Museum pouring the Whites’ wine

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Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
Dr. White, pointing out another wall of wine in his personal wine cellar and discussing its history

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
Dr. White has a personal wine cellar in his home named "La Cave de Georges," which is controlled by an outside cooling system and professionally made with special supplies. The cellar currently houses over 700 bottles of wine, but previously held over 1,400.

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
Dr White, pointing to one of his favorite dessert wines in this cellar.

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
Dr. White posing in his personal wine cellar, "La Cage de Georges," which holds over 700 wines. It previously held over 1,400.

By Joseph Pratt

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After an extensive run of providing quality art and music events for free or minimal cost to everyone in the community, officials at the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC) are excited to roll their sleeves back down and let loose during a high-end educational wine tasting event, thanks to the support of Dr. George and Sandy White.

Charlotte Gordon, artistic director of SOMACC, said the museum hasn’t hosted a high-end event like this in a while, since the directors have dedicated all museum resources to hosting free and minimally priced events to reach the entire demographic of Scioto County, from their SOMACC Plaza Parties and Cirque d’Art performances to the visual art workshops for children of all ages.

Gordon says that tickets are going quickly and museum employees are excited to provide this wine tasting event.

“The White’s are very knowledgeable about wine, the history of wine, grapes used in the production of wine, the wine making process, and the tasteful consumption of wine,” Gordon said. “We are so thrilled to host a benefit with them, which will be a truly educational opportunity to the many who attend.”

Gordon said that the fundraiser doubles as an educational experience, which is what the mission of the museum is all about.

“Dr. White will be showing a video on wine, he will be discussing the etiquette of wine tasting and how to properly taste the flavors,” Gordon said. “It will truly be an educational program and experience in its own.”

Gordon said that, through her work with the Whites, she and her husband have both learned even more about wine. Gordon explained that the charisma and excitement the couple puts into teaching about wine is great for getting anyone interested and wanting to learn more.

“My wife and I have a great appreciation for the arts, as well as the charitable organizations that raise money for them,” Dr. White said. “We feel like the museum, in particular to Portsmouth, is probably the stellar cornerstone of the arts. We realize the Vern Rife Center, as well as many others, are extremely important, but the museum operates on contributions. Sandy and I believe in preserving it and do what we can to give back.”

White explained that he has assisted through wine tasting events, because it is where his knowledge lies, with extensive training and a history of buying and selling.

“It takes an enormous amount of work deciding which wines to showcase at these tastings,” White said. “You have to look at the experience of the guests, what is in season, what you can get in cases in time for the event, and so on. It is a time consuming planning period.”

The wines that the Whites decided to feature are all white wines.

The wines included are 2013 DeLille Cellars “Chaleur Estate” Blanc Columbia Valley, 2013 Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Columbia Valley Riesling, 2013 Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Columbia Valley Riesling, 2013 Eyrie Vineyards Dundee Hills Pinot Gris, Schramsberg “Mirabelle” California Brut Rosé, 2013 Tenuta Luisa Friulano, Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2013, and Moscato d’Asti.

“I am very excited for the museum’s wine tasting,” White said. “It is my love and has been a great hobby that I’ve enjoyed for many years. My wife and I are careful to not partake in the wine too often, but we do taste, collect, attend events, donate, and so on as often as we can.”

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and each wine will have foods catered to match the flavor of the drinks, so that the ultimate flavor experience is held. The preparation and planning for this has been done by Sandy White, while her husband has assisted in ensuring the best wine options are utilized.

White bragged on his wife, stating that she has a very reliable flavor palate and helps him appreciate the flavor of wine and what to eat with it even more. He laughed that all flavors have been approved through her and he promises she will guide guests in the right direction.

Tickets for the event need to be purchased in advanced, as no tickets will be sold at the door. The tickets are $250 each and include wine and hors d’oeurves. All profit from the event will be going to the SOMACC’s education program.

“While we have been rolling up our sleeves to provide such great programming, all while extending our educational programming, it is wonderful that we have donors who are helping us fund our educational programs through an exquisite program of its own.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at 353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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