Springtime is wine time | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Springtime is wine time

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Springtime is in the air, a time when our minds turn to good excuses to get out of the house and find enjoyable events to attend. For us, wine tasting is an all year vocation but during this season, there are multitudes of events for everyone to choose, ranging from winery open houses to wine festivals, offering hundreds of wines to taste in a single location. The benefit from the consumer standpoint is the ability to taste the wine before you buy. For the wine lover, it is like being a kid in a candy store offering free samples.

As luck would have it, there is a great wine and food event starting this Friday at the Reno Hilton. The Reno Tahoe Wine and Food Festival spans three days and ends May 2, offering wine tasting, great food, cooking demonstrations and educational seminars. Saturday includes a special seminar on “Wines of the Sierra Foothills” given by us. Other seminars include “Sparkling Wine and Champagne Indulgence” and “Aphrodisiacs and Wine, Do They Work?” (We’re not sure yet if this would be a good topic for a column but the research sounds fun!) Adding to the experience will be a Champagne sabering demonstration by Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis, using the Napoleonic tradition of shearing the neck off a bottle of Champagne using a saber. (Remember she is a professional so don’t try this at home!) Friday’s event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at a cost of $40. Saturday’s offerings begin at 2 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. for $25 with an added winemaker’s reception dinner from 7 to 9 p.m. for an extra $75. Sunday’s wrap up runs from noon to 5 p.m. with more wine tasting and seminars for $25. For a complete listing of the schedule, visit our Web site at http://www.InnovativeWine.com.

If you miss this one, you can redeem yourself with upcoming “passport weekends” allowing you to visit several wineries over the course of a weekend by purchasing a special glass at a minimal cost from one of the participants. The wineries usually offer a good selection of food to keep you going and the fun is complementary.

Large wine events test the mettle of any wine lover. Earlier this month we attended the five-day VinItaly Expo in Verona, Italy, one of the largest shows on earth. Choosing what to taste among over 4000 wineries each pouring 5 or 6 wines was a challenge but we made the sacrifice in the name of research. Although we were only able to taste a few hundred wines, the experience was one we will not soon forget. We are not sure how to say, “spit bucket” in Italian, but we were glad they had them.

For the most comprehensive listing of wine events sorted by city and region, there is no better place to visit than LocalWineEvents.com. Eric Orange has put together a site that lists wine events by state, city and country and allows you to sign up for notifications on wine events in any area you choose. Nearly 276,000 wine events have been posted since its creation dissolving any excuses that you could not find anything to do.

Our Picks of the Month:

n Indian Springs 2001 Nevada County Syrah; Fruity with blueberry and raspberry essences and secondary notes of smokiness and oak. Tastes of candied berries, silky tannins and a clean finish. ($16)

n Vino Noceto 2001 Amador Sangiovese; Perfumed wine with sweet floral and candied dark cherry notes. Very appealing California sangiovese. ($16)

n Sierra Vista 2002 El Dorado Viognier; A crisp, fruity viognier displaying aromas of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms with tastes of peaches and apricot. ($25).

– Roger and Colleen Stockton can be reached at http://www.InnovativeWine.com. The Wine Couple column appears the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

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