Mondiale members of the Cincinnati Bailliage celebrated a beloved event on January 16, 2022, at the Transept Event Center. This fine wine “Cellar Treasures” extravaganza takes place every couple of years. Members pull out all the stops and bring the finest wines from their cellars to share.
The Transept Event Center, owned and operated by Michael Forgus of Funky’s Catering, is a renovated German gothic church located in the trendy “Over The Rhine” section of downtown Cincinnati. The church was built in 1867 and served as the first German-American congregation in the city. Today it houses an upscale bar and is the backdrop for weddings and both corporate and private events.
More than sixty bottles of tantalizing wines graced the top of a gorgeous antique bar. It took some clever moves to get to your personal priority bottles for a sample! Passed appetizers of Crispy Fish Tacos and Goat Cheese Tartlets whet our appetites in anticipation of an excellent buffet meal of Cornish Hen Coq Au Vin, Pasta with Wild Mushrooms and Heirloom Tomatoes, Duchess Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, and Bamba Rice Cakes with Shrimp. Dessert was a chocolate lover’s delight!
(But even extraordinary wine and great food couldn’t top the evening’s joyful football conversation about the Cincinnati Bengals being headed to AFC Championship playoffs for the first time in over 30 years, this year against the tough Kansas City Chiefs team! At this writing, the Bengals are headed to the Super Bowl!!!)
The Cellar Treasures Mondiale event typically includes at least two contests, expertly curated by Echanson Provincial Mary Horn. Winners of this year’s contests received Chaîne-related prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights until the next Cellar Treasures event.
- The first contest was a fun competition for each member and guest to vote on his/her favorite wine. There was a three-way tie for “Best Wine”: Chambellan Provincial Honoraire Midwest Irwin Weinberg (2009 Cayuse Vineyards Camaspelo, Walla Walla); guest Mike Valentine (2007 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley); and Vice Gastronomique Chuck Hong (2004 Araujo EstateWinery Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley).
- The second contest—taken quite seriously if assessed by many looks of intense concentration—was to taste and evaluate two mystery wines, one white and one red. For each wine, contest participants needed to identify the vintage, variety, country and region, abv, and (if possible) the name of the winemaker and vineyard classification. Four members tied to win the blind tasting contest by correctly identifying at least one of the two wines: Chargée de Presse Midwest Kathy Merchant, Vice Chargé de Medias Sociaux Marcus Relthford, his guest Vel Karacostas, and Bailli George Elliott. The mystery wines were 2017 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Trocken GG Alte Reben, Mosel, and 2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley.
Special appreciation was also shared with Chargé de Presse Provincial Honoraire JT Mayer for generously contributing a five-bottle horizontal of 2010 BOND cult wines.
As the lively evening came to a close, members gave a heartfelt round of applause to event organizers Enchanson Provincial Mary Horn and Bailli George Elliott, as well as to Michael “Funky” Forgus and his staff. They exceeded our expectations of fun on a snowy winter night and provided an evening of outstanding food, exceptional wine, and “almost back to normal” camaraderie.
Graig Smith, Chargé de Presse