Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format
bullet
bullet

 

STORE HOURS

MONDAY 9-7
TUES-SAT  9-7:30

OPEN EASTER SUNDAY 9am-3pm

 

NEW, SINGLE VINEYARD
SANCERRE

DELICIOUS, SALUMI-WORTHY ITALIAN CHILLABLE RED

GORGEOUS GEWÜRZTRAMINER

BEST BUYS
Good Wines for $5-$15

CAPOVILLA
OUTSTANDING GRAPPA

FAVARO ERBALUCE
Cool Italian White

SPECIAL BOTTLING
VACQUEYRAS "ORA"

CABERNET VALUE

AMAZING ALBARIÑO

CAB DRIVER'S CARmenere

SOULFUL RED RHÔNE

SURPRISINGLY GOOD TEN BUCK MERLOT

BIGFOOT CABERNET

COOL PORTUGUESE WHITE WINE

2007 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE 

CIRO' BIANCO!

CHAMPAGNE DE
MERFY

A FIESTA OF A TEMPRANILLO

OBSCURE ITALIAN RED

CIÙ CIÙ
PECORINO

COOL VERDEJO

FLASHY RED BORDEAUX

NEW STONY SANCERRE

MAN, OH MAN, WHAT A WINE!

ELEVEN BUCK
AMADOR ZIN

STYLISH WASHINGTON MERLOT

SLEEPER of A CHARDONNAY

SUSSUDIO ???

SARDINIAN WHITE

REMARKABLE PINOT

LAKE COUNTY ZIN

STELLAR NEW ARTISAN RIOJA

NICE LITTLE PINOT $9.99

STONY RIESLING

MARSELAN...A HYBRID OF CABERNET & GRENACHE

CASTELÃO BARGAIN

STELLAR BLAUFRÄNKISCH ESTATE

CAMPANIAN DELIGHTS

COLORFUL ZIN

DOURO DYNAMITE

PORTUGUESE RED BARGAIN

GRAND SYRAH FROM AN UNUSUAL PLACE

WHITE BURGUNDIES OF NOTE

MARSANNE BARGAIN

CHERRYISH TUSCAN RED SALE $12.99

PROSECCO FOR ADULTS

BILLIONAIRE'S WINES UNDER $30!

BARGAIN WHITE BORDEAUX

PIERCINGLY GOOD
WHITE

TOP OF THE LINE
CREMANT

ANOTHER RULLY GOOD WHITE

RESERVE QUALITY RIOJA

BARBERA OF NOTE

SUPER VERONESE SALE $12.99

PIEMONTE'S GRAND VIN BIANCO?

DELICIOUS, FRESH ROSÉS

GREAT GRUNER VELTLINER

GOOD ELEVEN-BUCK CHIANTI

FLOWERY, CURIOUS RED

OLD FAVORITE KIWI SAUVIGNON IS BACK

OLD PATCH RED
ZIN BLEND

MONCUIT'S GRAND CRU CHAMPAGNE

HONEYED MUSCAT

SPICY 
GEWÜRZTRAMINER

Napa Valley Grape Info
2002

2010

Amazing FRENCH CIDERS

FIZZY LAMBRUSCO

 

 

HOME PAGE

AMERICAN WINES

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS

RHONE WANNABEES

ZINFANDELS

SAUVIGNON BLANCS

MERLOTS

OREGON WINES

CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS

CALIFORNIA CABERNETS

RIESLING & GEWURZ

WASHINGTON STATE

CANADIAN WINES

Adventuresome  Wines

ROSÉS !!

