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Sharing the OWC Wealth Part 2: Trick or Treat with Zinfandel!

October 31, 2008

Hey there friends and fellow wine enthusiasts!

This is no trick, it’s all treat–I spent last weekend at the First Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa and scored a bunch of open wines including a motherlode of  Dry Creek Valley zins!

These wines were opened Friday so they need to be enjoyed soon! Want to come help me taste and evaluate them??

I’ll set out some crackers, cheese, apples, bread, vegies, that sort of thing, then when we’re ready, I’ll throw some pasta on and Kathy’s going to pick up marinara at Ferrarros (both meat and vegie).  Kathy’s also going to make a salad.

Since both Kathy and the Big Monkey just had birthdays, we’ll put some candles on a cake (I’m thinking cheese cake with home canned cherries and fresh blueberries actually).  SHHH! That part’s a surprise!

Looking forward to seeing you and hearing what you think about these wines!

ml, g

So went the email I sent to about 15 friends. Ten wine enthusiasts came over the other night, and in the course of the evening, we polished off the remnants of eight Dry Creek Valley zins and tasted two pinot noirs from two continents.

I laid the zins out on a table with a black cloth to hide wine spills and to carry out the Halloween Trick or Treat theme. The boy and I had put out Halloween decorations the week before, but I added a few more before the party so it was quite the festive scene.

But it was the table laden with alphabetized dry Creek Valley zins which got all the attention from the adults! (The children of course were transfixed by the led motorized pirate ship…) And it didn’t take long for us to choose our glasses and get to tasting.

In addition to collecting these wines from the conference, there was a pile of 20 or so tasting sheets from the meal I didn’t get to eat and the wines I didn’t get to taste, so since I’d brought them home for scratch paper, we used the backs of those sheets for our notes providing an intro to other Dry Creek wines as well as a place for our notes.

I’d also gathered up all the handouts that were lying around the sweet zin suite, and was able to supply those informational sheets for almost everyone. I had maps out and I showed everyone where the Dry Creek valley was, and set the scene. I had the laptop up with info from Dry Creek also but we never went there. It would have been wonderful to have someone like Nick Gorevic of Wine Scholarship lead us, but I think I muddled along quite well!

Here’s a quick run down of our tasting notes with some general info as possible:

Bella Vineyard and Wine Caves: 2006 100% DCV zin, 15% alcohol $35.
Smoke right away (tar?), dark cherry, blackberry, smooth and silky yet “jazzy.” Hangs around.

Copain 2003 Arrowhead Mountain Zin 14.8
Smoother, a little smoke like smoked salmon, barn, leather, hay, thick.

Dutcher Crossing 2006 Maple Vineyard DCV 91% Zin, 9% Petit Sirah; old vines 14.8%
i was reminded right away of the light rose raspberry currant spice of carnation vanilla natural perfumed scent of an old beautiful elegant refined woman smiling, and I couldn’t shake her. Maybe it was the time of year, here on the heels of Halloween, but I couldn’t help but like her and want to know her better. (Jock’s favorite?  He worked as a sommelier at the Ranch House in Ojai 30 years ago…)

Mauritson 2005 Growers Reserve DCV Zin 15.5
Very fruity, muddy, hard to taste after the Dutcher

Mauritson 2006 DCV Zin Rockpile Ridge 15.5
Clear sense of cherry, bramble

Fritz 2006 14.6% DCV Zin
Butterscotch, black fruit, hay, leather. Lots going on.

Pedroncelli 2006 14.6%
This wine went really really well with dinner! Very satisfying and pleasurable! Easy going yet meaty and smooth.

Talty 2005 Zin Estate 15.0%
I remember really liking this one: peppery, complex, intriguing, a conversation starter of a wine

(I’ll come back and add links to more of the wineries when I get a chance…)

So here’s my latest idea for an income stream: organize regional wine tastings to go. You could order a tasting for 12 say, of Dry Creek Valley zins, or wines in general, along with tasting notes and other info from the region. This could be done for every appelation in California and beyond! I’ll leave the northeast for Lenn Thompson if he wants it!

Even better, to work with other folks in the Open Wine consortium to pull this together, drawing on different people’s areas of expertise, and giving them a shout out, for example, doing an Austrian ed pack of biodynamic wines from Anthony Nicalo Farmstead. Or working with David Strada and his New Zealand wines.

While I may not be the most sophisticated or knowledgeable person out there in wine, I do know my way around educating adults after teaching college and yoga for 20 years!

Hmmn, maybe this idea is so obvious it’s already out there. But it is a bit of a complicated idea to pull off well to provide the service of connecting people to a wide variety of regions in a consistent way. If it is out there, I sure haven’t run across it during the last six months of world wide web wine wanders. Then again, I wasn’t looking for it specifically.

Please let me know if you know anything I should know!

NEXT UP: details on the perfect wine for Halloween:

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