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Wine society celebrates members

Posted: December 3, 2008 9:16 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2008 4:59 a.m.

John Monnich of Silkwood Wines pours a petit syrah for a guest at the Loose Goose event. The celebration featured 27 wineries and one beer, Stella Artois.

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More than 300 members and guests of the Loose Goose Wine Society traveled back in time to the "roaring '20s" at downtown Los Angeles' Union Station.

Guests dressed in Prohibition era suits and flapper attire as they sampled wine poured from 27 wineries represented at the event.

"Today is all about member appreciation," said Peter Goossens, founder of the Loose Goose Wine Society. "We launched the society last year here at Union Station and we now have more than 1,000 members."

Goossens said he plans on keeping the anniversary event for the Society at the historic Union Station location.

"This place has a wonderful vibe for our lazy afternoon type of event," Goossens said. "We also are able to have people sample some new wines just before the holidays. That's always a good thing."

Goossens said the event offered "good food, good wine, good cigars and beautiful weather - what could be better?"

RSVP Catering treated guests to elaborate plates of butternut squash ravioli, pork with wild rice and citrus vinaigrette, chicken curry with quince, olive panna cotta with roasted teardrop tomatoes, a cheese, dips and bruschetta station and assorted desserts - including rice pudding "shots," raspberry brownies, trifle cups
and a variety of dessert bars.

"Peter knows how to throw a party," said BJ Atkins, a second-year attendee with his wife Jeannie. "We took the Metrolink train down this year. We caught the 10:54 out of Newhall and arrived here at 11:40. We sauntered across to Olvera Street for lunch and now we're back here enjoying this event."

Guests played casino games for raffle tickets.

Debbie Moore of Palmdale won the afternoon's grand prize - a year's worth of wine.

Goossens took the microphone and thanked his wine society guests.

"I would also like to welcome our newest members, those who signed up at our fourth annual Loose Goose Wine Festival," he said. "At our first festival we had about 1,500 people, at the second festival 5,200. Last year there were 7,500 and this year, despite the Dow going down 2,000 points the week before the festival and a freak rainstorm coming through on the Saturday, we had more than 9,000 people attend our festival.

"Which makes us, again, the largest wine festival in Southern California. It is all thanks to you. Today is all about appreciating you, it's about showing you how much we love you."

Goossens said he discovered the Union Station location a few years back when he was scouting venues for wine events.

"I walked into this room and said, ‘We really have to do something in this room,'" he said.

Entertainment was provided by the Swinging Six which offered a host of standards and music to fit the mood and the era.

Goossens said that in addition to all the "wonderful wine" guests who preferred beer could ask for a brew at the Loose Goose island at one end of the room.

"Just give Jason the secret password - 'I need a beer,'" he said. "He will give you a Stella Artois we're keeping under the counter. It is Prohibition you know."

Goossens also invited guests to taste his 1667 Army of Geese wine.

"This is our first blend," he said, "only available for purchase by wine society members."

For information about the Loose Goose Wine Society call (661) 799-9463.

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