Calling All Pinot Lovers!

Although Cabernet's fan-boys (and girls) might argue, given their variety it wouldn't be a mistake to label Pinot as the first family of wine grapes -- especially those from cooler climates.

Pinot Noir makes Burgundy's reds some of the rarest (and most expensive!) wines in the world. Pinot Gris and Blanc are two of the flagship grapes of Alsace, while Pinot Meunier plays a supporting role in Champagne. All of these grapes now produce quality wines in the New World, too, from Oregon and New Zealand to cooler climates like Michigan and Ontario.

It's been fifteen years since MoCool specifically visited the Pinot family, but we're back this year with Pinot Evil!


Traditionally, MoCool Friday evening is a time for wine and food that doesn't exactly conform to our main theme. So you're invited to join us at the Holiday Inn Express on Zeeb Road, west of Ann Arbor, with a bottle of wine to share that isn't Pinot... the rest is up to you! Chef Alan will have a heaping pile of foods that aren't exactly Pinot-friendly, either. Welcome but not mandatory, expecially for out-of-towners, are your food contributions to accompany the wines.


For 25 years, the Saturday tasting picnic has been MoCool's centerpiece. And for the last dozen, we've had the privilege of picnicking under the big tent on the shore of Nordman Lake, Jan and Tom's privately owned compound about 15 minutes west of Ann Arbor. (For more about the site, visit the Stay at the Lake page.)

We'll divide the large MoCool tent into tables that feature the different grapes of the Pinot family: Blanc, Gris, Noir and Meunier. We expect a lot of wine from Burgundy and Oregon, along with some from Alsace, but your contributions of exotic wines from unusual places will make the day even more special!Tasting under the tent at MoCool 10: Tour de France (2001)


Chief Galley Slave Alan Kerr plans a Pinot-friendly menu for MoCool 2018, with consideration to the fact that many Pinot-based wines are more subtle and elegant than those from other grapes. Plan to consume prodigious quantities of hot and cold running appetizers from the opening bell, and a main course served around 6PM. Lots of vegetarian-friendly dishes are always on the menu, too.

Chef Alan Kerr at workIf you're a MoCool newbie, you'll quickly discover that the food alone makes the MoCool picnic more than worth the trip!

Once the wine and food begin to slacken in their attraction -- that's when we bring on the band! Our hosts, Tom and Jan, and their musical minions in Naked Ace will serve up a round of rocking bluesy gumbo guaranteed to keep your feet moving -- possibly toward the the wine tent for some dessert sips. How about some SGN Pinot Gris and Steely Dan? Sounds like a great combo to us! Dancing not only allowed, but encouraged!


Friday's reception costs $40, along with your choice of a non-Pinot bottle to share.. The Saturday picnic costs $75 per person, plus your contribution of a bottle of wine (or more) that fits the Pinot Evil theme -- i.e  Blanc, Gris, Noir and Meunier.  Coming both days is an even better bargain; the two-event package is discounted to $100. Advance signup is required.Music by Naked Ace and guests at Game of Rhones (2015)


As always, we welcome (and rely on) volunteer assistance for help with picnic setup on Saturday morning and cleanup on Sunday morning, as well as some local folks to run shopping and pickup errands in the days preceding the picnic. Volunteer kitchen assistants for Chef Alan during the day on Friday or on Saturday morning are also welcome. If you'd like to help with any of these, please contact Tom Noland, our Procurer of Pinot Peons


Once you're up to speed with all the info, head to the MoCool signup site to sign yourself up, list those joining you, and order a  t-shirt or 3. We prefer that you pay with your credit card or PayPal when you sign up. Alternatively, you can send a check to the address listed in your confirmation email.

We ask that you please register ASAP. Knowing approximate numbers greatly helps us to plan food and other logistics. The last day to signup for the picnic is Monday, July 23.

Sous-hef Allan Bree serves Tom Neman at "Hail That Cab" (1999)

So you know: We can't give a refund if you cancel after July 23, or simply don't show up. We can't give any refunds for cabins, RV space, or tent sites, unless someone else takes your space. MoCool is a breakeven proposition at best, which doesn't leave room for changes once we set budgets and quantities and start to buy food and supplies.


MoCool -- the Motown Co-Operative Off-Line -- is the world's longest-running off-line gathering of wired wine lovers, started in 1992 by a group in the Detroit / Ann Arbor area. Over the years, our annual weekend tastings have brought together wine lovers from across the US and Canada, and as far away as France, South Africa and New Zealand!

The event is non-profit, run by a loosely organized group of volunteers for the purpose of enjoying good wines, good food, and socializing with fellow wine lovers. If you've read this far and that idea sounds pretty good to you, then you're probably one of us!


Go to the Contact page to email the appropriate person.

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