There comes a time, ladies and gentlemen, when we all have to ask ourselves one simple question: just how much do we love Syrah? There are a lot of varietals vying for attention these days, but not all of them are created equal in each of our minds. For some people Cabernet will always be king. For others, Zinfandel. As for me, I find it very hard to choose one favorite varietal, but I also admit that one of my favorite tastings every year is the famed Rhone Rangers wine tasting, where I get a chance to taste Syrah (among other things) from all over the state.
For those not familiar with the movement, the Rhone Rangers is an advocacy organization made up of wineries, winemakers, and wine lovers who all love the varietals typically grown in the Rhone Valley of France. These 22 different varieties of red and white grapes have varying degrees of history in California viticulture, but collectively they began a rise to popularity about 15 or 20 years ago as folks on the central coast began producing Syrah that made everyone sit up and take notice.
Syrah is still king, but now there are hundreds of Viogniers and Grenaches, scores of Mourvedres and Roussannes, and many more red and white blends being made everywhere from Mendocino to Santa Barbara. And once a year, they all come to San Francisco for our tasting pleasure.
See you on Sunday!
Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting
Sunday. March 18th, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
99 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, 94123
Tickets are $45 in advance ($35 for Rhone Ranger members), but will jump to $55 at the door. They can be (and should be -- hint, hint) purchased in advance online.
Parking is crazy that day, don't bother trying to park anywhere close to Fort Mason. Take public transportation or park farther away and walk.
My usual tips for public wine tastings apply: get a good night's sleep the night before, eat lunch before you arrive, drink lots of water, wear dark clothes, and for Pete's sake, people -- SPIT! You don't want to be one of those stumbling fools that the rest of us responsible wine lovers mock all afternoon.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
How to Help Lake County After the Fire Wine and Words in Three Volumes I'll Drink to That: Robert Bohr of Charlie Bird Vinography Images: Over a Barrel Warm Up: Sicilian Wine I'll Drink to That: Salvatore Geraci of Palari Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 27, 2015 Wine News: What I'm reading the Week of 9/27 The Lodi Zinfandel Revolution Continues I'll Drink to That: Master Sommelier Guy Stout
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