April 2021

President’s Message

May has arrived, and the OC Wine Society is moving closer to both the Commercial Wine Competition and the Home Wine Competition. Because of the cancellation of last year’s Competitions and the pandemic delays which extended into this year, we were late in starting our marketing and as a result, we are not sure how many entries we will receive for both events.

Several of our members have put forth a fabulous effort to contact 1,400 wineries by phone to remind them that our entry deadlines are approaching and to please submit their wines. Thank you to everyone involved in this great effort!

This month we will be looking to get our members to volunteer to help with the receiving, sorting, and bagging of wines in preparation for the Commercial Wine Competition to be held at the Hilton Hotel June 5 through the 6, and the Home Wine Competition at The Courtyard on June 12. Our two Competitions and the upcoming Courtyard at the OC Fair are critical to our core mission of supporting wine education and the financial success of the organization.

And some fabulous news, Governor Newsom has announced that if we continue with our decreasing COVID numbers, California will “open up” on June 15 for full activities!

Since this date is after our two Competitions, it will not affect our social distancing and mask restrictions. But it will be in time for the OC Fair, and hopefully the OCWS can start resuming our social activities after the Fair this coming fall.

This will be welcome news for all of us, for the state, and soon for the country.

Stay healthy everyone, and I hope to actually see you over the coming months!

Social time is coming, cheers!

Kevin Donnelly, President

Best of Fair Food & Wine Pairings

After a non-existent OC Fair last year, we are all ready to get back to some live fun and, if prior years are any indication, back to having a reason to eat some incredible, fun foods that, I imagine, most of us don’t normally eat during the rest of the year. Coupled with camaraderie coming back to The Courtyard and wine from the OCWS cellar, 2021 is finally giving us something great to look forward to. With this in mind, I’ve chosen to share some past Courtyard seminar favorite pairings with you to help temp your taste buds and fuel your enthusiasm for the fare to come. Created and presented by Ed Reyes and Sara Yeoman, the Fair Food and Wine Pairing seminars presented at The Courtyard have become a fan favorite of OCWS members and Fair goers alike.

I have had the pleasure of attending several of these seminars and encourage all of you, if you want to have a fun gathering, to create these pairings at home over lots of laughs with friends.

– Fran Gitsham, Contributing Writer

Space Wine Uncorked

Several months ago we published an article regarding a case of wine being taken to space in November 2019 on a SpaceX capsule in an attempt to explore new ways of growing plants.

The wine returned in January of 2021, and the results were analyzed two months after its landing. A 2000 bottle of Chateau Petrus Merlot was uncorked, and the contents were analyzed by a group of French connoisseurs. So, what does “space wine” taste like, you ask? Was a sprinkling of stardust detected?

Wine writer, Jane Anson, “found there was a difference in both color and aromatics and also in taste.” “It felt a bit older, a bit more evolved than the wine that had remained on Earth . . . the cosmic wine’s tannins were more evolved and it had a more floral character,” she added. Ms. Anson concluded “that its adventure above the stratosphere added about two to three years maturity to the drink.”

In case you are wondering, an earth bottle of this vintage costs somewhere around $6,000!

– Linda Mihalik, Editor