Year everyone! I hope that your holiday season was good for you and your
families. The Turner’s made it till midnight but the rush to bed soon after was a sight to
Our last meeting was our Nouveau
Night, held on Friday night December 6, 2013 at the home of Pat & Tyler Hunt in Lafayette.
It was a rainy night (hard to believe) but the meeting was still well supported with about 40 people in
attendance. The hors d’oeuvres layout was wonderful and much appreciated. Our
thanks go out to the Hunt’s for hosting this event.
We had 8 White Wine entries and 28
Red Wine entries for this competition, down from 11 and 35 last year. It was great fun, as
usual. The winners this year are as follows:
3rd Place (Tie) Jeff & Jennifer
2013 Pinot Gris
3rd Place (Tie) Bob & Charlotte
2013 Livermore Chardonnay
2nd Place David
2013 Orinda Chardonnay
1st Place Bonneau
2013 Amador County Viognier
3rd Place Donna
2013 El Dorado County Merlot
2nd Place Donna
2013 El Dorado County Syrah
1st Place David Hicks
2013 Lake County Petite Sirah
Congratulations to the winners listed
above. Award Certificates (suitable for framing) will be handed out during the Potluck Dinner on
Saturday, January 25, 2014.
Here is a rendering of the CCWG meeting
schedule for the remainder of the year:
Friday, February 28, 2014
St. Paul’s Church Walnut Creek
Friday, March 28,
White/Des/Fruit St. Paul’s Church Walnut
Friday, April 25,
Friday, May 30,
Friday, June 27,
Friday, July 25,
Friday, September 26, 2014
Danville Friday, October 24,
December 5, 2014 Nouveau
Note that no one has volunteered
their “large” home for the February and March Award meetings. We’re renting the Parish Hall at
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for$120 per meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. each
night. That’s “cheaper” than the $150 stipend to the large meeting “giver” so that’s a
plus, but will have to ask members to bring a small plate of hors d’oeuvres to each of those
meetings. Please mark your calendars for those dates. Then, please
seriously consider volunteering your home for the 2 meetings for which we have no
host. CALL ME!
Our next meeting is the highlight of our
year. It will be the Contra Costa Wine Group’s 36th Annual Professional Wine Judging and
Potluck Dinner. The date is Saturday, January 25, 2014.
The venue is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall located at 1924 Trinity Avenue in Walnut
Here is a refresher listing of
Volunteers and their tasks for the day:
Support Brown, Maas, Merrill
Gopher (Go for this, etc.) Donna
8 a.m. until Noon
Placement Lee Wines 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!)
10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
(2nd Shift) Albrecht,
1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wine Pourers & Distrib. Merrill’s, Bequette
9:30 a.m. to end of
Deliver by 11:30 a.m.
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Decorations Jim & Bette
5:00 to 6 p.m.
Whatever is required!
Judge Gift Baskets Sharon
NLT 3:30 p.m. 1/25/14
Ribbons, Plaques, etc. Donna Guedon
NLT 2/28/2014 Meeting
Start No Earlier than 9:30
Of CCWG owned items
In order for this to be a successful event,
we can use all of the volunteers that we can get. Walk-ins are gratefully
welcome! No dishpan hands for glass washers, so we can definitely use some more help there, plus
Jim & Bette Felton could use a hand decorating the tables. We can always use more people as
Wine Pourers. At 9:30 p.m. or so, absolutely more people are needed to help clear
the tables. I’ll need all the help that I can get to load my vehicle with CCWG owned items after
Nicely, again this year we do not have to
stack all of the tables and chairs and 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.
SCHEDULE: Doors of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall will be
opened at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014. 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.
Please check and clear your schedules
and call gracious volunteer Jennifer Vergen, 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 for a total
of 24 servings. Change for
2014: You may bring up to 4 guests to this
event! If you do so, you’ll need to bring a dish large enough for 36 servings.
Simply leave the details on Jennifer’s phone. Guests are very
welcome. Warning-If you wait too long to call her, she’ll call you back
and TELL YOU what to bring and we’re cutting off the attendance at 120 people (even if
you’re a member)! First come, first served! Don’t
dally! Give Jennifer a call soon at (815) 719-0951.
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 and paper plates available. Don’t forget about your
I continue to ask that everyone is made aware of “wine tasting etiquette” (that is
woefully not adhered to by many people in winery tasting rooms 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.
It would be
really appreciated if you could get your wine entries dropped off soon. We’re
anticipating a lot more unusual blends this year. The entry fee this year is the same as last
year at $10 per entry (not bottle!). Have a check made out to “CCWG” for the person
accepting your wine entries. For easier accounting, our Treasurer, Lee Wines, insists upon a
written check, no cash. If you’re coming to the dinner, we need two bottles per entry
and if you can’t make the dinner, we need three bottles per entry. Please keep in mind that
First Place winners will be called to bring another bottle to the dinner and then two additional bottles will be
required from those First Place winners at either the February or March Award meetings. Don’t
forget that the “Drop Dead” last day to get your wines to one of the volunteer “gatherers of
wine” is Tuesday, January 21, 2014. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!
The drop off homes and volunteers are as follows (Please call ahead):
- Bonneau Dickson, 2428 McGee Ave.,
Berkeley (510) 845-8625.
- Donna Guedon, 85 Collins Dr., Pleasant
Hill (650) 888-0444
- Al & Michele Turner, 3776 Norris
Canyon Rd., San Ramon (925) 837-9384
If your wine label inadequately describes your wine, and is unclear (redundant?), you will be asked to
complete an Address Label with the pertinent information on it, on the spot! We especially need
to know the percentages of each grape in your blends. Another requirement is the Appellation and
Vintage (or non-vintage) of your wine. Vineyard designations are very nice to know but will not
be a requirement. We also need the name(s) of the winemaker(s). We simply
don’t know everyone’s boutique(y) winery name! I believe that the more information that we
provide to our fellow members on where your grapes came from, the better their decision-making in grape buying will
be in future years. The last item is that all PVC capsules and/or tin capsules must be
LOCATION: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1924 Trinity
Avenue in Walnut Creek. There is a very large parking lot available for our use right across
DIRECTIONS: From Northern Highway 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 left.
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 left.
Please note that any unopened bottles
of wine remaining after the dinner will be donated to the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing charity for their
‘Red Boots-No Place Like Home” dinner that is being held shortly after our event. You may also
bring additional bottles of your wine for donating. There will be specially designated wine
boxes for those donations.
That’s all that I have for right
now. This newsletter therefore is respectfully submitted.
Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa