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2012 Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 25, San Francisco

We've been having an odd winter here in San Francisco. Up until a few days ago it seemed like we had completely skipped winter and moved straight into Spring. All of the plants around here are confused. They had begun to bud and grow, and now they're getting buffeted by rain and cold winds. Go figure. Regardless of whether we're actually going to get one, we're barreling towards Spring, and with spring in San Francisco comes lots of wine tasting events, and a few really good ones.

The Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting in San Francisco is certainly one of rhonerangers.jpgthe spring highlights for wine lovers in the Bay Area. Held at Fort Mason, like many of the other big tastings, Rhone Rangers offers the chance for wine lovers to taste through a vast field of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and many other varietals and blends that fall under the general banner of Rhone-style wines.

I adore these wines, and this is always a great tasting event. I highly recommend it to anyone, especially those that might be stuck in a Cabernet rut (or a Merlot, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc rut for that matter). There's a lot more out there in the wine world, and this tasting will provide a heck of an education to anyone looking to explore alternatives to such varieties.

And of course, for those who are crazy for Rhone-style wines, then there's a whole weekend of activities, including two seminars and a winemaker dinner on Saturday, and of course the grand tasting on Sunday morning. Complete details can be found on the event web site.

How about a couple of free tickets? Let's run a little contest here. I want Rhone limericks. Come up with a limerick, and you'll get a chance to win a free ticket to the grand tasting. I'll pick two names out of a hat from those who enter. Here's a refresher on the rhyme form:

There once was a wine from the Rhone
Who hated to be all alone
He dreamed of recitals
With multiple varietals
And so got Chateauneuf on the phone.

Take your best shot by March 17th (why did he choose that day, I wonder?) and we'll give away a couple of tickets.

2011 Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting
Sunday, March 25th
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
Buchanan Street and Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA

Tickets to the grand tasting are $45 in advance (a $15 drop from last year), and should be purchased online. Use the promo code SDKGT312 when you register to get $5 off the grand tasting or use promo code SDKWP312 to save a total of $60 off the combination ticket if you're up for the full weekend of events.

And remember my tips for optimum enjoyment at public tastings: wear dark, comfortable clothes; get a good night's sleep; come with food in your belly; drink lots of water; and SPIT !

Comments (5)

Mark wrote:
03.01.12 at 7:11 AM

One of my personal favorite events of the year. We are so spoiled in SF with access to Napa and Sonoma, nice to get to enjoy Paso and Santa Ynez a bit more easily every once in a while.

Oui du Vin wrote:
03.01.12 at 11:27 AM

There was a Vielles Vignes red wine Syrah
who said bollocks all to phylloxera
whose high heeled friend was a brett filled Grenache
who dressed like a slutty Shiraz sans the panache
of any whole cluster haute couture Shangri-la

that was fun :)
The 17th is when Guinness flows from all drinking fountains!
- Cheers

03.02.12 at 8:58 AM

Thanks for mentioning us Alder!
I also want to let attendees know this is the first time the Rhone Rangers will sell wine at the event. You can buy and take delivery of wine at over 60 of the 100 wineries pouring, and take it home with you. We will also have 2 checkpoints so you can drop off your purchases and get them later.
A whole weekend of Rhone wines - can't wait!

augusta dorman wrote:
03.04.12 at 8:27 AM

Roussanne is the best at it's briniest
creamy texture and body prevent sliminess
It's complex nose and Brassy hue
make me want to spew
an abundance of odes to it's loveliness

David wrote:
03.08.12 at 2:31 PM

I appreciate the deep red color,
how I will not look at any other.
I appreciate the floral aromas,
that Viognier can snap me out of a coma.
I appreciate the taste of sweetness,
that bit of Grenache hits my weakness.
I appreciate the big bold Syrah,
how its presence makes me cheer hurrah.
And such a treat when blended all together,
those from Rhone are so clever.
To travel there may require some sailing,
but even closer is the annual Rhone Rangers tasting.

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