Wine festivals in Southern California, and especially in Los Angeles, aren't particularly plentiful, for reasons I don't entirely understand. There are plenty of wine lovers in LA, but the large public wine events that make such frequent appearances in San Francisco, and increasingly in New York, just don't seem to make it down the West Coast.
Two years ago, the Pinot Days Festival came to Los Angeles, and has started what appears to be a dedicated annual event, giving SoCal Pinot lovers a reason to celebrate.
This year's Grand Tasting will offer the opportunity to taste more than 400 Pinot Noirs from about 75 different producers over the course of 4 hours, with snacks to nibble on from local food purveyors. Wineries from all over California, as well as a few from Oregon and even farther afield will be in attendance.
Of course, if you're a hardcore Pinot lover, you may want to participate in more than the Saturday Grand Tasting. Thursday and Friday nights feature winemakers' dinners and Saturday morning seminars are available for the truly dedicated. You can find out more about these activities on the event web site.
Pinot Days Southern California Grand Tasting
Saturday, January 15, 2011 2:00pm-6:00pm
3021 Airport Avenue Suite 203
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tickets are $60 per person and should be purchased online in advance.
My usual tips for large public tastings apply: get a good night's sleep; wear dark colors; drink lots of water; go with a full stomach; and spit so you can taste more than 5 or 10 wines and actually remember them.
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