Drinking Well, Doing Good: Tahoe League for Charity Annual Event

The day was warm, the appetizers delicious, and the wines spectacular – hard to beat the Tahoe League for Charity 2010 event held at the home of Linda Davis on Dollar Point. With a string quartet to begin and jazz later in the afternoon, 150 members and guest attended this charitable organization’s annual fundraiser.

Tahoe League for Charity turned to Kali Kopley, owner of the wine bar Uncorked at 1750 Village East Road in The Village at Squaw Valley to help them select some wonderful summer wines for the occasion. The result was interesting and reasonably priced wines. You might consider stocking up on some of these wines for your own summer lawn parties.

It’s almost impossible to beat a nice Riesling for a summer wine, and the KUNG FU GIRL RIESLING, COLUMBIA VALLEY, Washington, is aromatic, smooth, vibrant & tasty. Think tangerine, apricot, wet stone, key lime, clove & nectarine. 12.5% alcohol. This Riesling is only $13/bottle.

PRAXIS DRY SRYAH ROSE, ALEXANDER VALLEY, California. A wonderful summer rose’! It’s a beautiful burnt salmon color with a floral, strawberry nose. Flavors of watermelon & guava are accented by a little spice & vanilla. The wine is dry & has bright acidity with a medium body. 14.2% alcohol. $12/bottle.

MANIFESTO SAUVIGNON BLANC, NORTH COAST, California. Gardenias & a rush of grapefruit. Lemon zest fill the nose, pineapple & mouthwatering sweet citrus comprise a lingering finish. The fruit comes from three vineyards in Suisun Valley, just east of Napa Valley. The winery donates a portion of bottling line proceeds to charity for worker housing, Latino education and to clean drinking water in the Napa Valley. 14.1% alcohol. $14/bottle.
Looking for some nice red wines for your dinner parties? Tahoe League for Charity members loved these, and it’s likely that you will too.

SEAN MINOR PINOT NOIR, CARNEROS, California. This pinot noir is medium-bodied with blueberry, cherry, plum & light toast flavors. On first taste, the wine displays these blue fruit tones that are balanced with the lingering spicy/earthy notes. The vanilla & toast nuances integrate well with the silky round tannins, which evolve into a lengthy finish. Sean Minor is A LONG TIME supporter of Autism and Autism research. The 14.5% alcohol is typical for a pinot noir. $18/bottle.

FLYING WINEMAKER ZINFANDEL, LODI, California. Cameron Hughes, a negotiant with a record of presenting fine, fine wines, said this so eloquently: “Lodi is to Zinfandel what Napa is to Cabernet. Lodi zins are big, powerful wines with great depth & complexity.” I agree. Fruit from old vines, some 100 years old, leads to a beautiful, intense dark berry flavor on the palate. This wine has good depth and complexity. 14.5% alcohol. $12/bottle.

Tempranillo should be on your “I must try this varietal” list. The TRUCHARD TEMPRANILLO from NAPA VALLEY is a good starter choice, not the best I’ve ever had, but good. Rich aromas of cassis, wild blueberry, & plum, with hints of black tea, tobacco, & cedar. On the palate- earth& anise with an under-layer of mocha. 13.9% alcohol, $16/bottle.

Last but not least, a Sierra Foothill wine, the EASTON CABERNET BLEND. Composed of predominately Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a great everyday wine, for picnics, boating, lunch, apre-ski. Anytime you want a delicious glass of wine. 13.5 % alcohol, $14/bottle.

The primary focus of Tahoe League for Charity to benefit the communities of North Lake Tahoe, Incline and Truckee areas by providing scholarships to local students and grants to local nonprofit organizations. They meet monthly in Tahoe City. For more info, go to http://www.tahoeleagueforcharity.org/

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© 2010 Barbara Keck

For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of The Tahoe Weekly. This article appeared in my column "It's Grape" in July 2010.

Watch for my forthcoming book: "Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date early Summer 2011, Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing.
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