Monday, September 22, 2014

Behind-The-Scenes Grape Gets Spotlight

If you have more than a casual relationship with wines made from the Cinsault grape, you may already be a grape geek.  On the other purple-stained hand, you may enjoy Cinsault all the time without even knowing it.  It is a grape often blended with other, more famous grapes.  Cinsault will never win a wine Oscar for best grape, but it'll clean up in the taste editor category.  It's a role player in many rosé wines of Provence, it's in the mix of beaucoup Languedoc-Roussillon blends and it even stands alone in Lodi, California.

You can shake hands with some of the best Cinsault in California this week through social media.  The Wines of Lodi will host another in a series of virtual tasting events, held on video stream as well as Twitter.  The topic will be the stunningly complex, ancient-vine Cinsault wines from the famous Bechthold Vineyard.  The hour-long BrandLive event will occur Wednesday September 24th, at 5pm p.m. PT, 8 p.m. ET.

Bechthold Vineyard was planted in 1886 by Joseph Spenker and the 25-acre plot is not only the oldest producing vineyard in Lodi, but also one of the world's oldest Cinsault plantings.  Bechthold is the vineyard where the Cinsault grapes are grown for the following wines, which will be the subjects of the tasting.  I am told they will be tasted in this order during the event:

1. 2013 Michael David Winery Ancient Vine Cinsault ($25)

2. 2013 Turley Wine Cellars Cinsault ($17)

3. 2012 Estate Crush Cinsault ($26)

4. 2011 Onesta Cinsault ($29)

The hosts of the #LodiLive event will be Camron King, the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Kevin Phillips, the VP of Operations for Phillips Farms and Michael David Winery, and Adam Mettler, General Manager and head Winemaker at Michael David Winery.

When the time arrives, go online - like you won't already be there - and sign into your Twitter account.  Pull up the livestream a little before show time and get ready to pour, swirl and sip.

Once you click on the link, you’ll see a box on the right hand side that says "Questions from the Audience."  Fill in your name and location and type your Comment or Question - the hosts will be able to view what you say immediately.  The Twitter on/off button is below the comment field.  You are encouraged to Tweet your comments.  You just need to log into your Twitter account on a separate tab or window. If you do not want a comment or question to show up on your Twitter feed, click the button to “off” or just hit submit and comment vs. tweet.

To insure that everyone's comments are in a specific stream, use the hash tag #LodiLive and Twitter handle @Lodi_Wine during the tasting.

Virtual tasting events are a lot of fun to do, and the BrandLive events with the folks from Lodi always get some very active participation.  You'll learn a lot about Lodi, a lot about Bechthold Vineyard and a lot about Cinsault.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

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