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Mediterranean Madness Weekend!
I first heard about the MO'COOL (MOtown COoperative Off-Line) wine tasting event during a chance meeting last spring with one of its organizers, Jay Baldwin. We were both browsing at one of our favorite wine shops, the Cloverleaf Market, in Southfield, Michigan, and being typical wine lovers, had struck up a conversation regarding our favorite styles and selections. When I happened to mention our Gang of Pour site, Jay responded by saying that he and his wife were part of a group of friends who put together a three-day extravaganza each August, the details of which were posted online in Robin Garr's Wine Pages.
I made my purchases, bid him adieu, and drove home as quickly as the speed limit allowed. I immediately called up Mr. Garr's detailed notes regarding the wines and activities featured in the previous two incarnations of MO'COOL, and was amazed by the scope of the festivities.
Originally organized in 1992, as a get-together for midwestern netizens who frequented the Prodigy wine board, it quickly grew to include posters from the CompuServe Wine Forum. These days, you might say that attendance is across the boards; participants also include regulars from AOL, Garr's Wine Lover's Discussion Group, Brad Harrington's West Coast Wine Discussion Group, and the Wine Spectator Bulletin Boards.
The events begin with a Friday night wine dinner at a local restaurant, coordinated by renowned Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon.
Saturday features a big BBQ at one of the organizers' homes; participants are asked to bring at least one bottle of wine to contribute to the tasting. Some, however, bring as many as six, or more!
Finally, a formal tasting is held on Sunday, at a wine friendly establishment in the area.
Each MO'COOL weekend is thematic. This year's events were billed as "Mediterranean Madness," and featured wines that were produced within 100 miles of that historic body of water. Besides selections from such obvious locales as France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, there were also bottles from Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, and Corsica.
As soon as co-organizer Joel Goldberg announced the agenda online in mid-July, the Director and I put in our reservations; our check was in the mail shortly thereafter. Because of prior commitments, she would only be attending the Saturday BBQ, while this taster would be taking part in all three days' activities.
It's a Mo'Cool
"Each MO'COOL weekend is thematic. This year's events were billed as "Mediterranean Madness," and featured wines that were produced within 100 miles of that historic body of water. Besides selections from such obvious locales as France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, there were also bottles from Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, and Corsica."