Friday, May 13, 2011

California Wine Fair

I scored some cheap tickets to the California Wine Fair last night for myself and two friends. Well, another friend scored them for us, then couldn't go, and I'm sad she didn't get to come with us. But, cheap tickets were still scored, and three of us got to drink a lot of yummy wine for only $25. 

I'd never been to a wine fair before, so it was pretty overwhelming. So many wines, and no idea where to start! For the first hour or so, my friends and I just wandered from table to table. We had a few companies that we knew of, and made sure to hit them. Then after an hour, I sent a message to my friend who knows her wines, and she looked up who was there and told us which ones not to miss. She was such a help! The booths didn't list the price of the wines, so it was hard to tell which ones were the "good" ones without a little help from my friend. 

So this is what I tried, and in parenthesis are any notes I made while trying (very short notes!): 

  • Anders-Lane Artisan
    • Estrada Creek, Syrah, 2007, California
    • Estrada Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, California (ok)
  • Bonterra
    • Syrah, 2008, Mendocino (ok)
  • Cline Cellars
    • Pinot Noir not listed in the booklet (yum!)
    • Oakley, Red Blend, 2009, California (good for summer sipping)
  • Firestone Discoveries
    • Merlot, 2007, California (good for a merlot)
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, California (yum!)
  • Hess Collection Winery
    • Allomi Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, 2008, Napa Valley
    • Hess Select, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, Mendocino-Lake-Napa
  • Ironstone Vineyards
    • Old Vine Zinfandel, 2009, Lodi (good)
  • J. Lohr Winery
    • Falcon's Perch, Pinot Noir, 2009, Monterey
    • Vineyard Series, Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, Paso Robles (yum!)
    • Petit Syrah not listed in the booklet
  • Kenwood Vineyards
    • Zinfandel, 2007, Sonoma County (yum)
  • Michael David Winery
    • Petit Syrah not listed in the booklet
    • 7 Deadly Zins, Zinfandel, 2008, Lodi (already knew I liked this one a lot!)
    • Earthquake, Zinfandel, 2008, Lodi (thick/full, yum!)
  • Rutherford Wine Co.
    • Rutherford Ranch, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, Napa Valley
  • Tamas Estates
    • Zinfandel, 2008, Central Coast
  • Trinchero Family Vineyards
    • Napa Cellars, Zinfandel, 2008, Napa (ok)
    • The Show, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, California (light, smooth, good)
Wow. Now that I write them all down, I see  that I tasted a LOT of wines last night in a two hour period. Mind you, they poured just a tiny bit, maybe two mouthfuls, but I'd only sip at it, then dump it out. How many glasses of wine does 21 sips work out to being anyway? Haha. 

I discovered that of California wines, I like the zins and the cabernets. The syrahs, pinot noirs, and merlots didn't really do much for me, and I really stayed away from them anyway. I was really surprised with how much I liked the Firestone wines because all I could picture was Andrew Firestone from The Bachelor, and really didn't expect to like the wine! 

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