FRENCH WINES
ALSACE
BEAUJOLAIS
RED BORDEAUX
WHITE BORDEAUX
RED BURGUNDY
WHITE BURGUNDY
RHÔNE VALLEY
THE FRENCH ALPS
SOUTH OF FRANCE

LOIRE


CHAMPAGNE

 

ITALIAN WINES
PIEMONTE

VALLE D'AOSTA

NORTHERN ITALY

CENTRAL ITALIA

TUSCANY

SOUTHERN ITALIA

SICILIA


SPANISH WINES
Spanish Sherry
& Other Delights


PORTUGUESE WINES

SWISS WINES

GERMAN WINES

AUSTRIAN WINES

ARGENTINA

CHILE

AUSTRALIA

NEW ZEALAND

SOUTH AFRICA

OBSCURE WINES

DESSERT WINES

CHAMPAGNES

HALF-BOTTLES

SPIRITS

CIDERS

BEER
Even Real "Bud"!

OTHER STUFF

WINE TASTING

WHAT'S OPEN


UPCOMING TASTINGS

TASTING RESULTS
  
NEWSLETTER

SHIPPING INFO

ETC.

 

TASTING REPORTS

HOW TO ORGANIZE A BLIND-TASTING

BLIND TASTING ARCHIVE

MY 2013 EURO WINE ADVENTURE BOOK

CHATEAU MONTELENA "DREAM TASTING"
January 2018

CHATEAU MONTELENA
VERTICAL


ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2007

ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2008

SCHRAMSBERG vs THE FAMOUS FRENCH

German Wine "Master Class" Tasting

UNIQUE VERTICAL TASTING OF VOLLRADS RIESLINGS
1945-2015


S & M FOR WINETASTING GEEKS

TEAR-WAH
TASTING

2018 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2017 SF
INTERNATIONAL
WINE 
COMPETITION

2016 SF
INTERNATIONAL
WINE COMPETITON

2015 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2014 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2013 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2012 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2011 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2010 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2009 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2008 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
Periodically Amazing

2007 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
The Nose Knows!

2006 SF INTERNATIONAL  WINE COMPETITION.
SPIT HAPPENS

2005 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION.

2004 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING

The 2003 SF WINE COMPETITION

2002 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING 

A Vertical Tasting of Nalle Zinfandels

 

 

ETC.

RANTINGS & RAVINGS

WINE ROADS of EUROPE

Food/Wine/Friends
A Photo Gallery

MASTER OF WINE ESSAY TOPICS

Old Bottles: A TASTE OF HISTORY

Bob's Venetian Diary

Bob's Paris Notes Updated Spring 2007

Wine Writer's Confession

NEW "CULT" WINERY

Some Restaurant Reviews

HOW TO SELL WINE.
Info For Brokers and
Wine Distributors.

HOW TO HOLD A TRADE TASTING

$100,000 WORTH OF WINE MARKETING ADVICE:  FREE!
Mainly for Foreign Vintners

MOLDY CORKS

Study Reveals Experts Taste More Than What's In the Glass!

OKANAGAN VALLEY WINE TOUR-2010

BRIAN'S 2005 SUMMER VACATION WITH UNCLE

Gerald's Tour de France 2006

GERALD'S TOUR DE FRANCE 2008

A TOUR OF PORTUGAL-2009

HOW TO SPEAK BETTER ITALIAN

PEDRONCELLI
90th ANNIVERSARY

PONZI'S 40th
ANNIVERSARY

VINITALY

ROOSEVELT'S 2005 CHILI COOK-OFF

ROOSEVELT'S 2007 CHILI COOK-OFF

Grape Goddess

Ross Bruce Birthday

ALESSIA DALL'U

FRANCESCA & CAROLA
CALLIGARO


CCIV

FAQs

BURLINGAME

Links

San Francisco International Wine Competition 2018

Some changes took place in 2018 and this year's San Francisco International Wine Competition was moved from its typical summer-time spot on the calendar to November.

The City of San Francisco must have known this event was in town...Check out City Hall on the first night of the Judging!

Wine Color!



Despite this change, most of the SFIWC "family" gathered the weekend prior to Thanksgiving for the annual judging.


We convene at San Francisco's Hotel Nikko, this year beginning on Saturday morning.

The judges assemble for a morning coffee or tea and then our fearless leader, Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue welcomes everyone and explains the ground-rules for judging.


Amanda Blue (left) is the Chief Operating Officer of the "Tasting Alliance-San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competitions," while Maddee McDowell, who's been the VP of Operations at Blue Lifestyle International, took the reigns in running the show.

Andy gives some guidelines on assessing the wines...
We taste "blind" knowing solely the type of wine or its category and its vintage.

 

AWARD LEVELS

Winning an SFIWC Medal is an impressive achievement - but what does each medal mean?

bullet

Bronze Medal: A commercially sound wine that is modestly attractive and free from significant flaws; among the better examples of its category.

bullet

Silver Medal: An outstanding wine that shows refinement, finesse, and complexity; among the best examples of its particular category.

bullet

Gold Medal: An exceptional wine that is near the pinnacle of achievement in its category; sets the standard for all other wines of its type.

bullet

Double Gold Medal: Awarded to the very few entries that receive Gold medal ratings by all members of the judging panel; among the finest wines in the world.

 

PREMIUM AWARDS

On the final day of the Competition, select Double Gold wines advance to the Sweepstakes round. Here, all Competition judges deliberate to determine the winners of Premium Awards:

bullet

Best of Class Awards are bestowed on the best example of each wine varietal.

bullet

Best in Show Awards are the highest honors in the Competition. Chosen from among the Best of Class winners, these awards highlight the best wine in each of the four broadest categories: White, Red, Sparkling, and Dessert Wine. Best of Nation awards give special recognition to the top wineries in their countries of origin.

Best Bubbly is "The Chandler Moore Best Sparkling Wine" while the top Cabernet is "The Jeffery Stivers Best Cabernet Sauvignon."

bullet

The Tasting Panel Magazine Winery of the Year Award

bullet

Portfolio of the Year Award

bullet

The André Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year Award: Named for the legendary winemaker, our Winemaker of the Year award is bestowed on the individual with the most impressive portfolio of wine entries.


Andy also introduces the newcomers to the judging fraternity.


And then we were off and running!
Each judge found their respective table, colleagues and team of volunteers who take care of presenting the wines and tabulating the results.

Each panel has a chair-person and two or three other judges.




Chairing Panel A is an old pro, Jim Trezise.

Jim has been the President of the International Riesling Foundation for a number of years and headed the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.
He's a globetrotter and we've seen him not only in San Francisco but in Europe, as well.

Jim is a major celebrity in New York as one can see by the signage near Times Square.


Wine.com's Wendy Stanford is also on Panel A.

Wendy travels the world in furthering her wine education.
Her passport got stamped in Great Britain, France, Greece and even Oregon this past year.


San Diego's Robert Whitley publishes the Wine Review Online and organizes several wine judgings.


Mr. Whitley has been around since the days of Marilyn Monroe (and earlier)...

 


Anthony Dias Blue is the Executive Director of the whole Three Ring Circus of the San Francisco International Wine Competition; he chairs
Panel B (as in "Blue").
Despite leading a Blue Lifestyle, Andy was "in the pink" this year...

He publishes a number of magazines, in both print and on-line formats.
SOMM JOURNAL

TASTING PANEL

CLEVER ROOT

Being a famous celebrity, Andy is no stranger to media exposure.

Yes!
An old copy of Rolling Stone magazine...

 


Bethany Burke is the VP of Public Relations and Corporate Communications for Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections.


Bethany is a graduate from a University called "College Cork" which demonstrates her passion for wine, apparently.

That and the tattoo, maybe.


The famous Luboš Bárta from the Czech Republic.
He's the Editor in Chief for the Czech Sommelier Magazine and he's enshrined in the Czech Wines Hall of Fame.


We noticed this billboard in the Powell Street BART Station which has since been renamed  Bárta in Luboš' honor.


Another All-Star on Andy's panel is New Zealand's Kate Radburnd.
She's a famous winemaker and has numerous accolades as a vintner and wine judge.

We saw some ladies with an official "Great Kate" poster near North Beach in San Francisco.




