SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

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Christian Obermanns
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SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#1 Post by Christian Obermanns »

I'm looking to start or possibly join an existing tasting group for the purposes of WSET / Guild of Sommeliers rank advancement and also just for general knowledge + enjoyment. I would classify myself as an "advanced beginner" i.e. I know a lot of general info but my palate and overall breadth of tasting experience is pretty limited. Would be interested in meeting on a weekly / biweekly / monthly basis. Also potentially interested in adding a poker night into the mix. I'm in the East Bay and could potentially host but I also don't mind traveling within reason. PM if interested.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#2 Post by kaeligdeloumeau »

Bonjour! I'm in the South Bay (Cupertino) and in the same category as you (advanced beginner, taking wine education more seriously this year).

If more people are interested and want to do WSET practice, I'm down.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#3 Post by Alex Anderson »

I’m a little late to reply to this, but I’m in Novato and currently taking the WSET 3 course. If anyone is up for tasting, count me in!

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#4 Post by Stephen Chen »

Even later to this, but interested if this ever ended up happening! (I'm based in Berkeley.)

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#5 Post by Celine A g n o u »

Bonjour, everyone,
Are these meetings still going on? I'm also preparing WSET 3. It would be a good opportunity to practice and exchange!
I live in Berkeley.
Thank you very much!

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#6 Post by Lisa Phan »

Bonjour les amis(e),
I'm interested to this idea Tasting / Study Group. I'm an intermediate of beginner level. I would like to learn and discuss. I'm in Walnut Creek.
Thank you.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#7 Post by GregP »

To (East Bay) Stephen, Celine and Lisa. I run a tasting group in East Bay for over 20 years now, in Danville area primarily these days. Includes winemakers, cellar rats, retail/wholesale pros, and wine drinkers of various levels of aptitude/interest, though probably at least intermediate level and up these days (we did and do have some beginners as well, always welcome!) Actually, prefer this great mix of beginner/intermediate/expert since it leads to great discussions from all angles. Not geared specifically towards WSET studies, per sé, but plenty to learn and study, and share. We do blind only, sometimes double blind, various regions and varieties. Usually at least 3 flights of 4, sometimes more, depending on theme/interest. And the group includes a bunch of serious foodies, so always food to match a theme and see how wines interact with it (very important!). And, I can assure you, plenty of discussion taking place after each flight's scores/reveal, we're not shy, at all :-)

That said, not sure who does tastings these days, and until lock downs are over. Will be happy to include invites once the group resumes its normal ~1 per month tastings schedule, provided the format interests you.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#8 Post by AlexW »

GregP wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm To (East Bay) Stephen, Celine and Lisa. I run a tasting group in East Bay for over 20 years now, in Danville area primarily these days. Includes winemakers, cellar rats, retail/wholesale pros, and wine drinkers of various levels of aptitude/interest, though probably at least intermediate level and up these days (we did and do have some beginners as well, always welcome!) Actually, prefer this great mix of beginner/intermediate/expert since it leads to great discussions from all angles. Not geared specifically towards WSET studies, per sé, but plenty to learn and study, and share. We do blind only, sometimes double blind, various regions and varieties. Usually at least 3 flights of 4, sometimes more, depending on theme/interest. And the group includes a bunch of serious foodies, so always food to match a theme and see how wines interact with it (very important!). And, I can assure you, plenty of discussion taking place after each flight's scores/reveal, we're not shy, at all :-)

That said, not sure who does tastings these days, and until lock downs are over. Will be happy to include invites once the group resumes its normal ~1 per month tastings schedule, provided the format interests you.
Greg- if there is room would love to join and contribute when these tastings resume. The format sounds like a great time!
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#9 Post by GregP »

AlexW wrote: September 25th, 2020, 2:34 pm Greg- if there is room would love to join and contribute when these tastings resume. The format sounds like a great time!
PM me your email.

I am working on an OR vs. CA Pinot shootout, we haven't done that for a while, and once things open up its one of the first I am planning on doing.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#10 Post by Lisa Phan »

Good morning Greg, really looking forward to the upcoming event :-)

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#11 Post by GregP »

Need email addresses, via PM.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#12 Post by T. Le »

Hi Greg,

I am a beginner in tasting as well. I've been to quite a couple of Napa Wineries and would love to expand my knowledge along with you and your group when it resumes. I have pmed you as well.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#13 Post by EAScrog »

Hi Greg,
I sent you a PM about the group too, including my email. It sounds like a really fun way to learn.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#14 Post by John Oglesby »

GregP wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm To (East Bay) Stephen, Celine and Lisa. I run a tasting group in East Bay for over 20 years now, in Danville area primarily these days. Includes winemakers, cellar rats, retail/wholesale pros, and wine drinkers of various levels of aptitude/interest, though probably at least intermediate level and up these days (we did and do have some beginners as well, always welcome!) Actually, prefer this great mix of beginner/intermediate/expert since it leads to great discussions from all angles. Not geared specifically towards WSET studies, per sé, but plenty to learn and study, and share. We do blind only, sometimes double blind, various regions and varieties. Usually at least 3 flights of 4, sometimes more, depending on theme/interest. And the group includes a bunch of serious foodies, so always food to match a theme and see how wines interact with it (very important!). And, I can assure you, plenty of discussion taking place after each flight's scores/reveal, we're not shy, at all :-)

