Romancing the Rhones

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Greetings Rhône lover!  I have been fortunate enough to participate in another stellar event by Affairs of the Vine, as a judge.  As you may know by reading my posts, I love the Rhônes!  Over the past few months, we’ve tasted hundreds of  Rhône varitals from all over the U.S.    Last weekend, we had the final judging where the final scores were tallied.  The best of the best will be presented at the Romancing the Rhones Grand Tasting Event at The Old Mint here in San Francisco! Join us on Saturday, July 14th as we feature highly seductive selections from this year’s Rhone Shootout Competition. Amazing Rhone producers will showcase their winning wines for 400 wine loving consumers at The Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark located in downtown San Francisco.  Taste over 150 amazing Rhone wines from fabulous Rhone producers, get a glimpse of future wines at the Barrel Tasting in the Vault at The Old Mint. Enjoy a casual lunch with the winemakers, blind taste top wines from the 2012 Rhone Shootout and vote for your favorites, enjoy some rockin’ music, and cheer for your favorite wineries at the Awards Ceremony. The celebration, which takes place on Bastille Day, has several great events to choose from. The Grand Tasting and Award Ceremony is from 2-4:30pm, and includes tastings, a blind tasting, and the awards presentation.  With over 150 award winners to taste, you can pit your palate against the expert judges’ panel!  TICKETS are $45. If you’d like to attend the Perfect Pairings Experience, you can enjoy 8 bites to complement 8 wines for an additional $20.  Pick up 8 tasty bites with 8 tasty sips! Now if you’re aiming for an all star VIP experience, you can opt for the exclusive Gold Bar VIP  ticket, which includes a fantastic Rhone Romance lunch at Chez Papa.  Enjoy treats like soup and sandwich pairings, sirloin sliders, and chocolate truffles!  The Gold Bar VIP tickets include the lunch, a VIP barrel tasting, and the grand tasting.  Gold Bar tickets are $85 and are limited to 75 people. If you just want VIP Barrel Tasting and the Grand tasting, you can get in at 12:30 for $65 with Silver Dollar Tickets for $65 For my readers, I am offering a great deal!  If you buy a Rhone Lovers ticket for $45, you will be automatically upgraded to the Silver Dollar VIP level, which gives you early access to the Barrel Tasting, Blind Tasting and Grand Tasting events.  You can then add on Perfect Pairings for $20.  Please use code VIP Thea at checkout. But, one lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to the Grand Tasting!  Use the form below to enter by July 9th and enjoy yourselves! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pinot pinot pinot!

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It’s that time of year again!  When over 150 winemakers celebrate their love of the heartbreak grape in San Francisco on June 16th. The 8th Annual Pinot Days San Francisco brings together the most stylistically diverse, grape in Grand Festival that showcases over 500 unique pinot noirs from every region in the world. This event is a special one, where have the rare opportunity to speak to winemakers and owners one on one.  THis is where wine lovers interact with winemakers!  Pinot Days is a low key casual affair, kicking off with several events around town and culminating in the Grand Tasting on Saturday June 16th. You might be wondering why such a little grape such a big deal.  Pinot noir is much more than a grape variety; it’s an art form. No other grape can assume so many different and beautiful styles, which makes it the grape of choice for the most gifted, visionary winemakers. Luscious Lushes and Pinot Days have partnered to offer our mailing list members a 10% discount on all of the festival’s spectacular events. Just enter the discount code LUSLUSHSF12 when ordering tickets from the Pinot Days web site and you will receive an immediate 10% discount on all events.  Do’nt forget, there are events all week, including special tastings at K&L,  The Press Club, and a VIP Depth & Diversity Tasting on Saturday. Some of my favorite producers will be pouring, so get your spit cups ready and let’s swirl, sniff and sip.  Personally, I’m looking forward to trying some producers new to me, which is always an adventure in wine!  Stop by and say the Wine Brat sent you! Cartograph Clouds Rest Vineyards Cornerstone Cellars Oregon Domaine Serene Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery Freeman Handley Cellars Inman Family Wines La Follette Wines. MacPhail Family Wines Papapietro Perry Winery Philo Ridge Vineyards Roessler Cellars Sojourn Cellars Stomping Girl Wines Veramonte  

A long winter's night…**ZAP WINNERS ANNONCED**

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It’s that time of year again, where you curl up in front of your fake Amish fire (no wood burning here please, it’s Spare the Air!), open a big juicy zin, a good book, and your new furry slippers.  It’s cold here these days, and the damp chill of the morning fog makes it feel more like London than San Francisco.  That’s not all bad however, as it’s days  like this that make me cook up a big pot of bean soup and open some of my deliciously California Zinfandel. One of the most unique American wines, Zinfandel has a long history in California.  From Italian field blends during the gold rush to the new gold rush of wine, zinfandel has a solid palace in history.  There are so many different flavor profiles you can find, from raisiny ripe Paso Robles to spicy & racy Sierra Foothills, to brambly blackberry punch of Dry Creek.  What better way to taste them than at the 2012 Zinfandel Festival! January 26-28, 2012 join thousands of Zinfandel aficionados in San Francisco for the 21st Annual Zinfandel Festival.  This year marks a departure from the past festivals, with both a venue change and event revamping.  I am excited to see how these changes impact the festival.  In 2012, the festival will be help for the first time in the Concourse Exhibition Center, an urban venue south of Market Street in San Francisco.  While this can present a logistical nightmare, my hope is that it will encourage more taxis and bus travel than auto travel – which has resulted in some less than stellar behavior in years past. But back tot he event!  Thursday ZAP kicks off with Epicuria, formerly known as Good Eats & Zin.  This has long been my favorite event, with it’s smaller crowd and delicious food pairings.  At this gourmet extravaganza, you can discover the diversity of zinfandel, as it is paried with a huge variety of sweet & savory food sfrom some of the best restaurants in California. Friday afternoon, Flights continues it’s journey with Forums of Flavor.   At this exclusive seminar-style tasting you will discover themed flights of Zinfandels and interact with Zinfandel experts. Aimed at the true wine aficionado with an aptitude toward learning more, Flights offers in-depth insight into the Zinfandel varietal and provides the opportunity to experience the true character of the legend.