On a Saturday in September of 2015 we held Assemble for Adler 2. As many of you know this was a benefit for my grandson Adler Bear Carris who suffers from pediatric brain cancer. The benefit was a great success which you can read about by clicking here. As you’ll also read in the article, wine played a huge role in the benefit.
Several weeks prior to the benefit, good friend and wine buddy Dallas Bergl called and said he wanted to auction off a wine dinner to be held at our Lexington Event Centre. The cornerstone of the event would be that he would supply all the wines which would be rated at 95 point or higher. The auction concept was that the first ten people who bid over $200 each would be selected to participate in the dinner/tasting. I felt this was a terrific idea. But since it was for the benefit of Adler I didn’t feel right about Dallas shouldering all the effort. So with a quick note to Dallas I suggested that since this proposed dinner/tasting was to benefit Adler, I would be happy to participate in providing wine and covering the cost of catering for the event.
A short discussion ensued and we decided to team up to pull from our respective wine cellars the wines with ratings of 95 points or greater. Auctioning the opportunity to attend this event was a big success. At Adler’s benefit we had thirteen people bid up to $250.00 per person to attend. Remember, all the bidders knew was that the wines being tasted would be 95 points and higher. Dallas and I didn’t even know at that point what the wines would be. I don’t believe that either of us realized what amazing wines would be put forth to taste…at least I didn’t.
A couple weeks after the event Dallas and I met to figure out all the logistics and what we needed to do to pull this tasting off, like select a caterer to provide all the food. With little discussion we decided to ask Sean Kelley of Temper Grille if he would cater the event. Sean has a big wine list at Temper Grille, a great personal wine palate, is a good chef and had purchased a lot of wine at Adler’s benefit. When asked he quickly said “yes.” Thank you Sean for taking on the project….you were simply great.
Next came when to hold the tasting. It is hard to get so many busy people together at the same time. We selected Wednesday, December 2, 2015, as the date of the wine tasting, hoping that would work out. Fortunately, that date worked for almost everyone on the original list. As word of this exciting event spread throughout the local wine community we had additional interest in attending. We decided to let the bidding continue and raised the number of attendees from ten to twenty. In the end we had eighteen people in attendance and final bidding ended at $500.00 per person.
The folks in attendance were:
Dallas & Dawn Bergl
John & Angie Miller
John Katalinich & Julie Rousseau
Nicole Barrow & Jon Hosterman
Tom & Dana Pletcher
Terry & Stacey Rodino
Chris & Shawn Oliver
Brad & Regina Emberton
Roman Yoder – Temper Grille
Chef Sean Kelley – Temper Grille
Here are a few shots of the people in attendance:
Chef Sean Kelley did an incredible job of pairing the food with the wine. He was at a huge disadvantage from the start, as he never had the opportunity to taste any of the wines prior to the dinner. He had to research tasting notes from others to understand the wines’ flavor profiles. From that research he selected food for each course and paired that food with the wine list. The only guidance we provided was that he had free rein to prepare whatever food he wanted to pair with these incredible wines. His pairings were spot-on and delicious. The last, a steak course, was served with two 100-point wines: the 2007 Colgin IX Estate Red Wine and the 2005 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet. I have enjoyed a lot of wine in restaurants around the globe and never had the opportunity to taste two 100-point wines with one course before. Those two wines were stunning and what a finish to the main course…and then came dessert with a 100-point Sherry.
Here are some photos of the evening’s food:
I must tell you it took some time and study to pull all these wines together. There was no opportunity to taste the wines prior to the tasting, as the wines selected are in very limited supply and very expensive. The list was pulled together by research and, of course, wine ratings.
Dallas submitted the first list of wines from his cellar which included a 2007 Shafer Hillside Select rated at 100 points by Parker and a 2010 Harlan Estate Red wine rated at 100 points by Antonio Galloni and James Suckling. Chef Kelley immediately dismissed these wines as too young and didn’t want to waste them by opening them now. So it was back to the drawing board to replace those two, hundred pointers. After more research and digging around in our wine cellars, Dallas and I finally came up with the following wine list:
Pre-dinner tasting period
2012 Stonestreet Alexander Mountain Estate Upper Barn Chardonnay
Rated at 97/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $68.00 per bottle
2007 Maybach family Vineyards Materium Cabernet Sauvignon
Rated at 99/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $391.00 per bottle
2007 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Wine
Rated at 96+/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $150.00 per bottle
2007 Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon
Rated at 96/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $141.00 per bottle
2005 Dominus Red Wine
Rated at 98/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $178.00 per bottle
2004 Bond Estates St. Eden Red Wine
Rated 98/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $320.00 per bottle
Wines with Dinner
2010 Aubert Wines Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay
Rated at 96/100 points by Robert Parker and Antonio Galloni
Average price $160.00 per bottle
2007 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red Wine
Rated at 100/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $597.00 per bottle
2006 Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Marchiori Vineyard Malbec Argentina
Rated at 99/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $182.00 per bottle
2005 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Rated at 100/100 pointed by Robert Parker
Average price $442.00 per bottle
2004 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Rated at 100/100 points by Robert Parker
Average price $231.00 per bottle
2011 Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada, Montilla – Moriles Spain – Sherry
Rated at 100/100 points
Average price $126.00 per bottle
There were some amazing wines poured throughout the evening’s event. Kurt Janowsky, local restaurateur said: “I don’t know of any wine tasting ever held in our area like this one. There will probably never be another.”
Not only did we all eat some wonderful food prepared by Chef Sean Kelley and taste some outstanding wines, we raised another $3,800.00 for the Adler Carris medical fund.
As my daughter Elizabeth reported during the evening, we are very excited to report that Adler received his quarterly MRI in October and his cancer is stable. His chemo treatments have stopped (after 52 in 15 months). He has returned to his kindergarten class full time and is enjoying it a lot.
In a couple weeks Adler will go back to Chicago for another MRI and the removal of his port. The doctors are hoping and remain confident that he will remain stable for a good period of time and not require additional treatments of any type.
Another piece of good news is that the pain Adler was experiencing in his butt just stopped after almost two years. He announced to his mother one day about six weeks ago that his butt no longer hurts. We believe this to be a miracle. The doctors have taken him off all pain medication at this point.
We are at a good point now in Adler’s battle against cancer. But, we can never lose site of the fact that his cancer is inoperable and will never go away. We will always have to deal with it daily.
Let me share some more of the comments by the attendees:
Dallas Bergl stated: “Carl, the dinner provided the best wine line-up of any event I have attended, the food was outstanding and the cause (supporting Adler) was the true highlight of the evening. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you for making it all come together.”
Sean Kelley stated: “For the wine that you offered and the food we served, this dinner would have cost at least $550.00 per person…if not more. What a deal for some high-end deliciousness.”
And finally, Tom Welsh said: “It was a pleasure attending the wine dinner in benefit of Adler. It was good to see some familiar faces from other Tiedemann wine dinners and to meet some new people as well. The food was excellent and of course the array of wines was amazing. Many of them were once-in-a-lifetime wines for me: A wine geek’s paradise.”
From my perspective it truly was an amazing evening. I am sure that as Dallas and I purchased and collected these wines neither of us ever thought we would assemble them all together for such an evening. In a short three plus hours we accomplished a lot. As Tom Welsh said, we saw old friends and met new; we tasted some incredible wines and ate some delicious food; and let us not lose sight of why we all assembled in the first place: to assist six-year-old Adler in his courageous battle against cancer.
Yes, the wine is gone but the friendship and memories from the evening remain. Perhaps the wine did its job.
As always I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics please do so in the comments section below.
Until next week,
Tiedemann On Wines Wine Club Upcoming Events:
January 28, 2016 – McCarthy’s Wine dinner featuring premium Italian wines
February 13, 2016 – Uptown Kitchen Valentine’s Wine Dinner featuring Italian Wines
February 18, 2016 – McCarthy’s Wine Dinner featuring White Oak Wines
April 7, 2016 – McCarthy’s Wine Dinner Featuring Three Clicks Wine