Zoom away to Italy with Mobile Meals

·3 min read

Sep. 26—Mobile Meals' Wine Gala — the biggest fund-raiser of the year for this organization that delivers food to those who are homebound — is traveling to Italy.

Traveling via Zoom, that is, for a tasting tour of Italian wines.

After canceling 2020's Wine Gala and holding an online non-event that still managed to raise over $25,000 (vs. the usual in-person fête's $80,000), this year they're inviting anyone who makes a donation at mobilemeals.org/wine to join them for an exclusive and specially curated Tour of Italy Virtual Wine Tasting Event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Any donation at that page will grant you access to the tasting; but because this is a fund-raiser for an exceptionally worthy cause, the minimum suggested offering is $50. (Feel free to be even more generous, if you can.)

New variants of the coronavirus and "another surge," said my friend Carolyn Fox, Mobile Meals' associate executive director, have caused the organization to be extra cautious.

So rather than gathering inside for a large party, everyone's moving to cyberspace for a lovely, lively presentation featuring Nicola Biscardo, a premium wine importer from Verona, Italy.

Mr. Biscardo will discuss four distinctive wines: Cantina Carpi's NotteBianca brut Emilia IGT, a sparkling variety from central Italy; Fontanassa's Gavi "Ca'Adua," a white wine, and Marchesi Biscardo Corvina della Provincia di Verona IGT, a red from the presenter's own winery, both from the north; and Borgo Dei Trulli Primitivo Salento, a red wine from the sunny south.

The wines are now for sale at Walt Churchill's Market in Perrysburg (not at the Maumee store), 26625 N. Dixie Hwy., and cost $65.96 for the set of four; they'll be packaged in a specially-designed tote available while supplies last. Note that you're not required to sample the wines to fully enjoy the program, but you'll certainly have an even better time if you do.

Proceeds from this tasting will benefit Mobile Meals' delivery services, which provide one or two meals each day to those who are elderly, have disabilities, or are otherwise unable to access proper nutrition. In 2020 alone, volunteers and staff brought more than 234,000 meals to clients' homes.

I love events like this virtual version of Wine Gala that let me stay at home (there's no need for my boyfriend, Craig, to be our designated driver), dress comfortably (no shopping for a new outfit, so there's more money to give to Mobile Meals), and still have fun learning about wine and also food pairings. And, as though we needed any further incentive to support the good cause, Mrs. Fox notes, too, that Mr. Biscardo "has an adorable accent!"

Speaking of pairings, Mrs. Fox also said that while you're picking up the wines at Churchill's you'll want to get some good cheeses, salumi and charcuterie, bread, olives, and other "accompanying items for snacking while tasting." She also pointed out that this event "is perfect for a small gathering of close friends" who may want to get together and socialize on a Saturday night.

Sip wine, savor a sampling of Italy, and support Mobile Meals all at once.

That sounds like a perfect evening to me.

First Published September 26, 2021, 8:45am

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