Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Maloy O'Neill Members Party 2009 and More
Every August, Maloy O'Neill Vineyard treats its members to a fun and informative lunchtime event.
Our friend Elde, professional photographer, joined the club last September, so this was his first year at the event. Here he is with Jo, a charming MOV staff member, checking out with his wine at the end of the day!
So now that you've seen the end, let's go back to the beginning!
Here's a photo (none of these were taken by Elde!) of Ron, me and Elde at our outdoor table.
Since winemaker Shannon O'Neill is half Irish and half Italian, the event was a celebration of his super-Tuscan red wines.
Shannon and his wife Maureen did a cute lip-syncing presentation to some Italian song about a man unsuccessfully wooing a woman.
Then a representative from ACI Cork company talked about, you guessed it, wine corks! He was informative and later we met him in the barrel room. Turns out he's a fun guy, too.
Lunch was delicious: antipasto platters, grilled chicken and lamb, salad, bread, and a yummy chocolate raspberry brownie type thing!
And of course the wines were all spectacular! We're not members there for no reason!
This year, the event presented another opportunity for Shannon to sample the wine we're making at home.
Most of the grapes came from his vineyard, and we feel like his proteges! And it so happens that Shannon loves our wine!
The above photo shows Shannon standing on a stool in the middle, preparing to test our wine for sulfites to determine whether it is time to bottle the stuff.
Ron is to the left, the guy in the checkered shirt is Tim, the new cool Tasting Room Manager, and then Elde is on the right. Yours truly snapped the pic.
Next is a close-up of Shannon with the testing apparatus and a sample of the wine.
By the way, our blend includes 7 (yes, seven) red grapes and we're calling it Lucky 7: Rebel Red, due to the fact that we (inadvertently!) picked some of Shannon's reserve grapes.
Anyway, Shannon concluded that the sulfite level was exactly where it should be prior to bottling, but that we could also wait a month or two without diminishing the quality of our blend.
So that's our plan. We'll need to add a final shot of Potassium Meta Bi-sulfate to the barrel and then move it to the garage a couple of weeks prior to bottling day.
The wine needs to rest!
Then we left Maloy O'Neill before the crowd started getting too toasted to be fun.
We pit-stopped at Penman Springs vineyard, one of our personal faves.
Penman Springs is very low-key in decor, but owner Beth makes the place lively. Beyond lively! Beth is like your crazy-cool aunt who is always the life of the party and makes you feel welcome.
Elde also plays some pretty mean Jazz piano (he has a grand piano at home). He treated us to one of his favorite songs using block chords.
Then we stopped at our favorite local market and picked up a lovely piece of super-fresh Halibut for the grill, and headed back to the homestead.
Here we are on the front patio, looking not-altogther-buzzed, but very happy, indeed!
I think my teeth look a bit purple, for some reason, but Ron and Elde seem determined not to show the evidence ; )