On March 8, over 100 alumni and their guests attended the Second Annual Signature Wine Tasting which was located in The Conference Center in University Hall. The setting was a million-dollar panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline.
The evening was kicked off by opening remarks from Jeanne Marano, Executive Director in the Office of Alumni Relations. The event was then turned over to Keith Pignataro, a Wine Associate at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace. Keith spent 25 years working on Wall Street, but has been in the process of starting a new and exciting career in the wine industry. In addition to sampling five Spanish wines, attendees enjoyed an assortment of hot foods and tapas. As the evening wound down, Montclair State University attire and prizes were raffled off to three lucky winners, and Jeanne Marano gave closing remarks. Attendees then had an opportunity to network and interact with other alumni, guests, and members of the current senior class. The tasting included five Spanish grape varietals:
- Cava Blend – Sparkling
Champagne style fermentation refers to a finish of the process in the bottle and sparkling wines produced in Spain are called Cava
- Albarino – White Wine
Spain produces Albarino to a significant degree in the Rías Baixas DO, especially in the town of Cambados. It is also common in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal
- Vuira Blend – White Wine
Viura , Spanish wine grape with Tokay as a synonym. The focus of white wine makers has been to enhance the vibrancy and fruit flavors of the wine
- Tempranillo – Red Wine
It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's noble grape
- Carignan Blend – Red Wine
Carignan is believed to have originated in Spain in the Aragon region and was historically a component of neighboring Rioja's red wine blend
Representing the Recent Alumni Network committee were members Melissa DeFeo '06, Chris Fitzpatrick '04, Adam Levoy '06 MAT, and Jesse Schwartzman '11.
Melissa DeFeo '06, had great things to say about the evening. "I had such a wonderful evening and am already looking forward to the next one," she says. "It was great to see so many alumni turnout for the event whether they came alone to make new acquaintances or as groups of friends who made an evening out of it. I learned more about Spanish wines in one evening than in all my trips there combined. The selections of wine are always perfect, unique and exciting but appealing to everyone's palate. I will definitely be ordering them in the future."
Adam Levoy '06 MAT also thought the evening was a success, saying. "it was great to see such a large showing and representation of many generations of alumni come together for a fun and relaxing night of wine tasting and socializing. This was my second year coming to this event, and I'll certainly be there for its third!"
The event was made possible through generous support from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.