Sonoma Grand Tasting at WBC09

I admit it, by the time the Sonoma Grand Tasting started, I was a bit overwhelmed. This was my first Wine Bloggers’ Conference, and up until this point, I’d never tasted more than 15-20 wines in one sitting. At the WBC, though, by 5pm there had already been wine tasting in the welcome room, wine tasting at lunch, and wine tasting at the speed tasting, so the Sonoma Grand Tasting was taking me further outside of my tasting comfort zone than I’d even been before. So, I was nervous, but I was also up for the challenge.

The Sonoma Grad Tasting was a roped-off patio area near the pool at the Flamingo Resort. As you can see from the pictures, there were a lot of bloggers in a very small space, but it served as a way for us to get to know each other very quickly. People were standing around talking, eating delicious cheese and spreads with crackers, and of course, tasting 2, 3, or 4 wines from every vineyard at the tasting.

The Grand Tasting was definitely a success for me. I tasted Murphy-Goode wines for the first time and was pleased with what I tasted, as I had never even heard of the winery before the contest for the Really Goode Job. I worked my way through some well-know, affordable everyday wines that I often look at in the wine store, but haven’t had a chance to purchase, as well as tasted some lesser-known, more-unusual wines that were pleasant surprises. While all of the wines were good, none of them knocked me off my feet. Admittedly, I was nervous that I was the only one who felt that way, but after talking with other bloggers throughout the weekend, it seemed that my opinion was shared by others.

My notes from this event aren’t very detailed, but here are some pictures and my overall ratings:

Murphy-Goode Winery (website)
2008 “The Fume” Sauvignon Blanc—$12.50 3 Corks
Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon—$20 3 Corks
2006 “Liar’s Dice” Zinfandel—$21
3.5 Corks

Chateau St. Jean (website)
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon—$30 3.5 Corks
2007 Chardonnay—$25 4 Corks

Souverain (website)
2007 Chardonnay—$13
3 Corks
2007 Merlot—$15
3 Corks

Frick Winery (website)
2006 Cinsault—$26
4.5 Corks
2007 Grenache Blanc—$27 4 Corks

Alexander Valley Vineyards (website)
2004 Syrah—$35
4.5 Corks
2007 Sin Zin—$17 3 Corks
2008 Dry Rose of Sangiovese—$12 3.5 Corks

Dutton Goldfield Vineyards (website)
2006 Sanchietti Vineyard Pinot Noir—$58
3 Corks
2006 Freestone Hill Vineyrd Pinot Noir—$58
3 Corks
2007 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir—$38
3 Corks
2007 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay—$35
2.5 Corks


  1. WineLife365 says

    Frick Winery- that’s a new one for me. Seeing your approval rating and visiting their website, definitely makes me want to try their wines.

    The 2004 Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah also sounds tempting.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!


  2. Alleigh says

    Frick Winery was new for me too, and definitely stood out because it was so unique. I'm definitely interested in what you think of them when you have a chance to try them.

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