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Tasting Event

1st Annual Rib-o-Rama to feature Zinfandel and Ribs

I can’t think of a food and wine pairing more American than Zinfandel and BBQ ribs. And what better time to indulge in both than the weekend after the 4th of July?

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) are bringing some juicy wine and spicy ribs, or vice versa, Saturday July 9. Thirteen Zinfandel wineries will be there, along with local chefs showing off their rib chops. There’ll be Southern-style baby back ribs, Memphis-style ribs (Mmmmm.... dry rub!), Asian-style pork ribs and even Afghani lamb ribs with dry rub. And there will be plenty of seriously good Zinfandel to wash it down.

Baby_back_ribs_-_hickory_smoked

The event takes place this Saturday, from 2PM to 5PM at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda. They’re over in what used to be the Alameda Naval Air Station. It’s worth the drive just to check out the old base. It’s pretty cool and offers great views of San Francisco. Here’s the address: 2301 Monarch Street, Suite 300, Building 24, Alameda, 94501, 510/522-5700.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. (ZAP and Rock Wall club member tickets are $35 in advance here.) Get your tickets now, because the 1st 100 people to buy tickets will get a free event t-shirt or apron! With all those ribs happening, you might want to wear that apron during the event...

Here is the lineup of Zinfandel producers ready to pour you the purple:
Bota Box Wines
Dashe Cellars
Gnarly Head Cellars
Harney Lane Wines
M2 Winery
Macchia Wines
Michael-David Winery
R & B Cellars
Rock Wall Wine Company
Rosenblum Cellars
Spenker Winery
St. Amant Winery
Three Wine Company

Wines from these companies will also be available for purchase by the bottle during the event.

If you’re mouth isn’t already watering, maybe this will help. It’s a recipe for Backyard Baby Back Ribs, courtesy of Alton Brown. Drool.

Backyard Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients
2 full racks/slabs (about 4 1/2 pounds) baby back pork ribs
Kosher salt 6 tablespoons
Rub Number Nine, recipe follows
1/2 cup orange juice (not fresh squeezed)
1/2 cup margarita mix
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Place each rib rack on a sheet of extra-wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil. (The foil should be 4 inches longer than the ribs on either end.)
Season racks liberally with kosher salt and sprinkle each rack with 3 tablespoons of the rub.
Turn the ribs, meat side down, and tightly seal each foil pouch.
Place on a half sheet pan and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Combine the orange juice and margarita mix in a liquid measuring cup.
Open 1 end of each pouch and evenly divide the liquid between the 2 pouches.
Reseal the pouches and place the sheet pan in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the ribs from the oven, carefully open 1 end of each pouch and pour the braising liquid into a heatproof measuring cup.
Reseal the pouches and place them and the measuring cup of liquid into the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

The fat in the braising liquid will have solidified on the top and can be removed at this time.
Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and add the honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, espresso powder and cayenne pepper.
Whisk to combine.

Set over medium high heat and reduce to a glaze, approximately 10 minutes.
Set a gas grill to medium-high and allow to heat for 10 minutes.
Cut each slab in half and place them on the grill, flesh side down, close the lid and decrease the heat to medium.
Leave alone for 3 minutes.
Flip and cook for another 3 minutes.
Flip and cook for 3 minutes on each side 1 more time or until each rib has a nice char.

Remove the ribs from the grill to a cutting board and cut into 2 rib portions, using kitchen shears.
Add the ribs and half the glaze to a large serving bowl and toss to thoroughly coat.
Serve the remaining glaze on the side.

Rub Number Nine:
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground thyme
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon allspice

Place all of the ingredients in an airtight container and shake to combine.
Store for up to 3 months.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Photo by Foodista. All rights reserved.

Hospice du Rhone 2010 Auction and Realized Prices

A lot of wine events these days include silent auctions. These auctions typically help sustain the non-profit organizations putting on the event and are therefore quite important. And sometimes you can get a good deal on some very nice and/or unique wine in the auctions.

The downside of silent auctions is right in their name. They are silent. And, unless you're engaged in a passive-aggressive bidding war with some guy who keeps upping the ante on the lot you really want, most of these auctions are pretty boring.

Hospice du Rhone is never boring. Even it's auctions are exciting. The lots are unique and super-sized. The auction is also totally non-silent. We're talking a live auction run by a real, live, fast-talking, quick-witted livestock auctioneer with a team of guys pointing, encouraging, and yelling "Hah!" every time someone bids. To make things even more exciting, the auction takes place after a lunch during which multiple bottles of wine sit on every table and are poured freely. The wine continues to flow during the auction.

If you would like a little taste of the Hospice du Rhone auction action, watch this video featuring auctioneer Todd Ventura from this year's event:

Here's a list of this year's auction lots and the prices they sold for:
Lot 1: (the girl and the) fig Weekend for Four
Hands-on cooking or Salumi class with Chef John Toulze
Wine dinner at the girl and the fig
Wine dinner at ESTATE
Brunch at the fig café
Magnum of Tres Bonnes Annees Syrah
Winery visits arranged by Sondra Bernstein
Sold for $5,000.

Lot 2: Jonata vertical in magnum
2004 - 2007 Syrah La Sangre de Jonata

Sold for $1,400

Lot 3: Domaine Francois Villard, 3 magnums each
2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Reflet

2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Mairlant
2007 Cote Rotie Le Gallet Blanc

2007 Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes

Sold for $5,500

Lot 4: Torbreck
2005 The Struie, 3 liter
2005 RunRig, 3 liter

2005 The Steading, 3 liter

2005 Descendant, 3 liter
Sold for $4,600

Lot 5: Rhone Rangers, Paso Robles Chapter
37 magnums, one from each member of the chapter
Sold for $5,000

Lot 6: Wines of South Africa Seminar Sampler
2006 Boekenhoutsloof, 3 liter

2006 De Trafford Shiraz, magnum

2008 Mullineux Family Shirah, magnum
2009 Mullineux Family White Blend, magnum

2007 Sadie Family Columella, magnum
2003 Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards Syrah Theta, magnum
Sold for $1,700

Lot 7: Boulevard Restaurant Dinner for Four
Four-course dinner
2005 Chateau Grillet

2007 Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc “VV”

2007 Saxum, James Berry Vineyard

2007 Clos de Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape
1995 Guigal La Mouline

Sold for $5,000

Lot 8: Three Winery Paso Robles GSM Blend
Hug Cellars, half-barrel (10 cases)
Herman Story, half-barrel

McPrice Myers, half-barrel

Sold for $5,600

Lot 9: Domaine Mathilde et Yves Gangloff
2004 Condrieu, one magnum

2006 Condrieu, one magnum
2005 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, two magnums

2006 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, two magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie, Sereine Noire, one magnum
2006 Cote-Rotie, La Barbarine, three magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie, La Barbarine, two magnums

Sold for $5,500

Lot 10: Long Shadow Vintners - Justin Vineyards Collaboration
50-50 blend of Columbia Valley, Washington and Paso Robles Syrah

Winemakers John Duvall & Kevin Sass

10 cases

Sold for $3,800

Lot 10A: Wines from the “Four Amigos”

Yves, Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard, Yves Gangloff & Francois Villard
2008 Condrieu, magnum

2008 Cornas, magnum

2007 Vin de Pays, 2 magnums

2008 Cote-Rotie, 2 magnums
2008 Saint Joseph, 2 magnums

...and more!

Sold for $3,300

Lot 11: Alban Dinner for Four with Cellar-Selected Wines

Dinner prepared by John Alban, Vicki Carroll and José Dahan (Et Voila Restaurant)
2004 Alban Roussanne, Edna Valley

2003 Linne Calodo, Stick and Stones

1999 Alban Grenache, Edna Valley

1998 Sine Qua Non, Hospice du Rhone Exclusive, Central Coast

1998 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape

1998 Chateauneuf du Pape (Alban Family Cellar Selections)
Sold for $5,500

Lot 12: Syndicat Tavel
14 different Tavel rosé producers, 1 bottle each
Private tour of Tavel with Sandra Gay of Syndicat Tavel

Sold for $2,600

Lot 13: Le Vins de Vienne

2007 Cote-Rotie Les Essartrailles, 3 magnums

2007 Saint Joseph, Les Archeveques, 3 magnums

2007 Taburnum Vin de Pays Collines Rhodaniennes, 3 magnums

2006 Hermitage Les Chirats de Saint Christophe, 3 magnums

Sold for $3,000

Lot 14: Qupé
2008 Syrah Sonnie’s Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, Edna Valley
One 3-liter, two magnums, six 750ml

Sold for $2,100

Lot 15: Domaine Yves Cuilleron
2007 Saint Joseph Rouge Les Serines, 6 magnums

2007 Cote-Rotie Terres Sombres, 6 magnums

Sold for $6,000

Lot 16: Bonny Doon Vineyard
Dinner for 12 with Randall Grahm at the Cellar Door Cafe with Library Wines

2008 Le Cigar Volant, 6 signed magnums plus 18 750ml bottles

Sold for $3,000

Lot 17: Three Hundred Point Lot

One magnum each of three Rhone wines that received 100 points from Wine Advocate
2007 Les Combe des Fours

2007 Deus Ex Machina
2007 Santus Santorum

Sold for $4,500

Lot 18: Saxum Vineyards
2007 Saxum Bone Rock, James Berry Vineyard, 3-liter bottle
Sold for $3,100

Lot 19: Miner Family Vineyards
2007 Odyssey Rhone Blend, 6 magnums
2008 Odyssey Rhone Blend, 6 magnums

2007 La Diligence Syrah, 6 magnums
2008 La Diligence Syrah, 6 magnums

Sold for $3,800

Lot 20: Villa Creek
Villa Creek Locavore Feast for Four with Cris and JoAnn Cherry
Wines to include:
2001 Cellars Cacpanes Cabrida Falset

2002 Three for One, Cuilleron/Gangloff/Villard, Rhone Valley

2005 Alban Vineyards Lorraine, Edna Valley
2005 Clos Erasmus, Priorat

2007 Chateau de Saint Cosme, Valbelle, Gigondas
2006 Saxum 32 James Berry Vineyard

2006 Sine Qua Non Raven No. 1, Central Coast

Plus two rooms at the hotel and a VIP barrel tour at the winery

Sold for $3,900

Lot 21: L’Aventure Winery
2008 L’Aventure Estate Cuvée, magnum

2008 L’Aventure Cote a Cote, magnum

2008 L’Aventure Le Grand Vergot, magnum

2009 L’Aventure Roussanne Estate, magnum

VIP Tour and Tasting for Six, including barrel tasting

Sold for $2,100

Lot 22: Paul Lato Wines
Winemaker Dinner for Six, seven courses prepared by Paul Lato

Served with Paul Lato wines
2008 Syrah Bien Nacido, six 750ml bottles to take home

Sold for $6,200

Lot 23: Eric Solomon Selections
Priorat Experience for Four & Top of the Priorat Wine offering

One night accommodations at the Cal Llop in Gratallops boutique hotel
Dinner with Eric & Daphne Solomon at their home in Gratallops with wines from their cellar

Vineyard tour of Priorat with the Solomons
Cellar tour and barrel tasting at Clos Erasmus

Cellar tour and tastings at other Priorat wineries 
(airfare not included)
2005 Closa Batllet Tinto, 750ml

2005 Bodegas Mas Alta La Creu Alta, 750ml

2006 Mas d’en Compte Planots, 750ml

2006 Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles, 750ml

2007 Celler de l’Encastell Roquers de Porrera, 750ml
2007 Vinya del Vuit, 750ml

Sold for $5,500

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Top Wines from the 2010 Pinot Days Grand Tasting

The 2010 Pinot Days Grand Tasting was held on June 27 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. More than 212 wineries were on hand pouring their Pinot Noir wines. I would be surprised if there were fewer than 1,000 wines available to taste.

