Local club enjoys some of the finer things of life

The Carson Valley chapter of WINOS (Wine Investigations for Novices and Oenophiles) is a group of about 100 people who all share a fondness for their beloved beverage. The chapter was started by Wendell Jenness in 1997 after he contacted Carson City resident Jerry Mead, an internationally known wine writer and critic, who had originated the WINOS back in the 1970s. The two men met for dinner and Mead asked if Jenness would be interested in getting a WINOS group up and running in the Carson Valley. Jenness agreed and the local chapter has enjoyed great success and camaraderie ever since.

As an aside, I learned something new this week. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an oenophile is "a lover or connoisseur of wine."

For $25 per house/per year, members enjoy a variety of benefits that include invitations to fabulous dinners featuring specific wineries, a social network with other wine lovers, and reduced rates on certain wines.

The backyard oasis of Jenness' Ranchos home provided the perfect setting for the WINOS annual summer potluck party on July 21. Members enjoyed a wonderful evening sampling a variety of wines, sharing great food, and catching up. It is one of five parties that the chapter organizes each year and is always a favorite.

The other parties take place at restaurants in and around the Carson Valley. They feature five-course gourmet dinners complete with special wines that complement each course. The cost averages between $65-75 per person.

Jenness explained that you don't have to be a member to attend your first dinner, and it provides a perfect opportunity to see if the group is something that might suit you. All you need to do is contact him to let him know you're interested in attending before the event.

The WINOS group has several more parties scheduled from now until the end of the year. The first will be on Aug. 25 at the Carson Station Grille, the gathering on Oct. 13 will be held at the Silver Oak Country Club, and the annual Christmas party will be at David Walley's on Dec.9. All festivities start at 5 p.m.

If you're interested in attending any of these dinners or learning more about a WINOS membership, call director Wendell Jenness at 265-1506. He'll be happy to answer your questions.

-- Amy Roby can be reached by e-mail at RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com


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