December 2014/January 2015 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter
Our last meeting was held at the home of relatively new
member, Michelle Beason. It was our annual Nouveau Night and Michelle’s home worked out
extremely well for the new wine tasting(s). The hors d’oeuvres were great and the 40
people or so in attendance had a great time. Thank you so much Michelle for putting up
with this rowdy bunch of wine samplers.
There were 8 White Wine Nouveaus and 28 Red Wine
Nouveaus to be evaluated during the evening. The winners for the evening were as
3rd Place Bill
2nd Place Paul
Red Wine Winners
3rd Place (Tie) Paul
Merrill Cabernet Sauvignon
3rd Place (Tie) Al Turner
Congratulations to all of these
winners. Certificates that are suitable for framing will be presented at the Potluck
Dinner on Saturday, January 24, 2015.
In preparation for our next meeting, and to help out
our new members, I’m going to lay out some of the criteria and rules that are in place for that
meeting. In order to enter a wine in the judging, you must be a member in good standing
and have at least 5 bottles of each entry available. If you’re planning on
attending the Potluck Dinner, two of your bottles need to get “to the church on time.”
More on that in a bit. If you cannot attend, three of those bottles need to be
there. First Place category winners attending the dinner will be called, congratulated,
and asked to bring a third bottle with them when they show up for the dinner. The reason
for this is that wines that have a temporary Blue Ribbon hanging on them somehow seem to get drunk
first. Go figure. Those same First Place winners then have to bring two
bottles of their wine, along with a one page summary of how their wine was made, to either the February 27,
2015 or March 27, 2015 meeting.
The “committee” that determines the judging categories
needs some time to make that determination after we know what they are. So, as in recent
years, your wine entries need to be delivered to one of three homes no later than 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, 2015. The Entry Fee this year will again be $10.00 per entry (not
bottle). Our Treasurer wants to avoid Cash for better record keeping and accountability so
please make out a check to “Contra Costa Wine Group” and bring it to the drop off home with your entry(ies).
The only wines that cannot be entered into this competition are those that took a First
Place ribbon at any previous judging. Those receiving a previous 2nd,
3rd, or Honorable Mention award may go ahead and enter their wines again. I
would encourage everyone to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to have your wines evaluated by
professional wine tasters. Their very worthwhile notes will be compiled and made available
at the February 27, 2015 meeting.
The three wine drop off homes are as follows:
North/Central Contra Costa County: Dan & Marianne Boykin, 1057 Kipling
Ct., Concord, CA. Their telephone is: (925) 689-7296 and Dan’s Cell is (925)
West: Bonneau Dickson, 2428 McGee Ave.,
Berkeley, CA. His telephone is: (510) 845-8625.
South Contra Costa
& Michele Turner, 3776 Norris Canyon Rd., San Ramon, CA. Our telephone is (925) 837-9384.
Your wine label must have (at a minimum): Winemaker(s)
Names; Vintage Year or Non-Vintage; Varietal Name(s) and percentages if a blended wine. It
would also be nice if the Appellation is on the label but not absolutely necessary. You
must remove all capsules (tin or plastic) in advance.
The 37th Annual Contra Costa Wine Group Professional Wine
Judging and Potluck Dinner will be held on Saturday, January 24,
SCHEDULE: Doors of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall will be opened at 8:00 a.m. on
Saturday, January 24, 2015. Judging will start at approximately 10:00 a.m. The “Tasting
Hour” starts at 6:00 p.m. (please no Early Bird sampling). Appetizers need to arrive NLT 6:15 p.m. and placed on either Center Table #2 or Center Table
#4. Dinner will start at 7:30 p.m.
Again this year,
Jennifer Vergen has graciously offered to serve as our Potluck Dinner Coordinator. You need
to call her to let her know what you’d like to bring to the Potluck (Appetizers, Salads or Entrees) and
the number of people attending. I’d like everyone to bring 12 servings of food for each membership
attending and another 12 servings if you intend on bringing 2 guests (the maximum allowed) for a
total of 24 servings. Guests are very
welcome. Again, only two persons per membership please. Warning - If you wait
too long to call her, she’ll TELL YOU what to bring. We are aiming for approximately 40%
Hors D’oeuvres (again, NLT 6:15 p.m.); 40% Entrees and 20% Salads. Give her a call soon at
719-0951. We are also
limited to the first 120 people that call her. That’s when we’re FULL.