I allocated most of my time to several wineries whose wines have impressed me in the past. I also took some time to try wineries who’s wines I’d not tried previously. In the end, I tasted more than 70 wines. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the wines, even given the fact that I had been selective in my tasting. Of all the wines I tasted.

Smoke taint in the 2008 vintage due to the massive forest fires in parts of Mendocino County and Sonoma County has been widely discussed. Several of the wineries I spoke to at the event chose not to make 2008 wines from certain areas. Other producers were extremely selective with the fruit and therefore have less wine available, though 2008 was a very productive year in some vineyards which somewhat mitigated the loss of fruit to smoke. None of the wines I tasted had any smoke influence which I considered to be a flaw.

The following is a list of those wines I tried and thought to be among the best. The list is in alphabetical order within each section. I only tasted a fraction of the wines on offer, so the absence of a wine or winery from this list should not be taken as a negative.

Very Highly Recommended
2007 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley

2008 Dunstan Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard2008 Failla Pinot Noir (blend)

2007 Failla Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Kanzler Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

2007 Pey-Lucia Vineyards Pinot Noir

2008 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Oppenlander

2007 Sand Hill Wines Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir San Giacomo Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2006 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir

2006 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2007 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard

2007 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Estate

2005 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Haynes Vineyard

Highly Recommended
2008 Coterie Cellars Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2007 Coterie Cellars Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2007 Donum Estate Pinot Noir

2007 Donum Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2007 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2008 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Tondre

2008 Eno Wines Pinot Noir Fairview Road

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Sonoma/Santa Rita Hills

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Occidental Coast

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Seven Springs

2008 Evening Land Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge

2008 Failla Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2007 Failla Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge

2008 Fess Parker Winery Pinot Noir Pommard

2008 Fess Parker Winery Pinot Noir Clone 115

2007 Flying Goat Cellars Dierberg Vineyard, Santa Maria

2007 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir

2005 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Reserve

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2008 Freeman Pinot Noir Akiko’s Cuvee, Sonoma Coast

2007 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Jenkins Vineyard

2008 Landmark Vineyards Pinot Noir Quail Hill

2007 Pey-Marin Pinot Noir Trois Filles

2008 Phillips Hill Pinot Noir Beeson Tree

2007 Pisoni Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard

2007 Pisoni Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Gaps Crown Vineyard

2008 Sojourn Cellars Sonoma Coast

2008 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir

2008 Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Sonoma County Cuvee

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain, Carneros

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Hawk Hill Road

2006 Talisman Pinot Noir Adastra Vineyard

2007 Tondre Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2005 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley

2003 Westwood Winery Pinot Noir Haynes Vineyard

2008 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

2007 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

2006 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

At the tasting, I wasn't taking the time to ask for prices and individual wines were not listed in the tasting guide which was given out. However, I did not the price for the 2006 Suacci Carciere because they were offering it at a Pinot Days discount for $30 per bottle. They only had 15 cases left at the time, one of which a friend and I bought. If you'd like to get in on the last of that wine, the winery will extend the same $30 price to you. Just mention that you heard about the wine here. (Note: I'm not compensated in any way for mentioning this deal, I just think it's something you may enjoy.)

