Pub serves up international varietals and brews

By Jeremia Schrock
Sun Star Reporter

World Week came to a delicious close Saturday evening Nov. 20, as several hundred people attended either the Diwali celebration or the Pub’s International Wine and Beer Tasting. Many did both.

Frank Gamboa sniffs a glass of wine during the UAF Pub's Nov 20 international wine and beer tasting. Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star

I scurried in with several others as the Pub opened promptly at 8 p.m. To our left was a table full of cheese, bread and fruit. In front of us was an array of unopened bottles of wine and beer all begging to be consumed. We headed to the bar, picked up taste tickets (each one redeemable for a sample) and hit the drinks. I was my own designated driver, which meant I (sadly) limited myself to just 5 tickets.

At the tasting were numerous Old World and New World libations. Wines and beers from Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, China, and Scotland were available. As an amateur vino (Italian for wine) enthusiast I stuck to the wine.

“Before I started working at the Pub I didn’t know anything about wine, so it’s a great learning experience” said Jordan Rodgers, a third-semester Pub employee. I asked Rodgers if she’d had a chance to taste test. She had, so I asked if she had a favorite.

“Hold on, I haven’t tried this one yet,” she said, tasting a 2009 Argentinian Malbec (a red wine made from thin-skinned grapes). “Oh, this one!” She said.

While Rodgers had volunteered to serve the wine, David Hooper was keeping watch over the beer. “I like to try a bunch of different beers and it’s a good opportunity [to]” said Hooper, a second year Pub employee. Serving beer, it turns out, is also about appearances. “I pretend like I know what’s going on,” Hooper added, smiling.

Back at the wine, student Christine Woll was chatting to Rodgers.

“What are you thinking?” Rodgers asked.

“Left to right,” Woll replied. “I’m being methodical,” she said, taking a glass. I asked her name and what she did on campus. “Fisheries,” she said. “We like to get in the newspaper for drinking related [things]!”

The Pub had a selection of international wines and beers available for enjoyment during a Nov. 20 tasting. Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star

I spent most of the evening with Erin Johnson (history) and her husband Joe Alloway (communications). Both stuck to beer. We talked about classes, work, politics, history and relationships. The usual banter that haunts the Pub during the tail-end of a semester. Come to think of it, the sort of talk that haunts the Pub every night.

After 9, the Pub began to fill up with formally-attired patrons. Diwali must have ended. One of those Diwali-goers who made his way to the Pub was Scott Kawasaki, State Representative for District 9. He tried the Malbec that Rodgers had earlier.

“What do you think of it,” I asked.

“It’s like…if you were working in a field of grapes, after a long day this is the kind of wine you’d like to sit down with and relax,” he replied. We talked about Diwali (which he enjoyed) and how he’d found his way to the Pub afterward. “I didn’t even know this was going on,” he said happily, also mentioning his love of the Pub.

“It’s my favorite drinking establishment. Ever.” Kawasaki said.

Wine Tip: If you don’t spit, eat! If you’re going to do more then swish and spit (think the 2004 Paul Giamatti film Sideways) make sure to eat between every few samples. Breads help soak up the wine and cheese helps cleanse the pallet. Give it a few minutes and you’ll be ready for more.

What I Drank:

2008 Sangre de Torro (Spain) – Red  = 3/5

2009 La Vieille Ferme (France) – Red = 3.5/5

2008 Woop Woop (Australia) – White = 3/5

2009 La Capra (South Africa) – White = 4/5

2009 Saracco (Italy) – White = 4.5/5

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