“To Everything…  Turn, Turn, Turn”
OK, I know that we have an eclectic mix in the fold of LADV, so you can decide whether this is quoting The Byrds, Pete Seeger, Wilson-Phillips, or the Book of Ecclesiastes.  No matter who you associate these words with, I hope that you have better luck now than I am having in getting them out of one of those sing-along loops in my head.  That’s what I get for trying to be witty in finding a headline to introduce the topic of ‘change’.     …there is a season, turn, turn, turn  
If you actually read the previous newsletter, you know that Sam has moved out to that great den of American iniquity, where “what happens there, stays there”, Las Vegas.  And, you know that Terry has also bowed out of directing our little group to pour all his energies and varied talents into The Grammies, ACL and the ACL Fest.  We all know that nothing is forever; so while we now adjust to these changes, we also won’t be surprised if someday they rejoin our little group.  Yes, we’ll simply have to keep our chins up (to avoid spilling) and drink more wine for them.


So, what changes will there be?  First, there will not be anything fundamentally different about this “new” LADV.  The goals remain as you have known them for almost two decades; providing education about fine wine, to a variety of knowledge and interest levels, in a fun social settings, without trying to ‘sell’ anything or otherwise profit.  Those have been the tenets behind my efforts for these many years; do not expect them to change.  In exchange for Sam’s drollness and energy, I will be relying more on our long-time affiliate, Twin Liquors, to expand and diversify the topics.  David and the Twin team believe the best philosophy for their success is to assure the existence of a strong community of knowledgeable wine drinkers, and to offer what they want at good value; this makes them a perfect partner for us.  Twin will now step-up their participation both by acting as “point man” in the procurement of exciting wines that demonstrate and accent our learning, and by bringing in a more-diverse set of presenters and topics  - - yes, after 20-ish years, new faces anndd new ideas will come such as “fundamentals of food pairing”, “winemaker panels”, and more. 
But enough about philosophy…  What are we doing next?


 May 10      Classic Single Malts  - Our Annual Tasting of Scotch Whiskeys  
 (Wed)          at  Fleming’s          320 East 2nd  Street      457-1500          www.flemingssteakhouse.com
                        6:00 PM,     $50 members,   $60 non-members
If anything proves that things will be much the same in the ‘new’ LADV, the very presence of this annual non-wine event should provide the proof (nearly flammable, approximately  80 proof).  But to show the subtle change, we should all enjoy having a knowledgeable presentation of these spirits by James McCartney, one of the world’s seven "Masters of Scotch".  You will have the opportunity to hear more on the topic than our usual, “Wow, these are good.”

We will be led on a virtual tour of the six main producing areas which distill malt whiskey, learning how the products are influenced by their specific location and traditions.  Expect to taste through the Highlands, the biggest malt whisky producing region with also the widest variety; sampling both the West Highland style of malts and those from the Northern Highlands, generally with more sweetness and body than their lowland relations.  Speyside malts are the sweetest whiskeys, with a rich and complex flavor which, once recognized, are easy to identify.  The malt whiskey produced in the Lowlands is lighter and drier in character, which is why these malts make such excellent aperitifs.  And finally ending with the Island malts, characterized by a peaty, smoky nose and flavor; and to the Islay malts in particular, where the addition of iodine-tinged sea air and even more peat combine to create that distinctive character that you love or hate.

In addition to the ‘usual suspects’ that are the great classic representations of those regions, like Talisker and Glenkinchie, expect special treats like the 15 year-old Johnny Walker Green,    the almost-secret Cao Ila, and a celebration of the 175th birthday of Talisker to all be part of the dozen malts sampled.  To make the event all the more special, and so that you end the evening leaving with more than just that warm glow and memories of a great tasting, you will be getting    a Riedel ‘Vinum’ Single Malt Whiskey glass ($15 retail) to taste from and to take home with you.

Our hosts at Fleming’s will not only provide a great setting for this convivial event, expect to enjoy great appetizers that are classic Scotch Whiskey pairings, including cold-smoked salmon.  Note that this event will have a 6:00PM start time, adjusted to fit with its “happy hour” style.  Expect reservations to fill fast, so call to reserve your spot.     (40 attendees max) 

 May 25      Drinking like the French…  in a Brasserie
  (Thur)         at  Capitol Brasserie    310 Colorado Street     472-6770       www.capitolbaustin.com/  
                        7:00 PM,     $65 members,   $75 non-members
Alright, let’s face it, we think that we Americans have become quite the wine drinkers; but let’s face the facts.  The U.S. rates an embarrassing 36th place in the list of countries ranked by per-capita wine consumption.  On average, that’s less than 2 gallons of wine per person each year, while well over 50 gallons of soft drinks are consumed.  Those perennial wine champs, with their “French Paradox” combination of rich foods and healthier circulatory systems, average 16 gallons. For many of we LADV’ers, 2 gallons is just a normal evening, but the reason that the French lead the way in consumption is because it is not thought of as only a part of special events; wine is part of every day and every meal.  It need not be a Premier Cru Burgundy or First-Growth Bordeaux; everyday wine needs to be affordable, but of good, solid quality.

