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2012 Pinot Days Tasting: June 14-16, San Francisco

pinot_days_logo.gifThere once was a time when the Pinot Days tasting was the new kid on the block in San Francisco. Now in it's eightth year, Pinot Days has firmly established itself as one of the largest and most exciting Pinot Noir events in America. If you enjoy Pinot Noir, or you are still trying to figure out if you do, this is an event that should not be missed.

Pinot Days offers a number of events to existing and prospective lovers of the grape. This year's format is a whole week of events, with restaurant-based events throughout the week leading up to the main event of the weekend: the grand tasting, on Saturday, June 16th. That day, roughly 200 different producers from around the globe will be pouring more than 400 different wines. The tasting, as in past years, is heavily focused on California producers, but increasingly draws in participants from Oregon, Washington, New Zealand, and Burgundy.

For details on the various activities as well as a list of the producers who will be pouring their wines for the grand tasting, check out the event web site.

Want Free Tickets?
I've got 4 pairs of tickets to give away to the grand tasting on the 16th. So here's what we're going to do. Pinot Noir has been called the "heartbreak grape" because of how difficult it is to turn into the wine we all love so much. Compose a poem of any kind (haiku, limerick, sonnet, doggerel, blank verse, whatever) with the theme "heartbreak grape" in mind. Post it in the comments below and include your real name and e-mail address. I'll choose my four favorites and send you and a friend to Pinot Days to mend your broken heart.

Go for it! And for anyone that doesn't win, or just doesn't want to exercise their creativity, you can get 10% off Grand Tasting and VIP tickets using the promo code: VINOGRAPHYSF12. Who loves you baby?

Pinot Days 2012 Grand Tasting
Saturday, June 16th
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Festival Pavilion - Fort Mason Center
Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)

Tickets for the grand tasting are $50 (this is one event that doesn't seem to be perennially raising its prices) and should be purchased in advance online, especially if you don't want to stand in a long line at the event. Tickets for winemaker dinners and other activities range from $30 to $150. Details are available on the event web site.

Parking at Fort Mason is easier now that it is a paid lot, but for large events like this, you'd be better off parking several blocks away and walking. Or better yet, taking public transport.

Like all such large public tastings, you will enjoy yourself and learn a lot more by following my simple guidelines: get a good night's sleep, wear dark clothes, come with a full stomach, 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