Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rhone Rangers SF 2012 - March 24-25

Thank you all who entered. I used a random number generator to get the winner. Congratulations to Alvin Nguyen who would take three bottles of Rhone to Alcatraz Island. Alvin, please send me an email at with an email address you can be registered.

While Julie Andrews may consider raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens a few of her favorite things, I consider Rhone-style wine and the City by the Bay a few of MY favorite things. That is why I am absurdly excited for the upcoming Rhone Rangers event in San Francisco on March 24-25. A weekend celebration of American Rhone wines, Rhone Rangers brings together over 500 wines from more than 100 American Rhone producers. Sound good? Keep reading for discount codes and a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Grand Tasting.

What wines are Rhone anyway?

 You have probably heard of a couple, but may not know they were Rhone grapes. For example, Syrah is a more common red Rhone grape and Viognier a white Rhone grape that is growing in popularity. Other Rhones you may have had but are not seen as single-varietal wines as much, such as Grenache (pronounced “gruh-NOSH”), Mourvedre (“more-VEHD-ruh”), Carignane (“car-in-YAWN”), Cinsault (“sahn-soh”), Marsenne (“mar-SAWN”), Roussane (“roo-SAWN”), and Grenache Blanc (“gruh-NOSH blahnk”), to name a few.

Thanks for the pronunciation lesson, but I don’t recognize any of those; can’t I just stick with my Merlot?

Sure you could, but why not branch out a little bit? I have fallen in love with Rhone because of their uniqueness. With some being more fruit forward and others offering spice, pepper, earth, and other great flavors, Rhone wines complement each other so well and can be enjoyed in blends or on their own. 

Okay, I’m convinced; tell me a little about this event.

Gladly! Over the two days you have plenty of opportunities to try wines, learn about wines, and new this year, even buy the wines at the Grand Tasting. Here is an overview of the events:

Saturday, March 24

Seminar #1: Rare Wines, Come Taste the Unusual (12:00pm, Tickets $45)
Come and meet the rare Rhone wines that you may have never heard of before. 

Seminar #2: Wine and Swine, A Pairing of Rhone Varieties with Bacon (2:00pm, Tickets $65)
Comedian Jim Gaffigan says that the way we make food better is by wrapping it in bacon. Think of dates, or the water chestnut... without bacon you would probably have never eaten them. Come find out if bacon can have the same effect on wine at this unique seminar.

Winemaker Dinner (6:00pm, Tickets $150)
17 wineries will each host a table and will provide the wine to pair with dinner by Girl and the Fig. A truly special evening to close out day 1.

Sunday, March 25

Seminar #3: American Syrah from a Variety of Regions (11:00am, Tickets $55)
You’ve seen it in the store, now come taste Syrah from a wide range of regions across the country.

Grand Tasting (2:00-5:00pm, Tickets $45)
More than 100 Rhone producers will be on hand to let you try their wines. Extra special this year is that 60 of these wineries will be selling their wine on hand. These tables will be specially marked and there will be two drop off locations at the event. Wineries are coming in from all over the country so this may be your only chance to easily purchase the wines you love!

Okay, okay, I want to go....where do I buy tickets?

Great question! You can buy tickets here, and for being a fan of WestToast, we are pleased to offer some discounted tickets. Enter the code SDKGT312 to get $5 off your tickets to the Grand Tasting or use the code SDKWP312 to get $10 off your full weekend pass.
You said you had a pair of tickets to give away... how do I get those?

I sure do. I have a pair of tickets to the Grand Tasting on Sunday 3/25 to give away. Entering the contest is easy! In fact, I’m going to make it so easy on you that you should just be embarrassed if you don’t enter this contest. To enter all you have to do is pair up my favorite things; Rhone and San Francisco. Leave a comment telling me your favorite American Rhone-style wine and where in San Francisco you would enjoy that bottle. For the sake of this contest (and only this contest), feel free to ignore all liquor laws and don’t be afraid to drink in public. For example, I might grab a bottle of Two Shepherds Syrah/Mourvedre blend and go walk the Golden Gate Bridge. Or I might uncork a bottle of Frick Cinsault while watching street performers near Fisherman’s Wharf.

The contest will end on Friday, March 16 at 5:00pm PST. Winner will be announced back here on the post. You must be at least 21 years old to win.

So, where would you Rhone?




  1. Rotie Cellars Northern Blend on top of Telegraph Hill

  2. I would gladly go to the gorgeous Palace of Fine Arts with a bottle of Cline's deep purple and very delicious Syrah. I would also have to bring along a bottle of Williamson Wines' Frolic Viognier, which has a bouquet of honeysuckle. Sitting under neath a large shade tree, enjoying two of Rhone's most prominent and popular varietals in one of San Francisco's most beautiful destinations.

  3. Id grab Two Shepherds and have it at the ocean beach

  4. I would drink a bottle of the Benziger North Coast Syrah in Dolores Park. There's no better place to people watch. Plus, there are a lot of great food options nearby so you can pick up food for a picnic on the way there!

  5. I would take a glass of Rosenblum 2008 Holbrook Mitchell Reserve Syrah and sip it amongst the butterflies in the tropical rainforest located in the California Academy of Sciences.

    randyfong (at) aol (dot) com

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  7. Thanks for the Rhone Rangers love!
    All the cool cats know Rhone are where its at. :)

    I also want to point out to attendees a special change this year: for the very first time consumers can not only taste, but buy wine and take it home, right at the event. And we will have two checkpoints so you don’t have to tote it around with you.

    60 of the 100 wineries pouring are selling wine, and many don’t have tasting rooms and/or local distribution – so here is your chance to walk home with a bottle of the small lot gem.

    Rhone On! going to be an awesome weekend!

  8. Thanks for the Two Shepherds love Linda. Hope to see you at #RRSF!

  9. I think I'd pick a bottle of JC Cellars' Stagecoach Marsanne, to enjoy with a friend while riding the cable car through Nob Hill.

  10. I’d set up shop on Alcatraz Island to catch a view of the San Francisco cityscape. I’d bring 3 bottles with me: Alderbrook Dry Creek Valley Syrah; Joseph Phelps Le Mistral; Villa Creek Cellars Willow Creek Cuvee. Each bottle would be assigned a respective number and I’d use a random number generator to determine the order of which I’d drink them. I’d stay to watch the sunset and then scratch my head once nighttime settles only to realize that I had irresponsibly missed the last ferry back to land.