A future with Wine
Last year at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival, a couple approached me and spent a few minutes telling me how much they enjoyed the festival and how excited they were to discover NC wines. I thought no more about it until several months later I received an email from this couple, Debby and Philip Halpern stating again that they had so enjoyed the festival that they were considering moving to our area from Chicago and starting a new business involving North Carolina wines. This was founding of NC Wine Gifts and this year they are at the festival as an exhibitor, promoting their selections of the best North Carolina wines available for shipment to your home, office, or as a gift for your relatives, friends and business partners.
After the festival, Debby and Philip spent several months traveling around NC and they selected 33 wines for their collection, that they considered the best available. With so many great choices, how could they narrow the selection even more and communicate to their customers that these wines did not just reflect their taste in wines but were good wines based on independent criteria.
Well, they made the acquaintance of Chuck Blethen and the French Broad Vignerons (FBV) and together they researched how NC wines were rated. Guess what, there are no rating scales used to evaluate local wines other than popularity contests and state fairs. The FBV group decided to adopt the Davis Card wine evaluation criteria which is a 20 point evaluation scale developed at the University of California at Davis and apply this criteria to the selected wines.
In the early spring of this year, 12 of the club members met to learn about the Davis Card wine evaluation criteria and how to become wine evaluators. It was a fun and full afternoon, one of discovery (yes, I was one of them!), and understanding that you do not judge a wine by what you like, but on the Appearance, Aroma & Bouquet, Taste & Texture, Aftertaste, and Overall Impression of the wine being evaluated. A few weeks later we met with Debby and Phillip to evaluate the 33 wines and help them select the 12 best for advertising on the NC Wine Gifts site. It was a tough job but we did it!
I just received an email from Debby and they are growing, and they have just incorporated the North Carolina Wine Club into their selections. “We look forward to bringing the convenience of receiving consumer quality rated, award winning NC wines to wine lovers on a regular basis through the new NC Wine Club.”
You will meet Debby and Philip, Chuck Blethen, members of the FBV at the festival. The FBV are the judges for the Amateur Wine Competition (almost 40 wines were entered), and you will get an opportunity to talk to them about how they evaluated the wines, and how you can apply their evaluation criteria for tasting wines while you are at the festival, to help you choose wines to take home with you.
I learned a lot and have a better respect for our local wines, dry, sweet, fruit, Vitis vinifera or Vinifera hybrids. There are over 110 NC wineries in North Carolina that I would love to visit but that takes a lot of time. So, I have just had NC Wine gifts to select 3 dry reds for gifting to some great folks wishing them success in their new venture, just as I wish Debby and Philip much success with their new venture. Check on them and all the wines at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival this Saturday, August 25th at the US Cellular Center, downtown Asheville.