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
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.
HOG ISLAND SWEETWATER
SAINT ANNE'S BAY
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
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-
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:
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
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.
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
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
DI SAN GREGORIO
2001 FIANO DI AVELLINO
1993 Napa CABERNET
1993 Alexander Valley
1992 Napa Coach
1991 Eisele Vineyard
1990 Bradford Mountain
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
RANGE OF FRENCH CHABLIS WINES January 2010
& WINE MARATHON December 2009
SPARKLING WINES November 2009
MALBECS October 2009
COAST CHARDONNAYS September 2009
RED WINES August 2009
BUDGET BORDEAUX July 2009
WHITE WINES June 2009
BAG OF CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS April 2009
WINES, MOSTLY FROM THE 2004 VINTAGE March 2009
COAST PETITE SIRAHS February 2009
& PETITE SIRAH COMPARISON January 2009
VINO FINO CHRISTMAS December 2008
2005s: NAPA CABERNETS November 2008
COUNTY PINOT NOIRS October 2008
RITA HILLS -2006 VINTAGE- PINOT NOIRS SEPTEMBER 2008
RELEASED ZINFANDELS August 2008
RH‘NE VALLEY WINES JULY 2008
VALLEY SAUVIGNONS JUNE 2008
CHABLIS 2005-2006 MAY 2008
RH‘NE SYRAHS APRIL 2008
CRUZ MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIRS January 2008
HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS DINNER December 2007
COAST CHARDONNAYS November 2007
SHIRAZ October 2007
TEMPRANILLO WINES September 2007
2005 VINTAGE ZINFANDELS August 2007
RELEASE (2004-2005) ZINFANDELS July 2007
WINES FROM ALL OVER June 2007
LAGREIN WINES May 2007
MALBECS April 2007
HEMISPHERE PINOT NOIRS March 2007
2004 CABERNETS February 2007
BEAUJOLAIS January 2007
FINO CHRISTMAS December 2006
ZINFANDELS November 2006
NOIRS of VALUE-PRICING October 2006
OF SYRAHS TASTING September 2006
CABERNET-SHIRAZ BLENDS August 2006
VALLEY (California) and MARGARET RIVER (Australia) CABERNETS July
PETITE SIRAHS June 2006
NORTH COAST PINOTS and a FRENCH INTRUDER May 2006
: BASILICATA & CAMPANIA'S MAJOR RED WINE April 2006
D'AVOLA - A TASTE OF SICILIA March 2006
VINO FINO RADAR ZINFANDELS January 2006
TASTING & DINNER December 2005
BUBBLIES FROM AROUND
THE WORLD November 2005
COAST PINOT NOIRS October 2005
OF CONFUSION CABERNETS September 2005
ZAINER'S SIDEWAYS LOOK AT MERLOTS August 2005
LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET
FRANCS June 2005
SYRAHS March 2005
CALIFORNIA CABERNETS February 2005
FINO HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON December 2004
OF MODEST PRICE November 2004
TEMPRANILLO October 2004
CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIRS September 2004
SHIRAZ-CABERNET BLENDS August 2004
FROM ALSACE July 2004
SOUTHERN RHNES (7 Chteauneufs & a Vacqueyras) June 2004
WINES FROM CAMPANIA & BASILICATA May 2004
WINES FROM THE ABRUZZO & MARCHE REGIONS April 2004
ZINFANDELS February 2004
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO January 2004
FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA 2003
CTES du RHNES September 17, 2003
OREGON PINOT NOIRS August 20, 2003
COAST SYRAHS July 16, 2003
Bordeaux June 18, 2003
CALIFORNIA CABERNETS May 21, 2003
THE BEATEN PATH SYRAHS APRIL 16, 2003
2002 NEW ZEALAND
SAUVIGNON BLANCS March 19, 2003
California CABERNETS February 19, 2003
FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA December 4, 2002
SHIRAZ August 21, 2002
& SPARKLERS July 17, 2002
May 15, 2002
Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS Feb. 20, 2002
1999 ZINFANDELS January 16, 2002
December 5, 2001
New PINOT NOIRS November 14, 2001
CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS October 17, 2001
CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 19, 2001
LANGUEDOC REDS August 15, 2001
SAUTERNES July 18, 2001
1998 NEBBIOLO June 20, 2001
1999 PINOT NOIRS May
SAINT-MILION Tasting April 18, 2001
CHARDONNAYS March 21, 2001
NAPA CABERNETS/John Vignau Memorial Tasting October 20, 2000
CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 20, 2000
CHARDONNAYS August 16, 2000
FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: CLARETS June 21, 2000
FROM UNDER THE TUSCAN (and Umbrian) SUN Aprile 19, 2000
1997 BORDEAUX: MEDOC May 17,