Wines Around the World

A wine tasting event

Jess Pomponio

Seventy alumni, students, and guests gathered on December 6 in The Conference Center in University Hall to take a journey of wines around the world.  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 Mike Kaminski of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, who spoke about five cabernet sauvignon varietals.

The audience received an overview of cabernet sauvignon, and Mike reviewed the basics on how to truly taste wine. See – What color is it? Sniff – What does it smell like? Swirl –  Swirl the wine.  Sniff Again – Did it change?  Sip –  What does taste like? The group then moved on to sampling each of the wine, and were asked to give feedback on each of these characteristics. Mike also took questions from the crowd, and shared a lot of great facts about the wines, the grape, and the regions from which they came from.

In addition to sampling the wines, attendees enjoyed an assortment of hot foods and antipasto. As the evening wound down, Montclair State University prizes were raffled off to two lucky winners, and Jenna Peraino, Assistant Director, 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 cabernet sauvignon varietals:

·         2009 Frescobaldi Castiglioni Toscana
A Cabernet based blend from the Tuscany region of Italy

·         2009 Wente 1883 Caberent Sauvignon
A Single Varietal Wine from Livermore Valley AVA in California

·         2008 Vina Alicia Cabernet Paso de Piedra
A Single Varietal Cabernet From the Mendoza region of Argentina

·         2009 Dandelion Pride of the Fleurieu Cabernet Sauvignon
A Single varietal Cabernet from the Fleurieu Peninsula in Australia

·         2009 Chateau d'Aurilhac
A Cabernet based blend made in the Haut Medoc area of Bordeaux France

This event was sponsored by the Recent Alumni Network which addresses the special interests of recent alums by sponsoring opportunities for networking, community service, social gatherings, cultural outings, and reunions. 

Representing the Recent Alumni Network committee were members Melissa DeFeo '06, Chris Fitzpatrick '04, Ameet Barot '05, Joseph Christensen '09, Jon Preciado '10, '12 MBA, and Shaqeel Radford '10. Tia Byrd represented the Student Alumni Council, and Alumni Recruitment Team members Ebony Adkins '99, Tracy Hetrick Aytch '09, Eva Rodriguez '09, and Karen Kelly Travellin '82 were also in attendance.

Joseph Christensen '09, thought the event was successful in more than one way. "It was an enjoyable evening for the palate as well as the mind," he notes. "I was pleased to see a large attendance of other Montclair State alumni and we all got to know a very important grape in the modern wine market. Such an opportunity to learn and sit at the table with other alums, while helping to support the school and current students, was like the best pairing of wine and food. As a RAN Committee member, I hope we can bring even more exciting and educational programing like this to our fellow alumni."

Another RAN committee member, Melissa DeFeo '06, adds, "the wine selection was fabulous. I have a newfound appreciation for Cabernet Sauvignon. The thing I enjoyed the most was catching up with fellow alumni. It was a great crowd and it looked like everyone was having a great time!"

To view photos from the event, visit MONTCLAIRconnect, the exclusive online community for Montclair State alumni.

Event made possible through generous support from Liberty Mutual Insurance.