Monthly Archives: May 2010

You know, hula glasses!

I may have mentioned that I’m not so much an “event person”, but I have to admit, it’s getting exciting as we get ready for the Picked by the Pros Wine Dinner, June 19th, at the Arts United Center.  It’s exciting because “stuff” is starting to accumulate — interesting wines as our trustees begin to bring in their favorites for the “Trustees Choice” Basket for the auction.  And interesting other things as the auction table fills up with goodies.  I’ve told you about the trip that remains secret, but do you know about hula glasses?  You know, hula glasses!

Stemless wine glasses that do the hula on your table.  Too cute and you need a set – in bright summer colors.  Like these!    They dance, really, without spilling (if you don’t fill them too full) and you’re going to love them.  You can bid on silent auction items all during the pre-dinner tasting, starting at 4:30pm, and continuing through dinner, which will begin around 6:00.

One of last year’s most sought after items was our Trustees’ Choice Basket, with people elbowing each other to get in that last bid for the win.  Our board has grown some, so you can expect 20 bottles of great wine, favorites of our board members, to enjoy throughout the summer and beyond.  I store these treasurers in my office for safekeeping . . . maybe you should expect fifteen bottles. Kidding, really.

Wildly competitive bidding also ensued last year for the private tasting with Dan and Krista Stockman, of the Journal-Gazette’s Uncorked column. This year we’ll be “selling” the Stockmans in the live auction during dinner, along with the trip, the wines served during the Club Soda gourmet meal, hand painted wine glasses by Julia Meek, and a couple other gems..

This great decanter with a smooth wooden ball as a stopper, for those of you who actually take time to decant your wine, is another silent auction beauty.  You can’t find it anywhere else but the WBOI Wine Tasting.  (OK, I did find it somewhere and you could find it there, too, but I am making it easy on you.)

And, since you deserve a prize if you frequent this blog, when you call to order tickets, tell them you read Joan’s blog,  and you’ll get the “I am special” discount – $25 off the dinner ticket price. You can see the full menu here and you can learn more about the event here. But you can’t get this special deal on the web site (because then everybody could get it and you wouldn’t be special) so give us a call at 452-1189 and we’ll set you right up.

It’s the kind of event even “I hate events” people can get really enthused about.

And it matters.  The funds raised at this event are not just appreciated, but necessary, as we continue to provide the programming you, and the rest of our community, depend on.  This year you’re supporting Arts United, too, as we work together to provide content and performances that enrich our community experiences. Please do join us.



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The auction items we’re not talking about yet . . .

You have learned by now that I cannot be trusted so much with exciting information.  So be it.

We’ve just received some way-too-good-to-keep-secret info from our friends at Travel Leaders. Linda Jenkins, trip planner extraordinaire, is helping us design a unique trip to be included in our live auction at the Picked by the Pros Wine Dinner on June 19th.

Here’s what we’re looking at.  California.  Private vineyard. Four people to stay at the Vintner’s House for two nights including breakfasts. A scavenger hunt to visit other local vineyards in the area and that night, those wine makers to join our four guests for dinner, each bringing a couple of bottles of their own labels to enjoy (what unbelievable dinner conversation!). A tour and private tastings at this new bio-dynamic farm. And lots of other activities to fill your time there.  It’s a blue jeans and t-shirt kind of wine trip.

More info to come when the gag order is lifted and details are finalized.  But this sounds like so much fun.

Also in the live auction – A selection of the wines “picked by the pros” for our dinner, so you can continue to enjoy at home (and you can, of course, recreate the Club Soda menu at home, too, can’t you?), one of a kind, hand-painted wine glasses (thank you, Julia Meek!), and other treasures.  I think that we might even offer a chance for a generous, persistent bidder to help program a Midday Matters hour and be the featured guest (still being argued about discussed, but I like the idea, so . . .).  Silent auction, which will run all through the evening will include lots of great wines, including our Trustees’ Choice selections, awesome barware and glasses, and things that wine lovers, experts and novices, will enjoy.  Bring money and remember that it all supports your public radio station and your Arts United.

Ticket sales are in full-swing at  I hope you’ll come.  I will be the person sitting on my hands so I don’t accidentally on purpose bid on that trip.

Thanks for stopping by,


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The unofficial, premature, but “I can’t wait” menu.

I shouldn’t be posting this.  Don’t tell anybody I did, because we might still have to change some things and that’s why it’s not up on the web site yet.  But I just want you to know, loyal blog readers, what kind of dinner the “Picked by the Pros” Wine Tasting dinner is going to be and that you should get your tickets soon, because seating for the dinner is limited.   The Dinner will start with an intimate tasting by Wine Time beginning at 4:30 with dinner starting around 6:00.

So here it is, as it stands this morning (Club Soda, you’ve outdone yourselves!):

Fruit & Cheese Plate: Gourmet Cheeses blended with summer fresh fruit for a grand entrance into the “work” of tasting. Palette cleansing, slight acidic, all around summery . . .Cheers.  Umberto Fiore Moscato d’Asti

French Mussels and Clams: Blue Mussels and Littleneck Clams sautéed with shallot and garlic-seasoned with an aromatic blend of lavender, rosemary, sage and basil in a white wine butter sauce.  BP Rothschild White Bordeaux

Cucumber Mint Gazpacho: Gazpacho, cold soup. This delightfully refreshing soup is tomato based and accentuated with cilantro, cool cucumbers, garden fresh mint, diced onions and tri-color peppers.  Brancott Sauvignon Blanc

Italian Apple Salad: A symphony of diced apples, celery, fennel, dates, onion and pistachios complimented with crumbled bleu cheese and cider vinaigrette.  San Angelo Pinot Grigio

