Laura and Joni and Meagan were glad we were there; we saw a bunch of friends – Mike Donovan (MD3), Deb Bizek and Kristen, her former roommate, sommelier Reneé Kuo (my new best friend), the gorgeous Karinna Zarate (pictured with us), Steve and Anne Cassidy of WineShop at Home, Sherry Campbell (formerly of LAW), winemakers Karen Steinwachs of Buttonwood, Josh Klapper of La Fenetre, Brian Loring of Loring, Michael Roth from Demetria, Teri Love from Gioia, and lots of new folks (well, new to us), too! Everyone seemed to having a good time, great wines were being poured. Had time at the end to chat with Karen, who gave us the remainder of her open wines – lots of stuff to sample tonight!
Laura was happy to hear that we’ll be in SF for the Burgundy tasting. It will be easier for her to have knowledgeable folks to work with – especially folks used to working with his nibs. We are enjoying the wine world so much. We’ve met such great people and made friends who I think will last. I hope so.
Before the event began, I ran out into the tasting area, made eye contact with a winemaker, and exclaimed, “I need wine!” Julie Thompson-Dobkin of Thompkin Cellars quickly poured me one glass of her 2005 GSM and one glass of her 2006 MSG. I gave JD the GSM and selfishly sipped the MSG – heavy on the Mourvedre – while we checked in the attendees. What a lovely wine! We went back later and chatted with Julie and her husband/partner, Jeff Dobkin. Their grapes are from Santa Barbara, but their winery is in Orange County! They cart all the grapes down south and do all the crushing and fermenting and bottling and aging in Costa Mesa. I want to learn more about this interesting young couple and their Rhone varietal wines.
Tonight, we have nothing scheduled, and I’m thinking about going to bed as soon as I get home! Well, maybe not. I want to find a wine bar that is reasonably priced and in the Burbank area. The D’Argenzio Enoteca is walking distance, but they’re only open on weekends and they pour only their own wines, so that’s a bit limiting, although their wines are lovely, and the family is warm and welcoming. I just want a place where I can hang out the way I used to at the long-gone Ridge Road Hotel in PA – a place that’s safe and not too expensive and not trendy. Is that too much to ask for? Are there wine bars in the Burbank area? Help me out folks!
This weekend we'll be at the Valencia Wine Company for a special tasting of wines from the Republic of Georgia - wines made in amphorae (clay pots), just like wines were made for centuries before the invention of oak barrels and glass bottles.