A few events that you ought to be aware of in the coming months.
Dark & Delicious is an evening of Petite Sirah and various food pairings. While I freely admit that Petite Sirah isn't my favourite grape, there's no denying that there are some interesting ones out there - try Storrs, Sones or Aver Family for example - and it blends really well with Zinfandel as Ridge's Lytton Springs or Geyserville offerings amply demonstrate.
Here's a chance to try wines from over 40 Petite Sirah producers as well as food from 26 top restaurants and caterers.
Where Rock Wall Wine Company, 2301 Monarch Street, Alameda
When Friday, February 19th,| 6PM - 9PM
How Much $60 in advance, $70 at the door.
The 8th Annual Pinot Noir Summit features 40 top-rated Pinot Noirs in a blind tasting where the consumers are the judges. Professional tasters have already whittled down hundreds of entrants in blind tastings. Compare your scores to the panel and see which wine is voted #1 live. There are workshops and a closing ceremony.
Where Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael
When Saturday, February 27th, Noon to 8:30PM
How Much $125 for the full day, $75 for the reception and awards ceremony only.
You can also win tickets on Facebook
Pinot Paradise is on March 28th. Pretty much every Pinot Noir producer in the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association will be presenting their current releases; expect a few barrel samples and older vintages too. There are also technical sessions in the morning and several wineries will be open for barrel samples on the Saturday.
Where Villa Ragusa, in downtown Campbell
When Sunday, March 28th 2PM-5PM
How Much $55 in advance, $65 at the door, $75 for a VIP pass, $55 for the Technical Session.
Monte Bello Assemblage Tasting
The tastings in March and May are for Monte Bello collectors only; the tasting in April is open to the public. This is a great opportunity to taste some of the individual components that will go into the 2009 Ridge Monte Bello before the blend is finalised. It's also a chance to taste some older vintages to see how they are ageing - the 1990, 1992, and 1994 will be on offer. (RSVP by April 12th is required to attend.)
Where Monte Bello Tasting Room, Cupertino
When Saturday April 17th, 11AM-5PM
How Much $30, or $15 for Ridge wine club members