Friday, January 22, 2010

Ryhan Winery open house - Pinot, Cab, and 'Rouge Sang'

Last-minute alert from:
Ryhan Estates, Livermore - Open House This Weekend
Wine & Hors D'Oeuvres! 
Come try our Pinot Noir with chilli chicken & see what our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and Rouge Sang are paired with!
     And there's more, but you'll have to come and see for yourself!
  This Saturday & Sunday...
 January 23rd & 24th, 2010 from 12pm-5pm
     Where: Ryhan Winery Tasting Room          
     5385 East Ave, Livermore

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mac's Wine Events Calendar for JANUARY 2010

Dear Mac's-Wine-Calendar Friends

Not much going on in wine events in January, it seems, so this is a short one. I even put in events for February and March to round it out!

Have a great new year, and I'll see you at future wine events!

(PS: Do forward a link to friends and encourage them to follow! And do Comment if this Calendar has been useful -- especially comment about listed events you went to, and how you liked them! People want to know!)


Wine Wednesday at JC Cellars
, 5-7pm. JC Cellars is near Jack London Square, at 55 4th St, Oakland 94607. (510) 465-5900.

Cost: Event is complimentary, please RSVP to

Replenish your wine cellar after the holidays. Featured wines include 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Marsanne from the mountainous terrain of Atlas Peak, 2006 Iron Hill Vineyard Zinfandel influenced by the Rhône Valley & 2005 Frediani Vineyard Petite Sirah from 100+ year old vines in Calistoga.
15% discount on these wines (20% Club).


Santa Cruz Mountains Winter Wine Passport
-- $40, visit Santa Cruz Mountains wineries not usually open to the public! Call (831) 685-8463 or visit for details, maps, participating wineries, and tickets.

Wineries include Bonny Doon, Close LaChance, Fleming Jenkins, La Honda, Nebbia, McHenry, Naumann, Nicholson, Ridge, and the new winery Odonata.

16-17 Jan

11am-4pm -
Winter Wineland on The Wine Road, a winery marketing effort for northern Sonoma County including the Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and Russian River Valley areas that cleverly avoids the overstuffed late-spring and mid-autumn regional wine events -- go to for full details, lists of host wineries, etc.

$40 for the full weekend, $30 for Sunday only, designated drivers $10.


Bruce Cass Wine Lab class
: 'Fundamentals of Taste & Smell'. Three Mondays that will start your sophisticated wine education: 15 wines each session illustrate points.

First night is about your thresholds with a component tasting, examples of wine faults, and a complete discussion on developing a personal vocabulary.

Second session is about the psychology of preference, with a blind tasting to illustrate price-to-value ratio and the differences between style and quality.

Third night is the hedonistic conclusion with lecture on service & etiquette, with an emphasis on cellars and continued learning techniques. Tasting includes special food matches and some older and expensive wines.

See website for registration, full class details, and instructor credentials: COST: $229 single; $429 couple for three-session series


Australia Day All Aussie Wine Tasting
@ MO Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 222 Sansome St., SF 94104 (415-276-9787). $28, 6-8pm.

Join Aussie Wine Director Nicole Kosta for their 2nd Annual Australia Day!! Walk around and taste all Australian wines and beer, over 40 selections with fun Aussie food to pair including vegemite sandwiches and sausage rolls!!!

For reservations call Priscilla Young at (415)279-9773 or email


19th Annual ZAP - The Zinfandel Festival "Zin In Paradise!"
Public tasting Saturday afternoon, evening pairings and such Thurs and Fri evenings.

Go to for details, tickets.

I never miss ZAP! See you there!



Presented by The Lodge at Sonoma, VinOlivo is a gala celebration and feast for the senses! Enjoy all that Sonoma Valley wine country has to offer:

Sip Sonoma Valley’s best wines from over 50 wineries, and taste from 20 Sonoma restaurants and artisans.

$65 in advance, $75 at the door (limited). For info call 707-935-0803 or purchase tickets at


Top 100 Cabs of the Napa Valley
- Public Grand Tasting.

"Join us as we taste the judges choices for the "Best of the Best" Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley at Napa's top restaurant, Bayleaf Restaurant on Saturday, February 13, 2010, from 3 to 6pm."

Bayleaf Restaurant, 2025 Monticello Rd, Napa 94558 (818-224-8603.


"Dark & Delicious"
Petite Sirah Tasting, this year's version of the annual "PS I Love You" event, wine & food pairing, at Rock Wall, Alameda this time.

40 wineries, 30 food companies, $60, free parking, Fri 6-9pm.

See for details.


JC Cellars presents 'Winestock'!
An evening of wine, appetizers & music, Sat 4-8pm. Bell-bottoms are encouraged!

COST: $25 advance online tix sales; $30 at the door (

Take BART to Lake Merritt, the ferry to Jack London Square or drive to the winery, but don’t miss out on Winestock!


Rhone Rangers--13th Annual San Francisco Tasting!

Every March the Rhone Rangers ride into San Francisco to show their wines at Fort Mason. This is their largest tasting event; it takes place in the Festival Pavilion where over 125 wineries and 35 food purveyors feature their products.

Mark your calendars!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wine Events for December 2009

Hello, Wine-Loving Friends! Let's see what's going on in December in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on the East Bay region.

(Remember: Tell 'em Mac sent you!)

To start us off:


**HOLIDAY IN THE VINEYARDS -- Sat-Sun Dec. 5-6 from Noon to 5pm
Wineries across the Valley will celebrate the season in December. Visit for a full list of winery activities.

Some of our favorites include

* Cuda Ridge - Absolutely *terrific* wines across the board.
* El Sol Winery 8626 Lupin Way, Livermore (925) 606-1827
* Fenestra Winery 83 Vallecitos Rd., Livermore (925) 447-5246 -- more different wines than you ever saw, including their True Red Rhone-kinda blend.
* Longevity Wines 35 Rickenbacker Circle South, Livermore (888) 325-9463 - no tasting fee! Best wines and best winemaker in the Valley, only Cuda Ridge can rival them.
* Nottingham Cellars 2245 S. Vasco Rd., Livermore (925) 294-8647 -- Newest winemaker in the Valley! Check 'em out and tell me if they are any good yet!
* Occasio Winery 2445 S. Vasco Rd., Livermore (925) 371-1987 - with their pretty damned good Pinot Gris!
* Thomas Coyne Winery 51 East Vallecitos Rd., Livermore (925) 373-6541 -- personally I like their white dessert wines best.

--And many more wineries as well!


Wed. Dec. 2 - 55 to 7 pm
55 4th Street, Oakland

Taste why JC Cellars is so highly regarded. Complimentary Admission: RSVP to

Save 15-20% on the following wines:
-2006 Stagecoach Vineyard Marsanne (92 Wine Spectator)
-2005 Ventana Vineyards Syrah
-2006 Caldwell Vineyard Syrah (92 Robert Parker, 91 Wine Spectator)
-2005 Ripken Vineyard Late Harvest Viognier
Get into the holiday spirit and come down to sample a few wines, perfect for holiday entertaining or gifts. Nosh on some artisan cheese and cash in on the Wine Wednesday discount of 15-20%.

-->>**That's NOTHING! Wait until you see this!

The debut of The JC Cellars *DAILY RATION*, "our 1st neighborhood wine, a NV red blend from JC. For sale on FRIDAYS in the tasting room. HALF A LITER OF GOODNESS to start your weekend off right! $25 Jug $20 Refills (Bring Your Jug Back and Save) (Yes, that's right! This is old-timey stuff!)(But I'll bet it tastes better than the old-timey stuff, but that's because I have a high regard for JC Cellars plonk!)

Varietals: 41.5% Petite Sirah, 24.3% Grenache,19.5% Zinfandel, 11.5% Carginane, 3% Syrah. Alcohol: 14.5% Appellation: California

"We would like to introduce our first neighborhood wine. A tribute to our nautical heritage here in the Jack London District and a nod to our locals who want an excuse to drop by on a weekly basis. This blend is meant to quench weekend thirsts. Some of you have expressed reservations about opening our wines for some of your friends who may have questionable palates. So we thought we would provide an option that we can all sit around and enjoy no matter what day it is or how many other bottles have been opened."

