Michael bray

Michael Bray, bottom left, at last year's The Right Notes' event. This year's will be held on Oct. 19.

Provided Michael Bray, bottom left, at last year’s ‘The Right Notes’ event. This year’s will be held on Oct. 19.

For those who follow my monthly column, you may recall that I started the year off with a piece on wine goals and curiosity. I am frequently asked how one can learn more about wine, and it’s no different than any other topic: you must do the work. Lucky for us, the work we speak of in our industry is drinking and specifically opening multiple bottles at the same time. Ha! But all jokes aside, one of the Top 5 ways to raise your Wine IQ (yes, that’s a thing) is to “go to or create a wine tasting.” Well, you are in luck!

On Oct. 19, the fifth production of the The Right Notes, presented by the Donovan Financial Group of UBS Financial Services, will be held at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point. We, at Passion Vines, do quite a bit of fundraising and philanthropic work in our communities — and this is one hits close to home.

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First, a bit about the cause:

The Right Notes (TRN), a fundraiser planned collaboratively by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, remains the only event of its kind in South Jersey. TRN consistently delivers an outrageously fun and fulfilling night of wine tasting, music and philanthropy. While beer and spirits have played a minor role in previous events, this year’s production will feature a more prominent selection from acclaimed brewers and mixologists, including Bobby “G” Gleason, master mixologist of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, who will entertain guests with his informative cocktail-making performance. Spirit-lovers will enjoy sampling items from Atlantic City’s Little Water Distillery, and Passion Vines’ Single Barrel Editions of Patron and Jim Beam will be available to taste, as well.

In addition to Greate Bay’s always-delicious fare, culinary creations from renowned local — and iconic — restaurants Steve & Cookie’s, Knife & Fork Inn and Dock’s Oyster House will be featured. Their gifted chefs are handcrafting exquisite and diverse menus that are sure to please any palate.

The majority of funds raised at TRN will benefit the National MS Society, with a portion allotted to Bacharach Rehabilitation, who services MS patients locally. In the last four years, the generous support of the community has allowed The Right Notes to raise a combined total of more than $200,000. This year’s theme, “A Touch of Orange,” encourages guests to wear a splash of the vibrant hue in honor of the MS Society.

Back to wine … from beginner to sommelier, this event is truly one-of-a-kind. With over 100 top-scoring wines to choose from, you’ll be able to taste your way through Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, Piedmont, Uruguay, Macedonia, California and Washington state, to name a few. Winery owners, winery representatives and dozens of wine experts will also be on hand to answer any question you can think of. There’s absolutely no chance of you not leaving more enlightened and confident about the world of wine. Remember what I said about “doing the work?”

Sometimes the bouquet of a wine will remind us of the season, and other times we simply need…

Aside from an unbelievable experience, I mentioned that this event hits close to home. When I was just 11 years old, my mom was diagnosed with MS. Since then, I have made it my mission to raise money and awareness for this debilitating disease. I am incredibly grateful to our team at Passion Vines, as well as our community — especially At The Shore — who always rises-up to help support something that means so much to my family, as well as so many others in our community. Together, somehow, some way, we’re turning tragedy into triumph. I truly hope I get to see you on Oct. 19 at Greate Bay Country Club for what will be the wine event of the year.

For more information about The Right Notes and to purchase tickets, please go to TheRightNotes2017.eventbrite.com or call Stephanie Marakowski at 267-765-5113.

With gratitude,

Michael Bray

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