A few weeks ago, I was browsing through Facebook and saw The Urban Grape’s update about a wine tasting to benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston. I don’t think I have ever signed up for an event so fast. I didn’t even check my calendar, I just signed up. Raising money for animals and sipping wine are two of my favorite things!
The tasting was a collaboration between the folks from The Urban Grape and The Urban Hound Hotel. I already knew this duo could throw a great party from my experience at the hotel’s open house. My expectations last night were far surpassed in what was a beautiful, delicious, and fun event.
The tasting itself was in a gallery at the Boston Design Center, a place I had never been, and for my budget’s sake, probably should never visit again. Since I didn’t know exactly where I was supposed to be, I spent my first 10 minutes checking out the building, which is full of beautiful furniture, upholstery and drapes, art, and other exquisite home décor items. Since some of my furniture is still from college, I was pretty much drooling at all of the beautiful things. Someday, someday.
The gallery itself was decorated with art inspired by and photos of women from The Women’s Lunch Place, a place I have had the opportunity to volunteer a few times. It is an inspiring place that not only cares for the physical needs of homeless women and children but treats them like the human beings that they are, inside and out. When I volunteered there, it was inspiring to learn that if one of their clients was sick in the hospital, they visited. They knew the women’s birthdays. The Women’s Lunch place provides that community that so many don’t have. I got teary for the first time in the evening, but it certainly wasn’t the last!
The wall on the way in was lined with treats from Polka Dog Bakery. Can’t forget the four-legged guests!
The spread of food was absolutely gorgeous. There were all sorts of different cheeses, fresh fruit, skewers of meat, shrimp, cucumbers topped with hummus, crostini.
Of course, as I often do, I decided to wait until later in the evening to dig in and never got back to the table!
We did, however, taste some wine, the 2010 Fontezoppa Verdiccio di Matelica, 2010 Pares Balta Ros de Pac, 2010 Dom du Clos d’Alari “Petit Clos” Rose, and the 2006 Martilde “Zaffo” Bonarda.
The selection of wines was perfect, and TJ and Noah from The Urban Grape shared their expertise as they poured. I was already a huge fan of the Pares Balta, introduced to me at my very first Urban Grape visit last year. I also loved the Bonarda, which TJ pointed out, was a great food wine. Instead of tasting the other reds, I opted for a glass of Secco Prosecco, another Urban Grape introduction, and the perfect bubbly treat for a hot summer day.
At one point in the event, the President of the Animal Rescue League, Jay Bowen, spoke a little about the cause that would benefit from the entry fee, the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund which helps provide subsidized veterinary care for people in need. As a volunteer at the MSPCA, I can’t tell you how many animals end up in the shelter because of their owners financial situations, so it is nice to think that last night we helped keep some people and pets together!
Bowen also made mention of something amazing, something that made me tear up a little. . . The Urban Hound Hotel’s Shelter Dog in Residence program. The program is designed to shelter a homeless dog at the beautiful hotel for dogs, to take amazing care of it, and to help it find a home. How sweet is that?! This is just one of the ways that the hotel is involved in helping the ARL in Boston. Love.
The event was the perfect reminder in the middle of a bad week that there are such great, generous people everywhere. And it made me want to adopt a house full of cats and dogs
P.S. The Urban Grape is celebrating its anniversary this weekend and having a special 20% off mixed or full cases of wine to stock up for summer. You might find me there filling a box of bubbly tomorrow night. Holla!