Posts Tagged ‘Barrel Tasting’

Don't Miss This Weekend! Muscardini Cellars of Sonoma 8th Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend

This weekend in Sonoma (July 27-28) Muscardini Cellars of

Sonoma hosts its 8th Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend , to be held at Deerfield Ranch Winery.

‘Mercato di Vino’ is the theme this year, with an Italian Marketplace set up overlo

oking the rolling vineyard hills in the Sonoma Valley.


Guest can enjoy current release tasting from both Muscardini Cellars and Deerfield Ranch Winery, tasting out of the barrels in the wine caves, wood fired pizza, live music, artisan chocolates, and a cigar deck., all out on the beautiful Deerfield Ranch Property in Sonoma.

The views are magnificent, the wines are small production and high quality, and the parking is in ample supply.

This fun day is a steal at only $35/person


  • Event Hours: Both Sat and Sun 12-5pm
  • Location/Address: Deerfield Ranch Winery, 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, buy viagra canada CA 95452
  • You can buy tickets for either Saturday Or Sunday

Buy tickets:
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Wine Road Barrel Tasting – First Friday 2012 (by Tracy Logan)

A post by Tracy Logan, Wine Road.

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@ Rafanelli- by Marta Hayden. Particularly popular BT spot.

I hit the Wine Road with Chicago journalist Jerry Nunn for a whirlwind day- do not attempt! Remember, Jerry and I are professionals! (I have always wanted to say that….)

Jerry and Tracy at Bella Villa Messina by Jerry Messina

I pick Jerry up at his lodging, the lovely Bella Villa Messina, and off we go!

First stop: Dave Coffaro WineryDave & Pat: experienced and knowledgeable King & Queen of Barrel Tasting:

Jerry Nunn, left, and Dave Coffaro Himself….

The Coffaro BT Setup – The Big Picture. Lots to sample- great Futures opportunities!

The Specific, Little Picture.

Next stop, Pedroncelli Winery , where we meet up with Ed and Julie Pedroncelli St. John- along Wine Road, it is all about owners, winemakers, proprietors- THE folks here for you, the visitor:

Winter vines….

Pedroncelli TR.

Jerry Nunn, left, and Julie Pedroncelli St. John.

I learned @ the Barrel, that Julie and Ed are Underdog Experts, entertaining us mightily, though Jerry was too young to remember….Polly Purebred rules with Julie- she thought it would be an excellent Little Sister Name….

Voiced by Wally Cox.

From left, Underdog, Polly Purebred and Jerry Nunn in the Barrel Room at Pedroncelli.

Romantic Pedroncelli: When you have their wines with your dinner, the bottle will be empty before you know it….

Next stop, downtown Geyserville:

Route 128 and Lorna Opatz:

Route 128 sparkling in the winter sun!

Jerry and Lorna!

Off down Geyserville Avenue south to The Meeker Winery where we are greeted by Charlie Meeker:

Charlie Meeker and Jerry….

Heading now to Mercury Wines ….

Grady and Brad Beard- Mercury Wines!

Next up, W2 Williamson Wines:

Jerry Nunn at the TR Bar at W2

Those wacky Williamsons- ALWAYS pairing their delicious wines with food!

Now it is time to drive out 128 over to Jimtown for lunch with Carrie Brown:

Carrie Brown and Jerry Nunn.

What a

great lunch….I LOVE the Olive and Brie on the sourdough….

Next, Starlite Vineyards all set for BT with their amazing viognier and zinfandel, and statue by Peter Crompton:

Wow- right there in the vineyards….

Starlite TR.

We drive through the Alexander Valley, through Chalk Hill and over to the RRV to Joseph Swan and Rod Berglund, another Wine Road King of BT:

Designs by Lynn Swan Berglund....a Queen of BT.

Designs by Lynn Swan Berglund….a Queen of BT.

Jerry and Rod.

Volunteer womanning the barrels at Joseph Swan.

Rod is always ready to offer up visuals to

explain exactly what is going on with the wines- here a soil display, totally geeky, totally endearing- Jerry and I learned a great deal….

Rod and Lynn are ready for BT: give us a place to BE THE SPITTING IMAGE!

Jerry and Rod- BT!!

Wow- lots of professional ground covered! We head back to Healdsburg and Bella Villa Messina- Jerry had an incredibly early flight out of SFO- so, off we go to dinner early at Scopa:

Amazing; completely delicious with wonderful ambiance!

Scopa- exquisite food, wine, service, atmosphere: amazingly delicious!


Lots of ground covered- great Friday #1 #WRBT 34th Annual- where were you in ’78? (Please excuse, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucaswhere were you in ’62?)

Here’s looking at you, kids.


Here are some amazing non-winter blossom shots I took today:

Ornamental Cherry tree on Matheson Street in Hburg- ready to pop since last Sunday!

The hounds of spring are definitely on winter’s traces- but let it pass, let it pass.


Barrel Tasting Weekend Feature Winery Sales on Bottled Wine

Yes, Barrel Tasting is all about futures, but many wineries are offering sales on finished wines as well. Take this list with you and stock up!


Russian River Valley

D’Argenziobuy cialis tadalafil online


  • 20% off mixed cases. 30% for wine club.

Desmond buy generic viagra Wines

  • Wine: Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 3 pack Vertical, 2007, 2008, 2009 (2007 Library)
  • Retail Price: $121.00
  • Special Pricing: $89.00


Not “participating” the second weekend but will be pouring barrel samples in our tasting room.

