Top 10 Reasons to Try a New Wine Tasting Experience:

Attend the 2009 Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting March 22 in San Francisco

10. Spit in public! 
The best way to appreciate samples of some of the 500 or so wines available from about 125 American wineries is to use the provided spit cups in front of about 2,000 utter strangers.  Well, it’s ok to swallow some of your very favorites.  But using the spit cups most of the time sure enhances the experience and lets you enjoy a great dinner in San Francisco afterwards.

9. Not as crowded as ZAP.  The more established annual January tasting of the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) has become a victim of its own success.  Now spread across two of the pavilions at Ft. Mason, ZAP has become so crowded that it’s hard to get to the winery tables let alone hear yourself think.  By contrast, the Rhone Rangers tasting is smaller and more accessible.  Now is your chance to help it become too big for its own success!

8. America’s best wines are not all Cabernets and Chardonnays or Zinfandels.  Too many Americans have gotten stuck in a rut of always drinking the same range of popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot or even Riesling.  But just as the wines of France’s Rhone Valley are among Europe’s best, so too are the American Rhone-style wines among Americas best.  Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Marsanne, Counoise and other varietals and the blends made from them have been coming on strong, both in quality and popularity.

7. Meet wine-makers and winery principals.  Unlike a lot of wine tasting events, at Rhone Rangers most of the wines are presented by the wine-makers and the winery principals.  Here’s a great chance to talk with them and ask questions.  Individually and collectively, they appreciate an opportunity to expose wine lovers to new wines and styles.  A note of etiquette:  if you do wish to chat, please stand to the side so others can approach the table and get tastes of the wines.

6. Decide if you like wines with funny names.
  At Rhone Rangers, you may taste bottlings with names like “The Recluse,” “Syrache,” “Le Cigar Volant,” “Holy Moly,” “Candy Core,” “Big Easy,” “Anarchy,” “Rhoneocerous,” “Speakeasy,” “Writer’s Block” and “Enigma.”  The producers of Rhone-style wines often use amusing names, especially for blends of multiple varietals.  A funny name doesn’t mean the wine isn’t serious.

view counter
For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.