Twelve members gathered remotely on May 27 to share a wine-tasting experience. Not in the usual style, this tasting was spread across twelve different locations, and a variety of wines were shared and discussed.
Thanks to Tonya for organizing the gathering and to Nicole for facilitating our Zoom meeting. Also joining the call were Linda, Elizabeth, Judi, Jessica from Impact Austin’s board, Beth, Kimberly, Summer, Melissa, Randeen, and Margaret. Many of us met for the first time!
Because wine can’t be the ONLY thing boosting our morale these days, Tonya kicked off the gathering by asking each participant, “What makes you smile these days?” This was a fun way to start.
· Tonya's three-legged puppy dog Doc brings her a lot of joy.
· Beth's daughter is due to birth her first child.
· Elizabeth appreciates hearing from her young adult kids every day; they still look to mom for advice and cooking tips.
· Jessica's local high school had a graduation parade that day with 200-300 cars!
· Judi's visits with first grandchild Samantha make quarantine easier to tolerate.
· Kimberly enjoys morning visits to her garden with its three raised beds and cooking what she’s grown.
· Summer and three girlfriends are participating in the Virtually Unstoppable Challenge to support the military and veterans and their children.
· Melissa shared that something special from Impact Austin made her smile that day.
· Randeen's local summer pool may open next week, and this would make her very happy!
· Margaret just closed a business sale after five long months. Big smile!
We then shifted focus to “What is your favorite wine?” and/or “What are you drinking right now?”
· Kimberly – Field House Chardonnay – Fruity, not oaky or buttery, most aging in stainless steel. Kimberly is a member of the Scout and Cellar wine club, which shares different wines with each shipment.
· Beth – Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio – From the Friuli region of Italy, but available from Total Wine and H.E.B. The bottle is distinctive, which makes it easy to pick out.
· Elizabeth – Becker Vineyard Iconoclast Cabernet – She appreciates Becker wines, both because she knows Dr. Becker and also because they’re affordable. She enjoys giving Texas wines as gifts. She says that, with Texas wines, they’re still young and “the older, the better.”
· Jessica – Adelsheim Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley – Jessica prefers Oregon’s Pinots to others, because they are more mineral, not too sweet or tannic, and they pair well with many foods. She also likes A-Z Pinots from Oregon.
· Melissa – William Chris 2017 Mourvedre – Melissa also recommends their wine club and tasting room experiences/events in Hye.
· Melissa – Torbrek 2013 The Struie (Shiraz) from Barossa Valley in Australia
· Melissa – Sea Stone Vinho Verde white wine from Portugal – It’s like a Pinot Grigio “with a little pizazz”. Moderately priced around $8.
· Summer – Bacio di Fiori Moscato D’Asti – “Kiss of Flowers” sweet and easy-drinking frizzante-style wine.
· Judi – Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Judi enjoys NZ Sauvignon Blancs in the summer for their affordability, screw cap tops (keeps the wine fresher!) and easy- drinking tropical flavors. Both Melissa and Elizabeth also enjoy them, and Melissa recently enjoyed a Governor’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Total Wine at about $12.
· Tonya – Dry Creek Fume Blanc – Loire Valley style, crisp and not too sweet. Tonya confided that she usually prefers reds but appreciates this particular white.
Members also shared positive tasting and shopping experiences.
· William Chris Vineyards – Melissa reports that wine club members enjoy special experiences
· Specs – Judi had excellent advice and service buying inexpensive wines for a large group Christmas party.
· Total Wine – Judi likes their online shopping experience because professional and peer reviews can be accessed. Easy curbside pickup, too.
· A great wine store in Gruene – The name wasn’t given, but the Winery on the Gruene and The Grapevine are easy to find with a Google search.
· Utopian Shift – A Wine Experience – Summer recommends this “try before you buy” opportunity. Their Facebook page suggests that the COVID crisis may have ended their business.
· The Austin Wine Merchant – With a newsletter and specials every week, several members recommended this downtown wine shop. Jessica said you can ask them to assemble a case within a budget, and you’ll end up with wines you’ve never tried before.
· We all commented on how many tasting rooms have opened between Austin and Fredericksburg, with 3-4 even in Dripping Springs on/near Bell Springs Rd.
What’s in YOUR wine glass?