Friday, June 12, 2009

TAPAS Grand Tasting Fort Mason, June 14th, Spanish and Portuguese Wine Varietals

We all have had our share of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and other classic wines. But have you tried the rich berry and earthy/leathery flavors of a Tempranillo, or the black currant and blackberry flavors of a fruity Garnacha, or the beautiful aromatic Albarino with the taste of apples, citrus and flowers on the palate? All too often wine lovers are concentrating on the popular classical varieties produced by most winemakers and miss out on the special joy that can be found in the lesser known varieties.

TAPAS – Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society – is dedicated to the grape varietals indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal, and now grown in North America. These varietals include Tempranillo, Albarino, Alvarelhao, Garnacha, Graciano, Monastrell, Touriga, Verdeljo and many more, Growers and winemakers in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas have found that these Spanish and Portuguese varietals offer a lot to the wine consumer and they have developed a following of those who appreciate these wines.

On Sunday, June 14th from 2:00 to 4:30 pm, TAPAS is hosting their annual Grand Tasting at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco. This is a unique opportunity to sample wines from almost 40 participating wineries, many of which are small boutique wineries with wines hard to find in many wine outlets. The winemakers will be there to talk to the wine lovers about their wines as you enjoy a delightful walk-around setting. Wines available will range from crisp whites to full-bodied reds to elegant port style wines.

TAPAS President Jeff Stai says “We’re excited to be able to create an event where consumers can branch out beyond the common varietals and discover a new world of flavors. Come join us and have a Spanish Inspiration!”

There will also be a silent auction of special wines and winery tours. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Schmahl Science Workshop that provides science education for grades K-12 in the bay area.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door. They can be ordered online at their website.

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