The chairman of Panel C:  Jim Harré from New Zealand.
Jim is a judge in Britain for the International Wine Challenge, and judgings in Australia, Japan and China.
He's been coming to San Francisco for many years and some will tell you he speaks English with a Californian accent.


Panel C apparently has its own "C Notes."

 

Dr. Rowald Hepp from Germany's Rheingau region was teamed with Jim on Panel C.

He's the manager of a famous little wine estate, Schloss Vollrads.

Apparently he moonlights playing music as DJ Hepp in the evenings and on weekends.

Jim Harré has heard some of the tunes Rowald selects and told us "Shit Heppens."

 


Bob Silverstein is affiliated with Venice Beach Wines, a hip Southern California dining spot.

Being in Venice Beach (when he's not in Italy), Silverstein is an avid surfer.

The Dude is known to be a proficient Duck Diver.
He uses surfing terms such as "stoked," "mushburger" and "rad/radical" when judging wines, too.

 


Brian Baker chaired Panel D.
After many years at Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, he's now the General Manager at another historic Napa winery, Mayacamas Vineyards.

We saw one of the volunteers with a signed Brian Baker poster...

"Tasting a Rare No-Award Red."


The Sandwich is $8.95.
The Cabernet is $189.95.

 


Liz Thach is a Professor of Wine at Sonoma State University.
Wait!
She's officially a "Distinguished Professor of Wine" at Sonoma State.
Plus she holds the title of "Master of Wine."
And she's a Doctor!
She's got a doctorate from Texas A&M in Human Resource Development.
In addition to her numerous articles and books about wine, Liz has written a children's book!

Actually the kid's book is about a Crane.

TARSI the Sandhill Crane

 


Nick Dumergue is the Wine Director at Santa Monica's Blue Plate Oysterette.

Nick has a fan club, The Dumerguerettes.

He is originally from New Zealand and spent some years in London.
Nick has been a judge at Decanter Magazine's World Wine Awards.

He can be seen in London's National Gallery, too.

Yes...he's holding a bottle of Château d'Yquem.



Ziggy "The Wine Gal" Eschliman chaired Panel E (as in "Eschliman").


Ziggy is on the radio, 95.9 in Sonoma, every Wednesday morning
.


More than one judge has described Ziggy as a "work of art."




Jordan Ogron of the LA Restaurant Group.

He's affiliated with the new, swanky Los Angeles restaurant called Tesse and its neighboring wine emporium called Boutellier.


He's quite a celebrity in Los Angeles and people often mistake him for some movie star, asking "Mr. Pitt, can I have your autograph?" or "Can I have someone take our picture together Mr. Cooper? I loved you in A Star is Born."


Pat Dodd works for the Gallo Family and started his career with them just three years before his beloved Notre Dame won their last national football championship.  They have not won since.
But hope springs eternal.

It turns out he's also an avid fan of baseball's Chicago Cubs.


Pat is a dedicated sky diver and here's a snapshot of him just after he jumped off a plane over his hometown of Modesto.



John Cunin is a Hospitality Pro, Philosopher, Scientist, Mechanic and Social Optimist, amongst other things.
He's the top dawg at JMC Consulting in Las Vegas, providing guidance and expertise to restaurants.
In a previous life, John managed San Francisco's famed Masa's restaurant and then his own place, the Cypress Club.


It turns out Paris Hilton is a big John Cunin Fan, owning a Cunin Coffee Cup, along with a collection of magazines featuring John.


After many years working for Albertson's and Safeway in the grocery store business, Jim Blumling is now the VP of Operations with the Copper Cane Wines and Provisions company.


Jim told us "My life is like an open book."
And so we see it is!


Nicole Carter is the Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Winemaking for the Hess Family Estates, overseeing the California wines of Hess and also the Colomé and Amalaya wines from Argentina along with Glen Carlou from South Africa.


Nicole is a true Napa Valley Celebrity.

We looked for that article by Andy in the magazine, but since there are no $25 Napa Cabernets, the page was blank.