Way to GO!

2323 B 4th Street, Berkeley, 94710.

Stop by the winery for complimentary wine tastings on Saturdays from 12-5 pm when we join our neighbors for **BERKELEY ARTISANS HOLIDAY OPEN STUDIOS** on 12/5, 12/12 & 12/19.

Stop by to taste, warm up and then if you like, take a walking tour of the artists' studios open for the holiday. The winery is located in west Berkeley, 3 blocks south of University and the 4th Street shopping district.

in Alameda in the heart of the old Navy base!
2301 Monarch Street, Suite 300, Alameda, CA 95401 Saturday Dec. 5 from 5pm.

Sample current and new release wines from *seven* wineries that produce wine at Rock Wall Wine custom-crush facility. Admission includes heavy appetizers, tours and live music.
Admission is $30 per person with advance purchase, and $40 per person at the door. or more info at .
This event will feature 3 new releases from Rock Wall Wines as well as over 30 wines from their resident producers

-Blacksmith Cellars
-Carica Wines
-Ehrenberg Cellars
-JRE (John Robert Eppler) Wines
-R&B Cellars
-Rock Wall Wines
-Virgo Cellars

Mac sez: These are some of the most interesting & enjoyable Urban Wineries around! Some are so small you are unlikely to find them in stores. One of the big benefits of living in the Bay Area of San Francisco are these tiny specialty for-the-love-of-wine winemakers!

** Champagne from Champagne - A spectacular food and champagne pairing dinner from a TOP chef!
December 10, 2009 (Thu), 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
LOCATION: Faz - Pleasanton
5121 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, California 94588, ph. 925-828-8356

Nine Champagnes, presented by K&L Wine Merchants Champagne buyer, Gary Westby, paired with a delicious five course meal designed by Faz Executive Chef Dolly Jacoby. Hosted by Tasters Guild #026. Cost: $65 per person inclusive (a few dollars more if you're not a member yet).

IF YOU GO TO THIS LET ME KNOW! I am a devoted member of this local Taster's Guild chapter and I get Goodness points for bringing you! But you must act fast as their events fill FAST!

PS: The wines are wonderful and the food is *spectacular* - this Chef Dolly is a food-pairing genius!! RECOMMENDED!!! Contact me at mac.mccarthy at gmail.


** HEY RICH PEOPLE! Want to bid on fine wines? Got bucks to do so? WineGavel auction house is hosting their 2009 Year-End Fine- and Rare-Wine Auction Dec. 19 at the AME Restaurant in SF's St Regis Hotel on December 19.

"From verticals of First Growth Bordeaux to OWC cases of 2006 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Magnums, this auction offers some of the world's finest, best cellared wines." Such as "Lot 149: 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 12 Bottles in Original Wood Case. The 1982 Lafite Rothschild is widely regarded as one of the finest wines ever produced. Prodigious in breadth and intensity.
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000"

Bordeaux: Lot 179: A full vertical of Chateau Mouton from 1983-2004
Est: $5,000 - $7,500

Burgundy: Lots 14,15 & 16: Rare Magnums of 2006 Domaine de la Romanee Conti
Est: $2,000 - $10,000
California: Lot 184: Stunning vertical of Silver Oak Napa Valley 1979-2004
Est: $2,200 - $2,800

Go to and see if you can figure out how to get in.

And then invite me over to your place to help you taste-test what you bought!


Join Us at Ft. Mason in SF January 28 to 30!

This year's theme: "Zin in Paradise!" (Wait 'til you see the cool Zin-Hawaian shirts us volunteers get!)

You really ought to join as a ZAP member and get in early! If you love Zins, that is. You DO love Zins, don't you? Why are you looking at me like that?

-->Order Your Festival Tickets Today!
If you haven't purchased your Festival tickets, take a moment today and sign up! A benefit of ZAP membership is the opportunity to enter the Grand Zinfandel Tasting at 1:00 pm, an hour before the general public. This is a wonderful chance to visit your favorite wineries or discover wineries new to you.

