Monday, February 1, 2010


Every time I see the name ZAP it makes me think of Dr Seuss and that I should be writing stories involving words like nap and snap and rap. Perhaps a rap about zap that made me need a nap? Clearly I read my daughter too many Dr Seuss books once upon a time.

Anyway, after having a great and relaxed time at Good Eats Thursday night, I arrived at ZAP at 10 on Saturday morning prepared to actually take some notes. I made no effort to taste everything and also skipped some of the wines I had enjoyed Thursday, returning though to some favorites who had different wines open. Looking at my somewhat purple notes, I seem to have tasted at only 13 tables, a small fraction of those available. My apologies to everyone I missed, I hope to see you next time.

As the tasting book is in alphabetical order, I'll mention a few highlights:

Bella: I tasted 3 of their wines and like the 2007 Big River Ranch from the Alexander Valley quite a bit.

Biale: I enjoyed everything here but have starred the Black Chicken as a particular favorite.

Brown Estate was new to me and I chose Chaos Theory as my favorite there.

Dashe My favorite was the Todd Brothers also from the Alexander Valley.

Hartford I tasted through the table here and particularly enjoyed the 2006 Russian River Valley.

At Outpost I tasted the 2008 Howell Mountain. They also suggested I consider attending the 6/19 Taste of Howell Mountain.

Ravenswood was again a highlight for me. Not only did I enjoy the wines, particularly the Teldeschi and the Dickerson, but I had a chance to talk with Joel Peterson about his wines and many others. One of the best parts of tastings for me is the opportunity for conversation and Joel spent a long time with me.

Ridge was as expected also great. My favorites were the Pagani and the Buchignani.

At Seghesio I starred the Cortina.

Carol Shelton was offering different tastes than Thursday night so I stopped by to talk with some of the nicest people in the room. The 2006 Wild Thing from Mendocino was my top choice, with some nice spice.

At Sidejob at I starred the 2008 C5 Stefani Vineyard from Sonoma County.

At Turley I liked the 2008 Hayne Vineyard from Napa Valley.


  1. Your experiences are very similar to mine. On Friday after the seated Flights tasting, Joel and his son Morgan chanced to sit at my table for lunch and spoke generously for almost an hour - the highlight of the three days far and away.

    Carol Shelton's Karma Zin from Thursday was my favorite wine of the three days.

    Again, I am sorry that I did not get to meet you at ZAP.


  2. Zippity zappity! Can't argue with your choices, even if they ARE a bit mainstream lol

  3. Your thoughts about tastings and mine are perfectly aligned. Word play and wine play should always go together. At this point in my career I go to these events for the conversations and for a chance to see people I enjoy, but rarely interact with. The wines are important of course. Thank you for enjoying mine, even if they seem a little mainstream. By the way, there is nothing wrong with mainstream if the wine delivers. Small lot , old vine, special vineyard , well make wines should always be judged on merit.

    Keep on Zinning, and Seussing too,
    Joel Peterson, Ravenswood