Erin Jacobs, John Kolbeck and Tara Scheyer lit up the house.

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M ore than 50 people sipped wine and listened to great music Thursday to support this year’s Westobou Festival.

Westobou organizers invited people who might be interested in the festival to the home of Teri and Dennis Sodomka to hear Tara Scheyer, Erin Jacobs and John Kolbeck, longtime local musicians who sing and play beautiful music.

Teri, Erin and Tara

They also tried five wines from the White Horse in Surrey Center. All five were popular, but the favorite seemed to be Stratum Sauvignon Blanc, a gorgeous wine from New Zealand, but all of the wines were tasty bargains.

Shell Berry, chairman of the Westobou board, thanked the folks who turned out and talked about the board’s vision to continue the Westobou tradition of excellent arts entertainment.

Pat and Frank

Molly McDowell, executive director, showed a video of the festival’s new commercial, talked about the great events this year and shared her enthusiasm for Westobou. It was a lively evening that generated a lot of excitement about the festival.

This year’s fifth annual festival will be Oct. 3-7. Each day will highlight one of the five artistic aspects of Westobou. Day one is visual arts, followed by music, words, dance and film.

Teri, Kathie and Sandy

For more information and details about how to buy tickets for this year’s festival go to or call 706-755-2878.

Here are the wine that were tasted:

Arindo Verdejo, Spain. This was a popular wine, with lots of crisp juicy fruit flavors, mostly pineapple, pear and apple with some citrus and a touch of minerality. It’s the perfect summer sipper.

Erin Jacobs

Stratum Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. This was the hit of the night. It’s very aromatic, with lots of citrus notes. The flavors are lively grapefruit, lemon and apple with good acidity and a crisp, clean finish. The wine continues the tradition of powerful New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, but at a modest price. It’s something you can sip by itself as an aperitif or pair with grilled seafood.

Villa Wolf Pinot Gris, Germany.  This is a slightly sweet wine, a good alternative to German Riesling. It is more full-bodied and might be enjoyed by Chardonnay drinkers. The flavors are apple, pear, honey, spice, citrus and minerals. It’s produced by Ernst Loosen whose Dr. Loosen wines are famous for quality in a slightly lighter style.

Tormaresca Neprica, Italy.  The name of this Italian beauty comes from the first two letters of the three grapes in the blend: Negroamaro, Primativo and Cabernet Sauvignon. It tastes of dark plum and cherry with a hint of licorice. The grapes are grown in southern Italy, in the heel of the Italian boot.

Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red, Columbia Valley. This Washington State wine blends nine grapes, but is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It was a smooth, mellow with tastes of blackberry, cherry and cocoa. It was one of Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines in 2010. The wine spent 16 months in 40% new oak barrels.


Tara Scheyer and Bob Woodhurst


Tara and Bob


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