That old adage about ‘it may rain on the army but it never rains in the army’ held true for the Wine Tasting hosted by Clarksville Community Organizers last Friday night, May 1st. Dreary weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of those attending this event. A warm and friendly atmosphere was the setting for a pleasant evening of wine enlightenment and enjoyment, an array of colorful, great tasting food and good conversation.The wine tasting was an outreach affair conducted by the former local ‘Clarksville for Obama’ citizens activist network.
Guests were asked to bring a wine or two wines of their own choice, nothing extravagant in cost, and a finger food dish.That the attendance topped out at over thirty people was most gratifying to the organizers and hosting couple JoAnn and Dennis Latz of Adams.
The evening was made complete with the attendance of wine expert, Amy Gallo. She is a certified wine expert who, during the course of the evening, conducted a introduction to wines, describing the grapes and their origins, suitable accompanying foods and uses for the various wines presented for tasting. As she guided the gathering thru the tasting, everyone’s knowledge about wines and their own taste preferences was greatly enhanced by Amy’s shared expertise.
Although there were several bottles in addition, Amy only opened the first ten. Her reason for this being that after ten or so wines, the taste buds become numb or desensitized to the subtle taste differences of the wines. Starting with the wide selection of reds, Amy guided the group thru a red Zinfindel, a South African red-very pleasing, to a surprising Moldavian to a Chianti to a tasty blackberry to a brisk red raspberry.
Ms Gallo spaced the tastings with break periods for the tasters to partake of the vast array of food dishes so as to cleanse palettes and keep the taste buds sensitive to nuances of the wines. After the reds, Amy then turned to the white wines among the presented offerings. An 2002 Piesporter Auslesse proved very appealing to number of the tasters as it was more fruity than the other whites and less dry to the palette. Amy explained the uniqueness of an Auslesse as being a very late harvested grape that has been allowed to mature on the vine very late into the harvest season.
Spatlesse and Auslesse are special vintage German white wines which usually exceed the normal semi to dry taste of this type of wine. The Piesporter vineyards are in the Mosel-Saar region of Germany’s ‘wine ‘strasse.’ These special vintages are not produced every year as they are dependent on weather conditions allowing for the later harvesting the grapes. Because of the extended time on the vine and exposure to colder weather, the grapes gain even higher levels of natural sugars which result in higher alcohol levels and more intense fruit flavors which manifest in the wine itself.
It must be noted for the record that were two alcohol-free wine selections included for the designated drivers and those not wishing to imbibe intoxicants. Amy informed the gathering that it is rare to find these wines in beverage stores because state law requires that all wines and spirits must contain an appreciable level of alcohol to be considered real spirits. Nonetheless, those indulging in the opened vintage found it very pleasant to the palette and completely lacking any bitter aftertaste.
The wine tasting marked the local ‘Clarksville for Obama’ citizens network’s official transition to non-campaign mode. The group will now focus on the development of support for community causes and the promotion thereof. Included in that transition is the outreach to people and concerns that seek to promote and foster a positive change in their community and government. Terry McMoore opened the discussion portion of the gathering by declaring the transition of Clarksville for Obama to the Clarksville Community Organizers. The group would continue its grassroots advocacy but now direct it at local issues, concerns and personalities of positive change for the community.
Lavern Walker addressed to the gathering on behalf of the 2010 Census Program. She spoke of the urgency for full participation in the upcoming census. She also addressed some of the falsehoods being circulated about the census and people performing the census. Any group wishing to participate in support of the census being a full and accurate count is welcomed to join the program’s outreach. [This writer will relay contact requests as they are submitted.] Attorney Muriel Neal spoke of the often unheralded work of the American Red Cross and its need for community support and increased financial donations from all corners.
The tasting having ended at sampling ten wines, the socialization of the evening kicked into high gear. There was lively conversation in every corner of the Latz home. Among the many in attendance were Dr. Arthur Neal, his wife, Atty Merriel Bullock-Neal, Jacinta Harris, Troy Broady and his wife; MSG Robert Huntley (Ret.), Christine and Ben Pierce, Lavern Walker, Sharon Bohenenberger, Wanda and Terry McMoore and Kate Revel.
Discussions ranging from jazz classics, contemporary music, political currents and home decor, to education system challenges, military careers, child rearing, sports teams and adventures in foreign lands are just some of the topics which filled the air. All the while, everyone was free to consume more of their choices of the opened wines and every bit of the tasty morsels presented on the buffet table.