Humbrecht) with a Greek dip; and a Rose of Sangiovese from Amorosa (called Goia) with the winery being a large “Napa Castle” which was viewed from their parking lot on the successful Wine Fellowship tour of Napa exactly one year ago. These were accompanied by feta and watermelon kebabs.
Next, two beautifully soft Pinot Noirs were tasted: Acrobat from Oregon and Husch from the Anderson Valley. Both were paired with great artisanal Wisconsin cheeses and a basket of cherries. Just like the cold wines described above, these were excellent, and the tasting group was evenly divided in preference.
Two “racy reds” were then tasted: A Domaine de la Janesse Cotes Du Rhone with a colorful story of how it came to be selected (Dan Dieck’s son had sent a case from France) and an A Venge wine called Scouts Honor (a dog story, not Baden-Powell) California blend (Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Syrah). Once again, the tasting group liked both equally well.
(Photo 1: Steve & Meryl Mixtacki; Photo 2: Meryl Mixtacki & Mike Wilson; Photo 3: Mary Barbieri & Beverly Simone)
Finally the hosts provided two very different ports. A 1960 Warre’s Vintage Porto as a traditional base, and a 1947 “Royal Reserve” Mazuran “Port” from New Zealand. This previously unknown vineyard in Henderson , NZ, has been producing Port for years. The initial winemaker was a descendant of the Dalmatian Kauri tree gum diggers that emigrated to New Zealand early on for just this purpose, but when the Kauri trees were significantly reduced (now a protected tree) they switched to other work. Dalmatia is near where the original Zinfandel vines have been located, and these immigrants formed the basis of the early New Zealand wine industry. Chocolate covered strawberries and other chocolates were the accompanying snack made by Hostess Patty. Here the New Zealand port was the absolute winner. The 67 year old Royal Reserve is the very first Mazuran port Mike tried some 40 years ago, and was released for the visit of the young Queen Elizabeth in her 1952 tour of New Zealand as part of the new monarchs tour of the antipodean british Commonwealth. Perhaps the Mazuran was rated so well as the tasters were informed that it now sells for NZ$700.
A great time was had by one and all!