Wine-tasting event held at Church Farm

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., Sep. 19, 2013
Jason Taylor serves Adam Swart a sample of craft beer.
Jason Taylor serves Adam Swart a sample of craft beer.

For nearly a decade, the Friends of the Babcock Library have been putting on an annual party to benefit that institution. “It is a great social event for the town and people in the community look forward to it each year,” said Sally DeMars, an organizing Friend. “The camaraderie of this group makes this all worthwhile. We are a hard-working, fun-loving group of active seniors.”

The Sept. 14 fundraiser was not just an event focusing on wine, handcrafted beer and spirits; a new addition this year included a book-signing by Kevin Cullen, author of “Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice.”

Guests enjoyed tasting many wines, beer and spirits, along with hors d’oeuvers made by the Friends members, often with ingredients from their gardens. Who could resist the skewers of fresh mozzarella, with a chunk of salami, topped off with a cherry tomato and sprig of basil?

The usual silent auction took place, as did the sale of hand-made jewelry called “Babcock Baubles.” “I’ve been at the Cape all summer and seen lots of jewelry. This is beautiful hand-crafted jewelry at extremely reasonable prices,” said Pat Kent.

A raffle and art sale were held in the barn as well.

Nancy Carlson, who had missed the tasting for a couple of years, enjoyed the additions. “I like listening to the music. The Liswells add to the ambience of the event. The hors d’oeuvers were excellent, particularly the bruschetta. The wine server suggested coupling it with the wine. They know their product,” she said.

It takes many hands to host a fundraiser like this annual event. “Eastern Connecticut State University plays a big part in this. They help with the parking, set up the tents, mow and help us clean up. They are very supportive of the community,” said Jan McCulloch, organizer of the tasting. ECSU received the Church Farm Center for Arts and Sciences property from the Joe and Dorothy Zaring.

Paul Thaller from the Ashford Spirit Shoppe brought in the distributors. “This event allows me to help out the community in ways other people can’t. I can get distributors to donate wine and beer and their time to pour,” he said.

Every year Westford Hill Distillers creates a special cocktail for this event. This year it was Babcock’s Bartlett Tree. “They generously offer their spirits to benefit the library and community,” DeMars said.

The work of many hands makes this event a continuous success and one of the social events of the year in Ashford.

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