31 January, 2010

Can You Ever Have Enough Pinot? (Or, how you too, can be a Pinot Judge!)

Simple answer: No.
More complex answer: No.

Come to the 8th Annual Pinot Noir Summit on Feb 27 and you'll say "No" too!

Let me explain a bit.

I was very happy to judge at the Pinot Noir Shootout organized by the International Wine Review and Barbara Drady of Affairs of the Vine. The shootout is run as an 8x4 (8 wines in each of 4 flights for a total of 32 wines) blind tasting and is organized into several preliminary rounds leading up to a final judging. The best wines of the final are then sent on to the Pinot Noir Summit where the public can be a judge for a day and immerse themselves in the "Pinot Experience." If you are in or near the SF Bay area, you should absolutely plan to attend. I'd love to meet all of you in person at the "Discovering New Stars" workshop that I'm moderating

The prelim round (just one of 8 prelims) I judged at in November was generously hosted by Russian River Vineyards in Forestville, CA. If you're in the Russian River Valley, plan on paying them a visit. Good stuff, wonderful people. Great location!

The finals were held at Bistro Boudin on the San Francisco Bay where we had great views and great company. Rather than the 8 or so judges at each preliminary round, there were nearly 30 judges in the room. We still maintained the 8X4 format and through 4 hours of judging, each tasted 32 different Pinots. Yes, 32. Some was great, some, not so much, but the overall quality was quite good. My hat is off to all of the judges at the prelim rounds in sending on many very high quality selections to the finals.

While I can't reveal the winner (or my choices) quite yet, I can say that some of the best submissions were from many different appellations/areas. Suffice it to say, if you prefer one or several styles of Pinot, you'll find something you like. I can guarantee it. (well, not so much of a guarantee, but more of me vouching for it, OK??  -  OK!!)

..so come and join us for some great fun, great education, a great experience and just a wonderful day at the Pinot Summit. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

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