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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fesival: November 18-22, San Diego

sdbay_festival.jpgHere in the San Francisco Bay Area, we're spoiled by a proliferation of wine tasting events that afford the opportunity to taste a lot of different wines in one sitting. Elsewhere in the country, such events are more rare, and consequently, slightly bigger deals when they do happen.

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival describes itself as the largest such event in Southern California. I'm not sure whether that's by attendance or by the number of wineries pouring, but either way it's a big event. More than 170 wine and spirits producers, along with more than 60 restaurants from the San Diego area will be on hand in a couple of weeks to satisfy the cravings of more than 8,000 attendees over the five days of the event.

Thursday and Friday, November 19th and 20th feature cooking classes and wine tasting classes; the Grand Tasting event is held on Saturday the 21st; and Sunday the 22nd features a charity auction and special dinner, among other things. Check the event web site for the full schedule.

The wineries pouring at the event are mixed in quality, as is always the case with large commercial events like this, but some favorites of mine will be there, including L'Aventure, Cinnabar, Fort Ross, Fritz, Sextant, Veramonte, and Villa Creek Cellars, among others.

There aren't too many opportunities like this for San Diego wine lovers, so the event will likely be quite popular.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
November 18-22, 2009
Grand Tasting: Saturday November 21, 12:00 to 4:00 PM
Embarcadero Marina Park North
At the very end of Kettner Blvd. (directions)
San Diego, CA 92101

Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $125, and tickets for the cooking demonstrations, classes, etc. start at $50. Tickets to all events can be purchased in advance online.

My usual tips for such public tastings apply: get a good night's sleep; drink lots of water; wear dark clothes; come with a full stomach; and spit if you want to learn anything and avoid being a drunken fool.

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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