A la Carte: Raise your glass

Taste your way through reds and whites at Glory of the Grape

The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its 8th annual Glory of the Grape Wine Tasting on Sunday, June 7 at the Marco Island Yacht Club. The popular bacchanalian bash starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets for the event are an affordable $40 this year — down $20 from past year’s $60 ticket prices — because of the economy, stated Vicki Williams, MICC event coordinator: This is a very fun event and a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening. Funds raised from this event help to keep membership dues from increasing, she stated, noting that event sponsors include, ARA Insurance, Comprehensive Business Solutions, M&I Bank, Marco Eagle, Marco Office Supply, Orion Bank, as well as Pat Neale, Publix Supermarket and Marco Sun Times. Wines will be provided by Jim Bono, owner of Marco Wine Seller.

“I bring in wines from six distributors,” Bono explained. “Each one will supply a red and white wine each from two growing (geographic) regions comprising 12 countries, and featuring premier wineries for instance, Argentina’s Bolium Winery noted for malbec, a currently trendy red wine, or a Chilean chardonnay from the Tierra del Sol Winery.”

“Other regions represented are South America, Spain, Italy and, of course, France for an excellent red Cote du Rhone from Delas Winery and White Bordeaux from Chateau Tertre de L.aunay.” Bono added.

“In the United States’ Northwest wine regions represented by Oregon and Washington there’s a riesling and pinot noir along with cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay respectively. Goodies from California include Livermore Valley’s longest operating winery in the country – Wente Brothers Winery’s Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Napa Valley’s Folie au Deux Winery chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Last but not least are a riesling and shiraz from Australia’s McWilliams and North Davidson Wineries respectively and Sileni Winery’s pinot noir and an Overstone Sauvignon Blanc, both from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

“I’ve been doing this for many years, and all of them have been memorable and lots of fun,” Bono related, “How it works – I set up six wine tasting tables and the Marco Island Yacht Club supplies the appropriate food pairings. My staff includes both men and women wine experts who will be pouring at each of the tables and also are available to answer any questions from event guests.”

Bono also mentioned he will be taking future orders that evening for any of the wines at very attractive, discounted prices. Wine lovers may also visit Bono at the Marco Wine Cellar, 937 N. Collier Blvd. in Sunset Plaza. New summer are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Chamber’s wine tasting event is open to the public and tickets may be purchased at the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce office, 1102 N. Collier Blvd., during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 394-7594 for information.

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