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SF Intl Wine Competition-2008-Logo

June 13th was the start of the 2008 San Francisco International Wine Competition as judges from around the planet converged for a weekend full of sniffing, sipping and spitting.

We are led through some 4200+ wines this year, as usual,  by the intrepid Anthony Dias Blue, featured on this cover of The Nose magazine.

The weekend begins with several panels of judges evaluating wines on Friday afternoon, getting a head-start.

In the evening, most of the wine geeks congregate for the "Judge's Dinner," a convivial soiree of vittles and vino.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner-Bubbly

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Andy and Anne
Apparently the wasabi in the sushi caught Andy by surprise, priming his palate for the hundreds of wines on the weekend's horizon.
The infamous Ann Littlefield primed her palate with Champagne.

 

SF Intl Wine-2008-Judges Dinner-Leslie
Name Tag, Please!
Leslie Sbrocco.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-NY Mafia
The New York "Mafia"...
Charles Mara, Liz Anathan and Michael Feil.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Lisa and Ron
Lisa Weeks sings a duet with Ron Washing Machine.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Landis and Valery
Ellen Landis and Valery Uhl share tips on the various shoe sales in The City, while Ken Landis contemplates another sip of Champagne.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Rosina
The infamous Rosina Tinari Wilson wets her whistle with Champagne.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner-Carol & Wilfred
Wine Competition Director Carol Seibert and the notorious Wilfred "90 Points" Wong.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Robert Silverstein-Tim McGarr
Ron Silverstein is delighted to have a flute glass for the Champagne instead of his customary jar as he and Tim McGarr share their ideas about the wine known as Petite Sirah.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner_The Bakers and Leslie
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Baker tell Leslie Sbrocco about their favorite dining establishments, asking when Taylor's Refresher was last featured on her TV program profiling restaurants.
"They have a great wine-by-the-cup program," Brian explains.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner-Wilfred-Drake-Ellen
Wilfred attempts to show Drake McCarthy and Ellen Landis how to operate chopsticks or create fire.
Drake struggles to keep his eyes open and Ellen nods off...

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Traci Dutton-Ann Littlefield
The CIA's Traci Dutton seemed to have the place under total surveillance as Ann Littlefield kept her telescoping fork at the ready.

 

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-Chandler
Carol's "right hand", Chandler Moore.

SF Intl Wine-2008-Dinner-1st Course
The first course was accompanied by some Kendall Jackson wines.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner-Jeffery Stivers

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Dana Pours Some Vin Rouge

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Guinea Hen

Our table enjoyed a wide array of bottles...from a Hans Wirsching Scheurebe Kabinett wine to a Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  We opened a Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge from the 2005 vintage and a 1996 Pio Cesare Barbaresco.
SF Intl Wine_Dinner_Jeffery Pours Pio Cesare

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Lisa-Weeks_Barbaresco
Lisa mentioned it had been several weeks since she'd enjoyed a wine this much...

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Andy Announces Panels
Andy, the Man In Blue, then announced all the panel assignments and which judges would be arm wrestling each other for the rest of the weekend.

SF Intl Wine_2008_Dinner_Dessert
And if the panel assignment announcement wasn't enough of a dessert, we were offered a second treat.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Landis Honors David Jones
Ellen and Ken Landis then took a moment to encourage one and all to hoist a glass to remember former wine judge David P. Jones who died recently at a very early age as a result of a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_A toast

The group then mingles and old friends catch up on the latest news and happenings...

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Tim McGarr and Linda Murphy
Tim McGarr and the infamous Linda Murphy.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Ron Brown
Ron Brown-San.

SF Intl Wine-2008_Chris Sawyer and Ellen Landis

SF Intl Wine-2008_Dinner_Deborah Parker Wong
Debra Parker Wong is not related to the infamous Wilfred Wong.
Otherwise, Carol would not have invited the both of them to judge at the same tasting, since "Two Wongs don't make a Right."
Sorry.

 


Tim brought a nice Piemontese wine resembling a Vin Santo, except it's made of the Arneis grape.
Notice, please, Tim buys his jackets at the same haberdashery as Andy...

I had seen Wilfred taking some photos of wine bottles and such, but was shocked when he appeared on the other "side" of the camera.


Someone apparently mentioned they thought a particular wine had "nice legs" and Wilfred went crazy...
And he had plenty of help, it seems!


Check, Please!


"298 Points!" WILFRED WONG

It was about this point in time I started to hear the strains of a familiar song...a Willie Nelson tune, actually...

Turn out the lights the party's over they say that all good things must end
Let's call it a night the party's over and tomorrow starts the same old thing again..
.




With the prospect of several hundred wines on the horizon, I departed for a good snooze so I could be ready for Saturday's tastings...

ON TO THE WINE JUDGING...

 

 

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