If there is one public wine tasting event that rivals San Francisco's yearly ZAP Zinfandel tasting for sheer size and chaos, it could only be the annual Chronicle Wine Competition Tasting. Every year the San Francisco Chronicle (with a lot of help) holds a wine competition, judged by more than 60 wine professionals, in which they award medals to their top choices from among over 4,700 wines from all across America. This competition has grown over the last 8 years to be the largest competitive tasting of American wines in the world.
The judges hand out hundreds of medals and awards. Those awards are released to the public, and then about a month later, many of the award winning wines, plus a lot more are poured for the public in a four-hour event that takes over Fort Mason for a Saturday afternoon. There are usually cooking demonstrations and food booths, and various other diversions.
Regardless of how I feel about such wine competitions, this tasting, like all such public events, represents an incredible opportunity to educate your palate and discover new wines to enjoy. This tasting in particular offers a unique chance to taste wine from a lot of less well known wine regions (i.e. not California, Oregon, or Washington) in addition to hundreds of wines from these more well-known wine regions.
So if you don't have plans this Saturday and want to expand your oenological horizons, the experience is well worth the price of admission.
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting
Saturday, February 28, 2009 2pm - 5pm
Festival Pavilion - Fort Mason Center
Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)
Tickets are $60 if purchased in advance, $80 at the door. To purchase tickets visit www.winejudging.com or call 888.695.0888.
My usual tips for large public tastings: get a good night's sleep; go with food in your belly; wear dark clothes; drink lots of water; and if you want to really enjoy yourself, SPIT!
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Vinography Images: Long Shadows La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco Vinography Images: First Light Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 2, 2014 Tasting Organic Rosé Wines from the South of France Vinography Images: Wine Lake 10 Years of Blogging About Wine Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste 2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA
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