If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Icons for popular sharing services are at the right above and also below.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Four Top Performers from Pinot Days 2012 San Francisco

Among “the usual suspects” at Pinot Days 2012, there was excellence to be found in all shapes and sizes. Four of the tables I stopped at offered super wines across the board and each of these producers has a style distinct from the others. Richard Berridge offers elegant, relatively light-bodied wines of great complexity. Pinot Noir at Sojourn Cellars are bold and creamy, powerhouses of flavor. The silky texture of Wren Hop Vineyards Pinot Noir would justify the drinking even if there were no flavor at all. If these first three wineries were points on an equilateral triangle, Failla would lie in the center. Their Pinot Noir are a generous medium in body, the flavors confident and all aspects of the wine in harmony.

Richard Berridge

I’ve not had a lot of experience with Richard Berridge wines in the past, but I’m looking forward to exploring them deeply in the near future. A Napa Valley-based landscape architect, Berridge was one of the original founders of Duckhorn wines. Now, he owns his eponymous winery as well as Drystone in New Zealand. A 2009 Drystone Pinot Noir Central Otago poured on Saturday was lovely.

Berridge-Wine-Logo-For-Web 

2009 Richard Berridge Pinot Noir Van der Kamp Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain — Medium-minus bodied, elegant and juicy with slightly tart red fruit. Very Highly Recommended

2007 Richard Berridge Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge Mendocino — Very complex on the nose with a profusion of fruit, earth, spice and herb. Lightly-textured palate. Very Highly Recommended

2009 Richard Berridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast — The creamiest of the Berridge’s I tried. It’s juicy though, and long, with flavors of dark red fruits and spice. Very Highly Recommended

2009 Richard Berridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Mountain — Funky spice, black cherry and attractive green herb. Highly Recommended +

2009 Richard Berridge Pinot Noir Anderson Valley — Leather, animal and the promise of much more after some bottle age — Highly Recommended

Failla

failla_logo

Failla is the personal label of Ehren Jordan and his wife Anne-Marie Failla. Jordan has also done so for Neyers, Turley Wine Cellars and Marcassin among others. The majority of Failla Pinot Noir are vineyard-designate bottlings from cool sites in genuinely coastal areas of the Sonoma Coast AVA.

2010 Failla Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley — From the warmest of Failla’s North Coast Pinot Noir sources, this wine is rich and spicy with earthy fruit. Highly Recommended.

2010 Failla Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard — Aromas of raspberry, spice and orange-vanilla ice cream. It’s medium-minus to medium in body with a lightly grainy texture that kicks in at mid-palate. It’s a long wine and one that will be at it’s best after three or more years. Highly Recommended.

2011 Pinot Noir Failla Sonoma Coast — This is a young wine in three senses. It’s a 2011. It’s made from the “younger blocks” of Failla’s vineyard-designate sites. It was bottled Tuesday. Despite the latter, there was no obvious bottle shock. I noted sweet, creamy cherry, spice and hints of orange pith. It’s elegant and textured with medium-plus acidity. Highly Recommended.

Sojourn Cellars

Sonoma-based Sojourn Cellars does not make coy wines. They have complexity and also evolve, but the core flavors are bold and concentrated with palate weight to match. (Sojourn also makes Cabernet Sauvignon in the same vein, but with appropriately greater weight and structure. I’ve recently tried the 2009 Spring Mountain and a 2008 blend of Beckstoffer George III, Spring Mountain and Howell Mountain. They are both knockouts.)

2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard — Creamy with cherry, earth, spice and more. Very Highly Recommended

2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard — Exotic spice, ripe red berries and earth. Very Highly Recommended

2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Gaps Crown Vineyard — Creamy palate with root beer spice. Very Highly Recommended

2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Ridgetop Vineyard — A relatively restrained nose with exotic woods and spices. Tight but richly textured. I’d like to try this one again in six months. Recommended+

2010 Sojourn Wohler Vineyard — To be released this Fall, the Wohler offers maraschino cherry with minty accents and grainy tannins. Highly Recommended

 

Wren Hop Vineyards

The Wren Hop wines are made by Russell Bevan who tends to make very sensual wines and puts a lot of focus on texture. You get both with the Wren Hop Pinot Noir. I liked the mouthfeel of Siren's Lure so much, I didn’t want to spit or swallow.

