By Helene & Roy Horowitz

So, who better to co-write an article on wine tasing than the designated driver? This was another successful social event, the NNJR Porsche Club’s 44th Annual Wine Tasting, sponsored by Paul Miller Porsche and ShopRite Sunrise Kitchens. Spirits of Caldwell assisted in the wine selection. You could readily tell the amount of effort and attention to detail put in by Cindy and Tony Cristello, NNJR-PCA Social Chairpersons and their team. They did a fantastic job transforming the Paul Miller Porsche showroom on Sunday afternoon, September 25, into a five-star restaurant. Our adventure with the Vinos de Espana begins as we entered the very comfortable banquet set
ting. Attendees were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine, perfect for conversation in the reception area, before being seated at tables covered with white linen tablecloths and complete with fall decorations. Bob Barry from Martin Scott Wines, our wine expert for the evening, gave us a bit of history on each wine after our servers Bill Gilbert, Tom Iervolino, Doug Holcomb, Peter Fried and Allan Gardner, filled our glasses. Many of the vineyards from which the wines were selected have been family owned for generations. As Cindy and Tony’s invitation stated “Spain has been producing wine since the first century AD. It is currently the world’s third largest producer of wine behind France and Italy and the top exporter.” Our instructions for the night were “Swirl, smell and sip.” For the avid wine connoisseurs and novices alike, a handy tally sheet was provided at each table setting, detailing the history of each wine sampled, the region in which it was produced, a description of the vineyard- i.e. its acreage, soil, climate, varietal of grapes, and aging process. It was noted that many of the grapes are harvested only by hand due to the mountainous terrain, to prevent bruising by machinery, or simply to ensure that the best grapes are selected. As we feasted on delicacies such as garlic chilled prawn, pan-fried salted cod cake with lem
on aioli (is your mouth watering yet?), spice infused lamb chops, and grilled polenta and cheese, to name a few, we sipped away. The food selections were paired perfectly to complement the wines sampled. Of course no table would be complete without cheese, crackers, olives, macadamia nuts and grapes, staples that we’ve come to associate with wine tastings. More than 100 NNJR Porsche Club members
used the evening as an opportunity to make new friends, welcome new members, talk about cars and roads traveled, and, of course, compare notes on wine. Questions such as “why are wines decanted?”, “why are grapes with broken skins discarded?”, “why does wine cause puckering of the lips?”, “how are vineyards maintained for hundreds of years?” were all answered by Bob Barry.  His
knowledge was encyclopedic – everything you wanted to know about wines and then some.  You could tell he truly loves his job (who wouldn’t?). Wine enthusiasts of all knowledge levels were enlightened.  To end the evening, platters of fresh baked pastries, cookies and brownies were served for those who left room for a few extra calories. Attendees also had the opportunity to purchase a few bottles of the wines sampled. And, a souvenir wine glass to add to your stemware collection, was given on the way out the door as a happy visual memory of this fun event. Salud!