It Was A Good Year, Inc. (IWAGY) has been an active not-for-profit wine tasting and wine education club for more than thirty years. We hold monthly tastings from September to June, with at least one special themed wine and food event.
With input from our members, our tastings are organized by our officers, members of our Board of Directors, and a Tasting Advisory Committee. Tastings are led by wine educators and experienced members of the wine trade, who are selected for their expertise on the tasting topic and help plan the tasting and select the wines.
Our tastings are held at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, with free adjacent indoor parking, while our special event is held at Poughkeepsie area venues that include some of the Mid Hudson Valley’s finest restaurants.
Selected tasting topics and presenters in recent years have included:
· The DOCG Wines of Tuscany, Scott Rosenberg, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Grad, General Manager of Il Bariloto Enoteca;
· Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Tracy Ellen Kamens, Ed.D., Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), of Grand Crus Classes;
· Tempranillo and Beyond: The Fine Wines of Spain, Sunny Gandara, Graduate, Institute of Culinary Education, Certified WIne Educator (CWE), of Fork and Glass;
· Wines and Artisan Cheeses, Wendy Crispell, CSW, Advanced Certification with Merit, Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
· 2005 Bordeaux, Brian Smith, Professor of Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America and James Bead Award Winning author;
· Bordeaux: Second Wines of 2nd Great Growths , Rick Schofield, Certified International Wine Judge, Accredited Bordeaux Educator, CWE and Advanced Sommelier.;
The cost of membership in Was A Good Year is $30.00 per family, while the cost of tasting varies between $20 and $35 based on the expenses (wines, presenter, facility rental). For general questions, contact Vice President Arnie Serotsky at 845 702 7382 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For membership questions, contact Membership Chair Art Lichtman, at email@example.com.
Adios, Mike! Mike George has resigned from the Board of Directors of It Was A Good Year, Inc. He’s not unhappy with the Club; he’s just retiring to Florida, and has sold his home of about 40 years in Poughkeepsie. He’s been associated with the Club for nearly as long. Mike joined IWAGY in 1981, just a year after its founding, and has been heavily involved ever since.
He helped marshal us through some difficult times, including an era when we couldn’t see how to continue to exist as a Club without a president; as I remember it was Mike’s idea that the Club could operate with a Board of Directors, initially composed of people who had previously held office but didn’t want to take the full presidential responsibility themselves (including both Mike and me). Mike also helped nurse the Club through the difficult economic downturn of the early 1990’s, when many events had to be cancelled due to lack of participation. When I was attending the Culinary Institute of America (1993-95), Mike became the “glue” that held the group together. He was a key figure in interactions with the late Brian Smith that led to the CIA allowing us to rent their Wine Spectator Room for our events from the early 1990’s through 2007. Like all of the officers/board members, Mike organized or coordinated many events for the Club. He was also the Club’s “un-official” secretary; he served as treasurer, and kept the Club on track when times were difficult. Changes happen in any organization that has had a long-term existence (for us, 1980- today), and the Club must adapt or become defunct. I hope we’re able to keep the “Olympic Torch” burning as Mike departs. He will definitely be missed. Tim Free, on behalf of the Board and officers of It Was A Good Year, Inc.
History of It Was A Good Year, Inc.
It Was A Good Year, Inc. was formed as a not-for-profit corporation in 1980 for the purpose of tasting and learning about wine. It is run by its members through its elected officers.
Its first-ever tasting event, held when the Club was as-yet-unnamed, was a tasting at the Fishkill Inn (presently Sapore Steak House); its subject was wines of the Hudson Valley. There were some 25-30 people in attendance, including Eric Miller (then winemaker at Benmarl winery in Marlboro, NY) and possibly Bill Wetmore of Cascade Mountain Winery in Amenia, NY.
In June of 1980, the group was named. The name choice that got the second most votes was “Vat 80”.
In August of 1980, the tasting topic was "Picnic Wines". This was followed by September's "American Cabernet Sauvignon", October's "Dessert Wines" at The Commons Condos Clubhouse in Fishkill, and November's "Sparkling Wines" (including some Champagnes) at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum.
1981 was the first full year of IWAGY tastings, with the topics of Jug and Bargain Wines, Red Bordeaux, Beaujolais and Nouveau Wines, White Burgundies and Other Chardonnays, Rosés, Gewurtztraminers, American Chardonnays, Chenin Blanc (including a clam bake), Mosel Rieslings (with our first guest speaker, Mort Tavel), and Chateau Esperanza Wines (from the Finger Lakes with John Leback).