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Robin Garr

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WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:52 pm

What do you call ...

If it's a "pack" of wolves and a "flock" of lambs, a "pride" of lions and a "gaggle" of geese and even a "parliament" of owls, what should we name a gathering of wine geeks? If you've got a great idea for an appropriate collective term for wine lovers assembled in groups, I hope you'll share your inspiration on this topic.

One certain contender, though, goes back nearly two decades in wine-enthusiast tradition: "Cool." This concept emerged in the early 1990s when a group of Internet-connected wine geeks in the Detroit and Ann Arbor area decided to get together for a late-summer picnic and community wine tasting. They dubbed the event "MoCool" - "Motor City Cooperative OffLine" - and soon saw the small event grow into an annual tradition that lured hundreds of enthusiasts from around the U.S. and beyond to Ann Arbor every August.

<table border="0" align="center" width="350"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/semicool.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr><tr><td>SemiCool revelers gathered in a comfortable hotel conference room.</td></tr></table>
The concept spawned respectful imitators, including "NiagaraCool" in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y., an early summer event that's building its own tradition.

In the summer of 2007, though, MoCool's string came dangerously close to snapping. An irreconcilable schedule conflict ruled out the usual lakeside picnic in the countryside near Ann Arbor, and no immediate alternatives were available. Left without a place for a party, the local organizing committee regretfully announced that there'd be no MoCool this year.

But as participants had always predicted, even if they called off MoCool, there would still be a MoCool. And sure enough, a band of stalwarts in our WineLovers Discussion Group soon hatched a plan. Picnic or no, they'd gather in Ann Arbor on the usual weekend, bring wine, meet friends, go out to dinner and find a place to spend a happy Saturday socializing, sharing wine and good things to eat.

With many thanks to a cast of organizers too numerous to mention, but certainly including OW, BobH, the Noland Brothers and JuliaB, if there was no MoCool, there was still SemiCool. Wine lovers gathered from all over, just as always, and the usual MoCool spirit filled a happy weekend that included a fine dinner at The Earle in Ann Arbor, a sociable indoor "picnic" at the city's Hawthorn Suites hotel, a "horizontal" tasting of 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the usual impromptu in-room tastings.

The lesson of this sermon is simple: Wine appreciation is not a solitary pursuit, it's a social hobby. Get a group of wine friends together to share fun, food and fine wine, and it's awfully hard to make them stop; and that's a good thing.

I've put my SemiCool report on our MoCool Home Page. You're welcome to click and read the details, including tasting reports on more than 60 wines, at <b>SemiCool 2007</b>, the year that MoCool <i>almost</i> didn't happen.

To whet your appetite, here are my notes just a few of the wines tasted, offering a bare hint at the depth and breadth of the splendid bottles that SemiCool wine lovers shared:

<b>Vincent Girardin 2000 Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru</b> - From the wine list at The Earle, outstanding white Burgundy. Golden, rich, lots of fruit remaining, some tropical fruit, with gentle, appropriate hazelnut notes showing its maturity.

<b>Chateau Grand Traverse 2005 Old Mission Peninsula Michigan Edelzwicker</b> - Pale gold. Lovely, subtle floral notes. Crisp and fresh, just off-dry.

<b>Chateau de la Gardine 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape</b> - Translucent purple, brick edge. Black fruit and smoked meat, most well-preserved yet. Deep fruit and fragrant pepper, fine structure and balance.

<b>Longview 2005 Leelanau Peninsula Cabernet Franc</b> - Another surprising wine from Michigan. Deep purple. Ripe, grapey, extracted, balanced, showing amazing depth for a Michigan red. (Longview Winery is currently featured on the front page of <b>Michwine</b>, MoCool organizer Joel Goldberg's excellent Michigan wine Website.)

<b>Mitchelton 2000 Airstrip Marsanne</b> - A truly offbeat Australian wine, made from late-harvested Marsanne grapes air-dried in the style of an Italian <i>passito</i> but not sweet. Pale gold. Bold apricot and peach aromas. Full and rich, seems sweet at first but finishes just off-dry.

<B>Stag's Leap Vineyard 1994 Napa Valley Fay Cabernet Sauvignon</b> - Beautiful garnet. Subtle cassis, black fruit, great structure and length. At peak, a vivid demonstration of the benefits of cellaring ageworthy wines.

<b>The Four Graces 2003 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir</b> - Ruby. Subtle cherries, elegant and appealing. More forward on the palate than the nose, intense but balanced. Truly "Burgundian," a great Oregon Pinot.

<b>Germain Saincrit 1997 Chateau de Fesles Bonnezeaux</b> - A rare but truly memorable Chenin Blanc dessert wine from the Loire Valley. Bright gold. Amazing aromas jump from the glass, pineapple creme brulee. Unctuous, creamy, intense sweetness shaped by firm acidity.

For many more tasting notes from SemiCool 2007, visit the MoCool Home Page,
http://www.wineloverspage.com/mocool/
where you'll also find a signup form for next year's MoCool E-mail list.