Ticket sales to our events are ahead of last year! Order your tickets today - you don't want to miss your favorite events. There are winetasting, wine-food pairing, wine highlight, and meet-the-winemaker events Thursday and Friday, and the general tasting Saturday afternoon -- 300+ winemakers offering some 800++ wines--all Zinfandels! It's the damnest thing you ever saw! And if you go Saturday, you'll see me there! What could be better than that?

Go to to join ZAP and purchase your tickets.

**Hendry Wine Tasting at 'Wine on Piedmont'
Dec 4 (Fri), 4 - 7 PM
Wine on Piedmont is at 4183 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA 94611 (ph. 510 595-9463)
"The Hendry Ranch may be the most versatile property in California. George Hendry is able to produce top quality Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and even Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the same property. Partner Susan Ridley will join us to pour several of the winery's current releases. Please stop by Friday December 4th, you will be impressed at the quality across the board."

* 'Food & Wine Pairing 101' - Dec 3 (Thu) - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
1580 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA 94707 (ph. 510.525.9463)

"Red wine with fish? What's the best pairing for spicy Thai? Vegetarian fare? Ice cream? Find out what to drink with whatever you eat in this class taught by our fearless leader/fearless eater, Jason Lefler. We promise a delicious, decadent, perfectly paired evening filled with wine and food ... and more wine and more food. $65 includes all food and wine pairings."

Dec 10 (Thu) 5:30 - 8 PM
At Crushpad custom crush facility, 2573 Third Street, SF 94107 (ph. 415-695-0221)

"Don't miss the San Francisco wine event of the year! Get your ticket early as this will be a very popular event. Featuring the *20 boutique wineries* of the SFWA offering premium wine tasting and some tasty morsels! You will meet your local vintners, enjoy award-winning vintages, and be able to take home the perfect gift for that special wine enthusiast on your list!

"It will be fun and festive, and everyone who attends will see (and taste!) first-hand why these small, high-end SF vintners are getting rave reviews from the critics. The SFWA urban wine artisans are truly redefining how fine wines are made! Dress up or dress down --- just make sure you get there and join us in the spirit of the holidays! Online tickets only $25 at "

Featuring: Aver Family Vineyards - Bartz-Allen Winery - Canine Wines - Connor I Brennan Cellars - Damian Rae Winery - Due Cani Cellars - Flying Wine Cellars - Guy Riedel Wines, LLC - Jazz Cellars - Joelle Wine Company - Kindred Wines - Mark Moretti Winery - Milliarium Cellars - PerryMoore Wines - Pug Wine - Ricardus Corculum - Seawind Wines - Think Tank Wine Company - Townley Wines - Wait Cellars

Mac sez: I know the woman who runs this custom crush facility - she makes a terrific Chard! This is like Rock Wall but in SF - hosts numerous small winemakers, so it's fun to explore! Hope to see you there!


At the dramatic and luxurious Officer's Club in Fort Mason, San Francisco, on Wed. Dec. 16th from 6 to 9pm. Check out last year's festive pictures.

And purchase tickets at $38: As an early holiday gift, anyone who purchases four or more tickets will get an extra ticket at no additional charge. Bring your family!

Here's the spiel:
"The Ultimate Holiday Gathering. While the San Francisco summer is over and the holidays are upon us, we can pretend we're in southern hemisphere heat on December 10th. Uncorked Events will transport you to the warm beaches of Australia & beyond for a very festive holiday celebration. We won't have vegemite or koala bears, but we will introduce you to over 100 of the very best wines from Australia & New Zealand. And because one can't live on wine alone, we're adding a tasting station featuring down under beers - for added pleasure and hydration!

"A Wide Array of World-Class Wine -- A wide array of Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache, Chardonnay and Riesling from Australia and Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Merlot from New Zealand. World-Class Wineries from Amisfield, Cloudy Bay, d'Arenberg, Elderton, Felton Road, Giant Steps, Grosset, Henschke, Hewitson, Jim Barry, Kilikanoon, Leeuwin Estate, Penley, Peter Lehman, Plantagenet, Quartz Reef, Robert Oatley, Spy Valley, St. Hallett, Trevor Jones, Two Hands, Vasse Felix, Villa Maria, Wild Earth, and more!"

