I know, it's rough

Monday, July 27, 2009


Attended a conference this weekend. It was a lot of work -- if you define work as eating and drinking with a bunch of really fascinating people for pretty much 48 hours straight. (The only reason this didn't last for 72 hours was because I did not attend the Sunday session -- was too busy getting my ass handed to me on a seven-mile run. Note to self: Wine and running really aren't the best combination; water and running are a much better choice. Also, do not eat a giant, heaping, absolutely embarrassingly huge plate of corn salad the night before a training run, no matter how wonderful the salad or how nice and/or generous the chef.)

But briefly, some highlights from the conference:

* Tasting some older-vintage Cabernet from the '90s: Saturday's festivities included a panel called "Napa: Past, Present and Future," with older and current wines from four wineries. If you haven't had a chance to taste mature Cabernet, do it. Go to a library tasting or an auction preview, ask the guy behind the tasting room bar if they happen to have any older bottles open, make friends with rich wine dorks who have a collection -- do whatever it takes. Older Cab is so worth it -- it's so much more versatile with different types of food (unlike younger Cabs, which seem to want steak and only steak), and a good older Cab that has aged well will be incredibly balanced and nuanced -- drinking an older Cab is sort of like really getting to know someone on a deeper level. At this tasting, of course I was completely biased and picked my brand first (I am a PR hack, after all, and this winery is my baby), but the 93 Spring Mountain was also a treat. Additionally, I found it fascinating to taste the older wines against current releases and see how much styles have changed. (Thankfully, my brand is remarkably consistent -- um, do you expect anything less? -- but others in the tasting had notably more oak, more extracted flavors and higher alcohol.)

* Putting a face to the name: Loved saying hello to Felicia, Thea and Tish after reading their blogs for so long.

* Experiencing the awesomeness that is Roli Roti: They catered the dinner at Gargiulo (see photo) on Saturday night. Death by corn salad. But oh, such sweet death.

* Meeting Greg La Follette, winemaker for Tandem Cellars: He takes his overalls seriously, his Chardonnay even more so.

Funny, though -- I'm looking at my list of highlights, and not one of these things is really related to the actual act of blogging, once again proving my theory that even though blogging and Web 2.0 are valuable and pretty fun to be part of, you really can't beat in-person contact.

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