Text Size:-+

2011 SF Chronicle Wine Competition Tasting: February 19, San Francisco

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 SF 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 sfchronwine_logo_09.gifwhich they award medals to their top choices from among over 4,700 wines from all across America. This competition has grown over the last nine 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 the places that most people know and love.

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 19, 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!

Comments (3)

01.31.11 at 10:43 AM

Your ability to put your personal observations aside and write a public service announcement such as this one is inspiring. You should be commended for promoting the best avenue for those wanting to learn more about wine. Your instructions for making the most of it should be well headed by all who attend. It is impressive to see another professional who takes the time to remind blossoming oenophiles where and how they may learn more about wine. Enjoy!

01.31.11 at 8:52 PM

If you get a chance, taste the unforgettable late Gewurztraminer by Guadalupe Vineyards from San Fidel, New Mexico. Vintner is former priest of the nearby Acoma Pueblo mission church. I had a chance to meet "Father" Antonio and taste his 2010 Gewurz shortly before it was award the Silver at SF Chronicle Wine Competition. Taste and sse if you agree w/me and think he shoulda gotten the Gold!

Mark wrote:
02.01.11 at 9:16 AM

Conquer on the spitting part, don't be a rookie and end up not being able to enjoy yourself a couple of hours in. I think it also makes sense to have some type of plan for certain wineries that you absolutely want to taste.

Stacey-great story....I think many (most perhaps) of those reading this blog aren't going to really care about medals. Scores are dubious as it is, let alone medals.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink Vinography Images: Hazy Afternoon The Dark Queen of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Domaine du Pégau Does California Have Too Many AVAs? Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 26, 2014 Vinography Images: Shades of Autumn

Favorite Posts From the Archives

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 Királyudvar "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

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud 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 World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.