People ask us all the time where can they go to learn about wine. Well, aside from reading OddBallGrape.com on a regular basis, wine events, such as Grand Tastings and festivals, are a great opportunity to learn. You can taste all sorts of different wines and better yet, at many of these events, you can talk to the winemakers and learn what went into the bottle.
Now that may seem like a lot of work when you just want to taste something. But as we were reminded over the past weekend, the more you learn about wine, the easier it is to figure out what to buy for, say, that snooty boss or disparaging in-law. Or for your own table.
And this is the time of year to do it. Why? Because all this is one of those rare times when there isn’t all that much work to do in the winery. And if your vineyard is pruned, not much to do out there, either. Which means all the winemakers are now out and about trying to sell all that wine they so lovingly made.
A case in point is the Pasadena PinotFest taking place on February 11th at the Pasadena/Altadena Country Club. While it is Pinot-driven, many of the winemakers who will be there also make other wines. Keep in mind, a lot of these producers are small family-farm businesses, so an event like this is another way to get closer to your food and drink, if that appeals to you.
Outside of our Los Angeles area, there is the annual Family Winemakers of California tasting event in Del Mar on March 11th. This is open to the public as well as the trade and this is where several hundred winemakers will be pouring many hundreds of different wines. The common denominator is that all of them are small family-owned businesses making it a way to Occupy the vineyard, as it were.
But for OBG fans, it’s time for the first Webster’s Fine Stationers tasting of 2012! Coming up on Friday, February 10th – note the different day from our traditional third Saturday of the month event – we will be featuring a Valentine’s Day theme, and there may be even more cool surprises, so stay tuned.