Enjoying Life One Glass at a Time

October 2016 Wine Club

We had a great program for the annual kick-off of our high-season club meetings! A big welcome to all our returning snowbirds and a special welcome to our new members just joining us.
A special thanks goes out to Bob Rea who has taken over the photography duties from Pat Gougelmann (Hank and Pat will be moving from our community). Thanks, Bob!

The Tasting

This month we reaped the harvest of our (Diane and Bruce) excursion to the mid-California coast. Wayne, Kathy, Diane and I had decided we wanted to do a tasting of a vertical (two or more wines of successive vintages), something the club hadn’t done before. We came across several possibilities but one stood out.

The Coquelicot (pronounced ko-klee’-ko) winery, located near Solvang, CA, produces a wine they call Sixer. The wine is 94% Syrah and thus could legally be called Syrah. The other 6% is Viognier, an aromatic white grape variety. We were excited to find that the wine was available in 3 successive years, all three years were the exact same mix of Syrah and Viognier, all grapes came from the same vineyards and all three wines were made by the same winemaker. With the exception of the vintage year, even the labels were identical! To add to the mix, the wine had garnered a 94 point rating from The Wine Enthusiast, ensuring at least a very nice tasting experience.

We extended the vertical theme to a couple of cheeses, including a fairly long-aged and shorter-aged example of a Gouda and a Parmegiano Reggiano. It was interesting to see the difference a year or so makes!



If you haven’t been to Los Olivos, you should consider stopping on your next trip to central California. You will find several tasting rooms from local wineries, antique shops, and a number of restaurants (one of them seen in the movie “Sideways”).

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Our ‘Pourer’ and the Coquelicot Tasting Room in Los Olivos, CA

The Big Question

There were 50 tasters (43 that returned score sheets) that judged the 3 wines (a 2010, a 2011 and a 2013). The wines were tasted blind (as to year). The tasters scored each wine on a 100-point scale and were also asked to guess which of the three wines was the oldest. Correct guesses for the oldest wine were eligible for the door prize drawing.

The scores varied considerably from year to year as well as person to person. Nine of us thought that wine A was the oldest, 18 chose wine B (the oldest wine) and 15 chose wine C. The wine ratings were hard to average, with some people having as much as 50 points(!) between the three. The trend that jumped out was that most of the people gave their highest rating to the wine they thought was the oldest.

The door prize, a big chunk of aged Gouda, went to new member John Holcomb.


As usual, we had an amazing array of appetizers provided by our members…


And our Slosh part of the Slosh ’n Nosh featured some nice wines with even a nice Oak Ridge vertical!


As usual, our people are the ones that make this special! Thanks to all of you for making this club the success that it is!

Diane’s 94 year old father visited the wine club.

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Until Next Time…

Wine Cheers