How would you like to taste over $1,000 worth of wine for only $89? This month we take a break from our traditional Q&A to discuss the most comprehensive charitable wine tasting in South Jersey — The Right Notes.

It was 1990 when my Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was 11 years old at the time, my brother, 13, and we learned rather quickly about the disease that my Mom would spend the rest of her life fighting. Twenty-eight years later, and a host of daily challenges, she lives with a grace unmatched. Those of you in the community who know her will know what I mean.

I have made it my mission, both personally and professionally, to raise money and awareness for this debilitating neurological disease. For the past five years, The Right Notes (TRN) has been planned collaboratively by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, and Passion Vines Wine & Spirit Company. We are grateful and honored to welcome Greate Bay as a planning partner this year, too. TRN consistently delivers a fulfilling night of wine, music and philanthropy, and it remains the only fundraising event of its kind in South Jersey. This year’s takes place 7 p.m., Oct. 11, at Greate Bay Country Club.

The evening’s main event is a large-scale wine tasting, featuring more than 100 top-scoring wines from around the world. In addition to the impressive wine offerings, this year’s production will also feature a prominent selection from acclaimed brewers and mixologists. Live musical performances will accompany the evening and guests will also have the opportunity to contribute to live and silent auctions.

The majority of funds raised at TRN will benefit the National MS Society, with a portion allotted to Bacharach. In the last five years, the generous support of event sponsors and the community has allowed The Right Notes to raise a combined total of more than $300,000 for its featured charities. This year’s theme, “A Touch of Orange,” encourages guests to wear a splash of the vibrant hue in honor of the MS Society.

With over 100 wines to taste and dozens of our industry wine experts on hand, I would like to offer some suggestive “wine strategy” for navigating TRN, or any large-scale tasting, like a pro:

1. Start with a “wine goal.” What wines, producers, regions or varietals would you most like to learn about? Be strategic, because after 10 to 15 wines your palate starts to weaken.

2. Develop an easy system to identify likes and dislikes in your program book. Mark “X” to dislike, “L” for like and “C” if you’re curious (perhaps you want to revisit it later for a greater understanding).

3. You don’t have to drink it all. It’s OK to pour out wine. On every table there will be a “spit bucket” — it’s there for good reason.

4. Most importantly, plan for a safe ride home.

For more info about The Right Notes and to purchase tickets, go to NationalMSSociety.org/RightNotes. If you are unable to attend the event, there are additional ways to make an impact toward beating MS. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and can be made at the aforementioned website. If you are interested in serving as an event sponsor or contributing ads or auction items, please contact me at, Michael@passionvines.com.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, our community, for your continued support.

Drink Passionately,

Michael

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