Barb greeted us at the door with a spot of limencello to begin the festivities.
After our plates were loaded with Dick and Cheryl's crackers and cheese selections and lovely bits from Meredith's antipasto platter, we were on to the first wine.
This Abazzia di Novacella Stiftskellerei Neustift Pinot Grigio, offered by Dick, was the only white wine but even us red fans were impressed.
"Yummy! It has a bite!" said Barb, while Clayton said he smelled grapefruit, pear and a little lemon.
This wine was from Northern Italy in an area right next to northeast Germany. It certainly ticked all the boxes for taste. At $22 at a local wine shop it was more than I care to spend, but I certainly would be happy to drink it.
At this point, Barb brought out the winesicle. Have you seen these? Freeze them and they are supposed to keep a white wine cool. Needless to say, we had much discussion.
(At this point, only one taste in (if you don't count the Limoncello, which one probably should) we had already disintegrated into loads of laughter and side conversations. So it was a little tough to take notes!)
|Photo by Cheryl Rice
My wine was next, a Sanperetto Valpolicella DOC Classico Superiore, 2015 by Roberto Mazzi e Figli.
Roger thought it was quite acidic and smelled very purple, after which we had to discuss what purple smelled like. Barb said "we embrace the Valpolicella."
Someone else said it reminded them of a light pinot noir, not like a heavy Tuscan wine. Clayton said we should "drink it first thing in the morning instead of Welches," but I think I'll give that idea a pass.
This was $16.99 and I got it at a restaurant in Ann Arbor called Paesano's.
Barb was up next with her 2017 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico, DOCG.
There is often a rooster on the neck of a bottle of chianti, which unfortunately I did not photograph. Barb told us the story of how this came to be (if you're interested, here's a link.) You'll see this mark on a Chianti Classico.
|Photo by Cheryl Rice
This one had lots of SanGiovese grapes and was $22 at a local wine shop. We thought it would pair very well with steak or red meat and my notes said, "This is very good!"
Roger was up next with Palazzo Della Torre 2015 IGT by Allegrini.
This Valpolicella came from Northeast Italy near Verona and he told us that it was described as the nose of the wine being forest floor. (You can only imagine the discussion.)
We all agreed it was excellent and at the price (Costco) it was well worth it -- $13.99. (This might have been the wine of the day.)
Somewhere around here we started talking about Pompeii being the Vegas of early Italy -- a resort community with lots of brothels and plenty of mosaics that illustrated what one can do. There were a few on-the-spot limericks and then back to the wine.
Kate offered Maraia Barbera de Monferrato DOC by Marchesi de Barolo which immediately received "Mmmms" from Barb and Jeanie.
Barberas are a really tasty wine. This one came from Torino in Northern Italy and a portion of proceeds from sales go toward the poor and the animals of the area.
Mike said "She pulled into a Sunoco station and this is what they were selling," but in truth, Kate found this excellent bargain at Costco for $11.99.
|Photo by Cheryl Rice
If there was a favorite label, it might have been Anne and Clayton's offering of Toscana IGT by Casaponte.
This is a red table wine from Tuscany. "This smells SO good!" I said at the first whiff. "Lock me up in the cellar!" Clayton added.
He said they picked it because Anne liked the label and he liked the wines of Tuscany. It was definitely a good deal -- he bought it at the Meijer store for $13 (on sale).
Rick was missing this night and around this time we all bemoaned the fact that he preferred to be with cyclists he hadn't seen in decades rather than us. (But he did have a jolly good time riding his bike around Detroit so we shouldn't feel too bad he missed much!)
Our final wine was a Colline Teramane Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOCG Savini Reserva 2012, offered by Dick.
Deep red and tremendously fragrant, it had the full bodied flavor of a really good red wine. Even I could pick up the soft cherry scent.
Unfortunately, this came from Dick's basement and he had no idea of how much it cost or where he got it, but he estimated it was about $20.
Then it was time to hit the kitchen for our dinner. Kate and Anne took on salad and veggie duties.
Mike made a marvelous sausage pasta.
As always, Barb's table was lovely...
...and her party favors perfect, the lava a reminder of Pompeii's fate.
I love how she always incorporates corks into her table settings and floral arrangements.
When all was said and done, we gathered in the living room (the wine was done by then!) and just had a lovely time, talking and hanging out. Friendship. That's what Corkies are all about. (Earlier Cork Popper posts are archived at the menu tab at the top of this page.)
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