<B>FIND WINES ONLINE:</B>
To look up vendors and compare prices for these or any other wines, we recommend the database at Wine-Searcher.com:
http://www.wine-searcher.com/?referring_site=WLP

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Dave Guimond

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How about a "spitoon" of tasters?

by Dave Guimond » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:53 pm

or a "bunch" of drunks? :D
Wish I could have made it Robin - but my job prevailed as usual.
Too bad web banking software upgrades have to take place on weekends...
I had '82 Leoville-Barton and '82 Brainaire-Ducru standing up in the cellar.
I guess they'll keep another year...
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Emmy Morrison

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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Emmy Morrison » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:30 pm

How about a flight??? Seems logical enough... A flight of wine geeks!
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Robin Garr

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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:02 pm

Emmy Morrison wrote:How about a flight??? Seems logical enough... A flight of wine geeks!


Not bad, Emmy! But do you think that many wine geeks can get off the ground? ;)

Welcome to the forum! Thanks for joining in.
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Re: How about a "spitoon" of tasters?

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:03 pm

Dave Guimond wrote:or a "bunch" of drunks? :D
Wish I could have made it Robin - but my job prevailed as usual.
Too bad web banking software upgrades have to take place on weekends...
I had '82 Leoville-Barton and '82 Brainaire-Ducru standing up in the cellar.
I guess they'll keep another year...


"Bunch" and "cluster" are both good, but kind of obvious. ;)

Sorry you couldn't make it, Dave, but at least at this point I think everyone is increasingly confident that we'll find a way to make MoCool happen again next year. Maybe bigger and better than ever!
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Mark Lipton

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Re: How about a "spitoon" of tasters?

by Mark Lipton » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:26 pm

I'll propose a term already in use in a related context: a jeebus. Example: "there was a jeebus of winegeeks at table 2 last night -- 37 bottles for 10 people"

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Kristen B Caldwell

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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Kristen B Caldwell » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:35 pm

Perhaps a Nebuchadnezzar of oenephiles? That doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, though, does it?

I thought flight was very cute--although Robin's point about getting off the ground does limit it, along with a vertical of viners or anything like that. :) A table of tasters? I kind of like the idea of alliteration in the collective. A society of sippers?

8)
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Robert Taitano » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:37 pm

Seems the play is on Cool "Cooperative Online" and regions are playing to they're area but with a large cross section covering everyone why not just be "VinoCool" 8) dibs on copy right !!!!
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:40 pm

Robert Taitano wrote:Seems the play is on Cool "Cooperative Online" and regions are playing to they're area but with a large cross section covering everyone why not just be "VinoCool" 8) dibs on copy right !!!!


Copyright claim noted, you cool guy! ;) Welcome to the forum, Robert!
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:34 pm

Welcome to the Forum, Emmy and Robert. You'll find a gaggle, er, a bunch, um, a covey.... er a LOT of really friendly and helpful people here! :wink:

Kristen, I kinda come down on the side of alliteration too. But my work day was too long and I have no ideas to contribute at this point. :oops:
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Re: How about a "spitoon" of tasters?

by Bob Noland » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:17 pm

Dave Guimond wrote:or a "bunch" of drunks? :D
Wish I could have made it Robin - but my job prevailed as usual.
Too bad web banking software upgrades have to take place on weekends...
I had '82 Leoville-Barton and '82 Brainaire-Ducru standing up in the cellar.
I guess they'll keep another year...


David,
Sorry you could not make it, we were hoping you would. Of course the Noland brothers were almost no shows as our Mother took a nasty fall right befoer the event. Luckily, she was not too seriously injured and we made it another year... By the way, you could of said a "well behaved" bunch of drunks :wink:
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:44 pm

I think I like "flight" best so far although a "gaggle of geeks" has a nice ring to it.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Howie Hart » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:11 pm

Too bad I missed it, but I did have a good time at my 40-year high school reunion. I knew it would be a great success with that gang. I'll see all of you next year, if not before.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Bob Ross » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:24 am

One problem with "flight", Mike, is that it is already used to mean a number of glasses of wine tasted at the same time; this is a very common definition: "A flight of wine is a sampling of several different varieties."

See for example:

Blu, the penthouse bar that debuted within the last year atop the Pfister Hotel, is among several bars and restaurants offering wine flights: sample glasses of a half-dozen or so wines, often served in carrying racks. Wine flights are a way to explore different wines without having to commit to an entire glass, let alone an entire bottle.

http://www2.jsonline.com/dd/dinmil/jan0 ... 011801.asp

It's troubling to me that both the people and the wines would have the same name.
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Graeme Gee » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:29 am

Hmmm. 'Barrique' has one syllable too many, so how about "a rique of geeks"...
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:05 am

Graeme Gee wrote:Hmmm. 'Barrique' has one syllable too many, so how about "a rique of geeks"...
Graeme


This might work!

So say we have a group of ten wine lovers who get themselves all snockered by drinking twenty bottles of a grand cru from Laurent. We'd then have a "reekin' rique of geeks tweaked on St. Denis from Dominique"?
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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by David Lole » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:12 am

It would be much to rude/crass/vulgar to use some Aussie vernacular "a pack of piss-pots", so I won't.

But a few (based on the same theme) that might work (although I know that most won't apply to the great crowd that habituates these parts) -

A bevy of boozers

A plethora of partakers

A wealth of wino's

A gross of guzzlers

A harem of habituals

An inundation of imbibers or an inundation of inebriates

The Assembly of Wine Gods (from left field, but I kinda like it)

A dearth of dipsomaniacs or a dearth of drunkards
Cheers,

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Re: WTN /Wine Advisor: What do you call ... (SemiCool!)

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:19 am

A pile of Oenophiles
A herd of nerds
A roundup of Riedels
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.

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