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 is 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
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.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Tallying the Damage from the Napa Quake Vinography Images: A Sea of Blue Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 14, 2014 The Taste of Something New: Introducing Solminer Wines Vinography Images: Swift Work Social Media Answers the Question: Where Did Australian Wine Go Wrong Hourglass, Napa Valley: Current and Upcoming Releases Drought Problems? Just Have an Earthquake Vinography Images: Just One Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 1, 2014
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy