This was another great event featuring over 200 wineries, all members of Family Winemakers of California, which was held at the [San Diego] Del Mar Fairgrounds this past Sunday, March 14. This was the Association's 2nd annual appearance in San Diego. The Association has held trade-only tastings in Southern California since 2001 and has chosen to return to San Diego for this "one-of-a-kind" trade and consumer California wine tasting event." This was a huge tasting event and featured many small, family-owned wineries, some of which pour at very few events and don't have their own tasting rooms for you to visit, so if you have not been to one of these events I invite you make sure that next years San Diego event is on your calendar of things to do in March.
Don't despair: There is still time to plan on attending the Pasadena tasting being held at the Convention Center this Tuesday [I know short notice if you’re just reading this] and you can find all the details here. Hopefully, you can make some excuse to the boss about having to be absent for a very good cause, which cause is that you ask? I would explain it this way, this event is crucial for the express purpose of educating my palate of course. What don’t think it will fly, me neither you better just call in sick.
Bright Spots: This event was excellent, highly organized [kudos to the organizers] and well laid out, even with a crush of people I really didn't feel rushed or hurried. I've been to plenty of other "wine-tasting" events where this is not always the case. There was plenty of water to help me stay hydrated and snacks to nibble on between tastings to absorb some of the wine which may have found its way down my throat, as I poured or spit-out a majority of the wine I tasted [which feels like a terrible crime]. They also had plate lunches available to purchase, which I thought was a great idea.
Okay, here is my favorite part of the entire article and if you are like me you just skimmed down the page to find the substance of the article and the reason we all go to tastings in the first place, to "cherry-pick" our favorites, which is exactly what I did and what I've posted below are the picks I consider the "best of show". Before I begin, please let me preface everything by saying even though I've had some unique experiences tasting wine this weekend, I barely scratched the surface of the many wineries which were represented at this event. That said, here are some of my personal highlights:
Hailing from the Paso Robles area:
The folks at Lone Madrone hit it on all cylinders and ran the table, I was not able to visit the last time I was in Paso [in February] and I had to stop by their table to see what was new and boy I am glad I did. I will admit I am a big fan of many of their wines and really like their style, but this is the first time I liked everything they were pouring.
The 2007 Points West White: Selling for a mere $18, I gave this wine 91 points and for a one word review I would say, “luscious” describes it from swirl to sip.
The 2006 Bailey Ranch Zinfandel: Selling for a SRP of $22, this wine is what Zin is all about, juicy red fruits and pleasing tannins. I gave this wine 92 points, enjoy now.
The 2007 “The Will”: Just an amazing blend of 41% Grenache Noir, 40% Petite Sirah and rounding out the trifecta [which is what I would have called it] 19% Zinfandel. Folks, I gave this wine 94 points out of the box and this was one of the only wines that got a “wow” and the best part it sells for an amazing $22 each or $264 by the case. This wine represents an amazing value and the QPR is through the roof.
The 2005 Tannat: I can’t believe they still have some of this wine; this is the same bottling I purchased on my first trip to Paso. If this will be your first experience with this grape, all others will pail in comparison. Here’s my micro review, opaque, complex fruit compote of a wine with an amazing finish. I gave this wine 93 points and it’s drinking amazing right now, selling for $27 each.
More highlights to come so stay tuned and to easily do that just click to become subscriber it’s free of charge. My wine tasting journey is very similar to many women’s search for husband, “you have to kiss a lot of frogs, until you find a prince” and as I said earlier I do the “cherry- picking” so you don’t have to, until next time cheers everyone!