Mini Tastings

Gold Medal Mini-Tasting Wrap Up

Over 160 members and guests attended the Gold Medal Mini-Tasting on July 7 at nine host sites. The evening began with a Gold medal winning Viognier from Falkner Winery in Temecula and a Double-Gold Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyards (Clarksburg AVA).

The blind tasting followed with seven flights of two wines each. For additional information on more award winning wines, visit  winecompetion.com. The wines covered a wide range of styles with three white pairs, one Rosé pair, and three red pairs. Several sites reported ties in their top three, and eight of the fourteen wines finished in the top three at one or more sites. The three favorite wines of the nine host sites and three others that tied for fourth are listed below:

Place Winery Name Year Price Description
1st DeWitt Vineyards 2015 $28 Tempranillo, Amador County, Double Gold. Three first, one second, and three third place finishes
2nd Trentadue La Storia 2016 $28 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Double Gold. Two first, two second, and one third place finishes
3rd Carol Shelton – Black Magic 2017 $20
375 ml
Late-harvest Zinfandel, Sonoma, Double Gold. Two first, one second, and one third place finishes
4th-tie Sunce Winery 2016 $30 Mission, San Francisco AVA, Gold, One first and one third place finish
4th-tie Orange Coast Cellars 2017 $29.99 Albarino, Double Gold, One first and three third place finishes
4th-tie Blair Estates 2013 $40 Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco AVA, Double Gold, three second place finishes

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:

  • Host Carol Frank & Sam Puzzo: Kevin Coy’s “Marinated Flank Steak”
  • Hosts Betty Jo & Jay Newell: Irene Scott’s “Flourless Chocolate Cake
    with homemade vanilla bean Ice Cream”
  • Host Linda Baumeister: Linda Ellenburg’s “Carrot Cake”
  • Hosts BJ & Tina Fornadley: Fred Heinecke’s “BBQ Tri-tip”
  • Hosts Nancy & Stephen Edwards: Allison Snyder’s “Cherry Cheesecake”
  • Hosts Marcia & James Vaughan: Marcia Vaughan’s “Peach & Blackberry Crisp”
  • Hosts Wendy & Stacey Taylor: Bill Forsch and Noel DeSota’s
    “Brisket and Burnt ends with 2 sauces”
  • Hosts Virginia & Karl Kawai: Dino Amico’s “Champagne Risotto”
  • Hosts Janae & Bob Unruh: (Tie) Nancy Harman’s “Chocolate Brandy Pudding Mousse shots” and Linda Crawford’s “Herb Roasted Salmon”

Congratulations to all the winners! A big “thank you” to all the Hosts!

Please send your recipes to George Cravens at George@ocws.org as a possible recipe in a future Newsletter article.

– George Cravens, Director

Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting Recap

Over 100 members and guests attended the February 24 Mini-Tasting at six host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from the Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Russian River, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley (Oregon). The scores for the wines were very close, […]
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Cabernet Sauvignon Mini-Tasting: Recap

A total of 108 members and guests attended the November Mini-Tasting held at six host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Napa, Alexander Valley, and Paso Robles. The top three favorite wines of the six host sites were:

Placement Winery Name Year PRICE DESCRIPTION
1st Francis Ford Coppola 2015 $17.00 King Kong, Sonoma, OCWS Gold 2017
2nd Lancaster 2014 $55.00 Alexander Valley, Estate, WS 94
3rd Frank Family 2014 $55.00 Napa Valley, WS 91

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 were:

  • Hosts Barbara and Dave White: Joyce Coker for Wild Mushroom Lasagna
  • Hosts Greg and Cathy Risling: Elaine Watrous for Zuppa Tuscana
  • Hosts Virginia and Karl Kawai: Jim Burk for Braised Beef in Wine Sauce & Shirley McManus for Potato Cheese Casserole
  • Hosts Tina and BJ Fornadley: Tina Fornadley for Beef Lasagna with Pesto
  • Hosts Marcia and James Vaughan: Barbara Schneider for Overnight Glazed Short Ribs
  • Hosts Bob and Janae Unruh: Lynelle Hustrulid for Better Than Sex Dessert

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big  thank you to all the Hosts!

