Sip & imbibe

Maui Calls beckons with fine wines; isle coffee winners announced

Representatives of Department 66 (at left) will pour wines at Maui Calls. Owner Dave Phinney (of The Prisoner) produces these legendary wines in the south of France that are highly rated and have quirky labels. Photo courtesy the MACC

If you like fine wines, gourmet foods and supporting a noble cause, then Maui Calls is THE event to attend. The 25th annual signature gala fundraiser for the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului will usher in the Hukilau theme from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

Legendary Russian River Valley pinot noir winery Merry Edwards will pour its sauvignon blanc that has the highest point scores of any domestic of that varietal.

“During my tenure with Maui Calls, Merry Edwards has been one of the biggest supporters — only Duckhorn has participated in more,” says Alan Jahns, the wine division manager for Maui’s own Paradise Beverages and a 40-year isle resident.

“The MACC has become very close to my heart — and I guess it’s this Maui connection that’s continued to inspire me to outdo myself by creating/improving the line-up with every new year,” Jahns continues.

Fans of Washington and Oregon wines will find four top superstar producers at Maui Calls, including Quilceda Creek (with more 100 point scores than any other winery in America) and Andrew Will, a “somm favorite.”

Oregon’s Ken Wright Cellars & Stoller Wine Group (formerly Chehalem) will appear for the first time at Maui Calls as will three of America’s greatest importers: Southern Starz and Winebow will pour top Australian and New Zealand varietals. August Wine Group will offer a taste of Italy. Clos du Val returns from Napa Valley. Two California Central Coast producers, Herman Story and Desparada, are on wine critic Robert Parker’s list of favorites and will feature “high-octane, 90-plus point wines.” More on the food in next week’s issue. For tickets, visit www.mauiarts.org.

The Maui Coffee Association’s annual Seed To Cup Festival at Maui Tropical Plantation’s Village area on Sunday was brewing under silky post-Erick skies, and packed with people enjoying the musical line up, coffee-inspired food, great workshops and most of all — the fabulous Maui Coffee, according to one of the event planners, David Gridley.

This year MCA also featured a Coffee Evaluation Workshop lead by expert David Hall, who is a locally licensed Coffee Q Grader.

It stimulated great enthusiasm with a Taste The Roast People’s Choice Competition that was won by Heather Brisson of Origin Coffee. Placing second was Maui Jo Coffee and tieing for third were Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co. and Maui Coffee Roasters.

“We closed the day with the ever popular Barista Throw Down which was won by Mark Kove, who traveled from the Big Island to compete. David Kaye from Old Lahaina Coffee placed second and Silas Carpenter was third.

Once again, Maui Coffees rose like cream to the top 10 of the Hawaii State Coffee Cupping Competition held recently on Oahu at the Ala Moana Hotel. Olinda Organic Farm was again the top-scoring Maui Coffee and third overall statewide. It’s owned by Rob and Martha Lind. Third place on Maui and 10th place overall went to Pueo Coffee owned by Tom Leuteneker, followed closely by Upcountry Farm Specialities, owned by Hugo Buetler who place 13th overall.

“Entries from the field of 94 growers were dominated by the larger coffee growing Districts of Kona and Ka’u,” adds Gridley. “But Maui, with only 14 entries, placed four of its coffees in the top 13 overall.”