Here 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.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
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