I Heard It Through the Grapevine

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By Denise Marsh

I heard it through the grapevine: A sneak peak at Village Music of Wellington’s Wine Pairing event and an interview with its hosts: Donna Willey, Co-owner of Village Music  and Bob Reyers, Owner of Cugini Wine and Guest speaker.   

The medical experts “recommend” drinking a glass of red wine daily for good health and longevity.  There are no testaments nor medical studies that have proven the accuracy of this “recommendation”, but let’s live in our bubble for a little, shall we?

Mark your calendars for an exclusive and entertaining event at Wellington’s favorite hangout, the  Village Music Café on Thursday, September 30th at 7pm.  Donna Willey and Steve Willey are the owners of the charming hot spot in Wellington and Bob Reyers will grace us with his knowledge of Cugini wine.  There will be Live Music (piano) to accompany your wine pairing journey.

Let’s delve into this intoxicating experience a little deeper with a short interview.

Donna Willey took time out of her busy day to answer some questions about the wine pairing event. 

Steve and Donna Willey, owners of Village Music.

AW: What makes this particular event special? You can order wine anytime at the Café.  What inspired you to collaborate such an event?

DW: The wine pairings are unique because of the intimate nature of the event – we cap reservations at 25 people.

 We were inspired to start hosting wine pairings for two reasons.  Firstly, because we have so many wine lovers who frequent the café.  Secondly, because we recently started carrying  Cugini wines from southern Italy and we’re so impressed by the wines that we want to introduce them to all local wine lovers.

AW: What will the wine pairing experience include?

DW:  The wine pairing includes six different Cugini wines and five gourmet pairing plates created by Chef Brandee.  The plates compliment and enhance the flavors of the wine.  The evening also features educational moderation by Bob Reyers, owner of the Cugini Vineyards, and live music by the renowned jazz pianist Mark Doyle. 

AW: Tell us about one of your most popular pairings.

DW: Mars red blend with sliced ribeye; it is definitely a crowd favorite. 

AW: Will you be selling any bottles of wine at the event?

DW: Wine can also be purchased at the event at discounted pricing.

AW: Any closing words or details about the event:

DW: It’s an intimate evening of fabulous wines, delicious food and amazing music-a night not to be missed! The event is almost sold out at this particular time.  If you are interested in attending you can get tickets by emailing me at donna@myvillagemusic.com or call the Village Music Café at 561-788-5334 .

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Our event wouldn’t be complete without some words from the Owner of Cugini Vineyards and Guest Speaker Bob Reyers:

AW: How did you get into the wine business?

BR: We have been in the spirit business for over 40 years. We purchased this winery over five years ago.  My partner Howard Moore’s family has had an olive oil business in Calabria for over 400 years.

Bob Reyers and his son

AW: There are so many wines out on the market. What is special about your wine? 

BR: We currently offer 16 wines.  Our wine are the only ones from Calabria imported to the United States and the grapes are only grown in our region.

AW: Where is Cugini wine being sold?

BR: Café L’Europe, Star Liquors, Devine Bistro, Wine and Bar Lantana, Piatta Bravo, Village Music Café (of course), and Rustico Italiano Ristorante.  In addition, the wine can be purchased  over personal sales through our wine guild. Visit cuginiwinery.com for more information.   

AW: What is your advice for choosing and pairing the perfect “marriage?

BR: The key to perfect pairing is : complex wine with simple food. Simple food with complex wine.

AW: What are your future plans in the wine industry?

BR: Our goal is to serve wine in “it’s time” so we are becoming a “vintage winery”. Let me explain.  We serve the wine not when it is good for us to sell but when the time is “right” for the public or the buyer to be served.   For example, we will be releasing a 2014 this year. It will be an eight-year-old wine but will be the ideal time to sell it to the public because it is “ready” to be served. 

We use wine chemists at the time of harvest and they tell us whether the actual wine is good to be a wine or better as a  juice within an 8-to-12-year range.  The chemists tell us the “maturity level” of wine and how it will stand the “test of time”.  It is actually like being a coder; it’s a whole business.  Seriously, there is a degree for a wine chemist. 

Pianist Marc Doyle

Red, Red Wine (and white too)

I don’t know what your  plans are for  September 30th but I know I will be at Village Music Café enjoying myself with friends, drinking great wine paired with amazing food in a very relaxing atmosphere.  Will I see YOU  there?