12/06/06 – Mendocino / Lake County (pt. 2)

By Jesse on December 4, 2006


First of all, awesome party.  Apologies to anyone I offended with my antics.  I assure you my intentions were pure.

Second, big news, there will be a LA Times reporter attending one of our meetings soon, possibly next week.  It all started when Julie forwarded me the following column, which she found “flabbergasting”: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/columnone/la-et-rudy1dec01,1,3732446.story?coll=la-headlines-columnone .  I wrote to the reporter and said that although I liked the article, I objected to her statement that “most young wine collectors…[start] out buying high-priced California Cabernets,” which she made in reference to this 29-year-old guy who’s buying a lot of expensive wine.  I told her, “in my experience, most truly young wine collectors don’t start out buying high-priced anything,” and then went on to elaborate about the Young Winos.  Long story short, she’s interested in potentially profiling us and wants to come to a meeting!  I discuss the ramifications of this at the end of this e-mail.

Those who haven’t, don’t forget to visit the Wine Varietals Index provided by AppellationAmerica.com.  It’s a very cool way to keep the grapes straight and to form some mental association with their major characteristics.  http://wine.appellationamerica.com/varietal-index.aspx

This is our last meeting tasting California wines!  It’s been an awesome state, and I’m glad it was admitted to the union.  Mendocino and Lake County are the northernmost of the major wine regions in California.  They are the original homes of both Fetzer and Kendall-Jackson, two of California’s most recognizable labels (although these producers now source grapes from all over the state, not just Mendocino or Lake County).  Lake County is named after Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in California.  Mendocino is the more varied of the two appellations, with more wineries and several smaller AVAs within it: Anderson Valley, Redwood Valley, and McDowell Valley.  Of these, Anderson Valley is the most distinctive; it slices inward from the cold sea and is one of the chilliest grape-growing areas in California.

We did the whites last week, and now we’re on to the reds.  Allegedly, they’re supposed to be even better than the whites… that’s good news, I suppose, because we weren’t huge on last week’s selection.  This week should be awesome.  According to the Wine Bible, the two regions’ reds are “scrumptious”, and include Zinfandel, full of pepper, berry and spice; Petite Sirah, a varietal we haven’t had a lot of but which can be good; Pinot Noir, which should be great in this cool region; and Rhone blends, made up of the typical Rhone grapes Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre.  As always, feel free to bring a $10 donation instead of wine.

We’ll be meeting at Leah’s house in Santa Monica . With respect to the reporter’s imminent presence, I’d like to reintroduce the idea of bringing articles, online resources, etc, in order to make us appear slightly more studious — i.e. slightly more worthy of being profiled in this city’s most important news source.  I’d love it if everyone would make an effort to contribute a little something extra along with their bottle of wine… perhaps some tasting notes for that particular bottle that they found online, or an article about the region we’re tasting, or just an article of interest.  I realize that we’re dealing with short notice for this week’s meeting, so if you can’t get something by tomorrow, that’s fine, but next week for sure.  We may be drunks, but we’re drunks who care about what we’re drinking.  That’s what sets us apart from the other drunks.

Bring a nice bottle of red — and a scholarly contribution, if you get a chance — and we’ll see you crazy kids on Tuesday night at 9 PM.