2010 SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
And so off to the Judge's Dinner we went...
Ann Littlefield and Kevin Vogt.
Mrs. & Mr. Brian Baker.
George Skorka and Ann Littlefield.
No, Ellen Landis in the back on the left...
Carol Seibert, Charles Mara, Ann Littlefield (of course) and Jim Harre.
Ken and Ellen Landis with Drake McCarthy.
Ann Littlefield is off to the left in this photo.
Robert Silverstein and Jim Harre.
Andy, sporting his favorite color...Blue!
Not Ann Littlefield.
Jim Trezise, Mrs. Leticia Ponomareff and, of course, Ann Littlefield.
Debra Del Fiorentino and Valery.
Notice how Debra is taller in this photo...
The Vine Guy and Vine Gal.
California Grapevine Meets The Pinot Report.
Nick Ponomareff, Jim Harre and Greg Walter.
Steve Pitcher, Mark Bowery and Ziggy Eschligal.
Herr Pitcher and Leslie The Thirsty Girl/Check, Please! Sbrococco.
Lefty McCarthy and Charlie "The Barber" Mara.
Then Leslie makes Charles an offer he can't refuse...
...and so Charles is on the cover of Leslie's magazine.
The ToastMaster of Wine,
George Skorka in a quiet and pensive moment...
Seconds later, though...
Michael Feil and his Thirsty Girl.
Zag and Zig.
Gillian Balance, Kevin Mastery and Janet Dyer.
Luckily I had color film in the camera when Rosina arrived.
The famous Rosina Tinari Wilson in living color (on the right).
Charles Mara dreaming of Zinfandel, while The Hosemaster is thinking of the
upcoming blogger's convention.
Vine Gal, Vine Guy and Wine Guy.
Jim Trezise and Angela Landisbury.
More Thirsty Girls.
Leticia, Steve and Nick.
Mr. & Mrs. Janet Dyer.
Dr. Valery Uhl understands Kiwi-Speak.
The Menu for the Judge's Dinner
Naturally there were some bottles in my cellar bag...
A Muller-Thurgau from Pojer & Sandri was light and fresh...faintly citrusy
and a bit understated alongside the Tuna.
So we pulled another rabbit out of our hat...
A Von Simmern Hattenheimer Noosecookie Trocken Riesling.
Very fine and sporting plenty of character, this was a lovely dry white with
floral notes and nice acidity.
A Castello di Verduno red wine made of Pelaverga was the wine of the week for
George "Put a Skorka In It".
Light and with hints of wild strawberries and peppery overtones, this bottle was
delicious served lightly chilled.
Robert Silverstein wanted to give this a gold medal, too, except it wasn't
entered in anything more than the "Judge's Dinner" category.
Jeffery wanted to know if was available in half-pint format, while Ron was
thinking of a magnum.
We then opened a bottle of Crivelli's magnificent Ruché, another Piemontese red
Andy then got up and made some comments and George danced for
the crowd, netting $2.25, three marbles and a shoelace.
Andy appreciated George dressing in blue.
(Andy even demanded, apparently, that the chairs around the dining table be blue
Three Goombahs and One Fuggedaboutit.
A bunch of Goodfellas...
After a magnum of Fratelli Ponte Barbera and a magnum of
Castello di Neive Barbaresco (Santo Stefano Riserva, no less!), someone had
Fuggedabout-his cell phone.
It rang several times and finally the one bright light at our table, Robert
Silverstein, suggested someone answer the damned thing as it was probably its
owner dialing it in an attempt to track down the lost phone.
Sure enough, someone did answer the phone and the unsuspecting owner, was
caught off guard.
"What are you doing with my god-damned phone? Who the hello are
you? I'm calling the police."
George calmly responded, "But sir, you don't have to call the police.
I AM the police."
"What the f@*k! Who the hell are you?"
"I have your phone, sir and it's safe."
"Where the f%*k are you??, god dammit!"
"If you would please come up to the 25th floor, sir," George
calmly continued, "I have your phone here, sir."
Moments later the fellow burst into the room, totally tweaked, but his balloon
was quickly deflated when he realized he'd been 'had' and it was, after all, his
fault for leaving the phone...
Here's one possible solution...ear you go...
The next morning, the judging continued, as each panel made
its way through numerous flights, in search of perfection.
One of the volunteers needed a break...
Ansel Adams took a break from tasting to shoot one of his panel mates.
Back to tasting in hopes of finding a wine worth more than a nickel.
Barbara was busy tabulating the results of Panel G.
She was Harried by the diverse opinions of Eddie Albert and Tim Skyscraper.
Focus on the task at hand...
"I can almost see this wine getting a gold medal."
Diamond Mendel Kohn.
George was begging for a gold medal...
Someone asked Deborah "Where's the Beef?"
After a particularly poor wine, Robert was seriously injured and George, in
tears, came to his rescue.
Our panel, by the way, was assisted by:
L to R: Zach Salin, Panel Coordinator Duncan Ballash and Jim Anaya.
A while later we needed a group photo.
And these two fellows saw to it.
Back to the grindstone...or wine stone.
A spitting image of Robert Silvertongue.
A Double Gold Moment.
Duncan and Mister Wizard, the illustrious Paul J. Bourbin,
discuss the results of several small flights of fancy.
As we wound up our tasting of nearly 300 wines, we finished
the day with a sip of Estrella Inedit beer from Spain.
Bob was awarding this a Double Gold.
And so we returned Sunday morning, mining for Gold.
Carol Seibert and Chandler Moore were glad this day had
Everyone, it seems, wanted a photo of Kimberly Charles.
And soon we were at tasting tables, confronted with numerous
Double Gold Medal Winners.
Jim McMahon was up to the task.
So was our Fearless Leader.
And so here we are...
...confronted with choosing the best of the best.
Debra Doppio D'Oro
"If you thought Wine B was the best, Please raise your
Raising His Hantman.
Looking for Ballance.
In between flights...we stepped outside. Andy checks the soccer scores.
And so, we've tasted through more than 70+ Double Gold Medal wines, selecting
nearly a handful as the Best of the Best...
After all is said and done, some of the volunteers are spotlighted and take a
And so...the winners include:
|BEST WHITE WINE:
|BEST RED WINE:
2008 Santa Lucia Highlands
|BEST SPARKLING WINE:
BLANC DE BLANCS
|BEST DESSERT WINE:
2007 Niagara Peninsula
The Complete Results May Be Found on the Competition's
Thanks to Anthony Dias Blue, Carol
Seibert and Chandler Moore for inviting me to participate.
Thanks to all the great volunteers who make this amazing event possible.
Special thanks to my Panel's volunteers:
Duncan Ballash, coordinator
& Jim Anaya and Zach Salin.
TO THE FIRST PAGE OF THE 2010 JUDGING
TO THE 2009 JUDGING
TO THE 2008 JUDGING
TO THE 2007 JUDGING
TO THE 2006 JUDGING
TO THE 2005 JUDGING
TO THE 2004 JUDGING
TO THE 2003 JUDGING
TO THE 2002 JUDGING
ON TO THE 2011 JUDGING