In honor of everyone’s favorite fright-related holiday, we’ll be doing a special Old Vines tasting at Jessica’s place on Wednesday evening. “Old vines” is a disputed term in the winemaking world, but it generally refers to any vines that have gained sufficient age as to produce lower grape yields than younger vines, which correlates with increased quality. Since the oldest of these vines sometimes take on a gnarled, spooky quality, we figured they’d be the most appropriate theme for our Hallowino celebration.
Grape vines can grow for over 120 years. After about 20 years vines start to produce smaller crops, and average yields decrease, leading to more concentrated, intense wines. In the U.S., the most common use is on Zinfandel, because in California vineyards up to 125 years old are still bearing small amounts of prized Zinfandel fruit. Other countries producing significant quantities of old vine wines include France (where they’re called vieilles vignes), Spain, Portugal, and Australia.
Costume contest! That’s right, it’s time to pre-test your costumes for this weekend. No one will be admitted without a costume of some sort. (And yes, that costume can be “um, my regular clothes” if necessary, but we certainly hope you’ll be more creative than that.) After we’ve tasted our old vine wines, a secret ballot will be held to determine the bestest costume of them all, and the winner will go home with the grand prize: a bottle of the 2006 Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir from our good friends at Ventana Vineyards!
We’ll be meeting at Jessica’s new place in Brentwood. The RSVP system functions like this: if you want in, you click on this link and tell me so (don’t forget your full name, e-mail address, and a cute message conveying to me your intentions). Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, grab yourself a bottle of “old vines” something — or just a $10 bill, if you prefer.
Looking forward to seeing a bunch of ghouls and goblins and geishas and gold-diggers tomorrow night! Meeting starts at 8:30pm.