  • Wine: Foppiano Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley
  • Retail Price: $18
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount: 30% off during Barrel Tasting Weekends: $12.60 per bottle or $151.20 per case

Kendall-Jackson Wine Center

  • Wine: 2007 Jackson Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley and 2006 Highland Estates Trace Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley
  • Retail Price: $40 and $70
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount: Single bottle 20% off (25% Wine Club) Case Sales 30% off, 35% wine club

Sheldon Winery

  • 15% Off any purchase of 4 bottles or more. (An additional 5% off for Sippy Wine Club Members)
  • 25% Off a 4-pack of the 2003 Sheldon Tawny Port (Still in barrel, we will bottle/label/wax dip for you to take with you). One time offer, only two barrels made. The Future is now!!

Windsor Oaks Vineyards & Winery

Futures made easy! Mix & match any of our 6 futures – 6+ bottles. 25% off. Plus, buy any futures and get 25% off any current release wines.

  • Wine: Reserve Chardonnay 3 vintage 2007-2009 Vertical Box Set with Lobster Bisque Recipe.
  • Retail: $125
  • Special: $89 Only 60 sets available. This wine & food pairing is featured in our Reserve room all weekend.
  • 2009 “Vin Gris” Rose of Pinot Noir
  • Retail price $19
  • Case Special $175 (25% discount), Half Case $99 (15% discount)

Hop Kiln

  • Proprietary blend Big Red for $150 a case. White wine blend Thousand Flowers for $120. per case. 40% savings on both!


Alexander Valley

J. Rickards

  • Wine: 2008 Zinfandel, Ancestor Selections
  • Retail Price: $22
  • Discount: 30% off (40% off for our Wine Club), no minimum
  • Wine: 2010 Kizmet, White Bordeaux Blend
  • Retail Price: $18
  • Discount: 30% off (40% off for our Wine Club), no minimum

Sausal Winery

  • Wine: 2008 Private Reserve Zinfandel, 100% Estate Zinfandel from 95 year-old vines
  • Retail Price: $24.00/$288.00
  • Promotion: viagra buy 25% OFF full case purchases only


  • Bottle Discounts on all wines: 2-5 bottles are 10% OFF, 6-11 bottles are 15% OFF
  • Case Discounts: Full or mixed 20% OFF

White Oak

  • Wine: 2006 Napa Valley Merlot and 2006 Napa Valley Syrah (91 points Wine Enthusiast) – OK to mix & match!
  • Retail Price: $26/bottle or $312/case
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount:
    • 1 bottle – $16.00 (your savings – $8.00!)
    • 6 botttles – $60.00 (your savings – $84.00!)
    • 1 case – $99.00 (your savings – ($189!)
    • Wine Club Pricing– Join for FREE @
      • 1 bottle – $10 ( your savings – $16.00!)
      • 6 bottles – $48.00 (your savings – $108!)
      • 12 bottles = $72.00 (your savings – $240!)

Dry Creek Valley

Amista Vineyards

  • Wine: 2005 Estate Syrah, Morningsong Vineyards
  • Retail Price: $30.00
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount: Single bottle $5 off, Case Sales 30% off, 50% cases for Wine Club members


  • Wine: 2010 PoiZin
  • Retail Price: $300/case
  • Case promotion: $198/case



Hawkes Winery

  • Wine: 2010 Red Winery Vineyard Cabernet, 2010 Stone Vineyard Cabernet, & 2010 Pyramid Vineyard Cabernet
  • Retail Price: $70
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount: 20% discount for non-wine club members (50% discount for wine club members) with 4-bottle minimum purchase, 12-bottle maximum purchase

Manzanita Creek Winery

  • Wine: 2010 Foothill Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Retail Price: $22.00
  • Bottle and/or Case Promotion discount: Single bottle 25% off (30% Wine Club)
  • Wine: 2007 Alfonso Old Vine Zinfandel, Russian River Valley
  • Retail Price: $28.00
  • Promotion: Single bottle 50% off (55% Wine Club)
  • Wine: 2008 Melange, Red Table Blend (Merlot, Zinfandel & Syrah)
  • Retail Price: $33.00
  • Promotion: Single bottle 50% off (55% Wine Club)


Have a GREAT Weekend. Be safe, spit or dump, support your local producer with purchases, and if on Twitter, use Hashtag #WRBT when you Tweet & Check in on Foursquare.



Related Articles

Guest post: Two More Routes for the Barrel Tasting, plus North Coast Events for March 9 – 15

Thoughts from Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend One. Share Your Thoughts & Win Tickets to Weekend Two.

Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!)

Barrel Tasting Insights – What am I Tasting & Do I Get Splinters? What should I buy?

My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Tell us yours and win tickets.

Observations of Wine Road Barrel Tasting Week One; Suggestions & Ticket Contest for Week Two


Two More Routes for the Barrel Tasting, plus North Coast Events for March 9 – 15

We’ve got another big barrel tasting weekend ahead of us. I’ll be able to participate this time and I’m really looking forward to it.

If you haven’t decided which wineries you’ll go to yet, here are a couple of theme-based itineraries.

The So

noma Advocate Tour

Antonio Galloni recently published his Sonoma Report for Wine Advocate. He focused heavily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from producers that don’t happen to be part of the Wine Road Barrel Tasting, such as Paul Hobbs, Kistler and Hirsch. However, six wineries awarded 90+ points are pouring.

Of course, Galloni rated bottled wine. Get a leg up on him by evaluating barrel samples from these wineries yourself. (And don’t forget to give their neighbors a little love buy viagra online cheap us too.)

