Category Archives: Rotary Wine Fellowship Group

Wine Fellowship Event March 7

–submitted by Mike Wilson

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On the 7th of March The Downtown Rotary Club Wine fellowship visited Table Wine, a new wine bar and wine shop that specializes in wines of modest cost.  The Fellowship was introduced to the Wine Table through Cheryl Wittke, and a wonderful event was held.

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Joy Gander & Cheryl Wittke

Seventeen Wine Fellowshippers met at 6:30 pm, and we had a Floral and Spicy Wine Tasting. The theme is interesting, and similar to the oldworld/newworld concept.  The wines were certainly spicy or floral, and were excellent.

Five wines were rated by me as particularly good, and these were the five best by the group as a whole.  In the Spicy White group the Elena Walch Italian Gurwurtztraminer (2013 @ $19.99) and Matchbook “The Arsonist” Chardonnay were equally adored by the Fellowship (2013 @$21.99), while in the other three categories there were “Clear Winners” receiving >70% of the vote as the best of the group classification.

The individual group “winners” were Le Masciare Fiano de Avellino 2013 @ $16.99 (Floral White), a Shotfire Shiraz (therefore Australian) Spicy Red 2013 @ $19.99, and Luzon Altos de luzon 2010 Spanish blend (Monastrell, Tempranillo and Cab. Sauv. 50/25/25 blend) as the Floral Red.  Each of these wines were clearly the most preferred wines in these categories.

Table Wine1  Table Wine 3  Table Wine 4

Photo 1: Ben Hebebrand & Joy Dawson; Photo 2: Candace & Mark Moody; Photo 3: Steve & Meryl Mixtacki

So if anyone wants to try good reasonably priced wines, consider these wines available at Table Wine.  All in all, a wonderful time was had by all with great wines tasted. Thank you very much Molly Moran, owner of Table Wine (2045 Attwood Avenue).

Wine Fellowship Event on January 18

–submitted by Mike Wilson; photos by Mike Wilson


Our club’s Wine Fellowship met at Mike Wilson’s home for a BYO wine tasting on Monday the 18th January 2016.  We snacked on bread (Whole Food’s; Italian, Ancient Grain, and cranberry/walnut) and crackers, with grapes and chocolate-covered strawberries.  We also had some Beautiful Bruschetta’s, warm Rachel Ray spiced shrimp on sticks, two Marvellous Marieke Gouda cheeses, a triple cream beautiful Brie served with sliced apples, an artichoke dip (with some tasters requesting the recipe) and salami/pepperoni wrapped Mozzarella straws.

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Photo 1: Becky Steinhoff, Sandy Corbett, Joy Gander & Cheryl Wittke; Photo 2: Karl Wellensiek, Mary Janet Wellensiek, Meryl Mixtacki & Steve Mixtacki; Photo 3: Dana Corbett, Bob Winding, Mike McKay & Mandy McKay

Going with these were some marvelous wines sorted into groups.  These included an Alsatian Pinot Gris and a Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc, followed by a Miner Chardonnay and a Guigal Cotes du Rhone white blend.  We next tried an Unti Segromigno (Sangiovese and Montepulciano), an Adelaida Cinsaut, and a Gnarly Head Merlot that were all Wonderful Wines.  The last series was Owen Roe Ex Umbris Columbia Valley Syrah and an old (2002) Amon-Ra Shiraz from Australia (hence Shiraz and not Syrah), and a Decoy Zinfandel.

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I rated 4 of the wines as exceptional and the rest as excellent quality, and we all had a great time.

First Wine Tasting for the Fall Season

–submitted by Mike Wilson

wine1On 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.

Schatzs   Mixtackis   Caseys

(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.

Wilsons   Wittke Schatz  Baumgartner

(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.

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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.