Friday, January 25, 2013

Wine Tasting Event: In Pursuit of Balance L.A.

The first couple of months of a new year in Los Angeles always seem to be jam-packed with wine tasting events of all shapes and sizes.  Here’s one that has a bit of a crusade attached to it - crusades are great excuses to get out and taste some wine, by the way.

In Pursuit of Balance - IPOB - will be held on Wednesday, February 6th at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.  The San Francisco event occurs two days previous.  There are two morning seminarsplanned, an afternoon media/trade tasting and a consumer tasting event that evening.  See ticket information for all facets of the event here.

IPOB accents Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers who make wines with balance and food compatibility in mind.  Terroir and varietal identity mean a lot to these folks, and they feel no need to push the winemaking envelope to try and lose those concepts.  They feel that would be like fixing the wheel.  Why bother?  It’s perfect like it is.

My friend Dan Fredman is helping to promote the event, and he tells me IPOB was created by sommelier Rajat Parr (Michael Mina and RN74) and Sonoma wine businesswoman Jasmine Hirsch (Hirsch Vineyards) in an effort to get wine “out of the trophy room and back on the dinner table.”  Fredman promises more of an “evangelical outreach than a normal wine tasting.”

The day kicks off with a seminar examining the relevance and purpose of Chardonnay in California.  This event has the Wine Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon BonnĂ©, as moderator, and panelists
Gavin Chanin (Chanin Wine Company,) Matt Licklider (Lioco,) Rajat Parr, (Sandhi Wines) and Bob Varner (Varner.)

The midday seminar concerns whole cluster fermentation in Pinot Noir, with discussions of the pros and cons moderated by writer Jordan Mackay, with panelists Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat,) Ehren Jordan (Failla Wines) and Jamie Kutch (Kutch Wines.)

The trade/media tasting fills up the afternoon and the consumer tasting event is in the evening, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The grassroots movement to maintain balance in wine is really catching on in California, where many feel it really needs to catch on.  Although the seminars might be a bit geeky, the wine tasting event will feature wines from the 28 members of IPOB, which is something anyone can enjoy.

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