  • Freestone in Occidental
  • Siduri in Santa Rosa
  • Red Car in Sebastopol
  • La Crema in Windsor
  • Kendall-Jackson in downtown Healdsburg (that’s where they are pouring high-end Cabernet)
  • Stonestreet in Alexander Valley
There was a bit of a fuss about people piling out of limos and partying too hard last weekend. I suspect the issue was blown a bit out of proportion. However, if you want to avoid any risk of running into big bands of revelers, here are a few of the many fine wineries that don’t allow groups,

limos or buses. (Every winery not

allowing groups is identified on the Wine Road’s list of participating wineries.)

  • Bella Vineyards in Healdsburg
  • Claypool Cellars in Sebastopol
  • Freestone in Occidental
  • Fritz in Cloverdale
  • Joseph Swan in Forestville
  • La Crema in Windsor
  • Red Car in Sebastopol
  • Sausal in Alexander Valley
  • Stonestreet in Alexander Valley
  • Vinoteca (6 wineries in one location) in Santa Rosa
Enjoy your barrel tasting. I hope to meet up with you out there.


Lake County

Gregory Graham Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: Saturday, March 10, 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Owner and Winemaker Greg Graham and Marianne Graham will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.

Mendocino County

McFadden’s Second Saturday — Hopland: Saturday March 10, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Enjoy 100% organically grown grape wines paired with a delicious food treat.

Napa Valley

Calistoga Spring Jazz Festival — downtown Calistoga: Saturday, March 10, noon – 6:00pm
Live jazz music, wine and food right downtown in Calistoga.

Merryvale Pinot & Pizza Barrel Tasting — St. Helena: Saturday, March 10, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
An afternoon of wine, food and entertainment featuring current releases, library wines and Tra Vigne pizza.


Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: Friday, March 9, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Bill Vestal plays Americana music.

A Taste of West Sonoma County at Dutton-Goldfield Winery — Sebastopol: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 – 11, 10:am – 4:30pm
A rare tasting of their single-vineyard wines from the Green Valley of Russian River Valley appellation.

34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting — Northern Sonoma: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 – 11, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Your chance to sample wines from the barrel, talk to winemakers and explore the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys.

Clash of the Sommeliers at Farmhouse Restaurant — Forestville: Monday, March 12, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Three sommeliers pairing wines side-by-side for a four course, seasonal menu.

Songwriters In Sonoma at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: Thursday, March 15, 7:00pm – 9:15pm
Dustin Heald, Rich Little and Fred McCarty


This article is by Fred Swan of for Copyright 2012 Fred Swan.

Thoughts from Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend One. Share Your Thoughts & Win Tickets to Weekend Two.

Last Friday-Sunday was the first of two weekends of Wine Road Barrel tasting, the 34th anniversary of this event. Last week’s article “The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide

and Win Tickets! (4 winners!)” href=”../archives/7023″ rel=”bookmark” target=”_blank”>Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!)” was a huge hit, propelling the blog to it’s highest readership ever, just shy of 10,000 unique readers and 300,000 hits for the month. The first two days it garnered 38,000 hits. (Spoiler – we’ll be giving away 4 more pairs of tickets, so make sure you read to the end! )

I took a slightly more controversial approach than I normally do with the “stop the whining” and instead of garnering negative complaints as I was fearful of, we had dozens of exuberant responses.

The local Press overall did a positive job as well with several good articles:

The one true Wine Writer the PD has, Virginie Boone, did a nice article with “Barrel Tasting weekends are here” and there was a nice follow on piece “Learning about wine, one barrel at a time” by Mary Callahan.

Unfortunately that didn’t stop the PD Blog from writing in the same vein as last year with its “Frat Party” post with this weeks “Peculiar wine glasses at barrel tasting?(EDIT and a second article in the same vein on Tuesday “Revelers add sour taste to Wine Barrel weekend.”)

I will leave my comments at the post – but this is sensationalism writing looking for views, not investigative journalism, and its time to step up, or drop the topic. Looks like at least one other blog agreed. Millennials: The Next Generation.


Come Back Thursday For A Special Article

Of course all wineries offer special discounts for barrel futures, but many also have finished wine sales as well. Come back Friday for a list sorted by Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley. (Wineries, read your Monday memo. Still have some spots.)

My Experiences

Unfortunately with my new job, and a side ‘project’ I could only attend one day this year, unlike all 6 last year. I had my friend Andrew Healy, the Wine Marketing and Social Media of Guru of Napa in tow, so I stuck mostly to wineries I knew, unlike my normal mix of experimentation. There were so many more wineries I wish I could have visited!

First stop was neighbor Robert Rue, who produces Russian River Sauvigon Blanc and Zin. Oddly, there were almost no barrel or tank samples of whites, something I’d recommend wineries

consider more, especially since whites are so close to being bottled, if they haven’t already. Robert Rue was the only winery we visited that did. I am generally not a Zin guy, but like cool climate Russian River Zin. Their new 2011 Sauvignon Blanc was stunning – a great change from the overdone New Zealand, grassy, cat-pee style. The secret in part is the “Musque” clone of Sauv Blanc, which is catching on as consumers get fatigued with the overwhelming amount of traditional Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is bright, with great fruit and minerality, more French Sancerre style. I will be buying this weekly I can see. Watch for a review soon, and grab some futures this weekend!

Next we headed north to Dry Creek – I wanted to get in and out before Saturday afternoon traffic went crazy. I am a regular at Quivira, and was seeking there futures of Mourvedre, which I buy every year if offered. Wine club members get 40% off, better than industry, its

a great deal on what I think is the best Mourvedre in Sonoma County. Granted, sadly choices are also few, but as someone who tastes/buys Rhones from all over, its one of my favorites. Quivira also released their new 2011 Rose’, which generally doesn’t last long.

We headed across the street to one of my long time favorites the Mounts. I hope to do a full story on them soon – watching them progress over the years has been a delight. Mounts continues to expand their Rhone portfolio, and lean towards more minimal winemaking techniques. They had 4 red wine barrel samples, all native yeast fermented, my favorite being the Grenache, and to my surprise the Malbec. I say to my surprise mostly because I have fallen out of love with most Malbecs as they are generally now made New World – big, extracted and oaky. This barrel sample was all about the grape itself.

Traffic was starting to pick up, so we headed back to Russian River, as was the plan.

Two quick stops: Joseph Swan (loved the 2011 Carignane( Cotes du Something) and Woodenhead, then onto Benovia. Benovia only featured one barrel sample, but had the widest pouring of finished wines, of which I am becoming quite a fan. We tasted through 2 Chardonnay’s, 4 Pinots, of which the Anderson Valley was my favorite, a Grenache, and my favorite of the day a Rose’ of Pinot Noir. At $18 a bottle, another recommended buy.

We squeaked into Krutz & Sheldon right in time. Patrick Krutz was tasting his new Ceja Chardonnay and his usual (incredible) Napa Stagecoach syrah. Sheldon was pouring their new Ceja grenache. All excellent wines from two great vintners, who were also pouring their current releases.

I didn’t take the SLR out that day, but here are a handful of pictures & recommendations you can see here.

Overall Summary

Most Wineries I spoke to (some on Sunday) reported Friday as the best day for serious buyers and tasting. Most reported a good Saturday, although almost every Russian River winery I spoke to reported the same, it got slow around generic viagra usa 130 Saturday afternoon. Not sure if people were headed North, but for those wishing to avoid crowds, I stick to my recommendation of go to less trafficked places Saturday afternoon if you want a better tasting experience.

This event attracts 18-20,000 people from 47 states, many on wine buying missions. I witnessed no drunkenness, bad behavior, or any of the sensationalism frat party attitude the aforementioned article was digging for. I am sure out of 120+ wineries and 18k people, a few examples exist. The law of large numbers will give you that, especially if you target feedback from a busy winery like Armida that is known for its younger crowd drawing. I witness far worse at any bar on a Saturday night. Lets focus on the 99.95% positive – shall we?

Wishes for 2012

I thought winery hospitality was outstanding. I’d like to see two things: more white wine samples. And more food trucks like the Rossa Pizza oven at Carol Shelton.

Barrel Tasting isn’t about food, and the wineries shouldn’t provide food, BUT I’d love to see more of them partner up with a food truck and offer food for sale. I’d happily pay to eat, not have to lose an hour in a restaurant. If I was an food truck entrepreneur, I’d park one right at the entry to Dry Creek, if allowed. Wineries – if you do offer a food truck next year, and are allowed, put it in your writeup, you increase the chances I’ll be by! (On that note, wineries who put in the program that they were tasting ‘futures’ with no specifics, you were skipped. Please tell us what you are offering, there are many choices besides you.)

Lastly, I applaud the increase in ticket prices. At the door, the most expensive option, a 3 day ticket is still only $40. This is a wine buying event, and I feel this helps weed out the partiers. Any slight decrease in attendance is made up by the higher price – and most wineries will tell you – there is a saturation point ratio of bodies to sales – sometimes smaller groups


OK – Time to Win!

Winning is very easy – simply in comments below tell us:

(1) Did you attend Barrel Tasting weekend one? What was your favorite and/or what did you buy.


(2) If you didn’t go Weekend one – what winery would you most like to visit and why?

We draw 4 pairs of tickets Thursday night – good luck!


Related Articles

Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!)

Barrel Tasting Insights – What am I Tasting & Do I Get Splinters? What should I buy?

My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Tell us yours and win tickets.

Observations of Wine Road Barrel Tasting Week One; Suggestions & Ticket Contest for Week Two

Events for This Weekend and Two Routes for the Wine Road Barrel Tasting

Guest Post by Fred Swan

This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra

tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.

There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:

(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )

Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only

Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?

Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.

From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.

On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.

From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.

Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.

For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)


Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab

Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:

Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.

Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.

Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.

Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.

Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.

Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.



Lake County

Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!


Napa Valley

Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.

Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.


Sonoma County

34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.

Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.

Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


A Quick Plug:

The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn levitra viagra online more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at

Enjoy your weekend!


Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!)

Barrel Tasting – an event in North Sonoma rich in history. In fact this is the 34th anniversary.

I look forward with great anticipation to the six days of Barrel Tasting

, across two weekends, as do many of the 20,000+ attendees, many of whom fly in from all over the country to taste and stock up on wine, both bottled and futures.

At the end of this article is a chance to win a pair of tickets – 4 winners – so read on!


Barrel Tasting Is For Serious Wine Lovers

I have written numerous articles about Barrel Tasting over the last 3 years, and will admit I am a staunch advocate.

It’s an event that can garner complaints from some locals, jaded hospitality staff, and the occasional cheap Media sensationalism title to get a reader, but the reality is it’s a serious wine tasting & buying event for many, not a party.

The few stories that are bound to happen when 20,000 people go wine tasting, shouldn’t be overshadowed by the people who drive & fly in, from all corners of the US to taste & buy wine. Lets focus on those.


Toss Away Your Stereotypes & Get Some Perspective

Last year, I wrote two articles with dozens of people posting their positive comments on this event, and many who wrote to me as well. Generally, other than inter-industry chatter, consumers are quiet on blogs, but in this case over 40 came out to say something.

Everyone has a bad story about this event, but sadly what’s not shared enough are the many great ones, which last years comments highlighted for me, including one reader who wrote me, asking I not stereotype ” ALL buses as bad.” She was part of a group that every year rents a bus and drives several hours North, and everyone on the bus are serious tasters, all of whom leave with cases of wine. I stood corrected, and perhaps lost a regular reader.