That said, not sure who does tastings these days, and until lock downs are over. Will be happy to include invites once the group resumes its normal ~1 per month tastings schedule, provided the format interests you.
Hey Greg,

I'd love to join in sometime on your tastings. Its been many years since I was involved with the East Bay crew!
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#15 Post by M Matthews »

Hi Greg,

Also in east bay (Oakland) would love to join when these (or other eat bay events) resume
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#16 Post by GregP »

John Oglesby wrote: October 31st, 2020, 8:11 pm
GregP wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm To (East Bay) Stephen, Celine and Lisa. I run a tasting group in East Bay for over 20 years now, in Danville area primarily these days. Includes winemakers, cellar rats, retail/wholesale pros, and wine drinkers of various levels of aptitude/interest, though probably at least intermediate level and up these days (we did and do have some beginners as well, always welcome!) Actually, prefer this great mix of beginner/intermediate/expert since it leads to great discussions from all angles. Not geared specifically towards WSET studies, per sé, but plenty to learn and study, and share. We do blind only, sometimes double blind, various regions and varieties. Usually at least 3 flights of 4, sometimes more, depending on theme/interest. And the group includes a bunch of serious foodies, so always food to match a theme and see how wines interact with it (very important!). And, I can assure you, plenty of discussion taking place after each flight's scores/reveal, we're not shy, at all :-)

That said, not sure who does tastings these days, and until lock downs are over. Will be happy to include invites once the group resumes its normal ~1 per month tastings schedule, provided the format interests you.
Hey Greg,

I'd love to join in sometime on your tastings. Its been many years since I was involved with the East Bay crew!
Will do!
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#17 Post by GregP »

M Matthews wrote: October 31st, 2020, 8:20 pm Hi Greg,

Also in east bay (Oakland) would love to join when these (or other eat bay events) resume
PM me with your email address.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#18 Post by KyleC »

Would love to be involved in any Bay Area events now that we're emerging from Covid. I'm based out of SF.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#19 Post by GregP »

Will be looking at options in the next 2-3 weeks. We did a tasting 3 weeks ago, but not a blind one for the first time in who knows how long, some in the group simply wanted to socialize after a year of lock downs. Our usual venue is good for 10, maybe 12, so that leaves maybe a couple of spots for newcomers. Looking at either a somewhat larger venue or starting another parallel group, we seem to have enough just in this thread, and maybe mix it up with a few "old timers" from the originals. This way we can use same venue on a more frequent basis.

If anyone has an idea of a venue in East Bay I am all ears. The one we go to is in Danville, but any place in East Bay is fine. We normally pay no corkage, and leave nice tips, would be great to have a similar backup option. Or we sometimes congregate at one of the group's houses, also works, but we still try to stick to no more than 12. Gives you good pours for the official portion, and leaves enough for those who want to re-taste after the reveal.

We used to taste at a restaurant right next door to Bridges, but the owner sold, I'll reach out for his input. Cafe Esin used to host us with same conditions (no corkage), but there is a new management there, need to inquire as well.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#20 Post by GregP »

Quick updates now that things are beginning to look up.

Update 1.
My group is scheduled for an OR vs. CA Pinot Noir shootout, on July 2 in East Bay. Depending on group RSVPs we may have a couple of spots open, but I won't know until June 6-7. I will post an update on June 8, at least I hope we'll have a better picture by then and will be able to open up the list. This one will be blind, our usual format, but whereas we usually call a theme and everyone brings a bottle to match it, this time we already have OR wines through local distributor after consulting with an OR winemaker of choice to see what makes sense and wines that should represent OR well. Working on CA side now, but will most likely fill that via our cellars and find CalPinot on a savory side of things. I'll explain in greater detail later.

Update 2.
Starting another group, in parallel, or expand, as indicated before. One issue I may have with a couple of restaurants in the area (Danville) that used to host us is new management, I have to explain and discuss everything from scratch now and hope they will continue to do what their predecessors did for us. Already had a discussion with a wine distributor and he confirmed that his sales people are having this same issue, many (most?) restaurants let go of their crews in the past year and have re-hired from scratch since. I will need some time approaching new guys I never dealt with, although post closures its a whole new ballgame due to restaurants trying to make up for all the lost revenues, and I do not blame them. Will take a bit of time to sort things out and see what works, and how, and I hope to find a solution in this new reality with restaurants being way less flexible.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#21 Post by EAScrog »

Hi GregP, There's a restaurant in the Concord/ Clayton area I go to that might be interested, and their food is terrific. Let's chat after the holiday weekend because I can also think of a couple in Clayton if that's not too far for everyone.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#22 Post by GregP »

