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Medical Mission of Mercy USA - 11th Annual Fundraising Gala, September 15th (That's This Weekend!)


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Saturday evening, from 6 PM until 1 AM, at the Fairview Park Marriott, there is a fundraising gala to support the Medical Mission of Mercy USA.

This is a group of physicians and volunteers that travel to the Philippines each year and donate their services for people in desperate medical need - children with cleft palates, women needing gynecological surgery, etc.

Medical Mission of Mercy's website is here, and tickets for the gala ($80, fully tax deductible) can be purchased here. It starts at 6 PM and runs until 1 AM or beyond. They are operating on a shoestring budget, and rely almost exclusively on volunteers.

Really now, is there a better possible use of your time and money? Have a look at this slideshow and decide for yourself.

Your humble narrator (me, DonRocks!) has been asked to attend - not just the gala, but the actual mission itself, in 2014, and I may just find myself working in a remote area of the Philippines 18 months from now. Is there a better use of my time and money? I don't think so.

For now, however, I'm happy to have contributed the following item to the gala (which features a silent auction):

"The King of Italian Wines from The King of Italian Winemakers"

1996 Barolo "Villero di Castiglione Falleto" by the legendary Bruno Giacosa

The wines of Piemonte are noted as far back as Pliny's Natural History. Due to geographic and political isolation, Piemonte was without a natural port for most of its history, which made exportation treacherous and expensive. This left the Piemontese with little incentive to expand production. Sixteenth-century records show a mere 14% of the Bassa Langa under vine -- most of that low-lying and farmed polyculturally. In the nineteenth century the Marchesa Falletti, a frenchwoman by birth, brought eonologist Louis Oudart from Champagne to create the first dry wines in Piemonte. Along with work in experimental vineyards at Castello Grinzane conducted by Camilo Cavour -- later Conte di Cavour, leader of the Risorgimento and first Prime Minister of Italy -- this was the birth of modern wine in the Piemonte. At the heart of the region and her reputation are Alba and the Langhe Hills. This series of weathered outcroppings south of the Tanaro River is of maritime origin and composed mainly of limestone, sand and clay, known as terra bianca. In these soils -located mainly around the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco -- the ancient allobrogica, now Nebbiolo, achieves its renowned fineness and power.

Purchased on November 30, 2006 for $100 from Addy Bassin's MacArthur Beverages, Inc., Washington, DC

A Similar Bottle Sold on January 11, 2011 for $160 At Acker Auctions, New York, NY

"5 Stars - Drink Between 2012 and 2034" - www.cellartracker.com

Detailed Information can be found about this great Barolo at:


Serving Instructions:

1) Stand bottle upright for at least one week prior to serving - this wine has a lot of sediment which needs to settle to the bottom

2) Uncork and Decant wine slowly so the sediment is not shaken up

3) Wine should be served at 60-65 degrees (30 minutes in the fridge is fine)

4) Let the wine breathe and aerate in the decanter for at least one hour - it is extremely tannic and needs air

5) Serve with lamb, veal chop with rosemary, or firm and ripened cheeses

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For now, however, I'm happy to have contributed the following item to the gala (which features a silent auction):

Sold for $195!

Note to the buyer, whoever you are: if you ever want to try a bottle without having to open yours, I have a couple left - get in touch with me and twist my arm. :)

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