A lot of these you can't even get here in the US!
******TO COME IN 2010!
Besides ZAP, there's the 'PS I Love You' Petit Syrah event Feb. 19 at Rock Wall in Alameda, watch for it!


"Learning About German Wine: Getting All the Details"

*Get Wine Guide to Spain's Wine Countries -- Complimentary*

*Learn More about the Wines of the Loire Valley -- sign up up with the French wine promotional organization at and they'll send you a brochure all about it. Loire make some of the most wonderful wines in the world!

at in your blog reader so you don't miss an erratic issue!

****AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, SUBSCRIBE TO MAC'S SAVVYTASTE WINE BLOG in your blog/newsreader, where I write my notes about what I'm drinking.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

(Belated) Wine Events for October 2009

French wine and French gastronomy are often en...Image via Wikipedia

Hello, Friends! Sorry I'm late getting this out. Even sorrier because we missed a few pretty nice events the first week of October, doggone it.

Well, let's see what's still on the calendar for October... It's fall harvest time, so things are hopping!

(Remember: Tell 'em Mac sent you!)

1st Annual Treasure Island Lodi Wine Festival
Sunday October 11, 2009 1:00 PM - 5:00PM
291 Avenue of the Palms
Treasure Island, San Francisco 94130

That's THIS SUNDAY! See? Sorry I'm late!

Lodi is gaining a rep for good wines, espec Zins (some of the oldest old Zin vines in the state) that belies its public image as a jug-wine center. Prove this to yourself by sipping from (some of!) 200 different wines. It's Fleet Week, which is good and bad: You'll have the best seats in town for whatever the Navy is doing in the Bay. But traffic to the from TI and the Bay Bridge is likely to be unpredictable.

Tickets $55 in advance. See the event site, , for details, online purchase link, and parking and public transpo info.


Livermore has grown to more than *40* wineries, most of them truly excellent! Here are six wineries with events in the month of October (there are another dozen in November, mostly holiday events).

* Cuda Ridge Cabernet Franc Vertical Tasting
Sat. Oct 24, 5:30-7:30pm
Cuda Ridge Tasting Room, 5385 East Avenue, Livermore

(Cuda Ridge was one of my favorites at the recent Livermore fall festival. If you don't know much about Cab Franc, this is a really good chance to get up to speed! My notes on the fest called this Best of Show for the Cab Franc's loooong finish! "This is an A-Plus wine, maybe the best of a very impressive bunch. The finish is so long, it slowed me down in my drinking--I had wait for the echoes of the sip to die down before trying the next wine!" And it's only 22 bucks a bottle.)

Tasting and discussing the 2005, 2006, and 2007 releases of their Livermore Valley Cabernet Franc. Each tasting will be uniquely paired with Appetizers prepared by Chef Jim Thurman.

Cost: $30.00 per person
Call the winery at 510-304-0914 or send email to to make reservations. Due to the upfront costs to put this on, and the limited seating (25 guests), payment will be due at time of the reservation. Make you reservations early, this is sure to fill up quickly.

The three (3) wines will be poured in separate glasses, 3 ounce pours each, so that you can do several passes over the wine to taste and cross compare. The winemaker, Larry (a great guy, passionate about his new winery!--mac), will say a little about each of the wines and would encourage guest participation in the discussion of the wines. Upon completion of the Vertical tasting, the currently releasd Cuda Ridge Wines will also be available for tasting and purchase. There will also be a limited amount of the Vertical Cabernet Franc box sets available for purchase.

"This should be a fun time and a good opportunity to enjoy some good wine


* Football Cheese and Wine Pairing -- Les Chenes Estate Vineyards - Sat Oct 10 and Sun Oct 11, noon-4:30pm
Where: 5562 Victoria Lane, Livermore, CA, 94550
Cost: $5.00 refundable with purchase of wine.
Introducing a new cheese to go with our wines for football season--"Buffalo Wing Cheese" -- very spicy cheese that pairs extremely well with our Mourvedre Cuvee. Come in and enjoy!

