Business and pleasure – who says they don’t mix.

Five talented and dedicated wine enthusiasts and I were treated with dinner, compliments of Bryan McCaw, and tutored wine tasting given by David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato – I felt like being back at the university, sitting in a small classroom clinging onto every word from a looked-up-to professor – a cherished moment in my life.

 

“No cameras, no glimmer, just good old-school quality time”

 

Tasting with Wolf Blass

On Monday, September 10th 2012, as ‘GrapeSelections’, I was invited to a dinner/wine tasting of Wolf Blass wines – presented by THE MAN himself, together with Chris Hatcher (the chief winemaker) and hosted by Natalie MacLean (the author of the book ‘Unquenchable’). The premise of this event was to promote the book ‘Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest For The World’s Best Bargain Wines’ together with Wolf Blass wines, as in her book, Mrs. MacLean wittingly shares her experience meeting Mr. Blass as well as other stories of her visiting ‘the wine country’.

Finca El Origen tasting

 

On August 29th 2012, I went to wine tasting luncheon with a winemaker Gonzalo Bertelsen from the Finca El Origen winery located in Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. Together with me, other invited guests were wine enthusiasts Monica Janek, Tyler Philp and Jennifer Hart. Upon entering the Miller Tavern, we were led to a secluded section designated just for us and were introduced to the winemaker Gonzalo Bertelsen and two Charton Hobbs agents Kristine Bach and Kevin Chisholm (the sponsors) by Bryan McCaw of WineAlign (the organizer). We gathered around a table set with glasses and wines to be tasted and were seated such that we were able to interact with Gonzalo most directly.  I myself sat right next to him, allowing me to have one on one conversation and to ask him specific questions.

 

Video Wine and Cheese Tasting Live on Google Hangouts – July 25th 2012.

With the team of wine enthusiasts, each an expert in one area or another, we joined Google Hangouts to see how live video tasting would work. At the beginning, technology was not cooperating and while we were waiting for Natalie MacLean to set it up, we were goofing around – trying out different cheeses with the wines (other than the sparking, which was to be opened live) and were just having a lot of fun. After a while Natalie fixed the issue and so the ‘Tasting bunch’ composed of (according to introductions) Allie Hughes, Bethany Harpur + Holly Bruns + Nita Boushey, Corinna Horton, myself, Dawn Montgomery, Gaby Israel, Jason Solanki and Nina Syas under the direction of Natalie MacLean proceeded with the live tasting of the three wines (see below) and six cheeses (listed in my previous post).