Can you drink 28 glasses of wine in 3 hours?

You wouldn’t even believe this if I told you.  What if I told you that between 9:30 and 12:00 this morning I drank 28 glasses of wine?  Well, if I had really drank everything I wouldn’t be alive to write this.  Today Larry and I had the fantastic opportunity to go and taste 28 samples of wines from the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County.  We were invited to a “media tasting” sponsored by the Russian River Valley Winegrowers. There were 24 of us media types and a panel of 6.  The panel was moderated by Geoff Kruth, Master Sommellier and Wine Director at the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant.  The rest of the panel included John Holdredge of Holdredge Wines, Pete Opatz, viticulturalist to Picket Fence Vineyards, Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne Winery, Tom Dehlinger of Dehlinger Winery and the host, Peter Merriam of Merriam Vineyards.  Everything took place at Merriam Vineyards which is on the Windsor/Healdsburg border north of Santa Rosa.  Upon entering the room for the first flight we were greeted with 9 glasses filled with Pinot Noir from different wineries in the Russian River Valley.

Flight 1 – The first flight was Russian River Pinot Noir – Single Vineyard – 2007 – The price of the bottle and my grade of the wine
Balletto Vineyards – Burnside Vineyard – $34.00 B
Coterie Cellars – Saralee Vineyard – $38.00  B-
C Donatiello Winery – Maddie’s Vineyards – $62.00 A-
Dutton Goldfield Winery – Freestone Hill Vineyard – $58.00 B+
Forchini Vineyard and Winery – River Terrace Vineyard – $32.00 B
Freeman Vineyard & Winery – Keefer Ranch – $46.00 B-
Russian Hill Estate Winery – Tara Vineyard – $46.00 B+
Sequana Vineyard – Dutton Ranch – $40.00 B
Suacci Carciere Wines – Suacci Vineyard – $48.00 C+

Flight 2 – The second flight was Russian River Pinot Noir – Blends – 2007 – The price of the bottle and my grade of the wine
Chasseru Wines – $40.00 B
Hook & Ladder Winery – $25.00 B+  **
Hop Kiln Winery, Generations – $40.00 B
J. Lynn Wines – $19.99 B  **
Joseph Swan Vineyards, Cuvee de Trois – $28.00 C
Kenwood Vineyards – $18.00 B-  **
Moshin Vineyards – $36.00 B
Olsen Ogden Wines – $42.00 B+
River Road Vineyards – $27.00 B 
Terlato Family Vineyards – $60.00 B+
Willams Salyem, Westside Road Neighbors – $67.00 B-

Flight 3 – The thrid flight was Russian River Bordeaux’s.  The winery, vineyard, varietal, year, price and my grade of the wine
Acorn Winery – Alegria Vineyard – Cabernet Franc, 2006 – $32.00 B **
Dehlinger Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 – $50.00 B
Ledson Winery & Vineyards – Merlot, 2005 – $44.00 B-
Longboard Vineyards – Merlot, 2007 – 24.00 B+  **
Merriam Vineyards – Miktos Red Wine, 2005 – $50.00 B-
Selby Vineyards – Azvedo Ranch – Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 – $40.00 B-
Suncy Winery – Hedin Vineyard – Merlot, 2006 – $30.00 C
Windsor Oaks Vineyards – Chalk Hill – Malbec, 2007 – $35.00 B  **

After the third flight we were treated to an awesome lunch at the winery.  During lunch we mingled, and talked about each other business etc.  We also drank more wine!  We had 2006 Merriam Merlot and 2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir.  Here was the menu:

Arugula & endive salad, avocado, Manchego cheese, caramelized almonds, lemon-truffle vinaigrette
Salad of baby beets, feta cheese, orange & horseradish vinaigrette

Rotisserie pork loin, pomegranate glaze, roasted red grape & farro salad

Wild mushroom & goat cheese spaetzle

Mini Chocolate cakes, caramel mousse mini chocolate chunk & banana bread pudding

                  Peter Merriam, Merriam Vineyards

All I can say is WOW!  Luckily they gave each of us a cup to spit the wine into and a bottle of water at each flight to replenish liquids.  So in reality I probably drank about 1 glass of wine.  But it sounded a lot more impressive saying 28 glasses.  Our day did not end there.  We went on to two more wineries, then out to dinner.  That is another blog for another day.

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