Aren’t they lovely? Not looking “three sheets to the wind” at all. (a phrase my Minnesota-raised spouse uses for drunks – that I would appreciate a comment on this blog as to where in the heck that comes from…?)
For me, attending the SCV Wine Classic was a wonderful experience. Starting with the library wine tables – where at any other wine event you either 1. didn’t get or 2. you paid per taste for. I still don’t know how wine chair, Jeff Jacobson, gets his countless friends, with the best cellars, to pour.
Steve Elzer, Rober Schwartz, Priscilla and Warren Faubel, Roman Weiser, Chris and Jeannie Carpenter and Les Hershberger must have to keep their addresses a secret. How else would they be able to keep their Spotswood, William Selym, Sea Smoke, Martinelli, 86 and 87 Joseph Phelps Cabs, 2001 Bryant (only 200 cases made), and too many to count and list Bordeaux to themselves for long?
Too busy tasting to write down everything, Chris Carpenter was going to save me empty bottles from the library tables for reference.
In between the library wines I sampled some of the food, but to be honest, never ate enough as there was too much to see/drink.
I met lots of readers and was hugged to death! Ones I didn’t already list on the post below this one include John Kelley, formerly with Raven Oaks, and his friend Dawn Colebank, Laura from Yelp, Victor Abascal from Vines on the Marycrest, Nate Hasper from Pulchella (gave me the best hug encompassing my neck, waist, head and all parts in-between), John Whitman from Old Creek Ranch Winery, Craig Butler from B & P Winery, Michael Cobb from Sorth This Out Cellars and Nick Morello now pouring for new Terravant Wine Company.
My husband bought me the wine necklace that Cathy Craig was selling at the Silkwood table when my friend Diane waved it at me. I missed the entire auction and most of the food…
Next year? I will do it all the same way! But next year I will find Michael P. and YOU!
New! From Correspondent Michael
When I go to an event like this, I go with no expectations other than to have fun. For me at least, this is not really the time and place to evaluate the attributes of what I am drinking. If I happen to come across something earth-shattering, that is just a bonus.
I also rarely go to the library tables. I prefer younger wines, and Zins, Syrahs and the like that rarely show up with the rare Cabs and Bordeaux. Besides, the library tables tend to be the most crowded.
Instead, I usually just meander around, stopping by various tables as the action there lulls.
I had nice visits with the people from Vines On The Marycrest as wells as Midlife Crisis, two Paso wineries I’ve enjoyed for some time.
And I shared the enthusiasm of the owners of Laraneta Vineyards, also of Paso, pouring their very first release at the Classic.
I tried Silkwood Wines of Modesto for the first time and really enjoyed their wines, especially their Petite Sirah.
And it was great to visit with Jay and David of All Corked Up and taste the terrific wines they brought to the event.
There were other wonderful wines as well, but it starts to get a little blurry, except…
Pulchella — I’ve been wanting to try their wines for some time. And they did not disappoint. Both Zins they were pouring were outstanding, although the winemaker and I disagreed on which was “better”. But, now I have to decide — the last thing I need is to be in another wine club. But, they are local and supporting a local business is a good thing, right? Decisions, decisions….
And now I must thank Jay of All Corked Up for encouraging me to go over to the library tables. As I walked up to where Steven Elzer was pouring, I saw a bottle of Scholium Project on his table. I’ve been wanting to try something from this producer for a long time. Abe Schoener is somewhat controversial and is known for making challenging wines. Steven was pouring the 2004 Scholium Project Syrah. Wow! Outstanding! The word that came to mind for me was “muscular”.
Steven and I talked some more [what a great guy!] and the subject of my fondness for Zinfandel came up, so he poured for me the 1996 [I think that was the year] Turley Moore “Earthquake” Vineyard. Excellent! I thanked him for that. I told Steven that I have been a fan of Turley for several years but regretted that I got on their allocation list too late to ever get one of their releases from the Aida Vineyard. Well, what do you know? He popped open a bottle of that! Another goal achieved. Thank you Steven Elzer!
The food at the Classic was excellent as well, although I am a little hazy on specifics as my wife kept me supplied with food as I endeavored to keep our wine glasses full. The ones that stand out in my mind are: Persia Restaurant, Stonefire Grill, Macaroni Grill, Bristol Farms, Whole Foods, RSVP Catering Company, and COC’s Culinary Arts Program.
All in all, we had a blast.
Now, back to making that wine club decision…