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2016 Cab Fest Napa Valley Tasting: March 5th, Yountville, CA

10817_CabFest_Napa_Valley__md.jpgCabernet is King, say many winemakers and winegrowers in Northern California, and anyone who has visited Napa would have little grounds for dispute. It's only the most popular red wine in America, and Napa Cabernet represents the epitome of this country's ideal for the grape. Napa Cabernets are the highest scoring, most expensive and most sought after wines in the country.

If you're like most wine lovers, you enjoy a good glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. But when was the last time you got a chance to taste 100 of them side by side?

That's where Cab Fest comes in.

Those of you who are regular readers know that I highly encourage those who enjoy wine to attend large public tastings. These events, at which a consumer can try hundreds of wines, offer two extremely valuable opportunities to wine lovers. First, they give you a chance to educate your palate. There's nothing like tasting 30 to 50 renditions of a particular grape from a particular place (or even better, from two separate places) to begin to understand the subtleties and range of expression for that grape variety. And if you're like most wine lovers, you're always on the lookout for new discoveries and great values, both of which are there for the plucking at such events.

Cab Fest takes place over three days in the heart of Napa Valley, and includes seminars, tastings, and a concert by performer Mat Kearney to kick off the weekend. VIP ticket holders get access the seminars, but tickets can be purchased just for the Grand Tasting, as well as for what the organizers are calling a "Boutique Tasting" of more sought-after wines.

If you're a Cabernet lover, and don't have plans next weekend, you might consider this event. I've never attended myself, but it sounds like a pretty good time. It's a beautiful time of year to be in the Napa Valley anyway, with the mustard blooming and a green carpet of Spring everywhere.

Cab Fest Napa Valley 2016
Grand Tasting March 5, 2016
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center
100 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599

Tickets for the event run $550 for access to everything, $150 for the Grand Tasting, and an additional $35 supplement for the boutique wine tasting. Tickets can and should be purchased online in advance.

My usual tips for such tastings apply: stay hydrated; go with food in your stomach; get a good night's sleep before hand; and spit if you want to enjoy yourself longer and learn something. Also, don't drink and drive. Stay overnight if you plan on swallowing!

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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