Rhone baby.  That is the word of the month!  Happy March 1st, and happy Rhoning.  If you haven’t guessed by now, you should have your wine glass packed, and your taste buds ready for a Rhonetastic celebration!

On March 24-25th more than 100 producers of American Rhone wines will be on hand in San Frnacisco to pour over 500 wines to delight your taste buds.

The Rhone Rangers tasting is the largest gathering of American Rhones in the country, and you and 1999 oif your closest vinopanions will be able to taste some pretty stellar examples of the Rhoney juice.

This year, there are several swoon worthy events:

Saturday, March 24

Rare Wines – Taste the Unusual 

It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone…It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone

Oh sorry, Tom Jones just popped in to my head.  But really, when you think about the unusual Rhones, I hear Picpoul to Counoise screaming out.  This seminar will be an indepth tasting and discussion about the whackiest and rarest Rhone wines you can think of.  Bourboulenc anyone?

Wine & Swine, A pairing of American Rhones with Bacon – ba-ba-bacon?  And wine?  Say no more.  I mean really.  Wine bloggers are known for their obsession with bacon.  I don’t know why, but somewhere in the bylaws of wine bloggerdom, it states “thou shalt have bacon” and “no bacon shall go untouched”.  And since everything tastes better with bacon, especially chocolate and caramel covered bacon, and with wine, this is going to be an amazing seminar.  Trust me, I’ll be there.

Finally on Saturday night…


Gonna keep on dancin’ to the
rock and roll
On Saturday night, Saturday night

Yes, the Bay City Rollers will be appearing live on stage at the Firehouse!

Ok fine, not really, but a girl can dream.  In reality, 17 wineries will be hosting the Winemaker Dinner at the recently renovated and oh so swanky General’s Residence at Fort Mason.  My friends at The Girl & The Fig (drool) will be catering this debauchery laden event, and you can meet & greet those winemakers brave enough pairing their wares with the scrumptious vittles.

After diner, a live auction aka Fight Club will be featuring wine, unique wine country experiences and travel packages donated by the host winemakers.  Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to help educate the next generation of American Rhone winemakers.

Sunday, March 25

If you have survived Saturday, Sunday’s seminar will be showcasing Love, American Style, aka Syrah.  Cool climate, warm climate, 10% co-fermented with viognier, no viognier, purple die, que syrah syrah.  People do strange things with syrah in there here parts, and you can figure out what you like (or don’t) for yourself.

Teeth purple yet?  Well hang on because it’s time for The Grand Tasting.  Over 500 Rhoney wines from American producers will be poured, spilled, swirled, and sniffed at the Grand Tasting.  Food trucks and vendors will be around to help you soak up all that delicious wine so bring cash.

Ready to get your Rhone on?  Tickets are now on sale and the public is invited to purchase them online at www.rhonerangers.orgor call (800) 467-0163.  Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Weekend Pass: $185 – All seminars and VIP Grand Tasting
  • Winemaker Dinner & Auction – $150
  • Grand Tasting – $45
  • VIP Grand Tasting (includes early admission) – $75
  • Seminar 1 – Strange & Unusual – $45
  • Seminar 2 – Swine & Wine – $65
  • Seminar 3 – Syrah $55

I have a pair of tickets to give away to ONE lucky reader!  Let’s face it, no one likes to drink alone.  Or rather go to a wine festival alone.  Except for me.  So, to enter, in the comments below – tell me what Rhone you would pair with bacon and why.  Yes bacon!  You guys know I cannot resist a good pork product!  For bonus entries, tell me who producers said wine in the US.  Ticket contest runs today through Friday, March 9th. Winners selected at random from comments.

Meanwhile, I will be galavanting around Priorat, researching Iberian Rhones.  Yep.  Research.  Such hard work this!



4 thoughts on “The Lone Ranger no more! **WINNER – The Wine Hiker**”

  1. Which Rhône wine pairs best with bacon? Why, that's easy: any bottle with Syrah in it! As for which producer to pick, I'll have to go with one I enjoyed recently, a 2007 Patrick Lesec "Pierres Dorées" Chateauneuf-du-Pape. For a domestic pick, it's gotta be the 2008 Prospect 772 "The Brat" Sierra Foothills Rhône Blend, which may have a little more Grenache than Syrah, but blends blissfully well. Indeed, I should nab another bottle of The Brat just to share with you, Miz Bratty!


  2. Thanks for the Rhone Rangers love.

    I also want to point out to attendees a special change this year: for the very first time consumers can not only taste, but buy wine and take it home, right at the event. And we will have two checkpoints so you don’t have to tote it around with you.

    60 of the 100 wineries pouring are selling wine, and many don’t have tasting rooms and/or local distribution – so here is your chance to walk home with a bottle of the small lot gem.

    Rhone On! going to be an awesome weekend!

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I somehow missed that factoid – and this is a GREAT addition! Looking forward to seeing you there, and hauling some Rhone home!

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