–submitted by Mike Wilson
On Thursday the 24th September the Wine Fellowship organized a tasting that included wines that would be sold by the Madison Rotary Wine Fellowship through UW Rotaract. This fundraiser for the Mashambanzou Care Trust helps AIDs-affected families and orphans and has been performed annually for about a decade when the Fellowship raises between $1000 and $1500 annually. One year, Noel and Dick Pearson held the fundraiser when Mike Wilson was not available. The official Mashambanzou tasting will follow with 14 wines, which will then be offered for sale. Today’s “BYO and Snack” event included 6 wines that will not be in the upcoming donation Wine Fellowship event (20 wines would be far to may to try at once) yet needed to be evaluated for recommendation to the Fellowship sales event.
(Photo 1: Paul & Ellie Schatz; Photo: Steve & Meryl Mixtacki; Photo 3: Carolyn & Mike Casey)
The “Mashambanzou” wines tasted included: Gruet Blanc de Noir, Mollydooker Shiraz, Hey Mambo Sultry Red, Catena Malbec of the more reasonable priced wines (all $12-28) and two excellent reds -Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon @$53 and a Zenato Amarone @$70. The consensus was that these were very suitable for purchase with Catena and Hey Mambo universally liked. All these wines had excellent scores of 90, 91 and the latter two wines rated well above that.
(Photo 1: Patty & Mike Wilson; Photo 2: Ellie Schatz & Cheryl Wittke; Photo 3: Juli & Kieth Baumgartner)
With the “business part of the event” ongoing, the BYO bottles were also universally liked with a great Virginia Gray Ghost Reserve oaked Chardonnay, a delicious Morgon Premier Cru Beaujolais, a Zaca Mesa GSM that was super, and a St. Francis (for the visiting pope no doubt) excellent single vineyard Old Vines Dry Creek Zinfandel. All these were excellent and made for good company.
Snacks brought by individuals to the BYO included the mandatory breads, crackers, nuts and cheeses provided by the Wilson’s, but also a quiche, collections of dried figs and meats, skewers with mozzarella, basil and balsamic dressing, and goat and cream cheese preparation topped with tomato.
As Patty Wilson had procured some macaroons and fresh figs from Whole Foods together with Maytag Blue cheese Mike Wilson pulled out an unusual sweet red wine (Amas Amiel 10 ans – stored outside in glass demijohns for a year, the fermentation ended with alcohol, then aged in oak for 9 years) that he had purchased at the Rotary Wine Fellowship tasting organized by Keith Baumgartner and held at the Madison Club (with record attendance) and this very interesting sweeter wine was a nice way to end the tasting.
Fun was had by all, excellent wines were tasted, and importantly we were able to establish that the six wines selected by Mike Wilson and Steve Mixtacki (Co-chairs of the Rotary Wine Fellowship) from an array of some 91 wines offered by the Purple Feet Wine Distributors (purchased by the Winebow Group) would be appropriate for adding to the 14 wines we will taste at a later fundraiser event for the Zimbabwe Mashambanzou Care Trust.