EAScrog wrote: May 29th, 2021, 8:07 am Hi GregP, There's a restaurant in the Concord/ Clayton area I go to that might be interested, and their food is terrific. Let's chat after the holiday weekend because I can also think of a couple in Clayton if that's not too far for everyone.
Absolutely! All options should be on the table.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#23 Post by Jon H »

KyleC wrote: May 19th, 2021, 3:44 pm Would love to be involved in any Bay Area events now that we're emerging from Covid. I'm based out of SF.
Kyle, I'm also in San Francisco and would be interested in tastings in the city. If we have a few others on here, maybe we can put something on the books.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#24 Post by Armando Basarrate »

Jon H wrote: June 1st, 2021, 2:04 pm
KyleC wrote: May 19th, 2021, 3:44 pm Would love to be involved in any Bay Area events now that we're emerging from Covid. I'm based out of SF.
Kyle, I'm also in San Francisco and would be interested in tastings in the city. If we have a few others on here, maybe we can put something on the books.
Jon and Kyle,

We have a second home in SF and, as things are getting back to normal, hope to be out there more often. I would be interested in participating (and have a few friends who might be too). Thanks.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#25 Post by Jon H »

Armando Basarrate wrote: June 11th, 2021, 9:09 am
Jon H wrote: June 1st, 2021, 2:04 pm
KyleC wrote: May 19th, 2021, 3:44 pm Would love to be involved in any Bay Area events now that we're emerging from Covid. I'm based out of SF.
Kyle, I'm also in San Francisco and would be interested in tastings in the city. If we have a few others on here, maybe we can put something on the books.
Jon and Kyle,

We have a second home in SF and, as things are getting back to normal, hope to be out there more often. I would be interested in participating (and have a few friends who might be too). Thanks.
Send me a DM when you’re in town and we will make it happen
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#26 Post by Lisa Phan »

Can't wait to join. I'm based in Walnut Creek.

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#27 Post by Anton D »

I would like to volunteer my son. He just moved to the city and is an avid, if rather neophyte to formal tasting.

He is 23 and has a good palate and is a pleasant chap!
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#28 Post by MaiMadigan »

I am in town from Oct 19-23 and would love to join if a tasting were happening then.....

I promise to stop by Wine Bank beforehand ;-)

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#29 Post by KenL. »

GregP wrote: October 31st, 2020, 10:06 pm
John Oglesby wrote: October 31st, 2020, 8:11 pm
GregP wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm To (East Bay) Stephen, Celine and Lisa. I run a tasting group in East Bay for over 20 years now, in Danville area primarily these days. Includes winemakers, cellar rats, retail/wholesale pros, and wine drinkers of various levels of aptitude/interest, though probably at least intermediate level and up these days (we did and do have some beginners as well, always welcome!) Actually, prefer this great mix of beginner/intermediate/expert since it leads to great discussions from all angles. Not geared specifically towards WSET studies, per sé, but plenty to learn and study, and share. We do blind only, sometimes double blind, various regions and varieties. Usually at least 3 flights of 4, sometimes more, depending on theme/interest. And the group includes a bunch of serious foodies, so always food to match a theme and see how wines interact with it (very important!). And, I can assure you, plenty of discussion taking place after each flight's scores/reveal, we're not shy, at all :-)

That said, not sure who does tastings these days, and until lock downs are over. Will be happy to include invites once the group resumes its normal ~1 per month tastings schedule, provided the format interests you.
Hey Greg,

I'd love to join in sometime on your tastings. Its been many years since I was involved with the East Bay crew!
Will do!
Located in San Ramon and also very interested in joining any tastings in area. Will send a PM to Greg.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#30 Post by erinmcgrath »

I would love to join this as well. I'm industry, and work for a Napa winery now - so am aiming to join some groups to keep my palate up to date.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#31 Post by Zachary Mancini »

I live in Reno Nevada. If near the San Fran area I could make the treck down to join sometime!

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#32 Post by Michael Baryla »

Hello everyone -
I would also be super interested. I’m in Tracy but East Bay is great. I’m a CMS and WSET student who owns a vineyard and wine brand in the Eola Hills.

Our cellar is pretty deep with everything from vintage first growths to oddball Turkish wines.

I also have my type 85 (online wine sales) abc license and am signed up with a bunch of distributors if anyone is looking for current release stuff I can pass on some good pricing.
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#33 Post by Sunil I »

Hi all - have recently moved to SF, and would be very interested in this. Have done the WSET qualifications, and love tasting new wines!
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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#34 Post by Edward Voss »

I am in the South Bay / greater San Jose area and looking for some fellow intrepid wine drinkers!

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Re: SF Bay Area Tasting / Study Group

#35 Post by Wes Barton »

Edward Voss wrote: September 13th, 2021, 11:09 pm I am in the South Bay / greater San Jose area and looking for some fellow intrepid wine drinkers!
This thread is east bay centered. There's a here that normally does dinners in the Redwood City to San Carlos area about once every 6 weeks. They're on hiatus, but in regular contact. A couple of our group are in Los Gatos, and another in Fremont, and I'm in Mountain View. We've done a few infrequent dinners in Los Gatos.
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