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The Expo Goes California

So I just finished the wine list for The California Wine Adventure that takes place on March15th. After getting so much feedback about our last events (this will be our 7th Expo event at Drury Lane), we decided to change it up a bit. And after looking over the list that we were able to compile, I’m glad we did. 550 wines from nearly every reach in California. Definitely something for everyone.


Want to compare top Napa Cabs? Caymus Special Select, Rubicon Cask Cab, La Jota Howell Mtn, Stag’s Leap Cab, Grgich Cab, and Chimney Rock SLD are just some of the highlights.


Pinot lovers wont be disappointed either. With more than 60 to choose from, you could do a comparison of just Carneros Pinots, or just Russian River Pinots, or just Sonoma Coast Pinots You get the idea.


Or maybe you’d like to know what’s new and/or different in California?


Did you know they produce Valdigue, Arneis, Barbera, Pinot Meunier, and Dolcetto? You’ll be amazed at the quality these grapes show off in their new world homes.


Whatever it is you want to try – in a huge event like this – have a strategy. Whenever I do a tasting of this magnitude, here are a few things I do to keep some focus:


1. Have an objective. Are you tasting in order to stock up? Just tasting whites? Reds? Doing a region or varietal comparison?

2. Get the book early. Some will post the event book online (like the CWA) or at least get it at the entrance and mark out the plan.

3. Go smaller to bigger. I try to do white before red, lighter bodied to fuller bodied, and dry before sweet. This progression will help the wines show their best.

4. Recognize palate fatigue. When I think I should be getting more from a wine, I slow down. Refresh the palate often by eating bread/crackers or drinking water in between.

5. Review before you leave. Take a last look at your plan. Did you hit everything you wanted to?


Oh, and in this event, I would definitely take in a seminar. It’s a nice break in a long tasting and I promise you’ll learn something you can’t by tasting alone. (It’s like going to a show in the middle of the day at Disney. You’ll come out refreshed and ready to go back at it.)


I’ll keep you posted on new developments as we get a closer to the big event.

4 thoughts on “The Expo Goes California

  1. Just wrapped up the seminars for the CWA. I’m happy to say that we have 2 out of the only 5 Master Sommeliers in Chicago. Ken Fredricson and Serafin Alvarado (Alpana Singh, Joe Spellman and Fernando Beteta being the others)for seminars that shouldn’t be missed. If you know what a rigorous, years-long training these guys go through (there are fewer than 100 in the United States), then you know they’ll bring incredible passion and energy and teaching skills to their seminars. Ken will be demostrating his wine and cheese pairing skills with 4 wines matched up with 4 different cheeses. Serafin is going to delve into Napa Valley and what makes it so special with wines so good I shouldn’t even mention them…Rounding out the seminar schedule is Scott Larsen of Maverick Wine Company doing 6 great Pinot Noirs, comparing the prime appellations in CA. And George Reisch is back to talk about (and taste) wheat beers. Talk about passion: George is a fifth-generation Brew Master – and great to listen to.Check our homepage for official anouncement early next week…

  2. I’ve been to some of the bigger tastings in the past and have always been pleased with the musical talent? Is there going to be entertainment this year as well?

  3. The hip, young band, The Fluffers, will return for this event. I’ve been told they are working hard on prep for the event by adding quite a few California Classics (eg from The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, The Eagles, etc.). Should be fun…

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