2009 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Siren’s Lure” — From the “true Sonoma Coast” this aptly named wine offers flavors of leather, bresaola and forest floor on a backdrop of dark fruit. It’s beautifully silky. Very Highly Recommended.

2009 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Omens and Prophecy” Russian River Valley — Ripe dark cherry, blueberry and spice with nearly medium-plus acidity and a long finish. Highly Recommended+.

2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Stolen Crown” Russian River Valley — Not yet released, this wine gives you smoked meat and dark berries with a silky, yet structured palate. Highly Recommended.

 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. Winery logo art is the property of their respective holders. All rights reserved.

10 Entertaining Wine Events for September 24 - 25, 2011

iStock_woman_drinking_wine_XSmallWhile the calendar thinks Summer is coming to a close, the weather thinks otherwise. Days are heating up and harvest is in full-swing. What better time to get outside and enjoy some wine events? Here are a few that promise to be especially amusing:

Gold Country

A Taste of the Gold: Saturday, 1 - 4pm
Head out to the Nevada County Fairgrounds for this fun and tasty event, featuring some of the Northern Sierra Foothill's finest restaurants and wineries. Find your favorite wine, and with glass in hand, nibble your way through more restaurants than you could possibly visit in a long weekend. While you're there, don't miss the Draft Horse Classic.

Scott Harvey Wines Grape Stomp: Saturday, 1:30 - 5:30pm
Work out the week's frustration by stomping grapes with a friend. Just take your shoes off first... There's also complimentary wine tasting. If you work up an appetite, there'll be tasty hot dogs for sale. 

Lodi

Taste of Lodi: Saturday, 1 -5pm
Taste wines from over 40 wineries and culinary specialties from local favorites. Participate in wine seminars, learn the latest from local vintners, be entertained by chef demonstrations from Lodi's celebrity chefs, and enjoy live music from one of the area’s premier bands.  And don't miss the Port, Cigar and Chocolate Pavilion.

Napa Valley

Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting: Saturday, 1 - 4pm
The Hess Collection Winery is hosting the 12th Annual Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting. More than 20 Mount Veeder wineries will be pouring at the event, which will also feature selected food pairings, live music and a raffle.

Hot Harvest Nights at Peju: Saturday, 6 - 10pm
Date night! A fun-filled evening that will include a winemaker seminar, wine tasting, then a harvest dinner with the family and dancing in the gorgeous flower gardens.

Country Fair & 125th Birthday Party at Trefethen: Sunday, 11am - 2pm
The Trefethen Family will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of their historic winery building by hosting an old-fashioned country fair, complete with a tractor parade, carnival games, gourmet food trucks, some of Trefethen Family’s own & winemakers in a dunk tank, and excellent wine.

Paso Robles

Calcareous Vineyard Outdoor Concert: Saturday, 6 - 9pm
Enjoy the music of Soundhouse, a local favorite, while drinking Calcareous wines high up in the hills of Paso Robles. Bring a picnic or buy snacks there.

San Francisco

SF Wine Market: Sunday, 1 - 4pm
Meet up with winemakers, taste their wine and buy it right there. Many excellent wineries participate. It's near Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradelli Square, so make a day of it.

South Bay/Peninsula

Barrel Tap Wine Market: Saturday, 1 - 5pm
Check out the amazing dirigible hangar at Moffett Field while you enjoy tasting wine from some top Californian and import wineries and sample gourmet items from celebrated local food vendors. You can buy wines at the event too.

Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk: Saturday, 2 - 6pm
Sip, savor and shop your way through Los Gatos. 30 local wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley will pour wine for your tasting pleasure at various shops and locations throughout downtown and in Old Town. And do some window shopping too! 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Photo 03-04-11 © aldra. All rights reserved.