This past Thursday the Circle City Chamber Group held their first TweetUp. The event was held at the Mass. Ave Wine Shoppe located downtown off of Massachusetts Avenue and ran from 6:00 PM until just after 8:00 PM. It was organized by the staff at the Circle City Chamber Group as a way to raise awareness about the group but also as a way to continuously build on relationships with their sponsors.
The Mass Ave Wine Shoppe, owned and operated by Jill Ditmire, is a small shop with a lot to choose from. Whether you are looking for a nice bottle of wine for dinner, a case of beer from any number of random microbrews, or a slice of cheese from any of the four corners of the globe, you can find it here. The shop also does weekly wine tastings and is associated with Crossroad Vintners on some of their wines.
At the TweetUp there was actually a representative from Crossroad Vintners there. His name is Jeff Fignar and he was the one handling the pouring and providing the education on these wines. He featured a selection of both whites and reds and knew more about these grape filled beverages than anyone I think I have ever met. He even said that if his talks got boring to tell him to stop as he gets on a roll and finds it hard to come back down. I did not find his talks boring what so ever and I actually sparked up with a handful of questions as the evening went on. Some more serious than others but still all questions that I knew he could answer.
During the wine tasting we had the chance to taste four wines with two whites and two reds to even out the mix. The first was called Hey Mambo Swanky White, which is a wine from the Other Guys. It is a blend of Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat Canelli and Sauvignon Blanc. It has been featured in Wine Enthusiast at 90 points. The second white was a Lot 205 Chardonnay, which is a blend from four different vineyard sites. Three of the lots of grapes go through malo-lactic fermentation and oak treatments, while the forth does not and then they are blended together.
The reds that we tasted were the Charles and Charles Red from Washington. I have to tell you that Washington and Oregon reds are prime right now. Nothing beats an Oregon Pinot Noir in my eyes. However, this wine is a 50/50% blend of Cabernet and Syrah made by Charles Smith. He was recently named the Food and Wine Winemaker of the year. He is the owner of Charles Smith Wines and K Vintners. This wine is actually brand new to this market and available for a limited time so make sure to grab a bottle before it is too late.
The final wine of the evening was a Vinum Pets Petite Sirah. It has received 88 points from the Wine Spectator and was named one of the best American red wines under $15 by Food and Wine Magazine. It is grown at the Wilson Vineyards in Clarksburg California had leaves you with a mouthful of flavors. To be quite honest all four of these wines were delicious in their own right. I could not chose a favorite over any of them.
In addition to all the great wines that we tasted there was also a musician in the background performing for us all. Her name is Kelleen Strutz. She is a pianist that knows what she is doing. She even covered some Herbie Hancock while she was performing. And if you know how to pull off Herbie then you are okay in my book. The best thing about her music, for this event in particular, was that I could hear her performing, and I could recognize nearly every note, but I could also hold a conversation with the person beside me. It was a perfect performance for this setting and an unmatched collection of music for the event.
The Circle City Chamber Group was also there providing education on what they have going on in the Indianapolis community. This event was a test run, so to speak, as a way to try a different style of getting people together. The CCCG has only been around for about a year but has already made quite the impact in the city. Working with sponsors such as the Mass. Ave Wine Shop, Ciroc Vodka, National Wine and Spirits, the Canterbury Hotel, and many more they have been trying to make an impact on the way classical music, art appreciation, and the culinary side of things whether it be food or spirits, are looked at and appreciated in our community. This is something that is lacking here so to be able to not only attend these events but also to be a part of the CCCG staff is an honor.
The man in charge of the CCCG goes by the name of Andrew Lyon and started this as a way to increase the importance of these things in the city. He has been to various restaurants, art galleries, as well as wine and beer tastings but realized there was a limit to the one form of art form at these events. But for him it was not enough. He needed a way to have art, music, food, spirits, and community in the same building at the same time. Then came the Circle City Chamber Group. Since the CCCG inception there have been four main events and this TweetUp but with many more things planned for 2010. With the help of his dedicated staff, and the Indianapolis community, I cannot foresee this organization not blossoming into exactly what he had envisioned.
The TweetUp ended with a few bottles of purchased wine and hours more of just talking and sharing stories. My mother and stepfather even came to the event. Other friends were there as well to enjoy in the experience. Did it raise any money for the CCCG? Not that I am aware of but it did create one more level of brevity to the group. Each event is different and each event provides new scenery for the participants to experience. Whether we are sharing appetizers or sipping champagne, there is always something going on with the CCCG. If you have an idea for an event please reach out to us. Anything we can do to help raise awareness of these fine forms of art we will. If nothing else you might get the chance to sample some wines or have a beer with the staff. There is a reason that the CCCG calls themselves the rose of Indianapolis. Come to the next event and you will see why.