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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