These letters and comments made me realize just how many people really enjoy this event, with comments like:

“I LOVE Barrel Tasting, it’s a chance to get together with friends, who have varied experience with wine”


“This was our third year barrel tasting and we pretty much have it down to a science with strategic routes for Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is more relaxed meandering around downtown Healdsburg.”


“I had an excellent experience during weekend one of Barrel Tasting. The future wines were fun to try and then comparing them to a finished product was an experience that led to the purchase of so many cases of wine that my hybrid was doing a wheelie on the drive home to Berkeley!”


“Barrel tasting has become an annual event for my friends and I. In fact, we collectively have several wine club memberships as a result of Wine Road events.”


“I haven’t missed Barrel Tasting in years. I started going when I was a student at SSU. I got so hooked on the event that I decided to invite my cousins and make a weekend out of it. We use it as a bonding weekend to try fabulous new wines and taste old favorites. I love Barrel Tasting because it brings wine lovers together for one reason. I always come away with new stories, great memories, and a great new wine collection. I never leave a winery empty-handed and often come home with cases. I have also purchased futures and especially love going back when they are ready to try my favorites again!”

Just a small selection of the 40+ comments received.


Stop The Whining About Wine-ing

I love the wine business and wineries, but some it seems are never happy. “Its been dead for weeks.” “This event had no traffic.” “Oh my GOD, There were TOO MANY people.”

So which is it? It’s interesting for me to observe, often first hand, wineries that make a huge success, year over year, of the Wine Road’s three events, including this one, and those that decline every year, and bitch & moan in the process.

Having worked closely with some, (and been on the other side of the barrel) its all about attitude, preparation, and outlook. Is every person who comes into your tasting room an opportunity to join your wine club, or just some pain in the ass who drank too much that is in buy viagra without rx your way until 5 pm comes? You decide. I can tell you those who view it the former, always lead in sales results.

I have written repeatedly about the importance of the tasting room experience and its impact on wine sales. It’s as important (if not more important) than the quality of the wine. The winery with a great hospitality experience and mediocre wine will outsell the winery with the reverse, every time.

Locals, yes Healdsburg can be a bit crazy Saturday afternoon I know. Our hotels, shops, and restaurants are also all full. If you can’t

appreciate what this does for our tax base and smile just a bit, consider it a great weekend to get out of town.


What Barrel Tasting IS:

  • A chance to taste some great wines.
  • A chance to learn about wine that isn’t done yet, and the wine making process.
  • A chance to buy great wine and save some dollars, both in futures and finished wine sales.

I have more detailed information and suggestions in articles: My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting and Barrel Tasting Insights – What am I Tasting & Do I Get Splinters? What should I buy?

As always, I suggest you print out the Wine Road program, and make a plan. Some wineries participate early on Friday, this is an EXCELLENT opportunity for more attention and less traffic. Some wineries also only participate the first weekend.


What To Bring:

  • The program guide, with your plan:
  • A cooler to put your wine purchases in. Yes its going to be 70 degrees. Bring a cooler. Heat kills wine.
  • Some food items. Since much of Dry Creek and Russian River is sparse in dining options, bring a picnic, a blanket and take a meal break. Or make your plan around dining somewhere in Geyserville, Healdsburg, or Santa Rosa. This is a day to be enjoyed, stop and smell the roses and eat lunch – its will enhance your day and experience. Its not a contest to see how many wineries you can visit.
  • Common sense. If you hate crowds and/or want to visit popular wineries, make your plan accordingly. Go to less busy areas like Geyserville & Russian River during peak times, and hit Dry Creek, Healdsburg, and popular wineries on Friday, first thing Saturday or Sunday morning.

Ok, Can I Win Tickets Already?

This Thursday Mar 1st, at 6 p.m. we will draw 4 pairs of winners for the Second weekend (March 9-11).

To win one of two ways (enter both!)

(1) Tell me in comments any one of the following:

  • Have you attended Barrel Tasting before, and what is your favorite part of the event? OR
  • Have you ever purchased futures before? Where? OR
  • If you won tickets, what winery do you want to go to most, and why? (Please make sure the winery you pick is participating, the list is here.




(2) Sign up for Simple Hedonisms email updates in the top right corner.

Its secure, private, and simply emails you when we have new articles. Nothing else. (Important – you will receive a confirmation email to complete your subscription, you must finish that step to be eligible.)


I look forward to hearing your thoughts and giving away some tickets! See you on the Wine Road – Heaven Condensed!


Related Articles

Barrel Tasting Insights – What am I Tasting & Do I Get Splinters? What should I buy?

My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Tell us yours and win tickets.

Observations of Wine Road Barrel Tasting Week One; Suggestions & Ticket Contest for Week Two


Observations of Wine Road Barrel Tasting Week One; Suggestions & Ticket Contest for Week Two

Week One of Wine Road Barrel Tasting was a big success, based my observations and talking with a fair number of wineries. This organization continues to amaze me with what does with transformation of industry events. Spoiler alert – read all the way through this – we are giving away 3 pairs of passes for Weekend Two!

Anticipation, and Highest Read Post Ever

There was some level of anticipation  – would the negative perception of this as a drunk-fest persist? Would the actions being taken by the Wine Road have any impact?  Or would it be a big success and continue its gradual transformation of a serious event focused on futures. Read on….

To my surprise, my midweek article ‘My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting’ was a runaway success.  I do a lot of these types of articles and contests, and they typically get some response and hits, but nothing spectacular. This post got 20+ comments, including after the contest was over. People wrote way more than normal.

