Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not AGAIN: Yes, this year's gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle will be Monday, December 28.

Monday, December 28, is the date for the annual gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle of New Albany, Southern Indiana, Oz and points afar.

As before, the port tasters will be imbibing in the Prost banquet and special events wing of Rich O's Public House/NABC. Starting time is 7:00 p.m.

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 it will be an even less memorable port tasting for me in 2009, because I will not be in attendance. This necessary absence owes to vacation. Sorry, I'll have to make do with beer in Bamberg.

Your genial host in 2009 will be my usual co-conspirator, Tim Eads, who missed the 2008 gathering. Funny how this seems to be working out, isn't it?

The plan this year is to have a server on duty in Prost to handle needs not related to the port and snacks brought by participants, including serving food and other beverages, and helping with the clean-up afterwards. For those planning on dining at the Public House prior to the port tasting's commencement, we'll try to have our server ready at 6:00 p.m., and you can set up camp in Prost at that time.

Your only requirement as a group is to ensure a proper gratuity. Tim will be reminding you of this.

As always, the 2009 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. Since I will not be present this year, the "fine cigar for the hosting Publican" option is not available. Recall also that Prost is smoke-free, and you'll be forced to retreat to the bar for the consolations of tobacco.

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

2008: Reminder: Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle, tonight.

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.

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 I've spotted it recently at Destinations Booksellers in New Albany.

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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