Biodynamic Wines with Peter Koff, MW
The Party Source, Newport, KY
Friday, April 13, 6-8 pm
This is Part II: Atmosphere. If you want to know more about the wines and the information behind Biodynamics, refer to Part I: The Wines.
We’ve attended several sessions offered by the EQ team at The Party Source. Everyone is always really professional, yet pretty laid-back and fun. That’s one reason why we really enjoy the tastings at The Party Source.
This tasting had a completely different flavor to it from the time we walked in. We were escorted upstairs to the fine wine warehouse, which was set up with round tables and candlelight. It was actually a pretty nifty sight! We took a seat near (but not at) the back with our friend Drew. Shortly after the presentation started, a woman around our age, Angela, joined us at the table.
It wasn’t long before we realized we were at the "Kid’s Table," so to speak.
First off, there were a lot of Party Source employees at this tasting. Not just the regular employess, but the wine buyer and store owner were also there. At least one, if not more distributors, were there as well. At other tables were folks I didn’t recognize, but who were older and apparently "serious" about their wine.
We were the table that was having a fantastic time. Everyone else seemed nervous and overly serious. But isn’t wine supposed to be fun?
We listened to the entire introductory session on the history and concept of Biodynamics. We took a lot of notes and even asked some questions. When it came time to the actual wine tastings, we just approached it differently than everyone in the room. We discussed it amongst ourselves at the table. We compared how we each felt about and helped each other identify flavors. And we made some great jokes. We also got a lot of dirty looks. Not from Peter Koff, though. He seemed more amused by us than anything else.
I think the wine tasting was unintentionally formal. Peter Koff mentioned he preferred to walk around and visit each table, but he was confined to the front of the room due to a pair of crutches. Party Source employees populating a few tables seemed nervous to be hanging out at the same tasting as their boss(es). And the older folks? No excuse that I can think of. I think that if Peter could have wandered the room, there would have been more conversation and laughter, instead of the most consistent laughter being confined to our table.
At the end, Drew introduced himself to several people. We’ve got to take him more places. He announces he works at Pigall’s and he’s like a magnet. Every retailer and distributor wants to be loved by Jean-Robert de Cavel (our own celebrity chef in Cincinnati) and one guy from the restaurant is an "in." It was hilarious. I did get to catch up with a wine distributor I haven’t seen in a few months, and I also got to meet the lovely wine buyer from Party Source. (What a great job she has!)
A lot of the folks working the event told us that if they had the chance, they’d want to be enjoying the wines at our table. We had a fantastic time, even if we accidentally annoyed
those around us. Along with all our laughing and joking, we discussed
each wine and many of our wine experiences. It was great! And that’s
what wine is about – not how stuffy you can be, but how it becomes a
part of an overall great evening.
Not only did I learn about biodynamic wines on Friday night, I also learned that it’s okay to sit at the kid’s table.
Read our Review of the Fine Food Show here .
A few years ago I was an attendee at the Cincinnati Flower Show Opening Gala, which is a high-falutin’ event that opens the annual Flower Show. I learned a couple of things: never wear satin heels to the Flower Show, and the flower displays are gorgeous. I also learned I would rather attend the Flower Show with the masses instead of the gala attendees. I rather enjoy the throngs and getting lost in the crowd, browsing all the vendors and landscapes.
The vendors usually run the gamut from neat things you can put in your garden to the prettiest hats you can think of. I don’t remember ever paying attention to the food. Last year, Cincinnati’s own celebrity chef, Jean-Robert de Cavel, opened a small French cafe called Cafe des Fleurs during the run of the show. It was an overwhelming success and opened the door for an event-within-an-event: the Cincinnati Fine Food Show.
Judy Dunning, Vice President of Development for the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, believes the Fine Food Show will become an annual event. According to Dunning, "Although there are shows specifically for wine that are larger, we think the synergies of our event make it very special. You can be inspired and entertained by fabulous gardens and floral displays, savor the cuisine from Jean-Robert in a Parisian cafe, delight in an afternoon tea, and enjoy the Fine Food Show."
The Cincinnati Fine Food Show will run April 21 and 22 (this weekend only folks!) during the Flower Show. It will feature small and local vendors of wine and gourmet food. Vendors include Kinkead Ridge, Henke Winery, and Chrisman Hill Winery, as well as Cheese from Britain, Essencha Teas, and the Dilly Deli. (A complete list of vendors is after the jump.) Vendors will be offering samples all day on Saturday and from 1 pm – 7 pm on Sunday.
(Read more after the jump!)
It’s amazing how much you can learn from multimedia. From this little video of Kinkead Ridge, I learned more than on most vineyard tours I’ve attended (Fox Run and Benziger excluded). This video is a great demonstration of what a small vineyard goes through each year. The ending reminds you that yes, they are in Ohio and have to deal with our midwestern weather.
In fact, Kinkead Ridge will be lucky to get 20% of their white wine crop (Rousanne, Reisling, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc). Luckily their Cabernet Sauvignon survived last week’s ridiculous spring freeze.
Kevin and I plan to visit several local wineries this spring and summer, and Kinkead Ridge is number 1 on that list. Ohio and Kentucky wineries have risen above the label of "fruity" wines. These wineries aren’t making strawberry wine; they’re making award winning Cabernet Francs.
The video is about 9 minutes long (so my apologies if this site took a while to load – it’s worth it) and is a great look into the inner workings of the winery.
Visit the winery blog here.
We’ve started a quest for a white wine for summer. We’d like to purchase a case of this mysterious white wine, so that it’s always available and can be given as a gift or taken to a summer bbq or party. We want this to also be a low-cost white. Our first two test cases were worlds apart: Tin Roof Sauvignon Blanc and Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde.
Tin Roof 2004 Sauvignon Blanc ($5.99/Liquor Direct Ft. Thomas): It probably should have served as a warning when we noticed the back label said more about the screwtop cap (the, uh, tin roof) than the actual wine. This Sauvignon Blanc had a chemical nose about it, and I almost wanted to dump it out right then. It was sour, in a not-so-pleasant way, and had a lot of grapefruit on the finish. We each finished a glass and decided that the rest of the bottle would be donated to the sink. Tin Roof – Rusted!
Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde NV ($5.99/Liquor Direct Ft. Thomas): This was our first Vinho Verde, and I am now just itching to try a red Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde is a blended wine from Portugal that has a light fizziness to it and should be enjoyed young. Our Gazela is a blend of Loureiro, Trajadura, Arinto grapes and has only 9% alcohol content. The Gazela had a fruity and floral nose. It tasted a bit like watermelon and tart apples. The small bubbles added a refreshing quality to it. It was a palate cleanser, and very crisp. We’re eager to see how it holds up overnight. The taste for value factor here is huge!
Mid-April arrived really fast, complete with a Friday the 13th. I don’t see this Friday as unlucky though – there are too many great tastings going on!
Here’s our weekly write-up of wine events in and around the
greater Cincinnati area. It’s a big list, so we’ve compiled it on one
page for your printing pleasure. (For information on Dayton, you can
refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.) If you know of tastings or events that we missed in Cincinnati, please email us
and we’ll add it to the list.
Some new additions and changes this week:
You may note that the tastings in KY are mostly free, and the
tastings in Ohio charge at least .25. It’s illegal for a retailer to
give alcohol away in Ohio, so they charge you, but many times it’s a
Tell them we sent you, and happy tasting!
Follow the "Continue reading" jump at the bottom for Friday, 4/13 –
Thursday, 4/19 tastings. Upcoming events & classes, which require
reservations, are listed at the end.
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