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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 !

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud