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Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 17, San Francisco

Hey you. Yes, I'm talking to the wine lover in you. Do you want to taste some really good wine? Do you want to try new wines that you might like? Do you like to taste expensive wines before dropping big bucks on them? If so, then there's only one thing to do, and that is go to public wine tastings.

One of the nice things about public tastings, put on as they are by big organizations, or in this case, publications, is that they often allow you to taste wines that you might not get a chance to taste otherwise for some reason -- whether that wstop100.gifis because of their cost, their small production levels, or the bass-ackwards liquor distribution system in your state.

Of course one of the other reasons you might not get a chance to taste certain wines is because they've been so highly-rated by some magazine or critic that they're pretty hard to find on the shelves of even the best wine shops in the country. Which is one of the many reasons I urge people to attend the Wine and Spirits Top 100 Tasting each year.

Frankly, unlike some of the "Top XX" lists that are put out by the glossy wine magazines every year, inclusion on the Wine and Spirits list doesn't virtually guarantee a spike in price and a disappearance from store shelves, so this isn't a tasting to attend purely for the scarcity of the wines. But every year there are some excellent wines on offer from all over the globe, and the food is pretty darn tasty as well.

To put a finer point on it, if you don't mind hustling your way through a bit of a crowd, this is one of the finest tastings available to the general public all year. The wines are uniformly good, and many are outstanding. Frankly my only complaint is that there are usually one or two of the wines on the list that aren't poured, and that just rubs my Type-A wine tasting personality the wrong way. I want to try them ALL dammit!

But I'll get over it. And so will you, as there's plenty of good stuff to taste, from ultra premium wines, to hidden values. And the food is usually excellent, especially the charcuterie.

Wine & Spirits Magazine Top 100 Tasting
Wednesday, October 17th 6:30 - 8:30 PM
The Golden Gate Club
135 Fisher Loop
The Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129

They've bumped the price up twenty bucks this year to $120 per person, but the price also now includes a yearly subscription to the magazine. I guess you're out of luck if you're already a subscriber, or you can give it to someone else as a gift. Tickets MUST purchased in advance online.

My usual tips for such public tastings apply: get a good night's sleep before; wear dark, comfortable clothes; go with food in your stomach or snack when you first get there; and for Pete's sake, SPIT!

For whatever reason, it seems that people tend to dress up a bit more for this tasting than others. I'm not sure why.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud