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November 2017 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


       Our last meeting was held at the home of Dave and Lori Arango in Concord.  The meeting was attended by about 40 people who came well prepared for our annual Harvest Report.  Lori laid out a great spread of hors d’oeuvres for everyone to enjoy.  We’d like to thank the Arango’s very much for hosting this meeting.

     This years’ Harvest Report sounded to me like there were some problem grapes but, for the most part, most people had good results with good grapes, lots of suppliers/growers and had prices that weren’t too bad.  I really appreciate that those attending had their acts together and were able to present the “facts and just the facts, ma’am!”  Whomever I pointed at was ready and willing to present the data on this years’ grapes.  We ran until almost 9 p.m. but who could tell?  Well done everyone!

     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.  You may also bring your entries and checks to Nouveau Night.  The drop-off homes are as follows:

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

                                                Telephone:  (925) 685-1172

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

                                                 Telephone: (510) 845-8625

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

                                                 San Ramon   Telephone: (925) 837-9384

These names and locations will be published again in the next newsletter.  The key here is that you must call and coordinate your drop-off entries with these individuals.  As an alternative, you may bring your entries to the next meeting.  They 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.  There really is a lot of prep work that needs to take place before the event.

     BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK!  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).  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.   

     Here is the calendar for 2018 and our needs at this time:

Saturday, January 20, 2018      40th Annual Professional Wine Judging & Potluck Dinner,

                                                      St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Walnut Creek  

Friday, February 23, 2018          Awards -Large Home - White & Dessert Wines-NEED HOST

Friday, March 30, 2018              Awards-Red Wines –NEED HOST

Friday, April 27, 2018                 Regular Meeting – NEED HOST

Friday, May 18, 2018                  Regular Meeting – Bob & Darla Becker, Pleasant HIll

Friday, June 29, 2018                 Regular Meeting – NEED HOST

Friday, July 27, 2018                   Regular Meeting – Daniel & Annemieke Howsepian, LAF

Friday, September 28, 2018      Regular Meeting – NEED HOST

Friday, October 19, 2018             Harvest Report - Regular – NEED HOST

Friday, December 7, 2018           Nouveau Night – Large Home – NEED HOST

     I trust that our Program Committee will be able to come up with speakers and topics prior to these scheduled meetings next year.   Please call me if you can help out your group by hosting one of the meetings needing hosts.  I lost my list of those that had previously volunteered and could only remember the Beckers and Howsepian’s.  Mark your calendars! 

     Our next meeting is one of the biggest of the year.  It’s our annual Nouveau Night.  November 15th was the actual Nouveau wine (mostly Beaujolais) release date in France.  That’s what we’re emulating.  Members are encouraged to bring a bottle of their wine from this year’s (2017) harvest.  The wine only needs a piece of masking tape on it telling the varietal or blend and percentages and the winemaker.  That’s all.  We will randomly place them into paper bags that are either numbered (Red wines) or lettered (White wines).  Try and get your wines to the venue no later than 7:15 p.m. or so.  Bring a writing implement.  I’ll have 8½” x 11” two-sided sheets for taking notes on both the red and white wines you’ll be tasting.  If you have a clipboard, it’s a lot easier to take those notes.  There will then be ballots that will be compiled to determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place wines in each category.  “Suitable for framing certificates” will be awarded at the Potluck Dinner on January 20th, 2018.  Come one, come all, for a really fun night.

     From Scott Etzel: Hi Al, Thanks for the reminder. Betsy and I plan to participate in Nouveau night. GENCO (club president George and (his wife) Mary Lou Marek) picked up their wine (two cases) last Tuesday and were VERY appreciative. If you want to share with the CCWG that I am willing to collect wine again at the December meeting (Nouveau night) and that they are asked to bring any wine that they want to donate to the six GENCO member households that lost their homes (and wine collections) in the fires. George is storing it for them, and has plenty of room for more. Thanks. Scott Etzel, 925.827.9576

      The meeting will be held at the home of Jim and Betty Sawin, in Walnut Creek.  The meeting will start with hors d’oeuvres at around 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, December 1st, 2017..  We’ll start the Nouveau tasting right around 7:30 p.m.

DIRECTIONS:  From Highway 680 going South(toward Alamo).  Take the South Main – EXIT #45A.  Take a right at the light paralleling 680 for about .6 mile.  Turn left on Rudgear Rd and proceed under the freeway for about .5 mile to flashing yellow light.  Turn left at flashing yellow light(San Miguel) and proceed about .6 mile to 1st stop sign.  Turn right at stop sign (Mountain View Blvd), proceed about .7 mile to 1st stop sign.  Turn right at stop sign (Walnut Blvd), proceed about .4 mile to first stop sign.  At stop sign turn left on Rockspring Pl; 1688 Rockspring Pl is 5th house on left.


From Highway 680 going North(toward Walnut Creek).  Take 1st Walnut Creek exit; Rudgear Rd – Exit #44 - Take a right at the light and proceed to flashing yellow light.  Turn left at flashing yellow light(San Miguel) and proceed about .6 mile to 1st stop sign.  Turn right at stop sign (Mountain View Blvd), proceed about .7 mile to 1st stop sign.  Turn right at stop sign (Walnut Blvd), proceed about .4 mile to first stop sign.  At stop sign turn left on Rockspring Pl; 1688 Rockspring Pl is 5th house on left.


From Highway 24 going East(toward Walnut Creek).  Go south as if you are going to Alamo/Danville and take exit #45A, then following the southbound 680 directions above.


From Walnut Creek.  Take Walnut Blvd(south) from Ygnacio Valley Rd.  About 3 miles on Walnut Blvd to Rockspring Pl; a total of 5 stop signs.  After the 3rd stop sign veer a little left to stay on Walnut Blvd.  Proceed past school and continue to the 4th stop sign(a three-way stop), proceed to the 5th and last stop sign about .4 mile.  At stop sign turn left on Rockspring Pl; 1688 Rockspring Pl is 5th house on left. 


Jim’s cellphone is 925-366-7035 in case you get lost.  (Thanks Jim.)  There will also be a sign-up sheet for helping out at the January 20th Judging.  We absolutely cannot pull this event off without club member support.  Last year was phenomenal and I hope that this trend will continue this year.

Things to bring:  1) A folding chair; 2) a bottle of your best for the hors d’oeuvres table; 3) a wine glass; 4) Your Nouveau entries; 5) Your entries for the January Judging along with a check of $10.00 for each entry made out to “CCWG.”  They will be given good care until the morning of the judging; 6) Wine donations for the GENCO (Garage Enologists of North County)(Sonoma) for those 6 families that lost everything in the devastating fires.   

     I hope to see lots of you at the meeting.  Purple tongues at the end of the evening are GUARANTEED!

Respectfully submitted,

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group