Remember way, way back to your first day of school after summer vacation? Standard protocol was to stand in front of the class and recite what you did on your summer vacation. The Wine Stewards returned to those days of yesteryear when Kathy Perry and Charlene Cottingham invited the Stewards to recount their summertime adventures. One by one the Stewards, fortified by a glass of wine and summoned forth by the ringing of the school bell, stood before the group and recounted various tales of summertime adventures. One couple fulfilled their bucket list by cruising the inner passage of Alaska, another took their grandchildren on an imaginary cruise around hotspots in the metroplex and another recounted how their wine was absconded while sleeping in a bed and breakfast. Members were asked to bring wines from their adventures, and as the summer exploits grew and the wine flowed freely, the evening settled into laughter and friendly cheer. One unusual wine of the evening was the introduction of ice wine. Bill and Bernadette Fideli brought back bottles of ice wine from the Niagara Peninsula in New York State. Ice wine is the wine that made the international wine world sit up and take notice of what is produced in the Niagara wine regions of New York and Ontario, Canada. Elegant, silky, lush and decadent, ice wine is one of nature’s most luscious and celebrated wines. It is also one of the most difficult and challenging. A true ice wine can only be made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine and picked when the thermometer dips to minus eight degrees C or lower. Grapes are hand picked at the midnight hour in the month of December. They are pressed immediately to release a liquid highly concentrated in natural sugars and acidity. Canada and the Niagara regions produced 75% of the world’s ice wine. Members enjoyed tasting this novelty, along with miniature bundt cakes and ice cream treats. The first day of school should always be like this!