Sean Ludford of Bevx.com was the Captain of Panel G.
Sean is from Wisconsin and has a strong Milwaukee accent as you'll notice as soon as he starts talking.

We saw a woman carrying a portrait of Sean out by Ocean Beach and wondered what that was all about.

She mumbled something about Ludford's mantra being "Everything in moderation, including moderation" and she walked out into the cold surf.


Despite his young age, Ryan McHendry  has held wine buyer positions with a couple of major chains.
He's broken free from those chains, however.


Ryan has even written a book of tasting notes of his favorite bottles.


Also on Panel G is Eduardo Dingler-San.

Eduardo is the former Beverage Director for Morimoto Restaurants.
Morimoto is an Iron Chef and someone said Eduardo has an Iron Palate.
He's currently a freelance wine writer and writes the Wine to Sake column for the Napa Valley Register.

It turns out Eduardo is a big fan of college football.

Who knew?
It was Eduardo Dingler Day at the stadium that Saturday afternoon and no beer was being sold for some reason.
Sake only!

 

 


Ron Washam, The Hosemaster of Wine.
Ron took charge of Panel H (as in Hosemaster).
As Ron is quite a comedian, his Panel had to taste all the "funny" wines (or so we're told).

Ron, who used to live near Hollywood, has been in several films, none of them called SOMM.

He said when he signed to be in the film, he thought it was about wine and he was going to play one of the Three Muscat-eers.
Mr. Washam's command of a sword is just as dangerous as his command of the written word.



Rachel Van Til is an Advanced Sommelier with Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas, Texas.

She's traversed the countryside, moving from Michigan to The Lone Star State to pair wines with dry-aged, prime beef.

Rachel, following in Ron Washam's footsteps, has also been on the silver screen.

That's her in a scene from Pulp Fiction with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson.
All three of them are drinking Cabernet out of unusual tasting vessels.
Travolta said "It's a blind-tasting.  I have a decaf Napa Cab I think."


Judging with Boris and Natasha on Panel H is Chris O'Gorman.

Having worked at Gallo, Merryvale Vineyards and Paul Hobbs, these days Chris is the Director of Communications with 
Rodney Strong Vineyards.


Chris is an enological Jedi as it turns out.




Mark Bowery is THE man of Mark Bowery Consulting Services.
He's worn many hats in the wine industry, once working as a Cellar rat at Sonoma's Simi winery and later as a Sommelier for the famous Masa's restaurant in San Francisco.  He's also credited with assembling a brilliant wine list at Mendocino's Albion River Inn.


Mark has been the host on the old TV show "What's My Wine?" with Bennett Cerf and Dorothy Kilgallen.

 


Michael Cervin writes...and writes...and writes...


His work is found in numerous venues and he's written a handful of books.


He was recently on a series of billboards in Southern California in an effort to shock drivers into slowing down their vehicles.


Phil Markert handles Markerting and Merchandising for the Pavilions grocery chain in Southern California.
That means he's also affiliated with the Vons/Albertsons chains, too.

He sold so much wine this past year that they had Phil on a billboard outside Staples Center where the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers play.

One judge told us they were not surprised by this, saying "Phil is not only a good spitter, but he dribbles better than LeBron James."

 




Steve Izzo iz the chairperson of Panel J.
After many years at Waterbar in San Francisco, Steve is now the owner and manager of the Dobbs Ferry restaurant on Gough Street near Davies Symphony Hall.

Here's a Toast to Steve  (and his wife/partner Lee Ann) in a successful run at Dobbs Ferry!


"San" Francisco Bazo took over as the wine guru at Waterbar when Steve Izzo departed for Dobbs Ferry.
Apparently Land and Sea Restaurants, the owner of Waterbar, requires its wine buyers to have the letter "Z" in their name.
Francisco, who is originally from Lima (Peru), has bean (sic) in the local restaurant scene since 1997 where he worked at One Market.

Over in the Dogpatch area we saw a painter putting the finishing touches on a mural honoring Mr. Bazo.



Stacie Hunt is a Silver Pin certified Sommelier, so she was easily able to needle both Steve and Francisco in assessing wines.
She's a media whiz, too, being a partner in Point Media, a public relations enterprise and much more.

Here's more evidence of Stacie and her Silver Pin.

We're told she's quite a comedian as she had the "Z Men" in stitches over the course of the tastings.

 


Charles Mara is from upstate New York and he runs The Mara Wine Group, a winery that makes a handful of Sonoma County wines.

As a result, he does speak New Yorkese.
One of his colleagues said a wine deserved a Silver Medal...
Charles said "fuhgeddaboudit! Dat's a Gold Medal" and, sure enough, the wine received a Double Gold.


He's a major celebrity in The Big Apple, too, having been in several episodes of Tom Selleck's Blue Bloods TV series.


Tasting with Charles, as always, is Drake McCarthy of the Golden State Wine Company.


Drake is a well-known Trumpet player and blows his own horn every chance he gets.

He was recently on the cover of Horn Blower Magazine!

Adding a measure of dignity to the panel was Dana Farner.

Dana gave up her gig at sevenfifty.com and has been auditioning for movie gigs in Hollywood.
We heard she's tried out for the lead role in "The Meryl Streep Story."

We saw a nice piece displayed at the Getty Museum of Dana pouring Champagne.



Dana has long been a sharp-shooter, as you can see here.

 


Yeah, that's me on Panel L.
We found a number of good wines and I had two wonderful old pros on the panel.


Someone snapped a Polaroid picture of me wearing my Nostrilar Optimizing Sniffing Enhancement (NOSE for short) as we were tasting.

To my right this year was the amazing Jim Caudill.

Jim is the Marketing and Communications Director at Treasury Wine Estates.
He's privileged to work with Penfolds and Beaulieu Vineyards, as well as Stags' Leap Winery and Chateau St. Jean.


Britney Spears is a big fan of Mr. Caudill.
Some say her tune "Chillin' With You" was written with Jim in mind.

Rumor has it she had been drinking a recent vintage of BV Private Reserve.

Jim, though, is a real Masterpiece.

Mike Tadich was on the panel, too.

Mike is a Mechanical Engineer, so it's easy for him to guide lost souls such as Jim Caudill and myself back to reality.
For years he was the Italian Wine Specialist for Wirtz Beverage in Nevada.  
These days he's the Italian Wine Portfolio manager for Breakthru Beverage in Las Vegas.
Being a specialist means he doesn't have to run around "Barefoot."

As he would routinely urge Caudill and me to focus...

...I heard the same thing later in the day at the Judge's Dinner.
And I must admit I don't know an "f-stop" from a bus stop.

There's a famous San Francisco dining spot that Mike's ancestors founded.

 




Chris Sawyer is a famous Sonoma Sommelier and Wine Consultant.
You can check him out on SawyerSomm.com.

 


Chris is famous for his Selfie images.

.
This one was at the Smithsonian until it shredded

 


As part of her "initiation," Orietta Gianjorio was obliged to taste with Chris Sawyer.
At least that's what Andy explained.

She owns her own company, Orietta, and teaches classes regarding Wine, Olive Oil, Chocolate and Honey.
She's a professional taster and holds the title of being an Olive Oil Taster.

Orietta was recently on a billboard near Times Square in New York.

After numerous traffic accidents due to drivers being distracted, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked the billboard be taken down and moved someplace less dangerous.


Tim Marson is a Master of Wine and works for wine.com as a senior buyer.
He attended The King's School in Canterbury, England before attending Oxford University.

He is shy to reveal his starring role in the Kingsman films.

He plays the role of "Eggsy," a young secret service agent with many talents, including tasting wine.



"Captain N" this year was Nick Ponomareff, publisher of the California Grapevine journal.
It's the oldest, continuously-published, subscription wine journal in the country!

Nick is visible on a billboard in his hometown of San Diego.

By the way, Nick was sporting a new MedicAlert bracelet:

"Needs Wine"



Michael Franz is not only a Professor of Political Science at Loyola University in Maryland, he's an editor for Wine Review On-Line.

He's a prolific writer and writes sensible articles about all sorts of wines.  
Michael is partial to the wines of South Africa, as well as being a fan of the wines of Piemonte.  

We went for a cruise after the first round of tasting and were delighted to see a boat coming towards us with an interesting sail.

You don't see that every day!
We told another passenger on the boat we could see Franz and they said "There's no way you can see that distance.  France is very far away."


Sarah Blaufränkisch is presently working on opening a wine bar, dining spot/store in San Francisco for the Quince and Cotogna crew
called Verjus.

She had been seen on a mural near the new place that is said to open shortly.

 


Michael Feil is the Chief Operating Officer at Florida's famed, exclusive Jupiter Club.
It's a secretive club and Michael says "If I tell you anything about the place and its members, I'd have to kill you."

One of the judges found a copy of Golf Digest and was reading an article early Saturday morning about Mr. Feil.

Given his being so secretive, the article did not reveal Feil's golf handicap, his favorite wine or anything about his stamp collection.



Tasting with Mr. Feil is N'Awlins Tim McNally.
"Where y'at on dat wine?  I'll take me a gold medal on Wine G!"

Tim can be found Speakin' Easy on the radio in New Orleans.  WGSO is the station.

McNally is a world traveler as we noticed from this secret document which was parked under his chair during the tastings.



Napa's famed Traci Dutton has been affiliated with the Culinary Institute of America for many years.
She's much more than a "Somm."  Traci is the Manager of Public Wine & Beverage Studies.

In addition to her CIA affiliation, Tee-Dee moonlights with the FBI.

We thought FBI was some sort of Food & Beverage Institute, but it turns out she carries more than a corkscrew!


Dr. Valery Uhl judges at numerous tastings across the country.
She's an Oncologist in real life, but also studied viticulture at U.C. Davis.  Dr. Uhl owns a vineyard in Sonoma's Russian River Valley and is the organizer of the North of the Gate wine competition.

Valery is "on display" at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.

 


Toshio Ueno is the Executive Instructor and Vice-President of the Sake School of America, based in Los Angeles.

He is officially a Sake Samurai and was awarded that honor in 2016.  
Toshio-San is a Master of Sake, Master Sake Sommelier and is a WSET Sake Educator.

We saw he is on a billboard in Tokyo this week, making note of his Samurai Status.

And then we got confirmation of his status as a Sake Samurai!

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW A "SAMURAI" IN NAPA USED HIS SABER (POORLY)...


The Great George Skorka (that's Nagy György Skórki if you speak Hungarian!) from Southern California.
George is an old-timer in the world of wine and food.


Mr. Skorka is a philosopher of great note and people are sometimes confused when listening to him.
As a result, an enterprising publisher has come to the rescue.


Some people who don't own the three volume set of Skorka-to-English dictionaries think George is a puzzle.
Turns out they are right!


 

 


Kimberly Charles is the owner of Charles Communications Associates in San Francisco.
That's a Public Relations company and she works with all sorts of wine companies.

Kimberly was one of several judges to be on the newly-minted coins for the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

We tried buying a beer at the nearby Foley's pub after the first day of tastings but they, for some reason, would not accept these.
"And we don't take wooden nickels, either!" The bartender informed us.

So we tried paying for a round of beers with this:

For some reason, that didn't work, either.

 



LA Dodgers Fan Ian Blackburn was on Panel O as in "0 for 30" in terms of recent World Series Championships.

Ian is the man behind the Beekeeper Cellars wines.

And he runs the LA Wine School.  WineLA.  LAW School.

We saw this billboard in Burbank, California.



Tim Teichgraeber is an entertainment industry lawyer as well as being an accomplished free-lance wine writer.
He's written articles for numerous publications such as Decanter magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Panel magazine, Wines & Vines and he has his own wine blog, Modern Wine.


Timmy Skyscraper.

 


1Wine Dude, Joe Roberts.


We've seen him as an airplane pilot recently, as he's grown weary of flying "economy class."
Now it seems he's moving on a fast track behind the wheel of a race car.

We are unsure if Joe is faster at tasting wine or driving the car.

Joe plays guitar and sings in a band...CLICK HERE to see a video of "Wine Kissing Days."

 


The Vine Guy is Washington DC's Scott Greenberg.
He moonlights during the day at Greenberg, Wexler & Eig selling insurance, but he writes articles about wine and appears on DC's WTOP-FM to talk about wine.

Scott is on display at The National Gallery, too.


And then there's the inimitable Tonya!

Tonya Pitts is the Sommelier and Wine Director at San Francisco's famous One Market restaurant.


We saw her on a billboard at a Muni stop not far from the restaurant.
She's a major San Francisco Eno-Celebrity!

 


Ink.

 



It's really great to see some of the folks who make this event possible.

Beth has been a volunteer at the judging since she was in high school!



 


Barbara has been a panel coordinator for many years.


Ja-9

Janine is a major "star" at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

During the course of the tastings, Andy is positively aglow.

 

And there's a group photo of the judges.

With numerous Double Golds, there are often "Super Tastings" where judges are recruited to pick but one or two wines to be entered into the final day's tasting of Sweepstakes wines.




After tasting more flights of wines, many of the judges head out for a "palate cleanser" before the Judge's Dinner.

After some refreshing beer, we gather atop the Nikko Hotel for the Judge's Dinner.


The Captain and Tennille.


Peter, Paul and Mary.


Leia, Han and Luke.


Annie, Brenda and Elise.

 


Kurt and Goldie


Lady Gaga and Beyoncé



Sonny and Cher

 


Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson


Siouxsie and The Banshees


Crosby, Stills and Nash



Loggins and Messina


Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton


Herbert Grônemeyer and Karel Gott


The Righteous Brothers


Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty


Snap, Crackle and Pop


Cameron, Ferris and Sloane


Kimberly, Andy and Selfie Sawyer


The "A Team": Andy and Amanda


Harry, Ron and Hermione


Steely Dan


Simon and Garfunkel


Tracee Ellis and Diana Ross


Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen


Big Brother and The Holding Company



The Bangles


After all these photos, it was finally time to sit down for dinner.

 

I had my usual bag of tricks filled with unusual and esoteric wines.


Ermes Pavese's Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle


The Blanc de Morgex is made of Prié Blanc and it's a bone dry, crisp, stony white wine.


Someone shared a taste of their Wiston Estate Rosé from England.
Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and a small percentage of Chardonnay...quite good!


Mike Tadich brought a bottle of Podere Il Carnasciale's "Il Caberlot."
It's claimed the grape variety is called Caberlot and it was discovered, according to the legend, in a vineyard near Padova.
Transplanted to Tuscany, the Il Carnasciale estate makes a tiny quantity of this wine.
The grape is said to have elements of Cabernet and Merlot.


We were treated to wines of the Francis Coppola winery since they were the "Winery of the Year" at last year's judging.


Little Gem Lettuce Salad


Rowald Hepp shows off his 2016 Kabinett Riesling.
Damned good, too!

 


Berries and a touch of spice.




 





Cannonau di Sardegna...Gabbas is a top producer.


A bottle of Bonnes-Mares from Drouhin-Laroze.

Mr. Skorka rose to propose a toast to our dear friend, the late Jeffery Stivers whom we lost just a few months earlier.

Drake brought over a nice bottle of sweet wine.

Petit Manseng...nicely honeyed.


Mmmm...





And the evening was winding down...it had been a long day!

 


And so the day was completed and we were ready to continue tomorrow!

 

CLICK HERE FOR SUNDAY'S ACTIVITIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

winepour.gif (12696 bytes)Wine Tasting Today

TO INQUIRE ABOUT A WINE:  
 
Copyright © 1999    WEIMAX April 19,  2019