Hope you’re not doing anything next Tuesday night because you’re going to want to spend it attending the 11th Annual Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting in San Francisco. Over the past year they have tasted over 14,000 wines in the Wine & Spirits offices and these one hundred wineries came out on top, consistently delivering quality wines. This event is produced in San Francisco with Bay Area chefs and local artisanal purveyors serving small bites to complement the bottlings of the honored wineries and this year’s celebration is between 6:30 and 8:30 pm at City View at METREON (135 4th Street, San Francisco, 415-369-6000). We consider this one of the best international-in-scope Food and Wine events around and if you move quickly you can still buy tickets, including options that will even get you in the door an hour earlier.
You can start the fun with Champagne from Louis Roederer and Oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co., enjoy domestic whites from King Estate and Hermann J. Weimer Vineyard, compare and contrast Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley (Alloro Vineyard, Bergström Wines) and the Sonoma Coast (Peay Vineyards, Hirsch Vineyards), re-acquaint yourself with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons (Shafer Vineyards, Smith-Madrone), and then cap off your evening with Port from Quinta do Noval and Chocolate Truffles from XOX Truffles. If that isn’t enough to fill your evening, you still have wines from another 90 wineries and food samples from at least another dozen food purveyors to choose from.
This is a sublime opportunity to sample wines from California, New York, Oregon, and Washington at the same time as international wines from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. Tickets for the 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting are available online for $110 each. Ticket purchasers will also receive a one-year subscription to Wine & Spirits magazine. To buy your tickets, please go here (but be sure to do that by October 20).
Curious to learn more about the wineries that made the Wine & Spirits Top 100 this year in addition to the ones already mentioned? As an introduction, here are some of the other domestic winners this year:
- Adelsheim Vineyard (Newberg, Oregon)
- Bethel Heights Vineyard (Salem, Oregon)
- Chateau Ste. Michelle (Woodinville, Washington)
- Dutton-Goldfield (Sebastopol, California)
- L’Ecole Nº 41 (Lowden, Washington)
- LIOCO Winery (Santa Rosa, California)
- Qupé (Los Olivos, California)
- Ridge Vineyards (Healdsburg, California)
- von Strasser Winery (Calistoga, California)
- Williams Selyem (Healdsburg, California)
And here are some of the other international honorees:
- Antinori (Bolgheri, Italy)
- Bodega Catena Zapata (Mendoza, Argentina)
- Cune (Rioja, Spain)
- d’Arenberg (McLaren Vale, Australia)
- Dr. Loosen (Mosel, Germany)
- Elvio Cogno (Novello, Italy)
- Viña Errázuriz (Aconcagua Valley, Chile)
- Estate Argyros (Santorini, Greece)
- Kumeu River Wines (Kumeu, New Zealand)
- Royal Tokaji (Tokaji, Hungary)
- Schloss Gobelsburg (Lagenlois, Austria)
- Taylor Fladgate (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)
To see the complete list of wineries participating in the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting Event, or to purchase tickets by October 20, please go here. If you’d like to start your evening early in a different way, you can begin at 5:30 pm by observing a discussion about the top 100 wineries between Alder Yarrow (Vinography wine blogger and author of The Essence of Wine) and Tara Q. Thomas (Executive Editor of Wine & Spirits). Tickets are $190 per person for this package, are limited to just 20 participants, and purchasers will also receive a signed copy of Mr. Adler’s book.
In addition to wineries, Wine & Spirits magazine also recognizes local “New & Notable Restaurants” and artisan purveyors each year. Therefore, in between sips of wine you will be able to sample offerings from establishments such as 1760, The Barrel Room, Dirty Habit, Highwire Coffee Roasters, Homestead, Loló, Scala’s Bistro, SHED, Stones Throw and TORC.
The Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting also has a new attraction this year, the SommScavenge. Here’s how the Sommelier Scavenger Hunt Taste-Off works: five teams (each with three of the top Sommeliers in the country) chose a region and wine varietal and were challenged to hunt down six wines that best represent that region. On October 20, there will be a Taste-Off where the sommelier teams will present their selections to Wine & Spirits critics and wine industry insiders who will then taste through the wines and vote on which group’s wines best epitomizes their region’s terroir. Each team’s travel, discoveries, and findings will eventually be captured in the Wine & Spirits December 2014 issue but the winning team will actually be announced on October 21 during the Top 100 Tasting Event.
Better yet, all of the SommScavenge teams will be on hand to pour and discuss their wine choices at the Top 100 Tasting so now you will have even more wines to consider tasting. The five teams’ designated varietals and regions are: Riesling (Finger Lakes); Chardonnay (Santa Barbara); Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); Bordeaux-Variety Reds (Washington); and Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). You know a lot of research went into their choices when the Riesling team (Matthew Kaner, Pascaline Lepeltier, and Steven Morgan) posted a picture on Instagram of the 65 wines they tried in just one day.
We have thoroughly enjoyed past Top 100 Tasting events and highly encourage you to attend yourself. Parking is easy (the 5th Street and Mission Street Garage is just across the street) or you can take public transportation (City View at Metreon is just one block south of the Powell Street Station BART exits at 4th and Market). So please, don’t miss your chance to taste highly acclaimed wines, meet the winemakers, feast on delicious bites, and enjoy an array of artisan specialties on October 21.
The Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting Event raises money and awareness for groups that work to protect water resources and a portion of ticket prices will be donated to San Francisco Baykeeper. Founded in 1989, their mission is to protect and enhance the water quality of the San Francisco Bay for the benefit of its ecosystems and human communities. They are one of twelve members of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a non-profit organization that coordinates, supports and enhances the work of local California Waterkeepers in order to ensure Californians enjoy clean water and a healthy coast.
Founded in 1982, Wine & Spirits Magazine is published eight times a year and read by over 200,000 members of America’s wine community looking for information on wine regions and producers, the art and science of viticulture, restaurant and industry happenings, and food and wine pairing. Leading the wine magazine category, Wine & Spirits has earned the most James Beard Foundation awards for excellence in wine writing.