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July 2013 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter

          Our last meeting was held at the home of Mike and Ann Koch in Alamo.  There were 51 people that RSVP’d and about 45 of them showed up.  It was a warm evening, but Mike still put out some great homemade pizzas in front of that blazing hot pizza oven.  Ann did a great job too with the rest of the appetizers that were served that night.  Overall, it was one of the most successful “regular” meetings in a long time, especially considering that it was July, traditionally a big vacation month.  Our thanks go out to Mike and Ann for hosting a great event.  Of note, a beautiful, multi-colored scarf was left at the Koch home after the meeting.  I’ll be bringing it to the next meeting so you can claim it then.  

          The speaker for the evening was CCWG member David Hicks.  He made a very nice presentation on dealing with a stuck fermentation in a wine with high VA and alcohol.  He utilized the services of Vinquiry in Windsor, CA for analysis and recommendations and then a firm in American Canyon, CA for the (apparently) quite expensive Reverse Osmosis process to rid his wine of the excess VA.  If I remember correctly, I believe that he calculated that each bottle of the salvaged wine would have to be sold (if it was commercially made) for around $400 per bottle.  I’m pretty sure that that was an exaggeration but I really don’t know how much of one.  David provided a couple of handouts to the attendees and did an excellent job of running us through the various steps necessary to clean up a wine of that sort.  Thank you David for a great job.

          I promise to get out a supplemental “newsletter” that lists all of the WineMaker Magazine, Orange County Fair and Alameda County Fair home wine judging winners.  I’m still in the learning stages of Windows 8 and MS Office 2013 after my home PC “died” recently.  I’m not really enjoying myself very much although the speed of everything is substantially faster than it used to be. 

          Our next meeting will be held on Friday night, July 26, 2013 in Pleasant Hill.  Our speaker for the night may be Peter Brehm of Brehm Vineyards and way, way back, Wine and the People in Berkeley.  That’s where I spotted a 3” x 5” card on their bulletin board that a Mr. Denis Kelly could teach me how to make wine in 4 (or so) meetings at his home and at the end of the class, we would each have 5 gallons of wine to take home.  I believe that was in about May of 1980.  We “made” a Zinfandel from frozen grapes that came from Monticello Vineyards in the Spring Mountain “district” of Napa Valley, owned by Fritz Maytag, of Anchor Steam Beer fame and family member of the Maytag clothes washer/dryer company.

          The next meeting will start at around 7:00 p.m. with our speaker making a presentation right around 7:30 p.m.  Again, that’s Friday night, July 26, 2013.

DIRECTIONS: From the North on Highway 680 going south, take Exit #48 toward Treat Blvd./Geary Rd.  Turn right onto North Main St.  Turn left onto Pleasant Valley Dr. and turn left again to stay on Pleasant Valley Dr.  Take the first right onto Oak Park Blvd.  Turn right onto Stevenson Dr. and then take the second right onto Collins Dr.  Our hostess, Donna Guedon’s address is 85 Collins Dr., just there on the corner on the right.

DIRECTIONS: From the South on Highway 680 going north, take Exit #48, Treat Blvd. toward Geary Rd.  Keep left at the fork in the offramp.  Stay straight to go onto Buskirk Ave.  Turn left onto Oak Rd./Buskirk Ave.  Turn left onto Oak Park Blvd.  Turn right onto Stevenson Dr. and take the second right onto Collins Dr.    Our hostess, Donna Guedon’s address is 85 Collins Dr., just there on the corner on the right.

Please be sure to bring the following items to the meeting:  1) a folding chair; 2) a jacket if the weather turns chilly; 3) a bottle of wine for the hors d’oeuvres table; 4) a small tray of hors d’oeuvres (if you wish) to supplement Donna’s preparations and 5) a wine glass!

    Please RSVP if you’re attending this meeting.  It will help our hostess in her planning.  I hope that this is a “clickable” link but if not, copy and paste it into your browser.  All that is required is to enter a number attending in the column next to your name.  You need do nothing else.  Don’t worry about saving or anything like that.  It’s an “open” document created for us by member Rupert Perera. https://docs.google.com/a/euvl.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiZxSn2VNx4fdEpFYVEzWllzOE0tNkt1ekdxZDY0a3c&usp=drive_web#gid=0         

That’s all that I have at this time so this newsletter is therefore, respectfully submitted.

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group