a.k.a. Wine Investigation for Novices & Oenophiles
W.I.N.O. was founded in 1967 by Jerry and Linda Mead as a way for wine lovers of modest means to share the cost of tasting wines. For roughly the cost of a single bottle, a couple could taste as many as a dozen different bottles. From its very first event, W.I.N.O. included food as a part of its wine tasting format, something that was quite uncommon at the time.
Born at the same time was The W.I.N.O. Newsletter, the official newsletter of Wine Investigation for Novices and Oenophiles. It was The W.I.N.O. Newsletter which later gave birth to a second publication, The W.I.N.O. Trader, which eventually evolved into the publication you are now reading, The Wine Trader.
We now have a "tail wagging the dog" situation. The Wine Trader's circulation has grown to reach an estimated 75,000 readers every issue, while the newsletter has become a section within the magazine.
If the tastings and events reported on in this section sound like fun to you and you'd like more information,
contact: W.I.N.O., P.O. Box 1598, Carson City, NV 89702 (800) 845-9463 or FAX (702) 884-2484.
Carson Valley W.I.N.O. Report:
River Bend Grille and Glen Ellen Winery
by Jeannette Jenness Charming
Carson Valley W.I.N.O.s enjoyed yet another feast of food and wine at their most recent event.
The menu was eclectic to say the least, and sent shivers up the spines of some of those
asked to pair the wines, but in the end, a good time was had by all. Who cares if you start with a
Cabernet and then go to a sweet white wine like Symphony and then back to a dry red...isn't this
all supposed to be about fun and experimentation?
The setting was gorgeous. The River Bend Grille is a new restaurant at Genoa Lakes
Golf Course. The private room reserved for our group of 40-plus overlooked part of the course, with
the magnificent Sierras looming close in the background.
Jeff Booth, part of the winemaking team at Glen Ellen Carneros Winery, introduced the
group to Glen Ellen's new super premium "Expressions by Glen Ellen" line of wines that have been
earning top scores, medals, and critical acclaim. Jeff has primary responsibility for the Expressions
wines, and judging by the sampling we had, is doing a great job. We tasted other wines from Glen
Ellen, as well, and had as our aperitif wine, Glen Ellen's 1996 Fume Blanc.
The first course, a portabella mushroom, charbroiled with hot Italian sausage, served
with a lightly seasoned tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese, paired well with
"Expressions by Glen Ellen." Being a fan of big red wines, this was my favorite wine of the evening.
Next we had a spinach salad tossed with a feta dressing, red onion, bacon, and California dates.
We had Blossom Hill 1996 (also part of the same family of brands) Symphony, which is a
cross between Muscat of Alexandria, Grenache and Gris. Too sweet for me, but most folks liked it.
(Symphony, by the way, is the name of the grape; they didn't just name it that 'cause they like
symphonies better than orchestras.)
The main course was really unusual: house-made raviolis stuffed with turkey, potato,
and roasted garlic, served with a sundried tomato sauce. We tasted two wines with this course:
"Expressions by Glen Ellen" 1994 Sonoma Chardonnay and M.G. Vallejo (yet another companion
brand) 1995 Pinot Noir. Most diners preferred the Pinot.
And finally, luscious big fresh strawberries with warm Belgium chocolate sauce for
dipping. M.G. Vallejo's 1995 Gewurztraminer was a good match for it.
Most people went home after that, but I sat at the bar with the chef afterwards, drinking
the "house wine." It was just fine, as I remember.
For information about the Carson Valley W.I.N.O. chapter, contact Regional Directors
Wendell and Jeanette Jenness at (702) 265-1506.
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Latest Update: December 10, 1997