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Nov/Dec 2013 Newsletter

 

Our last meeting was held at the home of Jim and Bette Felton, high in the hills of Danville.  The meeting was the very first inside/outside meeting that we’ve ever had!  (You had to be there to know what I’m talking about)  It was a gorgeous night for a meeting with views of the San Ramon Valley and Mt. Diablo.  Bette’s spread of hors d’oeuvres was wonderful.  We thank you two so very much for hosting this meeting.

     The meeting was our annual Harvest Report and was once again, a lot of fun.  There were right around 30 people in attendance and lots of great information was discussed about where people got their grapes and the like.  Again, you had to be there. 

     John Walkinshaw asked for suggestions on future meetings for the Program Committee.  The idea of a “Blending Party” in July was suggested.  The idea of a “Varietal Focus” night of home wines was brought up as a possible meeting subject.  Food and Wine pairings was mentioned as well “Wine Chemistry Night” and “Viticultural Practices” such as spraying, etc.  If you have any other ideas, please call either John, Matt Wood, John Archer or Rupert Perera, our 2014 CCWG Program Committee.

This is your second opportunity to volunteer your home for a meeting in 2014.  We need 3 Large homes as three meetings typically have about 60 or so people in attendance.  For that, the hosts are given a $150.00 check for hors d’oeuvres at their hosted meeting. We also need 3 Regular homes for the other meetings.  Those available dates are April 26, 2014; May 30, 2014 and October 24, 2014.  The hosts for those meetings are given a check for $100.00 for hors d’oeuvres at their hosted meeting.  Please give me a call at (925) 837-9384 at your earliest opportunity to reserve the meeting night that you’d like to host in 2014.  Step up and help your group out by volunteering to be a host!

   Here is the schedule for the 2014 calendar year and the 3 hosting volunteers that have already stepped up.  Go ahead and mark these dates down:

  1. Saturday, January 25, 2014  36th Annual Contra Costa Wine Group Professional Wine Judging & Potluck Dinner, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Walnut Creek

  2. Friday, February 28, 2014 Awards for Red Wine Winners-Need a Large home                

  3. Friday, March 28, 2014 Awards for White/Dessert Winners-Need a Large home                            

  4. Friday, April 25, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #1)                                                                                               

  5. Friday, May 30, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #2)                                                                                          

  6. Friday, June 27, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #3) (Boykin-Concord)                                                                                          

  7. Friday, July 25, 2014 Regular meeting  (Program Committee #4) (Davidson-Dublin)                                                                                              

  8. Friday, September 26, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #5)(Felton-Danville)                                                                               

  9. Friday, October 24, 2014 (to avoid Halloween) Regular meeting-Harvest discussion                     

  10. Friday, December 5, 2014 Nouveau Night-Need a Large home    

August–Date TBD-Off Site Meeting (Hors D’oeuvres, Desserts & Wine-Local Winery? TBD)

     I still need lots of volunteers for the 36th Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner.  I need 1st and 2nd Shift Glass Washers (note that there is a Power Washer in the church kitchen); a Lunch Runner to buy the food and “get it to the church on time;” Dinner Set-Up (4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.); and lastly (but very important) Table Cleanup & Removal of Remaining Wine & CCWG Owned Items after dinner.  The sign-up sheet will be at the next meeting but, to lock in what you’d like to do, call me at (925) 837-9384.  We need all of the help that we can get to make this another exceptional event for the CCWG.

     Please bring an extra bottle or two of your wine to the next meeting for the CCIH Red Boots Charity Dance & Auction.  They are the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing charity and do very fine work here where we live.  In the past, we’ve donated as many as 7 full cases of wine for their function and they have raised a lot of money from auctioning off our wines.  Please be generous. There will be specially designated boxes for those donations.

     Our next meeting is one of the biggest and most fun events of the year.  It’s “Nouveau Night” where members bring their “works in progress” and have them judged by everyone in attendance.  We divide the wines up by Red and White (no Dessert or Fruit wines please), place them on two or three different tables and go around sniffing, sipping and spitting.  If you drink any of the Red wines, you’ll end up with a really purple tongue by the end of the evening!  I’ll have note sheets, ballots, tape, marking pens and paper bags for the blind tasting.  Get a little of your new wines into a bottle NOW so that they’ll get over, at least a little bit of, bottle shock.  You only need a piece of masking tape on the bottle identifying the varietal or blend and the name of the winemaker.  I’m expecting a lot of wines to not be through Malolactic Fermentation yet due to some of them being harvested so late again this year.  We already know that it’s a 2013 vintage!  Certificates suitable for framing will be awarded to the winners of this event and handed out at the Potluck Dinner on Saturday, January 25, 2014.

     The Nouveau Night meeting will be held Friday night, December 6, 2013, starting at around 7:00 p.m.  We’ll start the “program” promptly at 7:30 p.m.  Please try and be prompt as we need to get all of the Nouveau wines into a bag and then get them randomly numbered.  Late arrivals cause the tasting to be a lot less “blind” because their wines typically get the higher numbers.  Please remove any PVC or tin capsules before your arrival.  We try to be fair.

     The meeting will be held at the home of Pat & Tyler Hunt in Lafayette. 

DIRECTIONS:  From the East you need to get to Highway 24 West going toward Oakland and the Caldecott Tunnel.  Take Exit #13 toward Central Lafayette/Moraga.  Turn right onto Deer Hill Rd.  Take the first right onto 1st St.  Turn right again onto Mt. Diablo Blvd.  Turn left onto Moraga Rd.  After about 8/10s of a mile, turn left onto Old Jonas Hill Rd.  Take the second right onto Powell Drive and the Hunts are located at 3502 Powell Drive.  Their telephone number is (925) 284-5561.

     I hope to see lots of you there.  Please bring along a bottle of your best for the Hors D’oeuvres table.  Bring along a folding chair and a wine glass for sampling. 

Respectfully submitted,

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group