Pinot Daze


I’m leaving the wine expertise to Jordan, but judging by this weekend, I’ll venture to say that Pinot Noir is still hot.

On Sunday, I went to the third annual Pinot Days down at Fort Mason. The turnout was impressive—with more than 3,000 fellow garnet-teethed, purple-lipped pinot lovers sipping and about 200 wine producers (mostly from California and Oregon) pouring. With guide and glass in hand, my friend and I worked our way through the crowds and tasted our way around the pavilion.

Some wines had a “barnyard” essence while others were refreshingly jammy and some even had a cinnamon spice to them. While I’m starting to learn how to articulate the flavors, aromas and bouquets intelligently, my tasting vocabulary isn’t all that impressive. Luckily I found out that the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant offers classes on tasting technique.


At any rate, our M.O. was to seek out familiar winery names, a table with a crowd around it, bottles wrapped with ribbons and awards and, on one particular occasion, we simply admired a pourer’s eyeglasses and headed to that table. Good thing the wine, a 2005 Cuvée A from Oregon’s Anne Amie Vineyards, held up to his eyewear. Another time we used price as our guide and tried a wine that sells for $150—$400 at Le Cirque. Known as the “Triple D,” this bottle from Carneros della Notte in Napa was good, although as a 2003, it’s meant to age a bit more. I was disappointed in my taste buds, because I equally enjoyed the 2004 Los Carneros Pinot Noir, which is half as spendy.

What’s my next Fort Mason event? It’s the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon on the 14th and 15th. After all, a girl needs her antioxidants.

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