* Antique Faire downtown Pleasanton
Sun Oct 11 8am - 4pm
The streets will be closed and you can stroll Downtown Pleasanton and look for that special something. Music from 2-5pm. Wines to taste starting at noon.

* Live Music from Mud Daddy and Wine Tasting at McGrail Vineyards
Sat. Oct. 17 noon - 5pm
Where: 5600 Greenville Road, Livermore, CA, 94550 Cost: $5.00
Bring a lunch, buy a bottle of wine, and enjoy a beautiful October afternoon on the patio.

* Harvest Celebration at Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery
Sat. Oct. 17 noon-5pm
also "Haunted Tasting" Sat. Oct. 31, 12:30-5pm
Where: 3053 Marina Ave., Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Tour the winery, view artwork, get a chair massage, get candy for the kiddies--oh yeah, and try their wines.

* Get Ghouled and Chill Out - Little Valley Winery
Fri and Sat, Oct. 23-24, 5:30pm-8:30pm
Repeats the following weekend, Friday, October 30, 2009 -
Where: 793 Suite J Main St., Pleasanton, CA, 94566Get Ghouled with the Pleasanton Ghost Walk and Chill out with our wines at Little Valley. Do a self-guided Ghost Walk tour through the streets of Pleasanton and let us know if you have seen anyone from the past. The museum on Main has all the walk info. 925.462.2766. So hop on by after your walk and chill out. We will be open until 9pm

* Mini Concert at Crooked Vine/Stony Ridge Winery
Sat. Oct 24 - 6-9pm
4948 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA, 94550
Cost: $10.00
Come and listen to some great music and indulge in some fabulous food and wine. Summer Mini Concert featuring The Catfish Boys, Bay Area band that plays roots-oriented rock and country. Food and Wine for purchase with Crooked Vine's very own "Gotta Lovett BBQ."

* Traditional Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing
Sat. Oct. 24, 5 - 7PM
Cedar Mountain Winery, 7000 Tesla Rd, Livermore, CA 94550
And enter a drawing for a free bottle of wine. Advance tickets required. $15/person, $10/club members. Call (925) 373-6636 for reservations.

* Fall Fest in downtown Pleasanton
Sat. Oct. 31, 10am-2pm
Come to Downtown Pleasanton on Halloween Day and enjoy the events of pumpkin carving, tasty treats and bid on your favorite scarecrow.


* TwoMile Winery, Berkeley - Oct. 10, Sat., 2-6pm - $10
2816 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
FINAL CALL FOR OPEN TASTING of TwoMile Winery, which is leaving its Berkeley facility due to the economy - No, they aren't closing down, they are just moving out of their Berkely place. So come by Saturday and taste their very nice wines while it's still convenient.

-->WINE & SPIRITS TOP 100<--
Wed., Oct. 14, 6:30 to 8:30pm, at The Galleria, SF, 101 Henry Adams St., SF 94103
General Admission $95 at
"Now in its sixth year, this highly anticipated annual event honors the 100 wineries that delivered the best overall performances in Wine & Spirits’ tastings conducted during the past year. The “Wineries of the Year” will be profiled in the Winter issue of Wine & Spirits, which will be available on newsstands nationwide on October 13, 2009."
"Join us in honoring the Top 100 Wineries of the year, hailing from more than 50 winegrowing regions across the globe. Taste the top-scoring wines from each winery.Meet the winemakers. Revel in fresh oysters, hand-crafted salumi, and the best in local cuisine."

* Fleming Jenkins Wine Tasting and Fund Raiser for Breast Cancer Charities
Thurs Oct 15 – 6 to 8pm Vino Locale in Palo Alto
- Taste many of the Fleming Jenkins wines and contribute to breast cancer research and awareness. $2 from every bottle of Fleming Jenkins wine sold that evening will be donated by Vino Locale to local breast cancer charities. For more details and to RSVP, and for directions, please email or call (650) 328-0450.
(Fleming Jenkins is the winery launched by skating Olympian Peggy Fleming and her husband.)

