It's hard to believe another year has gone by. It seems like only a few short months ago that my teeth finally lost their blue color after a long day tasting hundreds of California Zinfandels. But it's actually been 12 months, and now it's time again for ZAP, the annual festival celebrating the ultimate California wine in all its glory.
Quite possibly THE most popular wine tasting event to occur in San Francisco each year, the ZAP festival draws crowds of thousands to Fort Mason to taste recent vintages of Zinfandel from hundreds of producers. Honestly, it's always a bit of a madhouse, but there's no way to avoid it. ZAP is simply the only place that consumers (and trade and media alike) can get the chance to taste so many Zinfandel wines side by side.
If you're interested, you can check out my coverage of the event from last year. This year is the 16th annual event held by Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, the trade association that promotes the grape around the world. Like every year, the highlight of the festival is the public tasting of wines, held on Saturday, January 27th. However, there are several other events over the course of the weekend that are less crowded and equally as rich in Zinfandel. There are seminars where you can actually learn something in addition to trying the wine, and a series of wine and food events, ranging from a large public wine and food tasting (always less packed than the main tasting) to more intimate winemaker dinners. All of the details are available on the event web site.
If you enjoy Zinfandel, there's nothing like this event. See you there !
16th Annual ZAP Zinfandel Festival Grand Tasting Event
Saturday, January 27th, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Herbst & Festival Pavilions
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Marina Blvd. at Buchanan Street
Tickets to the tasting are $60 and can be purchased online.
My tips for this event:
1. Don't try to park anywhere near Fort Mason. Take a cab or public transportation. You'll miss the whole event while looking for parking
2. Get there early and have a list of producers you want to visit.
3. As with all public tastings: wear dark clothes, come with a full stomach, and for Pete's sake, spit your wine. Don't become one of the stupidly drunk folks who everyone laughs at.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune