This weekend was the annual Celebration of Wine charity wine tasting and wine auction. The proceeds from ticket and auction sales benefit local public radio. There were over 300 wines to taste, but we went with a cheat sheet of wines we knew we simply must try.
With wine glass and map in hand, we wandered around the 39 tables and tried champagnes, proseccos, chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, zinfandels, meritages, cabernet sauvignons, and even a dessert wine or two.
We had tasted several of the wines before, some on our 2009 trip to Napa. Because we knew of some that we liked already, we went back to have another taste of some favorites – the Ehlers 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon, Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir, and the Alexander Valley Vineyard’s showcase wine, Cyrus. They did not disappoint.
Breaks were critical. If we’d tasted wines for five hours straight, we’d have been stumbling home. The silent wine auction gave us a good excuse to leave the tasting room. Plus, I’m a sucker for silent auctions, so I had to get a good look at the bidding sheets to see what kind of competition I’d be up against.
The Celebration of Wine always ends with a live wine auction. Last year, probably due to the horrible economy, the wine auction was filled with great bargains. We were expecting that this year, but people were very generous with their donations during this auction. In fact, the couple of items we tried to bid on were quickly bid up past retail value and out of our price range. Not good for us, but very good for public radio. And, in hindsight, it was probably good for us too. We can definitely find other uses for that money.
We did walk out with one “win” in the silent auction. Last June in Napa, we spent an amazing afternoon at the Oakville Ranch winery in Napa. When we saw the 2002 Oakville Ranch Robert’s Blend in the auction list, I knew that we’d be bidding on it. It will probably sit collecting dust for a while, but when we do drink it, we’ll have great memories of our trip there last summer.