– Bill Redding & George Cravens, Directors

Gold Medal Wines Mini-Tasting: Wrap Up

A total of 168 members and guests attended the July Gold Medal Mini-Tasting held at nine host sites. The evening began with a Gold medal winning wine from Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Noir, Carneros.

A blind tasting followed with six flights of two wines each. The superb selection of wines chosen by Chris Cunningham had tough competition with many sites reporting “ties” for the top wines.

The three favorite wines of the nine host sites are listed below:

  • First Place: Ballantine, 2015 Zinfandel, Napa Valley at $30
  • Second Place: J. Lohr, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltop, Paso Robles at $35
  • Third Place: 2015 Eberle, Barbera, Kokopelli, Steinbeck, Partridge Vineyards, Paso Robles at $32

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:

  • Host Chris Cunningham: Mike and Deborah Webber, Chile Relleno
  • Hosts Pat and Frank Solis: Tom Richey, Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Host Jolen Zeroski: Sheila Tedesco, Chocolate Fruit Cup with Sherbert
  • Hosts BJ and Tina Fornadley: Judy Koeblitz, Chicken Devine
  • Hosts Marcia and James Vaughan: Simone Dygert, Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Hosts Stephen and Nancy Edwards: Nancy Harman, Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Hosts Sam Puzzo and Carol Frank: Carol Frank, Smoked St. Louis Ribs
  • Hosts Stacey and Wendy Taylor: Bill Forsch and Noel DeSota, Nicoise Salad
  • Hosts Craig and Ronna Rowe: Kathy Krieger, Blackberry Crisp

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to the Hosts! A special thank you goes to Chris Cunningham for his selection of the Gold Medal wines.

For additional information on more award winning wines, visit  winecompetition.com.

Please send your recipes to Bill Redding at Bill@ocws.org as a possible recipe in a future newsletter article.

– Bill Redding, Director

Syrah & Petite Sirah Mini-Tasting: The Results Are In

On April 22, OCWS members and guests attended the April Mini-Tasting at four host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills, Dry Creek, Amador County, Australia’s Eden Valley and Barossa Valley. The tasting, in addition to Syrah, included two Petite Sirahs and two Shiraz from Australia. The top five favorite wines from the host sites were:

Placement Winery Name Year Price Description
1st Macchia 2015 $25.00 Petite Sirah, ‘Dubious’  OCWS Gold
2nd Halter Ranch 2014 $35.00 Syrah, Adelaida District
3rd Ridge 2014 $35.00 Petite Sirah, Lytton Estate, Dry Creek
4th EB Winery 2014 $31.00 Syrah, Santa Barbara, OCWS Silver
5th McPrice Myers 2013 $20.00 Syrah, ‘Right Hand Man’ Central Coast

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 were:

  • Hosts Pat and Frank Solis — Eric Kalnes — Tri Tip
  • Hosts Bob and Judy Koeblitz — Carolyn and Phil Wallace — Asparagus Wraps
  • Host Linda Bauermeister — Linda Bauermeister — Lasagna
  • Hosts Kern Vogel & Linda Martin — Bill Forsch & Noel DeSota — Billy’s Crying Tiger Rip with Cilantro Shrimp and Rice Noodles

Congratulations to all of the winners and a big “thank you” to the hosts! Please send your recipes to Bill Redding at Bill@ocws.org for posting on the OCWS website.

– Bill Redding, Director

Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting: The Results Are In

A total of 88 members and guests attended the February 4 Mini-Tasting at five host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Carneros, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Santa Rita Hills, Sonoma and Santa Lucia Highlands. The top three favorite wines of the five host sites were: First […]
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Cabernet Sauvignon Mini-Tasting Results

A total of 90 members and guests attended the November Mini-Tasting at five host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Napa, Alexander Valley and Paso Robles. The top three favorite wines of the five host sites are listed below: Placement Winery Name Year Price Descriptions First […]
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Meritage & Components Mini-Tasting Results

A total of 90 members and guests attended the April Mini-Tasting at five host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each. The following wines were tasted as either a single varietal or as Meritage blends – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The top three favorite wines of […]
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February Mini-Tasting Results: Rhone Wines

A total of 71 members and guests attended the February Mini-Tasting at four host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each. The following Rhone wines were tasted as either a single varietal or as white or red blends – Counoise, Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Rousanne, Syrah, Tannat, and Viognier. The top three […]
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