Sunday, June 16, 2013

Festival in the City - "Uncorked!" Wine Festival at Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Ghirardelli Square Wine FestivalImagine this scene. The weather gorgeous, the view of the beautiful San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz, the company of my good friend Dinah, our hands holding a wine glass, sounds of wine being poured, and happy beautiful people all around ooohing and aahhing. 

That was the scene at the 8th Uncorked! Ghirardelli Square Wine Festival. It was like a huge wine cellar beamed from the wine country to the city.

Mijo was out of the country so I've asked my friends to go with me and check out this annual wine festival. This was the 8th Uncorked! and this was the first time I went to this festival. My good friend Dinah graciously joined me. She is a foodie and she appreciates good wines and a fun San Francisco scene.

Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Queue

I prebought our tickets online but we discovered, to our dismay, that the will-call and the unticketed folks were all in the same line. The line snaked from the corner of Larkin St. all the way down to the esplanade of the Aquatic Park. I wouldn't have paid the service charge added to tickets bought online had I known about this. I hope the organizers would rethink this queueing procedure next year.

Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Wine booths

Dinah and I were rewarded with great red wines that I discovered that day without the need to drive to the Wine Country. The weather cooperated as well. No fog! Perfect for sipping vinos.

Ghirardelli Wine Festival - View of Alcatraz

The view of the San Francisco Bay from the venue is picture perfect!

From among the fourty plus wineries present that afternoon, these wines were the ones I sampled and liked and added to my list of wineries to visit and wines to try again. There were red, white, rosé, and bubbly wines but I only sampled the reds.

2005 Estate Merlot
Picazo Vineyards
Livermore Valley
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Picazo Vineyards

Temptation 2010 Zinfandel
Sin Zine 2010 Zinfandel
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Sonoma County
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Alexander Valley Vineyards

Longboard Vineyards
Sonoma County
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Longboard Vineyards

2010 Sangiovese
Rosa D'Oro Vineyards
Lake County
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Rosa D'Oro

2009+2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled
Capay Valley Vineyards
Capay Valley
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Capay Valley Vineyards

2011 Pinot Noir
Roadhouse Winery
Russian River Valley
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Roadhouse Winery

2011 Grenache
Route 3
Yolo Vineyards
Dunnigan Hills
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Route 3

Of course, there were also Havarti and Gouda cheeses by Dolfino where we fell in line too many times. They were just a perfect pair to the red wines I was sampling.
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Dofino again

Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Dofino cheese

There was also Viva Vita to replenish our bodies with non-alcoholic liquids. :)
Ghirardelli Wine Festival - Vita Coco

All in all, I enjoyed this wine festival despite of the bad start. This festival is a good way to sample wines without driving to Napa and Sonoma and also as far as Lake County and Sacramento. It was also a good value because you get to sample a lot of wines for as many times as you want. It was also  a gret way to spend time with good friends. Thanks, Dinah for going with me. :)


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