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August 2014 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


     Our last meeting was held at the home of Marianne and Dan Boykin in Concord.  The spread of hors d’oeuvres was great and the nicely shaded patio made for a great meeting site.  Our thanks go out to both Dan and Marianne for hosting a great meeting.  There were right around 40 people in attendance at the meeting.

     For the first time in recent memory, our host was also our presenter.  Dan’s talk was entitled “Making Port Wines” and was quite well received.  That is, especially since Dan passed around several wonderful examples of his winemaking skills.  They included a 2008 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Port, a 2009 Bennett Ridge Syrah Port and a 2010 Tzabaco Ranch Merlot Port.  A couple of the websites that Dan referred to in his talk included:

www.winewhisperer.com   Shea@yeastwhisperer.com   www.organicalcohol.com

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/blending.asp  Lastly, Dan let us know that he’s married to a “hypertaster,” his “secret weapon.”  Thanks Dan for the great presentation.

     A representative from the Bancroft Gardens made a short talk on supporting local charities, to include hers.  Rich Eber poured his wines at a recent event of theirs and arranged for their rep to come to our meeting.  They are looking for wine donations for upcoming events.  If you are so inclined, please bring your donation wines to the next couple of meetings.  Rich will be there to collect them for the Bancroft Gardens.  Any and all wines donated are greatly appreciated. 

     Tis time again for the payment of our annual dues.  We voted at the July meeting to maintain the dues at $65.00 upon the recommendation of our Treasurer, Mr. Lee Wines.  I have also talked to Brad Ring, Publisher of WineMaker Magazine in Manchester Center, VT.  He has agreed to maintain the subscription rate for our group at $8.00 per subscription.  We typically mail off our check about October 10th.  Only those members at the start of our year will receive that subscription.  This is a once a year and one check offering.  We cannot add anyone at a later date.  Annual Dues are “due” August 31, 2014 and become “delinquent” on September 30, 2014.  If you become delinquent, a $10.00 late charge will be made, if there are still openings in the CCWG!  We are currently at 81 memberships and “max out” at 85, per vote of the group.  You may bring a check for $65.00 made out to “Contra Costa Wine Group” to the next meeting.  I will collect them for our Treasurer and his wife Mary who will be cruising the rivers and visiting some of the of wine chateaux of France at the end of this month.  The nerve!  The alternative is to mail your check to our Treasurer, Mr. Lee Wines, 1105 West K St., Benicia, CA 94510.

     I still need to know who had previously volunteered their home for the Friday, September26, 2014 meeting.  Please rack your brains and get back to me, or simply volunteer at this time to host the meeting.  Thanks.

     For our next meeting, I have to thank Dan Boykin’s good friend and great winemaker, Bob Joakimson.  Bob pours wine part time at the Rios-Lovell Winery in Livermore.  He approached their management and has arranged for us to have a private tasting of 5 or 6 wines.  Their winemaker may also be there to answer any of our questions.  That is way more than I expected!  The “meeting” will be held from about 3:00 p.m. until about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  It will be held at the Rios-Lovell Winery, 6500 Tesla Rd. in Livermore.

DIRECTIONS:  From Highway 580 going East, take the Vasco Road exit South.  Go to the “T” at the end (Tesla Rd.) and turn left.  About 0.3 miles later, on the left, you’ll see the sign for the Rios-Lovell Winery.

INSTRUCTIONS:  At this event, after many years of “tweaking,” we have decided that it will be a potluck of sorts, but with only Hors D’oeuvres and Desserts being brought by the attendees.  Also, based on experience, we need more Hors D’oeuvres than Desserts.  Therefore, the letters A-O of the membership are to bring Hors D’oeuvres, enough for about 12-16 servings.  The letters P-Z of the membership are to bring Desserts, enough for about 12-16 servings.  If you want to bring the opposite of what you see above, you must call someone who is also going to the event, in the other part of the alphabet, and switch with them.  Let’s try to not have too many “store bought” items for this event.  Sorry.  Everyone is to bring a bottle of their wine, a wine glass for everyone, a folding chair and a jacket as it is unknown what the weather will be like, plus that bottle of wine for the Bancroft Gardens.

     Those attending are encouraged to purchase wine while we’re enjoying the facilities at the Rios-Lovell Winery.  I would encourage everyone to try and come.  The view from their grounds is spectacular as it overlooks a large portion of the Livermore Valley and this is usually a very well attended “off-site” gathering.

     That’s about it for this month.  I hope to see lots of you at the gathering and bring along that check for your 2014-2015 membership dues.  No cash please.  Our Treasurer finds it much easier to keep track when cash is not involved.

Respectfully submitted, Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group (925) 837-9384