In much the same way, while Americans eat McDonalds or Taco Bell, the French dine in their neighborhood bistros and brasseries.  Again, everyday is not about foie gras and caviar, but it is about good quality ingredients that are well-prepared.  Our old friend Reed Clemons recently transformed Mezzaluna, which led Austin restaurants into what we’ve come to expect in fine dining and great wine lists, into the ‘Capitol Brasserie’.  In what has become the latest American ‘trend’, the brasserie serves up everyday French food that is very approachable and affordable.  Executive chef Andy Sasser’s training and background (Sardine Rouge, Aquarelle, Granite Café) provide the natural focus on simple high-quality ingredients with impeccable preparation.

Appetizers -    Grilled Littleneck Clams with Gazpacho Relish
                        Mini Omelette Basquaise Mille Fueille
                        Warm Tartines of Chevre and Tapenade
1st course  -    Grand Aioli - assorted crudites with garlic aioli
                        Charcuterie and Cheese Platters       (shared platters for the table)
2nd course  -   ‘Steak Frites’ - Onglette with Frites and Bordelaise
3rd course   -  Clafoutis Creme Brulee - almond and cherry creme brulee
And in keeping with the theme, we will explore the high-quality, robust, yet affordable wines from the South of France.  While a step up from ‘house wine’ served by the carafe, the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Cahors, and the southern Rhone would be very much at-home on the table of a Paris brasserie.  We will enjoy them and learn more about wines that can become an everyday fixture on your own table.     (40 attendees max) 
June 12      Over, Under, Sideways, Down  -  a worldwide tour of Pinot Noir
  (Mon)         at  Café Josie     1200-B West Sixth Street     322-9226      www.cafejosie.com  
                        7:00 PM,     $55 members,   $60 non-members
So, if I’m going to ask you what events you’d like to have, I guess that I‘m obligated to listen.  Following the recent ‘Cabernet Summit’, several people approached me suggesting a very similar event, except with the focus on Pinot Noir as the grape varietal.  This actually makes too much sense for me to ignore.  Not only is Pinot Noir todays hot new wine (thanks to that damn movie), it is perhaps my favorite grape and one that all agree provides the greatest reflection “of place”; that is,  it imbues more change than any other from the terroir where it is grown.  So, let’s do it…  What better wine is there to sample in its many different examples from regions around the world (in spite of the fact this all sounds just like the current Wine Spectator cover story).
The event will be in our usual “survey” format; fourteen great wines will be presented ‘blind’.  To make the event more educational and exciting, you’ll sample the wines of Faiveley and a Jadot Chambolle-Musigny from France, great wines of Morgan and Etude from California, Adelsheim Vineyard and others from Oregon, award-winning wine of The Crossing from New Zealand, and even 9th Island from Tazmania.  Everyone should discover new Pinot Noir and regions they’ll love.
Perhaps just as exciting, we’ll have the cozy confines of Café Josie all to ourselves, where our old friend Charles Mayes has promised to prepare a selection of hors d’oeuvres which will both bring broad smiles to our faces and complement these great wines.  It should be a stellar event, and a good value.  And finally, yes, those of you that are old enough to remember can now replace “Turn, Turn, Turn” in your head, with this mid-60’s Yardbirds hit.  I do expect the event to fill quickly due to the wines and location; be sure to make your reservations early.   (40 attendees max) 


Other News:

If you lose this newsletter or need to otherwise communicate, all of the latest information at the website: www.ladv.org .  If your contact information changes, be sure to pass along your new address, hone number, and/or e-mail address so that we can stay in touch.

If you’ve forgotten, the reason that we have membership dues (or get to you anyway with that extra ‘non-member fee’ for events) is to pay for our ongoing overhead which is almost entirely communications.  While the website and electronic means do cost some, they don’t come close to the costs of printing and mailing our announcements; each one you get costs almost two dollars. To reward and encourage the use of electronic media over paper, not to mention all those mushy “green” reasons, at the same time that printing and increased postage costs are forcing us to raise membership dues, we are going to reward those who are comfortable with only receiving e-mail and web communications with a much lower dues price. So, when you renew, you won’t be asked if you want paper or plastic; however, you will be asked if you want the new introductory special of an “e only” membership at $10 or if you want “e + paper” at $30.

As always, call  925-3985 to make your reservations and to keep them accurate.  After you make a reservation, PLEASE CALL if your plans change.  Communicating changes no later than 48 hours before an event will allow us to adjust, providing an opportunity to  either contact any who may be on the waiting list, or to make sure we don’t have to pay for wine and food that was reserved for you (and then we won’t have to contact you afterward to pass on those costs). 


  Sante!       See you at a tasting soon.