* At The Wine Club of Santa Clara:
Arger-Martucci Vineyards Tasting
Fri. Oct. 16, 5-7pm
The Wine Club wine shop is at 1200 Coleman Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95050 - near the airport.
Cost: $15
(The Wine Club has an incredible selection of international and US wines, and the staff knows the wines.)
or this tasting, winemaker Anthony Arger will pour several wines in the store's newly constructed wine bar.

* Wilson Winery 100th Old Tin Barn Anniversary<--
Sun Oct 17, 1-4pm, $40 ($30 club members)
1960 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Traipse on up to Healdsburg, it's a nice drive and a pretty little town, and taste some of Wilson's *truly fine* wines -- We just had some of the Cabs last week and they were as terrific as I remember.
They describe this event as: "Come join the celebration! 100th Anniversary of the Old Tin Barn at Wilson Winery. This fundraiser will benefit The Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society. Your ticket includes Tom’s famous tri tip, live music, The Museum's popular film "Life in Healdsburg" and a special exhibit of Wilson Winery's history. You will also get the opportunity to taste our 7 Gold-Medal-Winning wines from the 2009 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. See you at the Old Tin Barn! "
Oct 18, 4:30-7:30, from the Oakland Ferry Dock in Jack London Square.

Spend a Sunday evening with Kent and Kathy Rosenblum and your fellow club members on a winemaker dinner cruise on the Bay. We'll feature 6 of our stunning wines paired with a 5-course dinner prepared by Kincaid's Bayhouse in Oakland. The menu includes:
-Lomi Lomi Salmon & Prawn Cerviche Appetizers
-Heirloom Tomato & Pancetta Salad
-Kobe Meatloaf Sliders
-Zinfandel-braised Short ribs
-Molten Chocolate Torte

Only 60 spaces available at $135 per person, and tickets must be purchased online. For more information, call Andrea at 510.995.4176.

Space is limited. Order today!


Are you passionate about Pinot Noir?

Join us October 25 in the Russian River Valley for the
6th Annual "Pinot On The River" Festival, a weekend of great food, tastings & seminars all about Pinot Noir, capped off by Sunday's Grand Tasting with Cheeses & Pinot Noirs from

Full details at

* WINE AT THE VINE at Bridges
480 Hartz Ave., Danville, CA 94526
ph. 925.820.7210

--Far Niente/ Nickel Nickel, Thurs., Oct. 15, 6 - 8PM
Very very fine wines. $10
--Duckhorn Vineyards, Thurs., Oct. 22, 6 - 8PM
Dan Duckhorn (no, really) focusses his vineyard on Merlot - and he's really good at it! $10

Franklin Square Restaurant & Wine Bar $1 Wine Tasting Thursdays
Every Thursday, 5 - 7PM
2212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
ph. 510-251-0100
-Oct 15: Broc Cellars, an East Bay winemaker
-Oct. 22: Pelerin Wines: Rhones from Monterey
-Oct. 29: Briceland Vineyard - Northcoast Wines


Artisan Wine Depot is lucky enough to have as its wine buyer the talented Christine Tran, who hosts a number of events there each month if you're willing to make the trek to the South Peninsula.

This month, for example:


'Domaine Drouhin wines have received world-wide acclaim from the press and has garnered devoted fans throughout the years. The Pinot Noir bottlings are frequently awarded "Outstanding" scores from the Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate critics, and the Chardonnay was recently named "Best New World White Wine" by the UK's influential Decanter magazine.

'This is an exciting chance to savor and see the differences between Domaine Drouhin's Oregon Pinot Noirs, and their Burgundy counterparts from France. In the late 1800's the Drouhin business became one of the founding pillars of modern Burgundy. In 1987, the third generation Drouhin (Robert Drouhin) purchased property in the Dundee Hills of Oregon and established Domaine Drouhin Oregon.

-->PS from Mac: I *love* Drouhin's affordable yet delicious Burgundies! What a great oppty to compare to what they are doing in Oregon, a state that likes a different style in its Pinots. Has Drouhin fallen for the Oregon style, or are they true to their Burgundian roots? Here's a chance to find out!

