Sunday, May 20, 2007

Beringer Winetasting at Prudential Observatory, Boston Back Bay

Wow what luck I had this past Friday evening.

I poked around online to see what was going on, and I came across a notice for a Meals on Wheels benefit winetasting at the top of the Prudential tower in Boston's Back Bay, hosted by Beringer at 6:30. Requested donation, $5.

This just sounded too good to be true but I thought I'd go over. I fully expected to either not get in or find out that some deep pocket $$ commitment was required, or ???. The Meals on Wheels people couldn't have been nicer. I paid my $5 for entry. Despite the rainy cloudy conditions the view was stunning, looking over the Esplanade, bridges, Cambridge at twilight. There was cheese and crackers and an "intro" glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious.

I arrived a bit late and most folks were seated at round tables covered with white tablecloths, with five wineglasses at each setting. Doug Frost hosted the tasting, taking us through the B Chardonnay and Private Reserve Chardonnay, the Pinot, and the Knights Valley and Private Reserve Cabernet. Doug was lively, funny and knowledgeable. He is a real wine professional, one distinction being that he is one of three poeple in the world to be both a Master Sommolier and Master of Wine.
Doug showed slides of the CA Napa Valley Wine Country, the history of Beringer, the famous Beringer Rhein House.

I enjoyed all the wines. The chardonnays reminded me how much I've liked both of these bottlings from Beringer over the years. The reserve was full of so much flavor, unusually multi-dimensional for a white wine. The Pinot was made in a lighter style but elegant and balanced. The cabs showed that you can get a tasty structured cab with balanced fruit for less than $20 (Knights Valley), and also why the Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet at $100+ is such a popular collectible.

The setting was really beautiful. While sipping the wines and listening to the presentation, I was drawn to the view out the window.

The tasting was about half full. A young couple sitting next to me were visiting the area from Texas. They chanced on the winetasting when they were going to the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. After the tasting I pulled them over to the window and pointed out some local landmarks. After the semi-formal part of the tasting we were offered another glass of wine along with cheese crackers and more of the great views. I stopped at the Meals on Wheels table on the way out, thanked them profusely and made an additional donation to their worthy cause. I had rushed out and forgotten my camera, so I borrow this image from someone in the www community (thanks):