Our Favorite Wine Tasting Events
Spending a day in wine coutry visiting a handful of wineries is lovely, but if you really want to get a large variety of samples under your belt to help hone your palette then maybe you would like to try a wine tasting event.
Most are open to the public, for a fee, and feature usually hundreds of wineries, each pouring approximately 1 ounce tastes. The events typically have themes, so you can really get a sense for the unique nuances of each varietal or region.
There aren't any rules for tasting at these events, but we recommend spitting your tastes into the red Solo cups they provide. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable position later (read: puking, staggering). It is also considerate to the other tasters if you dive in, have them pour your taste, then immediately back away for the next taster. If you like what you tasted, go back up and grab a business card or ask a quick question. You can easily scribble notes on the event program or perhaps bring a wine journal to keep track of your thoughts on each wine.
Here is a list of some of our favorite events in the Bay Area:
ZAP Wine Festival (held late January) at Fort Mason, CA, themed "Unmask Your Passion," reflects our enthusiasm for America's Heritage Wine and the personalities of Zinfandel--bold and celebratory, independent and unpretentious, refined and elegant, versatile and diverse. Zinfandel's true nature is sure to reveal itself to you during the four days of Zinfandel events.
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting (held mid February) at Fort Mason in San Francisco is acclaimed as the largest competition of American wines in the world and features award winning wines from across the country.
Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting (held late March) at Fort Mason in San Francisco, where over 500 wines from more than 125 American wineries that feature Rhone varietals will be available for tasting. Aabalat staff will be attending!
Pinot Days (held mid June) at Fort Mason in San Francisco, where you can sample up to 150 pinots from every important region in California, Oregon, New Zealand, and Burgundy.
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (held late August) will feature 200 wineries and chefs, a grand tasting at the MacMurray Ranch and a wine auction at Cline Cellars.
Family Winemakers Tasting (held mid September) allows guests to experience the largest tasting of small, family-owned California wines in the world.
Wine & Food Affair (held early November) in Sonoma is the premier event for the Russian River Wine Road! Enjoy a weekend of wine and food pairing at 70+ wineries.