Rey Jeff, Joe, Baird and Dr. Bruce are greeted by Sandy, Robert and Kevin
President Tom called the meeting to order at 12:15 and lead us in the pledge of allegiance.  Dr. Bruce gave a very eloquent invocation.
There were only two visiting Rotarians in attendance today, our good friends Barry from South El Monte who was here for his 3rd to last meeting of the season and Bob Woodward from North Carolina.
President Tom made the following announcements:
The next Board meeting will be held at President Tom’s office on April 19th starting at 5:30 PM.  Tom’s office is located off of Country Club west of Washington at 77530 Enfield Ln, Palm Desert, CA 92211. This notice would have been more significant if the newsletter had gone out a little earlier this week, but I mention it so as not to disrupt the space time continuum that our beloved fine master finds so fascinating!
The City of La Quinta’s 35th anniversary and annual picnic will be held on Saturday April 29th.  What a great way to end the month of April as we WILL be cooking and serving over 1,000 hot dogs to hungry La Quinta Citizens for free!  The City of La Quinta has agreed to take care of all of the County Health Department requirements.  If you were unable to sign-up on the sheet last week don’t worry, just show up to the event and we’ll put you to work stuffing buns with wieners and giving them out to the good folks of La Quinta!
The District Assembly will take place on Saturday, April 22nd at Yucaipa High School from 8:30 to 4 PM.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about Rotary. 
The DEMOTION Party will be held this year on June 23rd.
Sandy and Baird announced that we will be hosting our Wine Event at the La Quinta Museum this year on FRIDAY APRIL 21ST from 6 to 8 PM.  Our very own Kevin Pickett will be providing the entertainment for the evening and there will be a raffle, appetizers, and lots of fun to be had.
This is turning out to be a very important fundraiser this year and if successful it will allow us to fund more scholarships for the graduating La Quinta High School Seniors and send more LQHS Juniors to RYLA!  Bring your raffle prizes to the meeting and prepare to buy raffle tickets if you will be unable to attend this great event!
Marc Rosen announced that he and the club’s scholarship selection committee will be meeting at La Quinta High School on the next two Wednesdays (April 19th and 26th) to review Student Portfolios and begin interviewing prospective recipients.  All members are invited to attend.  For more information on this please see Marc.
Joe LaMantia announced that the Rotary Direct flyers were at the greeting table should anyone be interested in signing up for the direct deposit program to the Rotary Foundation.
Our raffle was worth over $1,142.00 today and with only 4 marbles left (yes, I know that is more marbles than last week, but Robert Wilkinson insists he is not adding marbles and suggests that maybe they are multiplying on their own) Bruce Cathcart had the winning ticket.  Once again, and fortunately for the rest of the club members, Bruce drew the white marble rolling the jackpot over for next week.  With only 3 marbles left (assuming Robert remembers to remove the white marble drawn by Bruce this week) your odds of winning, should your ticket get drawn, should be about one in three next Friday.
Bruce Cathcart welcomed Dr. Robert (Bob) Woodward into our club with a very brief induction ceremony as our newest Affiliate Member.  Bob has been attending our club meetings and club functions for the last few years on a seasonal basis and I guess he finally decided we were OK folks to affiliate with in a more formal capacity.  Bob’s designation will be “Retired OB/GYN Physician”.  Bob gave a short but very interesting biography about himself and just as he was about to be presented with his Official La Quinta Rotary Affiliate Member badge… it was tossed to Allan Levin to be “purchased” later in the meeting.
Our Fine Master Allan Levin took to the podium and immediately set his sights on his good friend and recent $5 raffle winner Bruce Cathcart.  Bruce happily repatriated his $5 winnings plus an extra fiver in honor of his beloved “Anteaters” (UCI) Women’s Rugby Team making the final 4 in Division II Spring National Championships ( I guess when you don’t have a football program and your basketball team sucks you have to look elsewhere!).  Remember that Affiliate Badge Allen was going to sell to our newest Affiliate member Bob Woodward?  Not only did they spell his first name backwards, but they listed his classification as “Retired OB/GYN POSITION”!  Baird paid for that error and we moved on to Kevin’s bad joke which cost him a couple of bucks.  Howard had missed a few meetings and surprised us with a $100.00 donation.  Allan thanked him and on behalf of the club suggested that he stay away more often!  Bob Wright offered up an IOU for his wife Jacquelyn’s birthday and Dr. Bruce followed suit extending his IOU for he and his wife Janet’s anniversary.  Robert Wilkinson will be honored at the upcoming Spring Social at La Quinta High School and so taking the floor he shared with us that this year’s RYLA camp in Pine Crest, CA. was attended by 300 High School students on each of the last two consecutive weekends making it one of the largest and most successful RYLA programs in the Nation… perhaps the world!  Allan let him off easy at $4.
In light of the upcoming Wine Tasting event our very timely speaker this day was Ben Booth the Sommelier from Cuistot, the French Restaurant located at 72595 El Paseo in Palm Desert.   Ben gave a very interesting presentation on the history and duties of a sommelier and did his best to educate our members on wines and wine tasting.   As a sommelier (which comes from the old French “to carry” – presumably the wine!) he is the one responsible for the selection of all of the wines at Cuistot.  He selects about 50% French and 50% domestic wines… and this is no easy task!  In Napa County alone there are over 350 wineries each producing an average of 10 wines each year.  That is over 3,500 wines to choose from to end up with just 25… and that wine list changes 4 times a year!  The real challenge for a sommelier is the selection of those wines.  The wines selected must not only be the wines that he likes best, but they must appeal to the public. We learned that the typical restaurant mark up for bottles of wine is 3 time their wholesale cost.  This covers the rent, the glasses, the serving; the chef’s occasional glass or two, the manger’s occasional bottle or two, you get the idea.  When it comes to pairings Ben insists that the pairings should elevate both the food and the wine.  When it comes to what makes a great wine he says unequivocally, “The people you drink it with”.  I like that answer, although I have had some pretty awful wines with some pretty great friends before!!!  Ben had several bits of advice to those of us who be enjoying our wine tasting event this coming Friday evening…  Do not wear perfume or cologne and let your nose do the work, trust your first impression of the wine, focus and think hard with an analytical eye on each taste, and enjoy the WOW factor!  Thank you Ben for a great presentation!  Please visit the Cuistot website at, or better yet, stop by for a most excellent dining experience.
President Tom called the meeting to a close at 1:30 PM with the Four Way Test.
This newsletter was written by Bruce Cathcart