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CABERNET VALUE

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MERFY

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MAN, OH MAN, WHAT A WINE!

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Good Wines for $5-$15

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WHITE BURGUNDIES OF NOTE

MARSANNE BARGAIN

CHERRYISH TUSCAN RED SALE $12.99

PROSECCO FOR ADULTS

BILLIONAIRE'S WINES UNDER $30!

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The 
VINO FINO
Holiday Wine Marathon & Dinner
December 4, 2002

The Vino Fino Tasters, a little monthly wine-tasting group, holds its annual holiday Bacchanalia in early December in San Francisco.

Dick Otstott was able to coerce The Metropolitan Club to allow us to, once again, spill wine all over their linens.

After a harrowing taxi ride from the Cal-Train station by a frustrated Formula One driver, we arrived to help "organize" (if that's possible) the evening.



There we are on the events' board!

Each member brings a bottle of wine from his "cellar," and the loose "theme" for this year was Cabernets from the early 1990's.

I arrange the wines in tasting order and then double decanted each bottle as the members are arriving, each clutching their preciously cellared flagon!



The group gathers, anxiously awaiting the opening of the Champagne.  Some are quite impatient, yet subtle:
"Gee, a glass of Champagne would be nice about now!"

I brought a couple of magnums of the excellent AGRAPART non-vintaged Brut CHAMPAGNE.  This was thoroughly delicious with the outstanding assortment of oysters assembled by Chef Mehrdad Dabir.

OYSTERS:
DIAMOND POINT
BUCKLEY BAY
HAMA HAMA
HOG ISLAND SWEETWATER
SAINT ANNE'S BAY
SALUTATION COVE


Thankfully, Chef Dabir had an ample supply, as I was busy decanting the wines and my cohorts were busy harvesting the bounty of the sea!



Jim Sweeney dives into the Champagne, along with Doug Moke and Alex Hoeppen.



Ernie Anderson, Allan Anderson
& Tim Zainer.



Mark and Gary were busy solving the world's problems.  The Champagne helps!



This year's line-up is even more impressive than last year's!

I decanted all but the last two, more venerable bottles.  We wanted to be sure to not allow those to deteriorate due to aeration.  The rest of the wines were young enough where this would not be a problem.

DICK OTSTOTT hoists a glass of Louis Latour's 1990 CORTON-
CHARLEMAGNE, 
from the cellar of Jack Sweitzer.

The wine was quite mature, displaying hints of toasted hazelnuts and nice, creamy, buttery notes.




Chef Dabir's first bit of magic was a lovely starter:
" TRUFFLED LOCAL HEDGE HOG MUSHROOM 'SANDWICH' "

The Mushrooms were terrific and a nice match with the Corton-Charlemagne.  Too bad Jack didn't bring a magnum!


The conversation invariably arrives at a discussion of music.  Here we see Allan Anderson & Tim Zainer singing a duet.
Amazingly, none of the Metropolitan Club's Riedel glasses were broken during this part of the evening!


Jack Sweitzer & Pat Donahue were busy with more important discussions:
WINE!


Mark Naismith, for once, has the same size stemware as the rest of the group.
Tim Zainer, a CPA, audits Mark's pouring of the wine, much to the amusement of Mr. Sweitzer.


The next plate was
GRILLED DIVER SCALLOPS & PRAWNS WITH ROMESCO SAUCE.

We had some bottles of FEUDI di SAN GREGORIO 2001 FIANO DI AVELLINO to pair with this, a nice combination.


Meanwhile, Chef Dabir was busy preparing the roasted racks of lamb to go with the massive line-up of Cabernets!


I had brought a glass of 1991 Eisele Vineyard Cabernet from Araujo for the chef as "motivation" for another stellar performance.
No problem!


RACK OF JAMES RANCH LAMB
with ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
This was a wonderful main plate.
And the Opus One 1990 from Doug Moke's cellar wasn't bad, either!


John McGlothlin seems to be a "magnet" for all the bottles!

The final red wine decanted this evening was a 1964 Chateau Talbot, a "memorial" bottle for our dear pal, the late John Vignau.

As the evening wound down, Tim Zainer inquired of Chef Dabir for a good recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches.


Apparently Tim has a cellar full of Sutter Home White Zinfandel and needs suitable cuisine for a corporate event.



After a little "palate cleanser" of a Cassis Sorbet, the chef sent out dessert:
A POACHED PEAR WITH HAZELNUT CREMA

A 1986 Niepoort Colheita Port was terrific with this!

Just for the record, here's the amazing list of wines from the "Marathon".

AGRAPART
BRUT CHAMPAGNE

in Magnum

Gerald Weisl

LOUIS LATOUR
1990 CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE

Jack Sweitzer

FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO
2001 FIANO DI AVELLINO

Gerald Weisl

STAGS' LEAP
WINERY
1993 Napa CABERNET

Ernie Anderson

SIMI
1993 Alexander Valley
Reserve CABERNET

Mark Naismith

FISHER
1992 Napa Coach Insignia
CABERNET

Alex Hoeppen

ARAUJO
1991 Eisele Vineyard
CABERNET

Dick Otstott

SPOTTSWOODE
1990 Napa
CABERNET

Tim Zainer

Chteau
LA LAGUNE

1990 HAUT MEDOC

Gary Peer

OPUS ONE
1990 Napa Valley
RED WINE

Doug Moke

RIDGE
1990 Bradford Mountain
CABERNET

John McGlothlin

Chateau
SOCIANDO-MALLET
1990 Haut-Medoc

Pat Donahue

Chteau
BEYCHEVELLE
1989 Saint-Estephe

Jim Sweeney

DIAMOND CREEK
1986 Napa
CABERNET

Jacques Sweitzer

Chateau
LATOUR
1970 Pauillac

Allan Anderson

Chteau
TALBOT
1964 Saint-Julien

John Vignau
Mmorial Bottle

NIEPOORT
1986 Colheita
PORTO

Wayne Chu

A more calm taxi ride to Cal-Train and several hours of horizontality were needed after such an exhausting event!

