Word from a President
Pine Pointers -
September is here – that means it’s time to start planning your ski trips with Pine Point.
But, think again if you think that warm weather activities are all done for us. We still have 3 spots left to join on for white water rafting in West Virginia (cue up the Deliverance soundtrack here ;-). Please contact Magda or me ASAP to join on for a fun-filled trip. Oh, and you don’t have hit the crazy white water either. We have 2 different full day rafting options scheduled for Monday, and there are a couple people joining us for fun off the water. See later in this newsletter for more information on all the trip options.
Yes, we are planning for skiing already. Highlights about some of the trips are included in this newsletter, but full details will be available at the kick-off party.
Join us on September 7 to meet some new friends who love the outdoors – particularly snow riding. Yes, the club name includes “ski”, but we do have a number of boarders as well. Anyone who like fun people, socializing, and getting outdoors will fit in with us.
The party is scheduled at Jak’s Tap – our new monthly meeting location. Come by and check out our new digs. Door prizes! Everyone who attends will be given a raffle ticket. You can earn more raffle tickets by paying your annual membership and earn even more tickets by putting a deposit down on a trip! Pine Point membership application along with membership benefits can be found here.
We will also do our drawing for $100 off a ski trip this winter for everyone who attended one of our beer tasting / club meetings during the summer
I do have a couple of notes about Western ski trips I wanted to share. First, airfares have gone up 50% to 100% since last season. That means getting the super bargains is a lot more difficult. Our Board has been working diligently to come up with the best value trips to great locations. We have been constrained by what the airlines have done fares this year. We are still seeking bargains to share with you – our members!
We have lots of great fall events planned. Please join us for white water or white wine (red too), a holiday party (or too), or our regular club meetings and maybe a couple last minute activities. Check out the rest of the newsletter for information on upcoming activities.
NEW MEETING NIGHT AND LOCATION
Starting this month, we will be meeting at JAK’S TAP on the third TUESDAY of the month.
We moved to a central location to try and make it more convenient for more members. We also have a private room – just for us! No more trying to find a table like we had to at that other place ;-) Some of the benefits of moving to the new location include:
Jak’s has good food and reasonably priced drinks.
Free (or cheap) on-street parking within a couple blocks.
Close to Metra (less than 1 mile from Ogilvie and Union stations).
Close to the UIC Blue Line station.
We switched to Tuesday nights too. It just seemed like a better night, with so many other things scheduled on Thursdays…
Contact me @ sk8r_sk8r at yahoo.com
Trips Update Column
Here is an introduction of what to expect this season, full details to be provided at the Kick-off party this Sunday and posted to the Pine Point website after the event.
- Brule, MI - early December
- Granite Peak/ Marquette, MI - New Years
- LaCrosse, WI - early March
- Taos, NM - early February
- Aspen (Snowmass), CO - late March
Contact me @ dukesno2 at hotmail.com
What happens in Pine Point stays in Pine Point -
Pine Point's regular buzz update segment
Are you ready to get your winter warrior mojo back? This upcoming season never looked better for both; trips and everything in between. You probably noticed by now, that we use Facebook and Meetup platforms, for scheduling events. If you’d like to stay in the loop, Like us on Facebook today and/or join Pine Point’s community on Meetup. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with using ether one, no worries –the newsletter will keep you up to date!
Here is a list of upcoming Pine Point events for the next couple of months:
SEPTEMBER 7: Season kick off opener @ Jak’s Tap, 5pm
Enjoy an evening of fun and laughter with past, present, and future Pine Point members, as we roll out our fall and winter social and ski calendar. And if you're a little rusty on the slopes, you won't be alone. Our activities are catered to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Join us on the first Sunday of September for some mingling, drink specials and complimentary pizza, and see what Pine Point has in store for you for this upcoming season. Full details can be found on Facebook here and Meetup here.
SEPTEMBER 20-23: White water rafting bus trip to West Virgina
Sometimes you have to experience a thing to "get it". White water rafting in West Virginia is one of those things. Yup, you heard Jason…. we saved spots in the raft for 3 lucky Pine Pointers. It’s one of the kind, white water rafting trip to the east coast, and your package includes round trip (party) bus transportation, guided-all-day rafting in 8 person raft, lodging, breakfasts & dinners and, not to forget, hot lunch on the river. Will be happy to arrange individual payment installments, we just need a firm commitment at this point - talk to us today.
