I’ve had this serious wine hobby for a more than a couple of decades now and have enjoyed it in a lot of ways – wine tasting, wine trips, reading about wine, and now, thanks to Eve, writing about it. But one thing I have never done is volunteer at a tasting event.
So, when the opportunity came up to volunteer to pour wine at All Corked Up’s Pour Into Haiti fundraiser, I jumped at the chance. Fortunately, my wife Karen agreed to join me, since I’m such a slacker.
I know that Eve is going to have a whole lot more to say about this event, so I thought I would just focus on my experience as a volunteer.
When we got there, I was informed that I was going to be sharing a table with Jim Griffin of the Henry Wine Group, Wendy Roberts of Wine Warehouse, and Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper, owners of Pulchella Winery. I was pretty excited to hear that, as these were all people that I already knew and liked.
Wendy Roberts from Wine Warehouse [who it turns out is a longtime friend of my younger brother – small world!] was pouring:
2007 Trefethen Chardonnay
2005 Trefethen Merlot
2005 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon
Jim Griffin of the Henry Wine Group was pouring:
2007 Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
2008 Zaca Mesa Winery Viognier
2008 Zaca Mesa Winery Roussane
2006 Saintsbury Chardonnay “Brown Ranch”
2008 Seresin “MOMO” Pinot Noir
2007 Lander Jenkins Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Altivo Classic Malbec
2006 Zaca Mesa Winery Z Cuvee
2005 Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah
And my good friends at Pulchella were pouring their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Syrah. In addition, they poured their just-released Chardonnay and Zinfandel, along with a couple of other blends that they had produced in too small quantities to even sell. I’ve written before that I am a big fan of Pulchella’s wines, and tasting them that evening reinforced my opinion.
We kept busy pouring the wines that ACU had provided for us to pour:
2006 Proulx Petite Sirah – this Paso Robles winery is owned by Genoa and Kevin Riley. Kevin is also the winemaker at Sextant.
2007 Matua Valley Pinot Noir – from the Central Otago region of New Zealand.
In addition, I pulled a few wines from our locker:
2006 Mollydooker “The Boxer” Shiraz
2006 Mollydooker “The Maitre D’” Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 [or 2009, I forgot to check!] “The Violinist” Verdelho
Mollydooker is one of my favorite Australian wineries and I was happy to donate them to the cause.
[I hope I got all the names and vintages correct. If not, my error and I apologize.]
I must say it was a lot fun being on the other side of the table: pouring wine and pretending I knew what I was talking about; hanging out with Steve and Nate, Wendy and Jim; seeing our friends coming through the line; seeing people that we haven’t seen in awhile; and meeting new people as well. And of course, it was all for a great cause.
We were scheduled to pour for the first hour, and it actually went by much too quickly. We turned our station over to our friends Lucas and BJ Herme, who were volunteering for the second hour, and said goodbye to our “coworkers”. We headed off to sample the wines that were being poured by the local SCV Vintners, enjoy the music, eat, and to find our friends.
We really had a great time and we left knowing that not only did we have fun, but we helped in a small way to contribute to a terrific event. I’d like to thank the owners of All Corked Up for allowing us to do this and I encourage you all to try volunteering at an event sometime.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.