This article is now #1 rank, surpassing my prized ‘Shipping Included’ – the Future of Direct to Consumer?’ which was a featured blog and #2 read by (and still ranks #4 read in the last 30 days!) as well as my article ‘A New Beginning & Old World Renaissance? ‘ which until recently had ranked #1.

Yet this post jumped over them all, and had little  to do with the contest – I give away tickets, often more pricey, all the time.

How would it all pan out? Ticket sales were a record high, more wineries than ever were offering future sales, and consumers seemed excited, and not focused on partying. But one never knows until showtime.

Observations and Interviews

I went out on Friday afternoon and Saturday, and monitored the Twitter #WRBT hashtag heavily on Sunday. I spoke to many winery operations personally, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates.

Here were the general trends:

Friday: Traffic and sales were much higher than many wineries expected, especially new participants. I actually expected this a bit, at least the sales part. People going on Friday are taking a day off, hoping to avoid the crowds and are serious wine buyers. Wineries reported greater than expected sales, both of finished wines and futures. Most I talked too were very pleased.

Saturday: The Weather held out and people were out in droves. By mid afternoon people were reporting Healdsburg and Dry Creek to be extremely crowded with tons of cars, busses and people. This is normal, see my suggestions for itenary planning a bit later. Most wineries reported lower sales than Friday, but were pleased, and year over year results seemed good. I made it back to Russian River Valley for the afternoon to avoid the masses. Crowds were good at all wineries, but not so much to impact my experience in any way.

Sunday: It did rain as predicted, and the impact seemed to be mixed. Russian River Valley wineries again seemed pleased. Some new participants had expected Sunday to be the busiest day, but my observation for many 2 day events is that Sunday is typically slower, and for most this panned out. Several Healdsburg and Dry Creek wineries were complaining on Twitter about lack of people, and had the time to be scouring for people to invite. Smaller RRV wineries still seemed quite pleased with people and sales. A very large winery did report sales about as a regular weekend, but agreed to the possible merits of exposure and the difference this event might be for small versus a large national brand.

Consumers Feedback

Consumer notes on the blog post and Wine Road Facebook page were ecstatic and mirrored what wineries reported. Many great comments including this one that I loved from Jason Klafter:

Barrel tasting is the main wine tasting event my wife and I attend. We have been going for about 5 years now. Each year it gets better and better and I love all the things I have learned and still learning. Our group has evolved to about 12-15 so we had stuck to the bigger wineries. Last weekend was an absolute awesome time. We found some smaller wineries that would accommodate our group and finally made my first “future” purchase.

Money has been tight over the past few years so buying a future case of one wine had never been really option. Like many, we would buy a bottle or two from different places. I’m so excited to have gone to Old World and they allowed a future mixed case which was perfect for my wife and I, as she is not a big red drinker. So I order a mix and can’t wait to pick it up when it’s ready. For our group, This year was had the most amount of futures that were ordered. We ordered 12-15 cases of futures and took home close to another 7 between us all!!!!

Can’t wait to go next weekend with a small group of 4!!! Finally going to hit up all the wineries we haven’t been able to go to.

Love it! And Kudos to you Jason, and your friends, for your support and openness.

My Prediction for Next Week:

Being the second weekend, traffic should dip some, but similar patterns predicted.  Friday will be less busy than previous Friday, but again be a good sales day to serious buyers and enthusiasts, Saturday a good traffic day but more looky-loos, and Sunday slower but decent sales. No rain is forecasted for all weekend, so that should help. Let’s hope too many people didn’t give up wine for Lent. (If you spit it doesn’t count.)

I want to add a quick comment about buses. I got an email from a reader who was perhaps offended (they won’t reply) about my previous article and comments on people drinking in buses. I by no means meant to imply that all people on buses are drinking on the bus. I heard from a number that, like this person, come from a remote location, and are serious buyers. If any are offended by that implication, my apologies. Its broadcast everywhere that buses aren’t welcome at many wineries  – that’s more from a lack of ability of a tiny winery being able to handle 30 extra people at once. Kudos to a number of buses I heard call in to ask permission, and were usually accommodated because it was scheduled. That’s far superior to the other tactic, ‘hide’ around the corner, unload on foot.

My Visits, Strategy Suggestions

I get asked a lot where I plan to attend. I typically don’t reveal that for a number of reasons. I try and visit new members, places I haven’t been, with a mix of the wine styles I prefer, and some old favorites thrown in to balance. This weekend I intend to go Friday afternoon, and hopefully both Saturday and Sunday. I am out of space and time here, so I will summate my two weekends of visits in a future post.

My strategy tip for the Wine Enthusiast: Hit busy areas like Healdsburg, Dry Creek, and bigger name wineries on Friday, or start of the day Saturday, or possibly Sunday. Use your Wine Road map – there are lots of clusters of wineries in less traveled Alexander and Russian River Valley – more then enough to fill up an afternoon, and while a tiny bit further apart, less people and less traffic. Driving a mile between stops may save you hours.

My Suggestions to Wineries

With only one exception, I was very impressed with the service, attitude, and experience at each winery. Hats off the hospitality staffs. Two (personal) suggestions for this or future events.

  • Put out spit cups. Its hard for consumers to spit in a bucket. Even I rather a cup. Kudos to wineries like Sheldon, Windsor Oaks and others, who do. In my opinion, this should be standard practice. People CAN learn this.
  • Food has been de-emphasized by design, and perhaps to a lesser extent cost. Some wineries jumped in with catering on site at a cost with some pretty awesome choices. I had terrific BBQ sliders at Longboard I was happy to pay for. Mateo had food at others. Food trucks are an option. There is nothing wrong with ‘pay to play’ and personally I’d rather eat at the winery.