OCTOBER 19: Wine tasting & pizza mix
Due to the high popularity of this event, we scheduled another evening of vino&pizza for you to enjoy this Fall. Our wine experts have picked a selection of reds and whites - plus at least one delicious surprise - for you to taste on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Each of you will sample 5 or more wines (a total of 2-1/2 glasses of wine, or more) accompanied by outrageously good gourmet thin crust pizza and, don't forget, exquisite company of your vino partners in crime. Full details can be found on Facebook here and Meetup here.
Thanks to all 21 Pine Pointers, who came out to Kettle Moraine to help us celebrating 34th annual biking & camping trip. When you have a chance, please stop by our Facebook page photos or Meetup site photos, to see if we caught a picture of you
As usual, we are excited to hear from you, please share your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact me @ mcdzica at gmail.com
Time for Après-ski
by Adam Burck
A quick check of my cable TV schedule failed to find any evidence of planned ski racing programs, so I’ve been forced to contemplate my second favorite topic: Wine.
It’s possible you’ve been paying attention to these little columns and recall last month I promised you another edition on Red Wine. But I lied. I know what’s good for you and amazingly, it’s not more red wine. At least not for now.
What you really need is to understand is how regions work on wine labels.
Why the hell is that? You ask. Fair question. It’s because a wine, unlike products manufactured in a factory, is supposed to reflect the specific nature of the place the wine was made, or better yet, where the grapes were grown.
The French call this concept Terroir. Repeat after me: “Tare-whahrr.” Nice try. In American English terroir can be translated as “a sense of place.”
Anyway, terroir is one of the things that separates ordinary box wine from that amazeballs bottle of wine your kindly uncle paid $50 for.
So, why would two wines made with the exact same type of grapes taste different, just because of the place the grapes were grown? The concept of terroir was originally meant to capture the mysterious mineral taste of the different mix of soil, rocks, sand, gravel, or whatever else the grapes were grown in. The idea was if the vineyard ground was, for example, covered with slate stones, the wine would taste of slate. If the soil was chalk the wine would taste chalky.
This has been categorically proven – to be complete bull@#$%!
But it does turn out that grapes access and metabolize water differently in different soils. That the factors of sun, clouds, fog, wind, slope angle, and innumerable other local factors change the way grapes ripen and develop sugar, acids, tannin, and of course, flavor. Finally, and sometimes most important, there are traditional local practices – such as the type of trellises the grapes are grown on – or the types of yeast living on the walls of wineries in a particular region – that become characteristic of the way wines made in those regions commonly taste.
So here’s where the dollars and sense come in. Did you catch that pun? Read it again. Oh well. Wines made from a smaller region are supposed to have more noticeable terroir, or distinctive characteristics, than wines made from a larger place. So, at the top of the heap, is a Single Vineyard wine: A wine made from the grapes grown in one particular vineyard. Sometimes even from one section, or “Block”, of a single vineyard.
Next up are wines made from a particular village (this is only used in Europe, mainly France and Germany). In the US wines can be from a single AVA (American Viticultural Area), which is only slightly bigger than saying a village. A couple famous AVAs are “Russian River Valley” in Sonoma County, or “Rutherford” In Napa County.
Bigger than an AVA is a, wait for it, County. Bigger than a County is a State. OK, that was easy. You can buy wines labelled with a Region (like South Eastern Australia) or with a whole country (France or New Zealand, for example.) But in the US nobody labels their wine with a region or at the country level, like “USA.”
In general, the smaller the area the grapes are selected from the harder the winemaker will have to work to make the wine balanced (that’s what blending does) so wines from smaller regions typically cost more. Are they worth it? Usually the answer is “Yes.” But Penfold’s Grange is a wine always blended from more than one region, and sells for about $600 per bottle.
So the best advice is: “Drink a lot of wine and figure it out for yourself.”
Now, since you’ve stuck with me this long – and because probably nobody else ever has – I will reward you. Click this link and leave a comment. One lucky commenter selected at random will win a free bottle of wine to be collected at your next Pine Point event.
Contact Adam here
List of upcoming activities for the next 3 months: