by Nicole Crews

Triad de-ices and pours out… for the kids

Mother: “So what event are you attending tonight?”

Me: “Corks for Kids.”

Mother: “Good. Children today don’t know how to use cutlery.”

Me: “I said ‘Corks’ not ‘Forks,’ mother.”

Mother: “What’s the difference?”

Let’s begin with this. I like anything that involves wine and children.

Growing up in an antebellum house with a scuppernong arbor that dates back just as far, I spent many a late summer yielding those fat marbles of flesh for my father who was hell bent on making wine from a family recipe that was palatable only after the first sour-pussed sip. My reward: a taste of the forbidden, fermented fruit.

All of this passed muster with my mother, who fancied herself somewhat European (she’s a second-generation half-Greek, and not the best student of geography). “Let the child have a sip, Joe,” Mother would say, “she needs to learn about wine.”

Keep in mind that wine in North Carolina in the 1970s was hard to come by, especially in small Triad towns. There was no Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area and there certainly weren’t the bevy of wine shops that are found throughout the region today. Mother had to drudge to Greensboro or Winston-Salem to procure her grape and the selection — gallons of Gallo, Cold Duck and dusty straw-encased bots of Chianti — was abysmal.

Of course, all of this is ancient history and one of the area’s most avidly attended charity events, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s Corks for Kids Path is case in point.

Matron attending the event pointing at pouring station signage: “What exactly are ‘Interesting Whites’?”

Her companion: “Those in attendance perhaps?”

The event took place on Saturday at the Empire Room in downtown Greensboro, a wine-tasting extravaganza, beer bash, foodapolooza and silent auction now in its 7th year, has netted more than $300,000 to help support kids with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.

Husband to wife hovering over the silent auction: “Do you really need more jewelry?”

Wife: “You chase golf balls. I chase baubles.”

Paul Russ, vice president of marketing and development for HPCG, is part of the team who made the call to move the event from Friday to Saturday due to the ice storm. Russ says when the team realized that the Duke/Carolina game was the same night, they decided to make it part of the event. “I called Bill Falcon at the Empire Room and he said it was no problem to broadcast the game from the screens where we had our sponsor logos,” he said. “And it turns out a lot of people who didn’t have power at home were thrilled to have great food, wine and beer and watch the game on a big screen.”

Carolina fan: “That’s a big screen.”

Duke fan: “Mine’s bigger.”

Guests have the chance to taste numerous boutique and hand-crafted wines, with 100 percent of the profits going to Kids Path. Chairs for this year’s Corks were Michelle Fish, Lauren Tilley and Mindy Oakley.

Server, pointing to five bottles of cabernet sauvignon: “Which will you have may’am?”

Lady: “I’ll have the red.”

Server: “They’re all red.”

Lady: “Then keep pouring.”

Spoken like a true Southerner. I wonder if she started with a sip of scuppernong.

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