It's An Italian MoCool, So Everyone's Family!

Scenes from an Italian MoCool

After 30 years, it's a MoCool first.

Other MoCools have highlighted specific regions, from California to France. But never Italy!

So get ready to dig into your cellar for that elderly Barolo, that DOC-defiant Super Tuscan, that Zin-emulating Primitivo. And don't forget that bottle of Vin Santo for dessert!


Traditionally, MoCool Friday evening is a time to socialize with your fellow MoCoolers and enjoy wines that don't conform to our main theme. Starting last year, we moved the Friday night event outdoors, to the site of Saturday's picnic: Camp Woodbury, on the shore of Nordman Lake, Jan and Tom's privately owned compound about 15 minutes west of Ann Arbor. Join us with a worthy bottle of wine you'd like to share for a casual evening of socializing by the lake. Chef Alan will provide some foods;  your additional food contributions are welcome, but not mandatory, especially if you're an out-of-towner.


For 25 years, Saturday's tasting picnic has been the MoCool centerpiece. And for the last fifteen-plus, we've had the privilege of picnicking under the big tent at Camp Woodbury. (For more about the site, visit the Stay at the Lake page.)

We'll divide the large MoCool tent into tables featuring each of the regions and wine styles of Italy.. Depending on your proclivities, you'll be able to spend time in every DOC and sampling every grape that Italy has to offer, from Venezia to Vernaccia, Sardinia to Sicily, Nebbiolo to Nero d'Avola . Plan to taste dozens of wines (spitting them all, of course) and compare, contrast and discuss them with your fellow attendees!

Tasting under the tent at MoCool 10: Tour de France (2001)


Chef Alan Kerr is going Italian, so plan to pasta afternoon tasting a highly eclectic menu from all parts of the boot.  Expect copious quantities of Italian cheeses, meats and antipasto specialties 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!


Friday's reception costs $35, along with your choice of a bottle to share. The Saturday picnic costs $110 per person, plus your contribution of a bottle of wine (or more) that fits MoCool's Italian theme. Coming both days gets you a discount; the two-event package is $135. Advance signup is required.

A word about costs: Yes, they've increased, substantially in the case of the Saturday picnic. We're sure you're aware of what's happened to food prices over the last year, and we've committed not to cut back the quality or quantity of our menu, which has meant a major rise in food costs.

What you may not know is that the rental cost for our venue has also risen significantly over the years. When we moved MoCool to Nordman Lake, Jan and Tom had recently begun refurbishing the property and just started to make it available for events; we were among their first renters. Fast forward almost twenty years, and their much-improved property is booked every weekend for high-end weddings and other events that pay far more in rental fees than Jan and Tom charge us; they forfeit thousands of dollars by saving a prime summer weekend for MoCool each year at a below-market rental.

So although our rental cost has increased substantially, along with our food costs, we feel that holding the event at the lakeside venue and maintaining the quality of our menu are important parts of what makes MoCool special. As a not-for-profit shared-cost event, we have no alternative but to pass along these increased expenses, and hope you understand.

Music by Naked Ace and guests at Game of Rhones (2015)


We welcome (and rely on) volunteer assistance for help with setup before the events and cleanup on Sunday morning, as well as some local folks to run shopping and pickup errands in the days preceding . Volunteer kitchen assistants for Chef Alan during the day on Friday and Saturday morning are also welcome. If you'd like to help with any of these, please contact Alan Collins, our Volunteer Coordinator.


Now that you're up to speed, head to the MoCool signup site to sign yourself up, list those joining you, and check into staying at the lake.  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 Saturday, July 30.

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

So you know: We can't give refunds if you cancel after July 30, 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 summer 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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