TICKETS: ONLINE $19.22; walk-in $24.71 (they love these oddball numbers for some reason!).
Go to and dig around for the event ticket-purchase link.

Need convincing? How about this: Taste from $250 worth of wines, to wit:
-Domaine Drouhin Arthur Chardonnay 2007 (90pts Tanzer) - Retail: $30
-Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2006 (93pts W&S, 90pts RP) - Retail: $40
-Maison Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2007 - Retail: $25
-Maison Joseph Drouhin Meursault 2007 - Retail: $40
-Maison Joseph Drouhin Chorey-Les-Beaune 2006 - Retail: $25
-Maison Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 2006 (90pts WE) - Retail: $80

* Sun Oct 11: HIGH-END CULT NAPA VALLYE CABS TASTING! 2-4pm at Artisan

If these spectacular wine tasting events haven't already been enough, Sunday is an absolute "NOT-TO-BE-MISSED" event. We are having a "Best of the Best: High-End Cult Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Tasting." featuring highly-rated and allocated small-production Napa Valley Cabernets for you to discover and savor. Indulge in the 95 Point-Scoring (R. Parker) O'Shaughnessy Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, with a production of only 500 cases. We will have Soda Canyon Cellars (Winemaker David Phinney of Orin Swift Prisoner and Mercury Head), and Buccella "Mica" (Winemaker Celia Welch Masyczek of Staglin, D. R. Stephens & Scarecrow), plus much more.

'08 Beau Vigne "Persuasion" Russian River Valley Chard - Retail: $45
'07 Beau Vigne "Juliet" Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ('06 scored 93pts RP) - Retail: $45
'06 O'Shaughnessy "Howell Mtn." Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (95pts RP) - Retail: $101
'06 O'Shaughnessy "Mt. Veeder." Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (95pts RP) - Retail: $128
'07 Soda Canyon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (Winemaker David Phinney of Orin Swift Prisoner and Mercury Head) - Retail: $50
'06 Buccella "Mica" Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (Winemaker Celia Welch Masyczek of Staglin, D. R. Stephens, Scarecrow) - Retail: $65

TICKETS: Same prices: ONLINE $19.22; walk-in $24.71.
Go to and dig around for the event ticket-purchase link.

Noon to 4 p.m. YES another Pinot tasting! The wonderful madness never stops!

Taste current releases, special bottlings and library wines from over 100 top Pinot producers from the West Coast at this festival tasting.

Plus Artisan Cheese Vendors such as Cowgirl Creamery - Achadinha Cheese + Sausage - Valley Ford Cheese Co - Marin French Cheese Co. - Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery - Bohemian Creamery
Cheese Plus - Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese.


-->PS: Artisanal does events like this all the time, plus "24-hour blowouts" of spectacular wines (I mean, wines I've even heard of!). Get on their email list so you don't have to worry about me being late with the newsletter!



* Rosenblum Nov 7 Open House: Online Ticketing Available Now!

The upcoming Holiday Open House will be one day only (Saturday), so the less expensive online tickets will certainly sell out. Buy yours now. Club members can buy 2 tickets at the discounted $25 (plus $2.50 service fee) online admission. (Door price is $50).

Sample our 2007 releases, and enjoy hearty hors d’oeuvres, Zinfandel ice cream, music and more. The first hour (12-1pm) is reserved for Rosenblum Cellars wine club members. To order tickets, click here.

* Santa Cruz Fall Wine Passport - Sat. Nov. 21
Visit wineries not normally open to the public during this and the other three annual Passport days. Cost $40. Call (831) 685-8463 or visit for details.

* Wine events in San Francisco coming up:
-Pinot & Bubbles - Thursday, Nov. 12th
-Summer Down Under: The Wines of Australia & New Zealand - Wednesday, Dec. 16th

More info on these in next month's Mac's Wine Events Calendar & Newsletter!




Opening line tells it all: " I was curious: How could England possibly produce decent sparkling wines?"

Palate Press, a new online magazine of sorts, publishes interesting stuff like this all the time. Enjoy!


AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, SUBSCRIBE TO MAC'S SAVVYTASTE WINE BLOG where I write my notes about what I'm drinking.


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