The Phoenix originally published the story on October 21, 2005. The article was printed in over twenty daily newspapers. The article is reprinted solely for educational purposes. It is intended to offer insight into the history of Wine Education in Philadelphia and our place within that history. Links to the original article and author are given below.
Wine, Wit and Wisdom
Author: DENNIS J. WRIGHT
PHOENIXVILLE – An estimated 225 people enjoyed some wine and wit, while gaining wisdom during the Second Annual Wine, Wit & Wisdom event at Robert Ryan’s Columbia Station Thursday evening.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Phoenixville Public Library’s ongoing and future programs.
The festivities began with a sponsors’ reception and featured speaker Keith Wallace, owner of The Wine School of Philadelphia. “We do charity events all of the time because they are fun,” said Wallace. “The people in Phoenixville are open-minded, and it was an honor to be here.”
Wallace said that people are becoming more and more curious about wine. “I like that so I can give them more information about wine,” he said. “They are enthusiastic and have a lot of good questions.”
Wallace had 125 bottles of wine in tow, and said he usually brings 25 percent more just in case. “We opened almost all of them,” he said. “We try to bring a half a bottle per person, which equals three glasses total. It’s about keeping everyone happy so they can drive home.”
After the reception, everyone moved into the main dining room, where attendees had their choices of stations and wines to sample. There were four stations set up during the event – the Griddle Station featuring Cumin and cilantro-spiced medallions of beef filet, seared on a flat-top grill and served with Salsa Verde, lime aioli or ancho chili demi glacé. The Paella Station had saffron-scented rice with mussels, roasted chicken and baby shrimp.
A traditional Brazilian black bean and smoked ham stew was served in a miniature bread bowl with slices of smoked pork tenderloin, highlighted the Brazilian Feijoada Station. A Triple Créme Bruleé sampler rounded out the meal. Partaking in the Black Bean Stew with a glass of Crios Torrontes was David Meadows Jr. and his wife, Beth.
“This is a great event to come out and try some different wines,” said Meadows. “I’ve learned some things that’ll help me buy some wine for future celebrations.”
Mayor Leo Scoda was making the rounds in support of the library. “This is a tremendous turnout for the library,” said Scoda. “It is a gem that adds to the quality of life in Phoenixville. I support the library all of the time.”
Towards the evening’s conclusion, Maureen Ash, president of the library’s board of trustees, thanked everyone for attending the event.
“You are the people who use the library,” said Ash. “Please continue to support us in many ways.”
John F. Kelley, executive director of the Phoenixville Public Library, said to the audience, “We sincerely appreciate the help we receive at the library. We hope everyone leaves here with a smile.”
Kathleen Purcell Wierz, director of development for the library, presented Richard A.Kunsch Sr., President/CEO, Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust with a gift of appreciation as the event’s star sponsor.
“As a community bank, we feel we have to support our community treasures,” said Kunsch. “We feel the library is certainly a treasure.”