Many thanks to the Metropolitan Club for hosting us!


BACK TO THE VINO-FINO MAIN PAGE


VINO FINO TASTING ARCHIVE

2007 RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIRS  February 2010

A RANGE OF FRENCH CHABLIS WINES  January 2010

HOLIDAY DINNER & WINE MARATHON  December 2009

ROSÉ SPARKLING WINES  November 2009

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  October 2009

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  September 2009

GREEK RED WINES  August 2009

2005 BUDGET BORDEAUX  July 2009

CAMPANIAN WHITE WINES  June 2009

MIXED BAG OF CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2009

RIOJA WINES, MOSTLY FROM THE 2004 VINTAGE  March 2009

NORTH COAST PETITE SIRAHS  February 2009

SYRAH & PETITE SIRAH COMPARISON  January 2009

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2008

MOSTLY 2005s: NAPA CABERNETS  November 2008

SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIRS  October 2008

SANTA RITA HILLS -2006 VINTAGE- PINOT NOIRS  SEPTEMBER 2008

NEWLY RELEASED ZINFANDELS  August 2008

WHITE RHÔNE VALLEY WINES  JULY 2008

LOIRE VALLEY SAUVIGNONS  JUNE 2008

FRENCH CHABLIS 2005-2006  MAY 2008

NORTHERN RHÔNE SYRAHS  APRIL 2008

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIRS  January 2008

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS DINNER  December 2007

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  November 2007

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  October 2007

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  September 2007

SONOMA'S 2005 VINTAGE ZINFANDELS  August 2007

CURRENT RELEASE (2004-2005) ZINFANDELS  July 2007

ROS WINES FROM ALL OVER  June 2007

ITALIAN LAGREIN WINES  May 2007

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  April 2007

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE PINOT NOIRS  March 2007

MOSTLY 2004 CABERNETS   February 2007

CRU BEAUJOLAIS  January 2007

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2006

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  November 2006

PINOT NOIRS of VALUE-PRICING  October 2006

WORLD OF SYRAHS TASTING September 2006

AUSSIE CABERNET-SHIRAZ BLENDS  August 2006

ALEXANDER VALLEY (California)  and MARGARET RIVER (Australia) CABERNETS  July 2006 

CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAHS  June 2006

2004 NORTH COAST PINOTS and a FRENCH INTRUDER  May 2006

AGLIANICO : BASILICATA & CAMPANIA'S MAJOR RED WINE  April 2006

NERO D'AVOLA - A TASTE OF SICILIA  March 2006

UNDER THE VINO FINO RADAR ZINFANDELS  January 2006

HOLIDAY WINE TASTING & DINNER  December 2005

BUBBLIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  November 2005

NORTH COAST PINOT NOIRS  October 2005

STATE OF CONFUSION CABERNETS  September 2005

TIM ZAINER'S SIDEWAYS LOOK AT MERLOTS  August 2005

LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET FRANCS  June 2005 

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  March 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  February 2005

VINO FINO HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2004

CHARDONNAYS OF MODEST PRICE November 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO  October 2004

2002 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIRS  September 2004

AUSSIE SHIRAZ-CABERNET BLENDS  August 2004

GEWRZTRAMINERS FROM ALSACE July 2004

2001 SOUTHERN RHNES (7 Chteauneufs & a Vacqueyras)  June 2004

AGLIANICO WINES FROM CAMPANIA & BASILICATA  May 2004

MONTEPULCIANO WINES FROM THE ABRUZZO & MARCHE REGIONS  April 2004

SONOMA ZINFANDELS  February 2004

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  January 2004

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA 2003

2001 CTES du RHNES  September 17, 2003

2000 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  August 20, 2003

WEST COAST SYRAHS  July 16, 2003

2000 Bordeaux  June 18, 2003

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS May 21, 2003

OFF THE BEATEN PATH SYRAHS APRIL 16, 2003

2002 NEW ZEALAND SAUVIGNON BLANCS  March 19, 2003

1999 California CABERNETS  February 19, 2003

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA December 4, 2002

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  August 21, 2002

CHAMPAGNES & SPARKLERS July 17, 2002

Interesting Paired CHARDONNAYS
May 15, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS   Feb. 20, 2002

1999 ZINFANDELS January 16, 2002

HOLIDAY SEASON BACCHANALIA
December 5, 2001

1999-2000 New PINOT NOIRS November 14, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS October 17, 2001

1998 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 19, 2001

1999 LANGUEDOC REDS August 15, 2001

1997 SAUTERNES July 18, 2001

Mostly 1998 NEBBIOLO June 20, 2001

1999 PINOT NOIRS May 16, 2001

1996 SAINT-MILION Tasting April 18, 2001

CARNEROS CHARDONNAYS March 21, 2001

1984-1985 NAPA CABERNETS/John Vignau Memorial Tasting  October 20, 2000

1997 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   September 20, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 16, 2000

WINES FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: CLARETS  June 21, 2000

WINES FROM UNDER THE TUSCAN (and Umbrian) SUN   Aprile 19, 2000

1997 BORDEAUX: MEDOC May 17, 2000

 

 

 

 

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