Twenty-four wines were available, including: a 2003 Dom Pérignon, brought by a couple as a remembrance of their first cruise together; a Massandra dessert wine from the Ukraine, whose winemaker in the 1800s is an ancestor of Paul Golitzin of Quilceda Creek; a Kestrel Red Blend mixed at a society event a couple of years ago; and wines from France, Argentina, Australia, California and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Pacific Northwest wines were well represented too, each with a story of friendship and camaraderie, a link to previous or future wine society events, and memories of other wine-tasting opportunities.
As Wine Society President Ted Davis stated, “This event is unique and complicated to organize.” Due to the number and wide variety of wines, the “passport system” seems the right way to allow all participants to have a taste of many wine offerings.
This year’s format, self-catered and in the afternoon vs. the evening, provided a relaxed atmosphere, with the added bonus of a light-filled room overlooking a beautiful riverside park. From the comment cards, attendees loved the social interaction, home-prepared food, the “chocoholic cupcakes” from Frost Me Sweet, and the STORIES!
Some suggestions for improvement include adding dump buckets, allowing 1-ounce pour options and telling all the stories before the wines run out. We are listening!
While OTBN is now 16 years old worldwide, it is only 6 years young as a Tri-Cities Wine Society event. So, let’s see if we can make it last awhile longer – the crowd has definitely spoken!