Pinot Noir lovers would do well to block off a few hours of their Sunday next week to attend the largest tasting of California Pinot Noir ever held in the Bay Area, as San Francisco plays host to the second annual Pinot Days tasting.
On Sunday, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM the public can taste hundreds of current releases from more than 150 Pinot Noir producers, mostly from California, but also from Oregon and France and elsewhere around the globe. If you're interested in what's on offer, you might check out my coverage of last year's event. It is truly an awesome selection of wines.
In addition to the Grand Tasting on Sunday, there are several smaller seminars which allow participants to learn about specific regions or specific vineyards via blind tasting with winemakers and winegrowers.
To be perfectly honest, I'm dreading this years event. Last year was great, but it was pre-Sideways. There wasn't a huge crowd and it was pretty easygoing. This year I expect to be a madhouse. My advice to you is to get there early, have a list of what you want to taste, and follow it.
2006 Pinot Days Grand Tasting
Sunday June 25th 2006 1-4pm
Fort Mason, San Francisco
Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online. I recommend buying them in advance, as this is bound to be a very popular tasting. The other events have separate ticket prices ranging from $65 to $95.
And as far as my usual advice for public tastings: get a good night's sleep, wear dark clothes, have a nice lunch beforehand without any garlic or heavy spices, and for pete's sake, spit.
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