Jeff’s Corner

Greetings from beautiful northern Sonoma County. This morning I finished judging the very prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for the fifth consecutive year. The SFCWC is the first (and largest) American wine competition of the year. This year we had over 6700 entries from more than 1500 wineries representing at least 13 states. I was fortunate to be one of 65 judges from around the country.

The past four days I have judged close to 400 wines, and in the next couple weeks I’ll share lots of cool insights into the event, including how our beloved GCV wines fared. Right now, however, I’m pretty damn tired, but before I drag my purple teeth to bed I want to share my coolest experience to date.

In my last flight of three days of medal rounds (the fourth day is the Sweepstakes round), my panel judged a flight of 69 Cabernet Sauvignons priced $90.00 and up. I’ve mentioned before that judging the SFCWC is like playing in the World Series. Being assigned this flight, however, is like being given the ball to pitch game 7. Great googley moogley, this is the most coveted flight in the event, and beyond a doubt the most difficult challenge in my 40 year wine career.

More about this later as well, but right now I really need to get horizontal.