Finally – The Contest

Thanks for staying with me – now here is your chance to win. Tomorrow night (only 24 hours) we will draw 3 pairs of tickets. To win, tell the Wine Road and I in comments either:

What varietal (wine grape) did you try that is NEW to you, last weekend. Where was it, was it a barrel sample or current release?


What varietal would you like to try, or learn more about this weekend.

Get ready – go!

Cheers, thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog – spread the word!


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Wine Road Barrel Tasting Begins! Featured Winery's Promotional Sales (finished wine)

While barrel samples and futures are the main focus of the Wine Road Barrel Tasting, as discussed earlier this week; but its also a great time for Wineries to introduce new releases, and offer sales to visitors to incent you to take some of their work home with you. Many of the Wine Road wineries are small, family owned – this is a business for love, not wealth. Support these small artisans with your purchases, instead of your local grocery store.

The list is too long to link to each winery, so use the Wine Road  maps and event program to find each one. The Wine Road website is an amazing resource. Remember not all wineries participate both weekends, and some are doing Barrel Tasting on Friday as well, so CHECK the program!

Sales Promotions

Sausal Winery

$199.00 for any full or mixed case of 2007 Private Reserve Zinfandel and 2005 Sogno della Famiglia, or  10% off any 1-5 bottle purchase and 20% off 6 or more bottles.


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Offering a special 20% of 6-11 bottles and 25% off a case (35% for Club members.)  Futures of the 09 Sangiovese and 09 Axiom Syrah are available in same discount volume.

Old World Winery

10% off the 2005 Zin (Chronicle Double Gold) or buy 3 and get the 4th on them.

Futures: 30% off 2010 Pinot Gris, 2009 Pinot Noir, 2009 Zin, 2009 Abouriou

Moshin Vineyards

Is offering the 2007 Moshin Vineyards Zinfandel – Dry Creek Valley. Regularly $30.00/btl., this weekend it is $15.00 when you buy a case at $180. This wine will be available for tasting and you’ll agree that this tasty little gem of a balanced Zinfandel will become your new favorite “House Wine” at this price! Only 475 cases made!

Robert Rue

Special sale on their ’07 Wood Road Reserve Zins and our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc. 3 bottles 10%, 6 bottles 15% .  35% off a case of the ’07 Zin and ’09 SB. (Additional discounts for Club members.)

Longboard Vineyards

Offering 3 ‘quick picks’. 

  • The $60.00 Bundle ($68 retail)

2009- Sauvignon Blanc RRV….$20.00 90pts. ~ Wine Enthusiast-Editor’s Choice, 2008- Point Break Red,  2008- Dakine Merlot

  • The $80.00 Bundle ($89 retail)

2008- Chardonnay,  2008- RRV Pinot Noir,  2007- Russian River Syrah, Gold~Sonoma County Harvest Fair-2010, 91 pts.~Wine Enthusiast

  • The $90.00 Bundle ($105 retail)

2008- RRV Pinot Noir, 2008- Dakine Merlot, 2006 – Syrah Dakine Vyd, 92 pts~Wine Enthusiast

Longboard is also offering futures for the first time: 20% (25% for Wine Club) : Barrel Selection is all single vineyard lots, first single vineyard Pinot Noir from Red Rooster, Sonoma Coast, Ballistic Zinfandel, Chalk Hill and Redgrav Cabernet, Alexander Valley.

J. Keverson Winery

06 RR Pinot is on sale $15/bottle or  $144/case. Their  06 sangiovese $12/bottle or 120/case.

Balletto Vineyards & Winery

Visit  Balletto Vineyards & Winery for March Madness! Every visitor will receive a basketball necklace to start off the games. Taste 7 wines out of the barrel then rebound to the tasting room where they will have some smokin’ wine deals! The more you purchase the more you save; up to 50% off on 08 Pinot Gris, 07 Teresa’s Chardonnay and 08 Gewurztraminer.

Sheldon Wines

offering: 2009 La Naris:  Retail $28/btl, SALE $23. 20o6 Kendric Pinot Noir: Retail $42/btl, SALE $37. 2006 Petite Sirah:  Retail $32/btl, SALE $27

Barrel Samples will be the: 2010 Vinolocity Blanc (AKA La Naris), 2009 Weatherly Cuvee,  25% off for public 30% off for wine club members.

Inspiration Vineyards

30% closeout discount on 12 bottle cases of the 06 Pinot & 06 Zinfandel.

Futures  save 40% from their release price next year.  Must buy in 12 bottle case increments – can mix or match cases.

  • 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley – $48 / $28.80. 2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – $32 / $19.20. 2009 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley – $36 / cheapest cialis $21.60
  • 2010 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley – $24 / $14.40. 2010 Viognier, Russian River Valley – $32 / $19.20. 2010 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley – $25 / $15.00


Mix and Match Discounts on ten wines: 10% off 6 bottles,  15% off 12 bottles, 25% off 18+ bottles – click here for the list and order form. (Has Barrel future offers as well.)


Offering this sale while supplies last:  2007 Syrah Hommage A Ampuis, 2007 Petite Sirah-Grenache.  20% off single bottles, 30% off cases mix-and-match.

Futures: 2010 Grenache and 2009 Petite Sirah. Half and full cases. 20% discount, 40% for club.

Michael Bernard

Orsi Papale will have a case special on the 2005 Dry Creek Cabernet for $180 and the 2005 Russian River Pinot for $150 a case.

Mounts Family Winery

Are running a special on the 07 Estate Zinfandel – $150 for a case – only 25 cases left! Also special event discounts: 10% on 6 bottles and 20% on 12 or more, wine club ; 15%, 20% or 25%.

