So there I was, in the Grand Ballroom of the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa at the Wine Bloggers Conference, surrounded by empty dinner plates, empty dessert bowls, empty wine glasses and empty wine bottles.
My stomach too was empty. But the hotel was full, full, full, as full as the bellies in the banquet room.
What’s a gal to do?
Get in a conversation with Leslie who reps the Dry Creek Valley wines, of course, and get invited back to their hospitality suite and load up on crackers, cheese, grapes, nuts, chocolate, and–most importantly for a budding wine blogger–lots and lots and lots of Dry Creek Valley ZINS!
“Bring a glass–we’re all out!” she urged.
I followed her through the swarms of wine bloggers, across the lobby, passed the bar with a funk and r&b band blaring, through the courtyard and around the pool toward a banner proclaiming “Dry Creek Valley Vineyards” or some such. Inside, two tables were laden with 2 dozen or more half full wines, and another table held the promised cheese and other munchies. Where to start first?
I set my bag with my laptop down and staring me in the face was a bottle of Mauritson 2005 Growers Reserve Zinfandel so I started there. Only 257 cases were produced of this 15.5 alc wine with plenty of fruit and zin attitude to stand up to the alcohol. Ahhh, finally, heaven, zinfandel heaven. And for a wine lover who cut her teeth on Ridge Zinfandel, it really was.
I felt positively schizophrenic, manic even, trying to decide what to do and doing everything at once: drink? eat? help them pack up? do all at the same time and stay out of the way?
It didn’t really matter though, with all those beautiful wines waiting…wines which unfortunately were getting packed up quicker than I drove up here. My day was just starting–but Leslie’s very busy day was about done!
“Here, take some,” she urged. “Taste them tonight at your leisure!”
I grabbed some bottles, more or less randomly since they all sounded great, and she threw in more: “Dutcher Creek, you have to have this. And you liked the Mauritson? You have to have this Rockpile. Oh and this Quivira, and this Red Rooster was poured at dinner, you missed that, and …”
Next thing I knew there were quite a few bottles and we were scrambling for a box to put them in, as well as packing up the food, and collecting information about all the wines and Dry Creek Valley’s various vineyards.
“Have you checked into your room?” asked Leslie as my pile of goods grew greater.
“No,” I admitted, “this was all so last minute I don’t have a reservation. I can go stay with my nephew in Berkeley if I don’t have much more to drink, or try to find some place close by.”
Next thing I knew, she was handing me a room key card!
Heaven–Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is your name!