January 2017 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter
Happy New Year 2017 to you all. I hope that everyone’s Christmas, Hanukah and New Year’s celebrations
Our last meeting was our Nouveau Night and turned out extremely
Michelle Beason was our hostess and did an extremely fine job of dealing
with the throng. There were somewhere between 47 and
65 people in attendance. It was really difficult to count noses! Michelle’s
hors d’oeuvres table was elegant and well received by the attendees. Thank you
Michelle for volunteering your home for the group.
This year, there were 31 Red Wines and 18 White Wines entered into the
Nouveau judging by those in attendance. In the previous year’s judging there
were only 10 White Wines entered so that was a huge increase. The
winners are listed below:
3rd Place (3
John & Janine Walkinshaw 2016 Viognier
Tom Olson 2016 Pinot Grigio
John & Eloise Pound 2016
Michelle Beason 20016 Grenache Blanc
Tom Anders 2016 Riesling
Lee & Mary Wines 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
David & Cyndee Milam 2016
Dave & Lisa Arango 2016 Petite Sirah
Congratulations to the
winners on Nouveau Night. Suitable for framing certificates will be
handed out at the Potluck Dinner on Saturday, January 21, 2017.
The meeting schedule
for 2017 is hereby posted:
21, 2017 St. Paul’s Episcopal, W.C. 39th
Friday, February 17, 2017 St. Paul’s Episcopal, W.C., White/Dessert
Friday, March 31, 2017
Michelle Beason, W.C., Red Wine Awards Night
Friday, April 28,
2017 Stuart & Debra Bussey, Lafayette – Program TBD
Friday, May 19, 2017
Steve & Joyce Mirabito, Lafayette – Program TBD
Friday, June 30, 2017
Mike & Ann Koch, Alamo – Program TBD
Friday July 28, 2017 Daniel & Annemieke Howsepian, Lafayette –
August 2017 Outing –
Time, Date & Location TBD
Friday, September 29,
2017 Donna Guedon & Kevin Kennedy, P.H. – Program TBD
Friday, October 20,
2017 Dave & Lori Arango, Concord – Harvest Report
Friday, December 1,
2017 Jim & Debbie Sawin, W.C. – Nouveau Night
Please mark your
calendars, noting that four of the 2017 meetings are NOT
on the last Friday night of the month. Our Program Committee will have to come up with 5 programs this year as
well as searching out a venue for our August get together. Members
can suggest a meeting place for August. Just let me know.
Our next meeting is the biggest one of the year. It will be
Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck
Dinner. It will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017 in the Parish Hall of St.
Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek.
We will again have 10 professional wine judges helping us out on
“Judgment Day.” They are as
Terry, Professional Sommelier and owner of La Sommeliere in Pleasant
Maria has quite ably
helped us out for over the last 8 years or so.
McFarland, Co-Founder of the former Winemaker’s Pourhouse in Livermore, is a
member of the Guild of Sommeliers and is building “Vinimmerse,” that will create premium
wine tasting experiences at wineries in Livermore.
Lunawho is the Head Winemaker at Fenestra Winery in
Bellamy, General Manager of the Walnut Creek Yacht Club Restaurant and long time
Bristow, U.C. Davis Enology graduate, leader of a large group of winemakers in
Big backyard winery. Long time CCWG
Bathgate, former winemaker at 3
New Zealand wineries, former winemaker at Sonoma-Cutrer; Rutherford Hill; and Grgich
Member of the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association and Co-founder of
establishing the Lamorinda AVA.
and Winemaker at Dante Robere Winery in Livermore.
Amos, Head Winemaker at Las Positas Cellars and formerly at Fenestra Winery
Long time CCWG judge.
Manushaw, Formerly Assistant Winemaker at the Thomas Coyne Winery in
Currently working at Rock Wall Winery in Alameda.
Jennifer Scott, formerly Sales Rep.
for Quintessa Winery, Huneeus Wines Ltd.
So, as you can see, our Professional Wine Judges have the credentials to
provide their superior wine tasting/judging skills to the Contra Costa Wine
We truly appreciate their efforts and also hope that they enjoy
Here’s your reminder of
what you signed up for on Saturday, January 21,
Support– Mark Brown, Lee
Wines, David Buchanan, John Kirtley, Paul Merrill – All day & you can help out in other
areas if there are simply too many people.
Gophers (Go For This,
Etc.)– Tom Olson and Bonneau
Dickson – 8:00 a.m. - Noon
1st Shift 10:00 a.m. –
1:00 p.m. Debra Bussey, John Walkinshaw, Bob Joakimson, Bill Rose, Tom Warriner – NO DISHPAN
2nd Shift 1:00 p.m. – 4:30
p.m. Russ Kaufman, John Descalzo, Fran Descalzo, Eloise Pound – NO DISHPAN
Wine Sample Pourers
& Distribution Team– Scott Etzel, Jody
Mortensen, Greg Bequette, Rich Andrews, Jim Sawin – 9:30 a.m. until completion of
Runners– Bernadette Homen and
Setup– Darla Becker, Mike
Koch, Ann Koch, Cal Podrid, Susan Smartt – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
etc. – Donna
No Mopping or Sweeping necessary-Not before 9:30 !
Wine Entry Drop Off
Homes– Ron Peck, Bonneau
Dickson, Al Turner
I have to say that this
is the best pre-event participation sign-up that we’ve ever had! If you are not
listed above, please don’t hesitate to drop in to the Parish Hall and give a hand for an hour
It will just make it easier on everyone. Thank
Many of the entries
being entered into the competition this year are joint efforts between two or more
Extra ribbons and/or medals are available for a fee, but only if you
contact Donna Guedon prior to Wednesday, February 8,
2017. The February White/Dessert Wines Awards
Night will be held on Friday, February 17, 2017 at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall
as no one in the CCWG volunteered their “Large Home” and the last Friday night in February was
Please make a note about the need for extra
Donna’s telephone is: (650) 888-0444.
The doors will be opened
at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s Parish Hall at around 8:00 a.m., Saturday morning, January 21,
There is some setup work that needs to be accomplished, plus we
need the heat to get turned on!
The “Tasting Hour” Saturday night will start at 6:00 p.m. No
early birds! If you are bringing Hors
D’oeuvres/Appetizers, please see that they get to one of the two rectangular tables in
the middle of the room NLT 6:15
p.m. People have a real tendency to show up hungry! The
“Tasting Hour” lasts until 7:30 p.m. Then, table numbers are drawn for going up and getting your
Each table will be numbered and we draw numbers blind out of a
After everyone is done eating, the “Suitable-For-Framing”
certificates for the Nouveau Night winners will be announced. That will
be the “formal” end of the event. I would ask that you plan on staying
until at least 9:30 p.m. Then, in that vein, please don’t
start to “clean up” your table in preparation for leaving until about that same
Many CCWG members haven’t seen each other since last year and
simply want to visit. The minute the “clean up” rush
starts, the gathering is essentially over and the rush to get out starts, ending the
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 you? For those of you that don’t know me
well, I’m not bashful and will let you and/or your guests know that they need to correct
Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine
WineMaker Magazine International Club of
the Year for 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016
p.s. there will be a couple of
boxes for dropping off the WineMaker Magazine judging entries at the
Go to www.winemakermag.com for the Entry Form and instructions. These wines will get delivered to the Valley Vintner in Livermore for
shipment to the judging being held in Manchester Center, Vermont. Have your entry check made out to “WineMaker” for $25.00 per entry and
another check made out to “Valley Vintner” for $5.00 per entry to defray the shipping
It would be fantastic if we could three-peat.