Plan on bringing your own place settings, silverware, wine glass, napkins, etc. to the
dinner. If you forget, there will be a minimal amount of plastic ware, paper plates and paper napkins
available. The church also has a few crappy little wine glasses for your use. Don’t
forget about your guests!
I continue to ask that everyone is made aware of “wine tasting etiquette” (that is woefully not adhered to by many
people in wineries across America). This quote is from Rosenblum Cellars and I find it especially
apropos: “Be courteous to
others who wish to taste. After receiving your pour, please step back from the tasting table to do your
personal evaluation. Others can then step forward to receive a sample of the wine.”
Please be sure to inform your guests as well. You don’t want to get yelled at, do
Nicely, again this year we do not have to stack all of
the tables and chairs or mop the floor. Hooray! People may leave the facility whenever they wish,
but clearing of the tables after the Potluck Dinner shouldn’t start until 9:30 p.m. or so. This is a
social event for the membership and many members haven’t seen each other since the previous year. The
psychology of starting tear-down causes everyone to immediately start putting things away and making urgent
plans to leave.
DIRECTIONS: From Northern 680,
take the North Main St. exit. EXIT 47 toward Walnut Creek. Take the North Main St. SOUTH
ramp. Merge onto N. Main St. and go about 0.4 mi. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto N. CALIFORNIA BLVD. and
go about 0.6 mi. Turn RIGHT onto TRINITY AVE. for 0.2 mi. and the parking lot will be on your
From Southern Highway 680, take the OLYMPIC
BLVD. exit. EXIT 45B and turn right onto Olympic Blvd. After about 0.4 mi. turn left
onto S. CALIFORNIA BLVD. After about 0.2 mi. turn left onto TRINITY AVE. for 0.2 mi. and the parking lot will be on the
Here is a refresher listing of Volunteers and their tasks for the day:
Support Brown, Merrill,
Gopher (Go for this, etc.) Tom
8 a.m. until Noon
Temp. Ribbon Placement Al Turner On all winning
bottles + Pour Spouts on 1st Place winners as the categories are completed
(Reminder: These are only Temporary Ribbons and are
not to be taken home!)
Glass Washers (1st Shift)
10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Glass Washers (2nd Shift)
1 p.m. – 4:30
Wine Pourers & Distrib. Merrill, Hicks, Hardy,
Bequette 9:30 a.m. to end of
Deliver by 11:30 a.m.
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Decorations Jim &
5:00 to 6 p.m.
Judge Gift Baskets
NLT 3:30 p.m. 1/24/15
Ribbons, Plaques, etc.
NLT 2/27/2015 Meeting
Table Cleanup & Removal Everyone
Start No Earlier than 9:30 p.m.
As you can see, we need another Glass Washer for each
shift (no dishpan hands!), a Lunch Runner, and more Dinner Setup people. We can
always use more Wine Pourers and Distributors. Even an hour here and an hour there will be of great
help. Please give me a call if you’re willing to assist your group. Starting about
January 7, 2015, I will be making calls to CCWG members appointing them into positions of
need. Please call me before I have to resort to that.
We’re still looking for hosts for three of next years’
meetings. We need a “large” home for our
White/Dessert Awards Night on Friday, February 27, 2015. We also need another “large” home
for Nouveau Night to be held on Friday, December 4, 2015. Our last “regular” meeting
needing to be hosted is Friday, July 31, 2015. Please give me a call if you can help
We are still in need of two members to serve their
group as part of our Program Committee. That committee is given a $75.00 stipend
twice for the group to meet at a restaurant of their choice for wine and hors d’oeuvres to come up
with speakers/subjects etc. for 6 meetings of the CCWG to be held in 2015. Please give me
a call at your earliest convenience.
Sorry for the lengthy tirade. There’s a lot of info to get
out. Please step up and helpyou’re your club. Happy Holidays to you
This newsletter is respectfully submitted,
Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group