January 11, 2017 at Berkeley City Club in Berkeley.
“Rhone Blends” are blends of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and a couple of other red grapes. The Grapevine has tasted of all these varietals, and we tasted French Southern Rhone blends as well. But the Grapevine has not till now tasted Rhone blends from our own California Rhone Rangers. In sampling a half-dozen of them for this tasting, Margaret and I have been surprised by the pleasure they deliver for the dollar.
Did I mention red? There are white Rhone blends as well. On January 11, we will taste the red blends, not the white.
Finding red California Rhone blends may be difficult if you just wonder into a Safeway and roam the wine counters. Rhone blends may be obscurely labeled as “Red Wine,” or cryptically labeled “Red Wine of the Earth,” as was a wine we bought today. A close look at the back label may be revealing. But every wine-store merchant is keenly aware of the genre and will be happy to recommend a favorite. When Margaret and I inquired about them this week at the Wine Mine in Oakland, the proprietor had four in stock. They ranged from $15 to $17. The famed Rhone Ranger pioneers will cost around $35.
Ticket sales end on Friday, January 6, 2017 at noon.