Strict astrologers will quibble with my pronouncements, but I'm ready to officially declare that it is Spring! My feckless abandon is no doubt due in part to the fabulous weather we seem to be having here in San Francisco. My real sense of the season, however, derives from the wine tasting events that are popping up with increasing frequency on the calendar.
The Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting in San Francisco is certainly one of the harbingers of warmer weather and good wine in San Francisco. Held at Fort Mason, like all the other big tastings, Rhone Rangers offers the change for wine lovers to taste through a vast field of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and many other varietals and blends that fall under the general banner of Rhone-style wines.
Like many such public tastings, Rhone Rangers presents a particular problem even to the most ambitious of tasters, namely: too many wines. I'm mulling over my own tasting strategy for this year -- wondering whether I should try something different, like "only wineries I've never heard of before" or "only Grenache" or "whites only."
No matter what I finally settle on, you can bet I'll be there, as I adore these wines, and this is always a great tasting event. I highly recommend it to anyone, especially those that might be stuck in the Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc zone of California wine. There's a lot more out there, and this tasting will provide a heck of an education to anyone looking to explore alternatives to such varietals.
And of course, for those who are crazy for Rhone-style wines, then there's a whole weekend of activities, from a winemaker and library wine dinner on Saturday, March 15th to a Viognier seminar on Sunday morning. Complete details can be found on the event web site.
Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting
Sunday, March 16th
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
Buchanan Street and Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA
Tickets to the grand tasting are $60 in advance, and should be purchased online.
And remember my tips for optimum performance at public tastings: wear dark, comfortable clothes; get a good night's sleep; come with food in your belly; and SPIT !
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery
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