Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Day 4: After hours at the Symposium for Wine Writers

By Jessica Yadegaran
Friday, February 23rd, 2007 at 1:51 pm in Uncategorized.

Puffs of fog hang in the air like translucent marshmallows as I look out onto the valley from my view in Angwin. It’s the last official day of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, and tomorrow, I will embark on Premiere Napa Valley, a series of auctions and get-to-know-yas.

The rain is gone, at least for now, and the delicate sun attempts to melt the ice off my new Yaris. I definitely didn’t get enough sleep last night. I stayed up until 1 a.m., after an extravagant dinner –all I remember is bacon froth — and a flight of 14 stunning wines from the Valley. My favorite: a 1993 Stag’s Leap Petit Sirah that was so mellow and yet alive that I thought it might reach back and splash me in the face. I made it last as long as I could. I was sitting across from Dirk Hampson, the president of Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente wineries, who was showcasing the only white in the mix — a 2005 Chardonnay that was viscous without containing a stick of butter. I enjoyed it.

The evening ended with Christina Kelly, an Oregon wine writer with a voice like Stevie Nicks after, you guessed it, a 14-wine flight. She’d busted out a guitar, provided by the Nashville wine writer, of course, and was belting out beautiful melodies with winemaker Judd Finkelstein of Judd’s Hill, master of fab cabs, and the ukulele.

Earlier in the week, at a lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, we’d tasted a young Bouchaine Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer from the Bacchus Collection that blew more than a few of us away. And talk drifted back to this wine, with its suble rosewater flavor and perfume nose. If ever there was an Eau de Jessica, this was it. I like that this cluster of people, these 60 or so oenophiles from around the world, get what I mean. I miss them already, but am confident that we’ll keep in touch until we meet again next year, as they say, in the Valley.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]