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January 2018 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that everyone’s holiday season was joyous and bountiful.  Michele and I spent Christmas Day in Sacramento visiting our 2 grandsons, aged 27 months and 5 months.  We had a great time with good food and lots of good wine, of course.

I have a lot to cover in this newsletter.  First off, we still are in dire need of 2 “Large” homes for our meetings on Friday, February 23rd and Friday, March 30th.  These meetings are for Red Wine winners and then White/Dessert winners respectively.  Please give me a call if you can handle either one of these meetings.    

There will be three entry drop off homes for this years’ 40th Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner that will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2018 (Please mark your calendars).  You’ll need to get your entries and check made out to “CCWG” for $10.00 per entry (not bottles) (same as last year) to one of these locations no later than Martin Luther King’s Birthday, January 15, 2018.  If you can make the Potluck Dinner, you’ll only need two bottles for each entry.  If you have to miss the dinner, we’ll need three bottles for each entry.  You should remember that you need to have 5 bottles in your inventory to enter and the wine must have never taken a First Place at a previous CCWG judging.  First Place wines expend 3 at the Judging/Potluck and 2 more on the pertinent Awards Night.  The drop-off homes are as follows:

          North & Central County:  Ron Peck, 1662 Garnet Lane, Concord 

                                                Telephone:  (925) 685-1172 (Last Count – 0)

          West County & beyond:   Bonneau Dickson, 2428 McGee Ave., Berkeley

                                                 Telephone: (510) 845-8625 (Last Count – 0)

          South County & beyond:  Al & Michele Turner, 3776 Norris Canyon Rd.,

                                                 San Ramon   Telephone: (925) 837-9384 (Last Count 13)

 The key here is that you must call and coordinate your drop-off entries with these individuals.  The wines will be given good care until the competition.  There will also be no exceptions to the cutoff date of January 15, 2018.  We need to get our categories established and into our computer program before the event.  We had 123 entries last year and 100 the year before.  Please put some thought into it and then get those entries prepped and dropped off before the cutoff date.  There really is a lot of prep work that needs to take place before the event.

Call our Potluck Dinner Coordinators to let them know what you’d like to bring to the Potluck Dinner, Saturday night, January 20, 2018 and how many are attending.  This year, Ben Weikert and Michelle Heywood have again graciously offered to serve as our Potluck Dinner Coordinators.  You need to call them to let them know what you’d like to bring to the Potluck (Appetizers, Salads or Entrees).  When I last talked to Ben, there were only 47 people signed up.  We only have room for 120 people.  The time has come for all good men…  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 them, they’ll TELL YOU what to bring!  We are aiming for approximately 40% Hors D’oeuvres (again, delivered to the Parish Hall NLT 6:15 p.m.); 40% Entrees and 20% Salads.  Give Ben a call soon at (415) 810-8261. The “Tasting Hour” will start at 6:00 p.m. with the Potluck starting at around 7:30 p.m.

It has been a rough haul with conflicts, but I have finally acquired all 10 of the professional wine judges for our 40th Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner.  Chris Ehrenberg of Ehrenberg Cellars in Livermore has been especially helpful in recommending judges that have actually been available!  Thanks Chris!  Our 10 Judges and their panels are as follows:

      Panel A                                      Panel B                            Panel C

Greg Baiocchi                       Chris Ehrenberg                     John Bristow

Kelly McFarland                   Maria Terry                             Meredith Sarboraria

Scott Frost                            Diana Chang                          Sudsy Torbeck

                                                                                               Vlatka Bathgate

Volunteers on Saturday, January 20th, 2018  Doors will open at 8:00 a.m.

Computer Support: Mark Brown, Paul Merrill, Lee Wines

Gopher (Go For This, etc.):  Tom Olson

Glass Washers – First Shift – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Bill Rose, Eloise Pound, John & Fran Descalzo

Glass Washers – Second Shift 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Trevor Wall, Katherine Schall, Scott Etzel, John Walkinshaw

For the very first time, St. Paul’s Episcopal is making us complete a “Kitchen User’s Checklist.”  It basically asks us to keep the place as clean as it was when we arrived.

Wine Sample Pourers & Distribution Team:   Jim Sawin, Daniel Howsepian, Dave Buchanan, Jody Mortensen, Alan Kramer, Rich Andrews

Lunch Runners: Bernie Homen & Bob Schoenfeld

Table Decorations: Bette Felton and Ann Koch

Dinner Set-Up: Mike & Ann Koch, Art & Kathy White

Judges Gift Baskets: Sharon Orton

Ribbons, Plaques, Etc.:  Donna Guedon

Table Cleanup, Etc.: Everybody!

Here’s thanking them in advance.  For the second year in a row, people have really stepped up to help out on our biggest meeting of the year.  Please consider helping out for a couple of hours.  The more the merrier!

It is again time for the CCWG to prepare their entries for the WineMaker Magazine International Amateur Judging.  We’re seeking a “Grand Slam!” (Thanks John Kirtley).  We won in 2015, 2016 and 2017 so this would be four in a row!  Lee Wines will be bringing a stack of entry applications to the Potluck Dinner although they are also available at WineMaker’s website.  There will be designated boxes under the name tag table at the entrance for your submissions.  Mike Orton of the Valley Vintner has again graciously offered to gather and submit those entries to WineMaker in time for their judging.  The wines must arrive in Manchester Center, VT no later than March 16, 2018.  To take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll need two checks made out.  One to “WineMaker” for $25.00 for each of your single bottle entries and the other to “Valley Vintner LLC” for $5.00 for each of your entries.  The Entry Form should indicate two things: 1) The Contra Costa Wine Group as your Winemaking Club and 2) the Valley Vintner as your Winemaking Retailer.  Be sure to follow the labeling guidelines shown on the entry form.

Again, Happy New Year to everyone.  Let’s get this New Year rocking by having a really successful 40th Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner.  For those that are unaware, the CCWG has actually been in existence since 1972 (45 Years) but a couple of judging years were missed, back in the day!  Our only two Founding Families are Bob & Gwen Bogardus and Marv & Carolyn Schick.  We are older than the Sacramento Home Winemakers by a couple of years so nyeh, nyeh de nyeh!   CCWG member, Rich Eber will be preparing an article for submission to WineMaker Magazine so please be on your “good behavior!”  I’m sure that it will be a good one.

Respectfully submitted,

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

2010, 2011, 2015, 2016 & 2017 WineMaker Magazine (International) Club of the Year