Mediterranean Diver Scallops: Enormous seared sweet diver scallops presented upon a shaving of prosciutto then topped with olives, tomatoes, capers and artichokes dressed in olive oil.  Campo Viejo Rioja

New Zealand Lamb: Tender lamb chops crusted with sweet roasted garlic, tarragon, rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes, married with toasted pine nut wild rice and a drizzle of roasted lamb jus.  Ravenswood Red Zinfandel

Strawberry Cake: Moist vanilla cake layered with fresh strawberries and dressed in a smooth cream cheese icing. Banfi Rosa Rogale

Don’t know anything about those wines? Me, neither. (Well, except for the Mocato d’ Asti, which I do know and love.)  That’s why Dan and Krista Stockman, authors of the Journal-Gazette’s Uncorked column will guide us through this incredible selection of wines and talk to us about how we might pair them at home, even if you don’t regularly prepare diver scallops and mint gazpacho.

I know June 19th is a busy day.  Weddings, family reunions, ball games, important stuff.  So some of you will be excused, but honestly, compare this menu to going to a wedding reception for people you barely know, and what wins?

And know that by coming and enjoying the day with us, you are adding your support to all the people who invest all year in public radio in our region, which makes this an important event, too.  Reserve your spot by calling 452-1189 or going online at

Hope to see you there.  With an empty stomach and an expandable belt.  Arts United and NIPR thank you!



  1. PS — Special thanks to our other sponsors, Verizon, O’Daniel Porsche Audi, and Baden,Gage, and Schoeder.  And of course, WineTime. Couldn’t do this without them.


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StoryCorps gets animated.

If you take advantage of very many social media tools you may have already seen this.  It’s been posted and reposted on Facebook and several other places, since it’s particularly appropriate for the Mother’s Day season.  Twelve-year old Joshua is interviewing his mother as part of a StoryCorps visit (StoryCorps welcomes children, but they need to be at least 10 years old) and we get to hear and see something pretty special.

There will be stories like this that come from StoryCorps’ visit to northeast Indiana in July and we can’t wait to hear them.

We hope you will tell yours.


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Colbert talking about StoryCorps!

StoryCorps’ founder Dave Isay held up pretty good under Steven Colbert’s interviewing antics.  Isay talked about the new StoryCorps book MOM, and gives a great explanation of how StoryCorps began in New York’s Grand Central terminal.

You can see the interview here.

We’re pleased that the mobile unit will be in Fort Wayne during the month of July and   hope you will think about that special person that you want to interview as part of this remarkable project.  If you work with a population in our community that may not hear about StoryCorps, we’d love to help you help them connect with this unique oral history program.  Give us a call at 452-1189 or email me directly at

We’ve all got stories.


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Party talk in the sun.

So I moved my office to the picnic table behind the studios, just for today (well, maybe just for today) and I’m loving it.  Four of us met to talk over some details for the wine tasting and I think the sunshine helped facilitate a good discussion (OK, I’m reaching here, but it didn’t hurt!).

Meeting in Jona's office ... Jackie, Lea, David

The Wine Tasting is going to be incredible, really.  So different from other years – and they were good – because we’re partnering with Arts United and taking a really different approach.  Tickets go on sale at the end of this week, online, and formal invitations will be mailed out next week.  You so do not need to be on the formal invitation mailing list to buy tickets!

We’re going to start with a summer afternoon wine tasting – 2:30 – 5:30 at the Arts United Center.  Belmont Beverage, our partner for all these years, is once again lining up their best vendors with interesting wines of all kinds and all price ranges, 150 different wines all total.  It’s such a great way to try new varieties before you purchase and learn a bit about them.  Still time to take in the Rib Fest, if that’s your style, after the afternoon sipping.

Then beginning at 6, for those who want to extend the pleasure, we’ll gather under the tents on the Arts United Center Plaza for the Picked by the Pros Wine Pairing Dinner, seven courses prepared by the chefs of Club Soda, each paired with wines selected by our favorite pros, Dan and Krista Stockman, authors of the Journal-Gazette’s Uncorked column. Dan and Krista are great friends of public radio and we’re so lucky to have them with us for the entire day.  They’ll point us in the right direction during the afternoon tasting (I’m going to be on the prowl for my next favorite Riesling) and give us expert commentary during the dinner. What a fantastic way to spend a June Saturday (June 19 to be exact.)

The silent auction – all wine and wine-related treasures – will run through the afternoon, with a few choice packages being offered as live auction items during the dinner.  One of last year’s favorites, the Trustees Choice basket (one bottle of wine carefully chosen by each member of our board) will be back and we’ll also be “selling” Dan and Krista to provide a private wine tasting in your home.  I’ve heard that Julia Meek is hand painting wine glasses (you will be bidding against me on this, folks) and who knows what else might appear?  I love this part of the event!

You’ll be able to order the wines you discover during the event and a portion of those sales will come back to NIPR and Arts United, thanks to Belmont.

It’ll all be online at by the end of the week, so check it out there in a few days.  But do mark your calendar – Saturday, June 19, afternoon tasting from 2:30 -5:30; Picked by the Pros beginning at 6.  Fun – and wine – all day (we’ll be encouraging responsible drinking all day, too).  And it all benefits your public radio station and Arts United.  Can’t beat that.

See you there,


PS – I know, how much?  $50 for the afternoon tasting only ($10 designated driver tickets are available), $125 for the Picked by the Pros Dinner, which includes the afternoon tasting.  Tables of 8 can be purchased at a discount, and seating will be limited.  Call Lea at 452-1189.  She’ll give you all the details because she’s kind of doing all the work.  : )

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