This week we have a spirited learning opportunity as Rotarians David Samm and David Francoeur speak to the club on the merits of Scotch (David) and the mertis of Belgian beer and Bordeaux wine.

The Buzz – January 11, 2016   By Ray Hook

  1.         President Tony and Past President Dawn A called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Best Western Ballroom, for our first evening meeting, with a quick briefing on how the evening would play out.

  2.        Today’s guests included Marnie Roberts, Pat Stettar, Ken Rostad, Morris Henderson, Carol Davies-Pedersen, Destiny Reay (Daybreak President), Darren Herle, Tricia Twomey and Darren and Tina Yarbrough.

  3.         Health of the Club – Health abounds within the Club today.

  4.    Announcements: President Tony advised that there were only two short announcements before the “Great Debate” on scotch versus wine/beer, and before that we would watch a short video on our Club’s 90th Celebration Year. So, we went ahead with the two announcements first. Once Dan got the wretched AV system to work, the video was very well done and appreciated by all. April 24th, 1924 was the day.


    a.     Lou H spoke to the status of the Rotary Cares raffle ticket sales – going well, but in order to make certain we sell all tickets, members are encouraged to bring in their sold and unsold tickets to the next meeting (Jan 18th), so we can do a fast check and make one last effort to sell any remaining tickets before the draw on January 25th.

    b.    Dan M on the coming Rotary Gala – Next Tuesday January 18nth, there will be a meeting at the Best Western for this year’s Gala, where the focus will be on the Live Auction packages (as well as kick starting the collection of Silent Auction items


  5.    Judges were AWOL tonight (Absent Without Authority!), so President Tony called for Happy Bucks, and Dawn, Ron G, Sheila, Jenn, Lou and Dan M responded.


     6.    Guest Speakers – Dawn took a moment to outline the rest of the evening, making certain that folks were aware of the fine wines and Belgian beer available for tasting/sampling. Then she turned the floor over to David Samm – the “scotch guy” … who gave a brief history of his rather tasteless introduction to scotch many years ago, but who, as a piper, was invited to so many events to pipe, that over time he naturally developed a taste for the finer scotches, and he then proceeded to share that knowledge and passion for a “wee dram” with those assembled. A most interesting discussion ensued.


             To counter all that good talk of scotch, David Francoeur took the group on a verbal tour of his most interesting past life in the restaurant/wine/beer world, where he extolled the virtues of so many (600 types of Belgian beer), of which he had to learn of the best 100 kinds – a tough job! David’s upbringing in Camrose area did not adequately prepare him for his life’s education and experiences in the world of beer and wine until he moved to Montreal and many parts of Europe, where he refined his taste for both good beer and French wine. On the beer front, Belgium produces so many different types of beer, and this is due to the different brewing laws that they enjoy over other European countries, like Germany, where German breweries can only use hops, barley and water, as compared to Belgian law, that permits pretty well anything, especially fruits. The combinations are endless.

          On the wine front, David expressed a weakness for French Bordeaux, and claimed it to be the prpremier red wine in the world. Of course, the two main grapes of any Bordeaux wine (cabernet sauvignon a and merlot) are what mostly make the wine. The trick is in the ratio of the two grapes, each with a different le level of tannins, and it is the tannins from these grapes that, with time, give the wine an even better taste a and feel.


7.    Other Business – there being no other business, Tony called for the 50/50 draw.

8.    50/50 draw winner today was Tricia Twomey and she failed to draw the big card.  Tony led us in the 4 Way Test before adjourning the meeting.

9.    Next week’s meeting will be a regular 1130 a.m. meeting at the Best Western.

10.    Editor’s Note – a big THANKS to Dawn for setting up this evening. No doubt Dan Mac was also involved! A good evening…..