They say "Cabernet is king" for a reason. Even with the surge in interest for Pinot Noir in this country, if I ever bring a bunch of wines to a party, the first wines emptied are almost always the Cabernet Sauvignons. People love them, and with good reason. When good the offer a wonderful combination of power, finesse and fruit. It also helps that they taste like cherries, a flavor which most Americans seem to love.
Despite California being home to massive quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, there aren't many opportunities for members of the public to taste a lot of them. For whatever reason, most public tasting events seem to focus on less mainstream grape varieties: Zinfandel, Pinot, Rhone Rangers, Petite Sirah.
Apart from the massive Family Winemakers festival, where one can find a lot of good Cabernet, there is really only one other event that I know of where Cabernet lovers can really get their fill, and that is the upcoming Cabernet Society tasting.
Founded in 1991, the California Cabernet Society has a simple mission: "expanding worldwide regard and appreciation for California Cabernet Sauvignon." Every year they put on a tasting for the trade and media to sample the latest vintage, and then after a few hours, they open up the hall to the public.
On Monday, May 3rd, in the very classy Bently Reserve building in the Financial District, members of the public will have a chance to taste over 100 barrel samples of the 2009 vintage from lots of different wineries in Sonoma and Napa.
Some really excellent producers will be there pouring wine, and the venue, as I said, is pretty nice. I'd go if I didn't have this pesky day job.
California Cabernet Society Tasting 2010
Monday, May 3, 3:30 to 5:30 PM
301 Battery St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tickets are $45 and should be purchased in advance online.
My usual tips for public tastings: get a good night sleep; dress comfortably in dark clothing to avoid wine stains; drink lots of water; come with food in your stomach; and spit if you want to learn something.
Parking in the area is tricky, so take public transportation or park under the Embarcadero mall.
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