Nearly 100 members and guests attended the March 2 Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting at six host sites. Five flights of wine came from various locations including Arroyo Grande Valley, Carneros, Central Coast, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley, and Willamette Valley (Oregon).
The overall favorite was from Patz & Hall in Carneros; second place was Aequorea’s Seafarer; third was Fort Ross’s Sea Slopes; and fourth was very close to third, from Capiax.
The three favorite wines across the six host sites plus the fourth place which was very nearly tied for third:
|1st||Patz & Hall; Hyde Vineyard
|2016||$55.99||WINE ADVOCATE 93+ —Medium ruby-purple colored, profoundly scented of black cherries, black raspberries, and red currants with touches of forest floor, black soil, stewed tea, and lavender.|
|2014||$34.95||The aromatics are intense – redolent of dried cranberry, red apple skin, white pepper, and Earl Grey tea. The palate is bright and vibrant, with a core of dark red fruit, uplifted spice, grated chocolate, roasted nuts, dried orange rind, and toasty oak.|
|3rd||Fort Ross Sea Slopes
|2014||$29.95||ROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS—The 2014 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes gets its name from overlooking the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,200 to 1,700 feet. This wine offers loads of Chinese black tea, pomegranate, floral notes, and a hint of raspberry in a medium-bodied, fresh, lively, Côte de Beaune style.|
|2016||$29.95||ANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS—Laced with essence of sweet red cherry, underbrush, dried herbs, orange zest, and exotic floral notes. Plump and juicy, yet also very much medium in body and gracious, with terrific freshness.|
In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:
- Hosts Germaine & Rob Romano: Bill & Noel Forsch with their “Appetizer Feast”
- Hosts Pat & Frank Solis: Eberhard Neutz with his “Lebirkaefe with caramelized onions”
- Hosts Marcia & James Vaughan: Rich Skoczylas with his “Hazelnut Cake”
- Hosts Barbara & David White: Paula Becker with her “Mediterranean Chicken”
- Hosts Betty Jo & Jay Newell: Jean Rico with her “Chicken Tortilla Casserole”
- Host Mike Del Medico: Lynda Edwards with her “Spinach Dip”
The detailed scores by site will be posted on the OCWS website. Congratulations to all the winners!
A big thank you to the hosts! Please send your recipes to George Cravens at George@ocws.org as a possible recipe to be published on the OCWS website.
– George Cravens, Director
Visiting a tasting room is an excellent way to experience the diverse selection of a winery’s wines in a relaxed, fun, and social environment—albeit a foreign territory for those of us who live outside of wine country.
Insiders have shared some “do’s” and “don’ts:
- Do try a wine you don’t think you might like – this is what tastings are for
- Do refrain from openly criticizing wines; wine tasting is subjective (to a degree)
- Do ask for seconds if you are seriously considering buying the wine
- Do moderate your intake – spit if you are visiting quite a few tasting rooms
- Don’t wear perfume or cologne – 80% of our sense of taste is experienced through our noses; be considerate with wearing as little scent as possible
- Don’t ask for “in the industry” discounts
- Don’t ask for the “good stuff” – it implies you are not being served any good wines; do inquire about reserve wines or library wines
- Don’t haggle on the price; it’s not a car dealership
The Orange County Wine Society supports all California winemakers and principals. Each year during the OC Fair, we proudly introduce award-wining wines as well as feature all wines from the Commercial Wine Competition for tasting by the general public at The Courtyard.
Membership in the OCWS does not include representing oneself as “industry” or an “industry winemaker.” The OCWS is a non-profit brand and we have established trust with many external audiences in the wine industry. We have a clear mission and vision and are strategic in our marketing and branding initiatives. Every member visiting a California winery should introduce themselves as an Orange County Wine Society member—be a proud marketer for the OCWS.
– The OCWS Board of Directors
Congratulations to all who won door prizes at the Frances Ford Coppola Winery Program tasting that was held on Friday, February 22.
A special “congratulations” goes to Arnie Gamboa who won the top Coppola prize by naming the most winners of the Oscars, getting 16 out of 24 answers correct. Arnie received a special Coppola Care Package which included Coppola food items, wearables, and wine.
Unfortunately, we do not have a photo of Arnie with his Coppola prize; however, we would like to share with you several photos of prizes won by members present at the Coppola tasting, along with Bill Redding presenting winemaker, Francois Cordesse, with a plaque. Log in to the OCWS website to view many more photos taken at this event.
– Rich Skoczylas, Winery Program Coordinator
As you may have heard, we will be using new cash registers at The Courtyard this year. The credit and debit card reader will be connected directly to the register so credit and debit card sales will not have to be entered twice. This change should really speed things up!
All managers, assistant managers, and cashiers will have to be trained on the new registers. We anticipate scheduling training sessions to begin in early February through the end of March.
We hope to have two sessions per week (depending on what is happening at the OC Fairgrounds), one on a weekday evening and one on a weekend afternoon.
We also anticipate that a training session will be no longer than 30 minutes. We are planning on having multiple sessions each day.
Please be on the lookout for an e-blast as to the training schedule.
If you are interested in being trained as a cashier, please reach out to either Fran at Fran@ocws.org or Brian at Brian@ocws.org.
– Fran Gitsham & Brian McDonald, Courtyard Chairs
Members, it’s time to start thinking about recertifying your TIPS (Alcohol Server Training) certificate. TIPS certification is valid for three years.
If you are a new member, or have never taken a TIPS training class, you will need to attend and become certified if you plan to volunteer at The Courtyard during the 2019 Orange County Fair.
As a concessionaire of the OC Fair, the OCWS must adhere to contractual requirements established by the OC Fair Board of Directors and Staff. Before any volunteers work in The Courtyard during the OC Fair, everyone must be “professionally trained and certified in alcohol awareness techniques.”
Click here for Class schedules.
– Rochelle Randel – TIPS Trainer
– Marcy Ott – Badging Coordinator