04/15/08 – White Rhone blends (from Rhone and elsewhere)

By Jesse on April 13, 2008


Here are some nifty Wino-tastic fun facts to make you more popular:

1. we haven’t done a Tuesday night meeting since early March
2. we haven’t tasted white Rhone varietals in any capacity since our Fresh Off The Boat tasting
3. we haven’t held a weekly tasting in the Valley since February

All of these statements will fail to apply by 9pm on Tuesday… which you probably could’ve figured out by reading the subject line of this post.

Join us at la casa de Jesse, Max, Doug and Ed in Sherman Oaks for a delicious and inspirational tasting of white Rhone blends.  France’s Rhone Valley is famous for its spicy and austere reds, made from 100% Syrah in the north and blends of Syrah, Granache and Mourvedre in the south.  But white wines abound as well, made primarily from four grapes: Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier.  In many regions of the Rhone Valley, the white grapes are blended together (Marsanne and Rousanne are frequent bottle-mates, with Grenache Blanc sometimes joining the party).  Elsewhere, the wines exist as single varietals — such as the world-famous Viognier from Condrieu.

While we’ll hopefully get to enjoy a few legit Rhone whites, we’ll also be welcoming Rhone-inspired whites from the new world.  Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier (and, to a lesser extent, Grenache Blanc) have all found a foothold in California and Australia.  Please feel free to bring a bottle of any of these varietals, of which there are plenty of examples at your local wine shop.  Extra points if you bring a blend!  We’ve all had a fair amount of cheap supermarket Viognier, so try to find something interesting and distinctive.

Or, as always, please feel free to show up with a nice crisp $10 bill, as very few things are more tragic than a group of young people with more wine than they can possibly drink.  Meeting will be held in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday at 9pm, and you’ll receive the address when you RSVP.

The RSVP situation: new members have six spots reserved for them at each and every meeting, so if you RSVP promptly you’ll definitely be able to get in there… the first six “newbies” to RSVP get the six spots.  Meanwhile, there are 12 spots reserved for our long-established members, who have until 8pm on Monday to claim those spots.  Once 8pm rolls around, if there are unclaimed “legacy” spots, they’ll be opened up to new members — i.e. if only ten “legacies” respond, the seventh and eighth newbies that RSVP’d will get the extra two spots.  Please do not RSVP in the positive if you’re not sure you can make it.  This will deny someone else the opportunity of attending the meeting.

Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, go out and find yourself a nice cold bottle of Rhone varietals — or embrace the ten-spot, which we love — and we’ll see your bad selves Wednesday at 9pm.