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For the love of wine: Pink wine, great cause

There are so many meaningful organizations that need our help.

Recently, a friend asked if I’d help promote awareness for breast cancer research for the local Susan G. Komen chapter.

If you’re like me, breast cancer has touched someone you know, and you’ve witnessed the challenges that go along with it. My wife’s cousin, Doris, has been my inspiration; she’s fought through breast cancer for 20 years. Every time I see her, she gives me strength to forge on through any illness.

So we decided to host a wine tasting for the "Pink Tie Guys" — an all-male local group that is helping to raise funds and promote breast cancer awareness in Western New York.

I arranged a wine tasting at Sea Bar — with, of course, pink wine — and invited a number of Pink Tie Guys with the simple idea of showcasing good wine and good food…but most importantly, bringing awareness to the cause through this column.

The Pink Tie Guys who attended include Dave Anderson, BlueCross BlueShield; Kurt Fetter, Merrill Lynch; Rick Hamister, Key Bank; Tony Masiello, Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates; Jack Quinn, Barclay Damon, LLP; Justin Reid, The Bonadio Group; and Rocco Termini, Signature Development.

We had a great evening of food and friendship. And, of course, wine. The pink wine we served was a French Rosé. Note: Rosés are not what they used to be — they are infinitely better, which is why they are possibly the trendiest wine out there right now. The quality has evolved dramatically, especially for the gem we served at Seabar:

2016 Chateau Puech-Haut Rosé Prestige
France, around $20

This is the real deal French Rosé. I bought a case for a party last summer, and it was gone in the blink of an eye. It’s crisp with light summer fruit, and it’s available locally.

For a minimal donation, anyone can register to be a Pink Tie Guy. Go to or contact Liz Kahn at 389-1161 or

The true story of Mr. Chips

Many years ago I wrote about a Pinot Noir called Mr. Chips. A friend in California had told me about this wine, which wasn’t selling because of its offbeat label that depicted the name and image of the winery owner’s dog. It was delicious — and only $10 a bottle — so I bought around 15 cases.

I thought that was the end of the story until a friend, who also loved the wine, recently did some research. Turns out Mr.Chips was produced by the Selby winery in Healdsburg, California by Dr. David Selby, the winery’s co-founder. Dr. Selby’s daughter Susie explained how he used to love carving, and that some of the chips would end up on the dog that sat at his feet. Hence, the dog’s — and the wine’s — name. While Mr. Chips is no longer made, the vines it came from are still producing Pinot Noir under the Selby label — they’re worth checking out.

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