Periodically I attend charity events that I write about, only if there is wine involved in the evening. Recently I went to a black tie optional event, unfortunately without my Bride, as she always makes any affair even more special. The event was the first year celebration of a mentor program to help high school young men better prepare themselves to attend college, a noble concept. The program was spearheaded by a local television journalist in the Detroit area and it was very well attended. The event was held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History located in Wayne State University campus area of the city. This was the first time I had attended this museum and it is a block over from the famed Detroit Institute of Arts, which I have visited often over the years since my elementary school education days.
I was attending this event through the largesse of an associate of mine as he was making a very generous gift to the top three students of a group of fourteen. With the benefit of his donation we had “V.I.P.” tickets which allowed us to go to a special early affair prior to the actual event. There was live entertainment and a special buffet set up for everyone to have hot and cold appetizers and a chance to mingle; and especially as a chance to meet the young men that were being honored for the evening. This area was in a side room in the museum that featured some beautiful pieces of art, but unfortunately the lighting was a bit too dim, for picture taking in the room. I have to say that the mentors did an exceptional job, as the young men were very polished and gregarious as they introduced themselves to the guests in the room. There was also television cameras recording parts of this special group and a special wall erected for photo ops with the logos of the event and some of the major sponsors, and there was another wall erected outside of museum with a road carpet at the entrance for another chance for photo ops. It had the “feel” of an Academy Award night.
Along with the buffet of appetizers, there was bar set up in one corner of the room with a selection of beer, liquor and wines for the guests to enjoy. There were four wines being served and I tried two of the wines so that I could write about them. The wines offered were a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot, a Chardonnay and a Moscato. The two wines that I tried were both made by Canyon Road Winery of Modesto, California. The Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 had the generic California designation, but it tasted like what one would expect a Cabernet Sauvignon to taste like, which is a good thing. The room was getting warm, and I decided to switch over to a chilled wine especially as more people started coming into the room. Normally one goes from a white wine to a red wine, but I ended up doing it in reverse. I started drinking the Canyon Road Chardonnay 2012 and enjoyed it better then the red wine that I started with. This wine also had the generic California designation and it was a crisp Chardonnay rather then the buttery oakey wine that one encounters from the Napa Valley area and it just hit the spot, at least for this scribe who was making notes as well as enjoying the evening.
After this salon closed we then attended the main event in an auditorium where there was music, awards and accolades both for the mentors and the graduates. It was a polished event, even on their first night, so you could appreciate all the work the planners did. As a side note, from my clothier days, I appreciated how there was even a couple times where they mentioned the fact, that they taught the young gentlemen even the fine art of how to tie a necktie and I was glad to see that it was a Windsor Knot.