Futures – featuring the 2010 Viognier for the first time! Plus Old Vines Zinfandel, Malbec, Grenache & Petite Sirah.  Discounts on futures are 15% on a half case and 25% on a full case (half & half  = full case discount).  Wine Club members get even bigger discounts!


10% off  2008 Zinfandel, Dry Creek and 2008 Barbera, Nevada County, and  no charge  shipping of 12 bottles or more.

Futures: 6 bottle minimum purchase for Future’s pricing.
2009 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley. Release Price: $30; Future’s Price: $24; Appassionato Price:

$20 2009 Barbera, Mendocino County. Release Price $36; Future’s Price $28; Appassionato Price: $24

Amista Vineyards

Buy six 2006 Zins, and get six on them!

Inman Family Wines

20% off the Terroir Trio – OGV Estate. This special 3 bottle vertical of OGV Estate Pinot is a chance to taste the recently re-released 2006 from  library and the soon to be released 2008 alongside the 2007 vintage.

Futures: 30% off the 2009 Thorn Ridge

Davis Family Vineyards

10% off all current released wines & 15% off all current released cases

Stephen & Walker Winery

Is offering 50% off full or mix and match cases of their 2009 Patrona and 2007 Monterey County Pinot Noir.

Enjoy your weekend(s), be safe, responsible and courteous, and have fun!

Watch for my broadcasts ‘live’ on Facebook and Twitter (hashtag #WRBT)

Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !

My thoughts on Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Tell us yours and win tickets.

This weekend (this Friday actually at select wineries) kicks of the first of two weekends of Wine Road Barrel Tasting.

19,000 advance tickets have been sold (a new record), so clearly the event is growing in popularity. If for some reason you didn’t purchase (shame on you) or would like tickets for a second weekend, at the end of the article you can read how to very easily win a pair! (Jump ahead if you are impatient.)

Barrel Tasting Explained

I will provide a short overview here. For more detail, you can read my previous article Barrel Tasting Insights – What am I Tasting & Do I Get Splinters? What should I buy?

More and more  wineries and consumers are warming to the idea of Barrel Tasting.

This is basically the concept of buying futures. How far in future can vary, but most wineries are tasting stuff that will be bottled this year and in your hands no later than fall. The consumer’s reward: – big discount, ranging from 20-40% plus. The winery’s benefit – cash flow. Cash is king, and I know small wineries who work on such a tight budget they sometimes are counting pennies to be able to bottle or label, and this become a key part of generating capital. Others have completely integrated it into their business model and have a large following.

What Barrel Tasting Isn’t

A drunk-fest. Each year the Wine Road has made progress towards this goal. Wineries and serious consumers alike are fed up with drunks rolling off a bus after pounding drinks, acting like idiots and worse. This has decreased dramatically over the years – the welcome is worn thin. These people aren’t buying wine generally, and are not a loss. Expect less than warm welcomes at more venues, and being denied service. If that’s your goal, go to Happy Hour. I will spot you a drink. Unfortunately these people aren’t likely reading a wine blog but just putting the widespread sentiment out there.

My Two Cents on Barrel Tasting

Whether you are interested in saving money via futures, or just a fun educational weekend tasting, Barrel Tasting is an excellent weekend to taste, learn and explore. You don’t even have to Barrel Taste if don’t want to. All wineries are pouring finished wine, some new releases. For $30 at the door for two days, its a great opportunity. I encourage those new to wine to try a few barrel samples, but remember, as the detailed article explains, this is unfinished wine. Try 1-2 and then perhaps focus your experience on learning and tasting regular wines.

For those a bit more exposed to tasting wine, try barrel samples. Where you can, compare them to the currently bottled finished wine, if offered. (Not always possible.) This is an excellent way to see how much a wine can change.

Again its important to remember, even if going to be bottled shortly, wines, especially reds will be bottled aged for 3-12+ months before release, and will continue to evolve. I watched consumers struggle with this at a recently blending seminar, when they were frustrated they couldn’t blend 3 varietals from barrel to compare to the finished wine that had a year in bottle. It won’t.

If you aren’t very experienced with futures, buying something that will not be bottled by summer maybe risky. The wine could change a lot.

If its a wine release you have had over multiple years, like it, buy it regularly, and the barrel sample tastes good, this is probably a good investment, saving money for a wine you’ll buy anyway.

The future I always buy is a varietal (grape) not common here (a surprise I know), I have loved the last 3 releases, and the winery aggressively discounts the future, 5% over industry. Unless the vintage had some significant  change, this is a no brainer repeat for me. It also assures me I get sufficient quantity of a wine I really like, before it sells out.

Ok, How Do I Win Tickets Already?

EASY! And thanks for sticking through. There are TWO ways to win – read carefully, you can do BOTH!

Answer any of these:

1. Tell us what you like about Barrel Tasting. Do you buy futures ever? Why or Why Not? We will draw 2 pairs of tickets from answers.

2. Subscribe to Simple Hedonisms via Email. Receive new articles one time a day (max, usually less) so you never miss one. All email is secure and never used or shared. We will draw a winner from all subscribers. If you can not attend, we will send a Wine Road cookbook or alternate item.  NOTE! you must confirm your subscription to be eligible – you will receive a confirmation email immediately, you must open and click. Unconfirmed subscribers are not eligible.

Drawing is 330 pm Thursday!

Come Back for Our Regular Sales Incentives Article

As we do for all Wine Road events, Simple Hedonisms will run an article highlighting special sales of finished wines, as a supplement to Barrel Tasting. This is very handy to print out, and stock up, saving a few extra dollars to boot. Watch for it!


Cheers and thank you for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog ! We are delighted and honored by continued growth – February was another record month with over 6700 readers and 250,000 hits!

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