December 2019

President’s Message

The very busy month of December is in the books. The fabulous Annual Holiday Dinner & Dance was once again enjoyed by our members with a record turnout. See Brian’s article for details on this amazing evening. Our members showed off their dance steps even to the last song with great music from the “Three 2 Sevens.” Thanks to all of you who generously donated gifts to the Costa Mesa Fire Department’s “Spark of Love” children’s toy drive. Thanks to Brian and Sue McDonald for their outstanding efforts in arranging this sold out event.

The Winemakers’ Group Holiday Potluck was also a sold out event! Thank you to Kevin Donnelly for once again securing the beautiful lakeside site and the festive atmosphere created by the Scotts and McLeans. Delicious food and great wines were enjoyed by all!

The OCWS will once again have a busy schedule of events for 2020. I encourage you to note the upcoming events on your personal 2020 calendars so you do not miss out on events of interest to you. We have a wide variety of activities for our members with details in the related articles. The “Save the Date” column provides the dates of all upcoming events. Most of our recent events have had waitlists, and all events have online sign-ups. Please call the OCWS office should you need assistance.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year. Please remember to drink responsibly and consider using a designated driver or ride service. Cheers!

Bill Redding, President

Mini-Tasting: Big Reds Recap

On Saturday, November 23, over 102 members and guests attended the November Big Reds Mini-Tasting at seven host sites.

The blind tasting included five flights of two wines each. The flights covered Proprietary Reds, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Six of the ten wines finished in the top three at one or more sites. The three favorite wines are listed below:

  • 1st Place: 2015 Mount Peak Zinfandel Rattlesnake Vineyard, Sonoma—three first, one second, and two third place finishes—$39.95
  • 2nd Place: NV Locations CA-7 Red Blends—two first, one second, and three third place finishes—$17.95
  • 3rd Place: 2016 Jaffurs Petite Sirah, Santa Barbara County—two first and two second place finishes—$31.99

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Hosts Chris & Hank Bruce: Mary Mulcahey “Brownies”
  • Host Virginia & Karl Kawai: Dino Amico “Chicken Scarpariello with Pickled Peppers”
  • Hosts Judy & Bob Koeblitz: June & Vince Porto “BBQ Pepper Flank Steak”
  • Hosts Greg & Cathy Risling: Laurie Preus “Thai Pumpkin Soup”
  • Hosts John & Denise Scandura: Rich Skoczylas “Peach Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce”
  • Hosts Shelly & Ed Trainor: Mary Giedzinski “Zinfandel Braised Short Ribs”
  • Hosts Dave & Barbara White: Barbara White “Short Rib & Mushroom Lasagna”

Congratulations to all the winners! A big thank you to the hosts!

– George Cravens, Director