Wine Fellowship

Enjoy wine? Join our activity group!
Mike Sorensen
SIR128 Sommelier
SIR128 Wine Fellowship continues to offer a Zoom Wine Happy Hour where we explore different varietals, regions, and countries.  This month we tried various sparkling wines, let us say sparkling wines did not score high in our tasting….I think it needs food, unlike a red or white wine.  Then we wandered into the Willamette Valley to taste wines from that region, I believe all were Pinot Noirs – with one that was very good – a Ponzi 2017 Pinot Noir.  We just finished exploring wines that would pair nicely with all the flavors of Thanksgiving, with a large number of folks pouring multiple wines for their festivities – top reds, Zinfandel, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and for whites, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Gruner Veltliner.  Next week, November 19, we will be exploring the Rhone region of France.  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, some of us will still be in town so we  are exploring harder to find rich red wines, such as Tannat, Sagrantino, Pinotage, Aglianico, Nero d'Avola, Nebbiolo, or Montepulciano.  Next week, the 19th we will define the December wines for each Wednesday. 
There are many retailers with fine wine selections, i.e. Costco, Trader Joes, Total Wine, BevMo, Safeway, Nob Hill, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, The Vine (Danville), wineries and your wine club. Price range we try to stay in - $7 to $35, occasionally someone has a cellared bottle at a higher price point that is shared virtually.  Yes, you can find an everyday bottle of wine under $15, and occasionally a remarkable bottle under $35. 
We find this time together to be somewhat educational, but mostly social with a bit of comic relief tossed in.  Some say it is like herding cats (you can imagine 10 to 14 guys and two to three glasses of wine)….now and again, that is a true statement.   Come and join us every Wednesday at 4 PM (Recommendation, open your bottle 30 to 60 minutes before 4, it will have time to open up).  Here is the Zoom address, please join us:
To hear about future events, contact Mike Sorensen to get on the group email notification list.
I hope to see you soon!
Mike Sorensen, (925) 838-0147

Upcoming Sessions & Events...

Fellow wine members join us for a Zoom happy hour. Requirement: One wine glass,  60 minutes, wine of the week (in the invite sent out on Sunday), computer hooked up to the internet (a kid or grandkid who can set you up if you are challenged), and enjoy chatting. Wives can be included. Right now we have Wednesdays set up from 4 to 5, click on the Zoom Link above to join. We try to have a maximum of 14 for each Zoom event. If we get more than 14, we will open another happy hour venue since everyday is a Friday, we can find another time and day. We talk about the wine of the week, where the bargains are, and anything else of interest such as how to give yourself a haircut....

Past Sessions & Events...

Jan 26 2018
Yes, there is an Australia Day and our group celebrated the generations of rehabilitation that have taken place Down Under by tasting some of the finest wines in the world.  Australian native and member of our esteemed group, SIR John Yeates, smuggled some very fine wines for our tasting.  These wines for the most part are not available in the US. As the pictures reflect, the group had an awesome time and passed the final quiz with an A+.
Can you pick John out in this 1st photo?
Yes that is Vegemite - Yummy!

Mar 24, 2018
Focus Area: Iberian Peninsula
RSVP: upon RSVP will send calendar invite with address
The theme of the month is the Iberian Peninsula (for those of you who flunked geography) includes Andorra, Portugal (includes the islands of the Azores and Madeira), Spain (includes the Canaries of the Atlantic and Balearics in the Med), and yes, the British Crown of Gibraltar....
So you ask, what am I looking for when I go looking for a wine from that region - if anyone can find a wine from Andorra or Gibraltar - it doesn't matter what it is, should be interesting.....yes I did digress, so back to the point at hand, wines from the known wine making regions:
In looking at Portugal's wine regions, it's helpful to split the country in two, by drawing a line about a third of the way down. This separates the northern regions of the Douro, Dão and Bairrada, and the central and southern regions of the Alentejo, Ribatejo and Estremadura.  The wines of today have matured significantly from the days of Mateus and Lancers.  
There a number of wine makers, 240+, in Portugal.  Typically, Portugal is best known for their fortified wines - Ports and Madeiras .  You will find a number of white wines from coastal and island vineyards.  As you move north you will find many of the varietals you would find in foothills of the Sacramento Valley.....Have fun 
Somehow, Spain seems to fly under the radar compared to its next door neighbor, France. Spain is actually the third largest wine producer in the world and has the most land dedicated to vineyards–over two million acres or stated differently, Spain has the biggest vineyard surface in the world (this came from the internet, so it has to be true).  Spanish wines range from great values to highly prestigious wines, such as Alvaro Palacios’ L’Ermita and Vega Silicia’s Unico. There are 7 distinct climates further broken down over 60 different regional micro climates producing everything from light and zesty Albariño to inky black Monastrell. The significance is the 200+ grape varieties grown in Spain allowing this country to produce some truly remarkable wines.
Some 8,500 winemakers are located in Spain....so finding a wine from Spain should not be difficult.
1) Each bottle needs to be under $20
2) Cost will be $5 at the door (covers cheese, crackers, etc.)
3) If you are bringing a Port or Sherry - bring one you have never tried before - and please let me know so I can figure out what to pair with it.
4) Bring your own wine glass......
5) Before we serve your wine, we would like a story about the wine.....can be anything, like when you were in college, there was this blond....., or this wine was recommended by doctor xyz to cure....., or something you found out about the winery etc.....nothing formal, just for fun
6) No Portuguese or Spanish varietals from the US....that would be cheating.
RSVP to Mike Sorensen
or call 925 570 5035

Apr 21, 2018
Total Wines Visit
Focus Area: Wines from North and South of the Border
RSVP: upon RSVP I will send calendar invite with address
The theme of the month is Mexico, Canada, and maybe one other.  We will be enjoying wines at Total Wines in Pleasant Hill, same parking lot as Best Buy.   Originally we were going to taste wines from the other 47 states, but the manager of Total Wines said he had sweet wines from New York region, some bubbly from New Mexico, and anything else he brings into the store sits on the shelf forever, then he has to discount to move it…..so best laid plans are not going to work for that venue.
So, further discussions we explored Mexico as a unique region that many of you probably would have said – Mexico makes wines, you must be kidding….Sang Lee said he had several very nice wines from Mexico.  Then he added, I have some really nice Ice Wines from Canada.  We have not finalized the complete tasting venue so I will be updating this in the coming weeks.  Significant others are always invited.
1. Have Fun
2. We may actually learn something here
3. No more rules.
Cost will be $20.00/person (maybe a little more, working on the final wine list), plus $5.00/person for cheese, crackers, etc.
We need to commit at least 14, they can accommodate 30+/-
RSVP to Mike Sorensen
msorensen.us@gmail.com or call 925 570 5035
Contact Mike if you want to get in on this activity.