by Marty Cook
Consider that winemakers are limited only by the fruit on hand and their imagination. The many grape varieties that are at the disposal of the winemaker have been a long time fascination of mine. In my early days as a winemaker, I recognized from the onset that the resultant wine would invariably reflect the qualities of the grape variety or varieties employed in crafting each wine. With this in mind, I began my quest to explore and learn about any and all types of wines that were off the beaten path.
When I read Jason Wilson’s book entitled Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine, I knew that I had encountered a kindred soul. In his book, Wilson aptly points out that, from the nearly 1,400 recognized varieties of wine grapes in the world, fully 80 percent of the wine we drink is made from only 20 of these grape varieties! In Godforsaken Grapes, Wilson’s exploits take him throughout Europe, the United States, and beyond to discover unheralded yet intriguing wines made from lesser known, forgotten, and sometimes nearly lost grape varieties, as well as other wines made from grape varieties that now flourish after being rescued and resurrected from the brink of extinction.
It is in keeping with the preceding theme that our February 18th program had its genesis. Although we have neither the time nor the resources that Jason Wilson was able to employ in his quest, nonetheless, we have orchestrated a solid presentation of Wine Education and entertainment for your evening of enjoyment. Some of the grape varieties that we will explore bear such names as Mansois, Mencia, Roter Veltliner, Listan Negro, Arneis, Sagrantino, and Savagnin (not to be confused with Sauvignon).
During our Godforsaken Grapes event, my co-host Joe Via and I will endeavor to expand your wine tasting horizons by sampling a total of ten wines with whose origins you may be unfamiliar. Please plan to join us for this event, which will also include door prizes and a modicum of digital fun (please bring your SmartPhone)! We will gather at the Hilton Harrisburg on Tuesday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. to spend several enjoyable hours of wine tasting and exploration! And, as an aside, this date also doubles as “National Drink Wine Day”, which could not be more appropriate!
Seating for this event will be limited and individual attendance cost is being offered at very affordable levels! So, please make plans to join us and register soon!