Monday, December 29, 2008

Reminder: Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle, tonight.

Tonight is the occasion of the annual gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle of New Albany, Southern Indiana, Oz and points afar.

Last year's gathering was especially memorable ... wasn't it? Come to think of it, I can't remember. I feel cheated somehow, even deprived ... but so it goes.

As before, we'll be imbibing in the Prost banquet and special events wing of Rich O's Public House/NABC. Specifically, we'll be in the "gallery" to the left of the main seating area. Starting time is 7:00 p.m.

Note that because we're "bringing our own," both in terms of alcohol and nibbles, one goal of the gathering is to be self-sufficient, and to permit the wait staff to garner vast profits from non-port-drinking customers. If you will be dining at the pub prior to the port tasting, please allow sufficient time and go through the usual drill. I will instruct the servers to expect that some people will be keeping their tabs open for drinks later in the evening.

Aside from that, as always, this year's tasting is open to all comers, with no cover or minimum, but with the only firm requirement being that participants bring a bottle of Port and a snack (cheese, salami, olives or other munchables) to the gathering.

Of course, in lieu of a contribution, it remains conceivable that a fine cigar for the hosting Publican might buy your way inside, although remember that Prost is smoke-free, and we'll have to retreat to the bar for the consolations of tobacco.

Coverage from stellar events the last three years can be viewed here:

2007: This year's gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle will be Thursday, December 27.

2006: Pants Down Port Drinkers on December 28: A recap.

2005: Port wine is a holiday tradition.

Regrettably, traditional co-conspirator Tim Eads cannot be with us this evening.

Briefly googling in preparation, we find:

Into Wine: Enjoying Port

The Vintage Port Site (operated by the Symington Family Port Companies)

Prior to my only visit to Portugal in 2000, the Danish gonzo journalist Kim Wiesener, a longtime friend, recommended Richard Mayson's "Port and the Douro" as the finest overview of all things Port. Indeed, it is excellent, and if you're interested in Port, it's a must-have.

There's a newer edition available, and for future reference, I'm sure that Randy Smith at Destinations Booksellers would be able to track it down for those interested. Here's a capsule description:

Mayson recounts the history of this great fortified wine up to the present day, including an assessment of major vintages back to 1896. He examines the physical condition of the region, grape varieties and vineyards with an appraisal of each of the main quintas, providing a directory of individual producers and shippers.

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