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    PRSAHR Gets Social at Mermaid Winery

    Story and Photos by
    Marcy Germanotta

    Oh, how sweet it was! More than 20 of our Chapter members and a few friends came together at the Mermaid Winery in Norfolk to enjoy the pairing of wine and cake.

    Missy Rentz, the general manager for Rowena’s gourmet foods headquartered in Norfolk, was invited to speak about the rebranding of the iconic Rowena brand – and to bring cake! She did a splendid job at both, bringing the long-time favorite Rowena’s Almond Pound Cake, a surprise competitor for best-liked, Rowena’s Chocolate Pound Cake, and a few other surprises.

    Missy said the road to rebranding was not easy, but one that she did out of a mission to keep the integrity of the original brand. Her choice of keeping the recognizable red letters – with a modern lower case “r” as center – was the right fit for the rebranding. She also added the tagline – "share the love" - that echoed below the heart-shaped “r” in the logo. A nice touch.

    After hearing about all the yummy products being introduced in the Rowena line, and those that are keeping Missy busy these days with internet sales, our mouths were watering and ready for the pairing. Finally the samples arrived – more than morsels, they were slices of luscious cake to be sampled individually and gently rinsed down with Mermaid wine specials.

    The hit of the evening was the pairing of Siren’s White, a semi-dry white - a blend of Viognier, Petit Manseng and Roussane – with the Almond pound cake.  Second in place was the Merlot with the Chocolate pound cake. The Merlot was described as “a velvety, luscious wine with violet and milk chocolate on the nose.”

    The third choice was the Peach wine with Smoked Gouda and Rowena’s Peach Clove Jam. The other two may not have been in the top three but only a “crumb” away from placing. They were the Cabernet Sauvignon with Rowena’s Coconut Pound Cake and the Norfolk Express , a 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Rowena’s Cappuccino Chocolate Pound Cake.  

    In between the pairings, members had a chance to network and talk shop – or about dogs, vacations, and other wines they would love to try.

    Many thanks to Missy for spending time with us and for the Mermaid Winery for being our host and making sure everyone left with a good taste!

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