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On the off chance you haven't read kproche's entry...

After a quick breakfast at OPH (the "49ers Flapjacks" are pretty good, by the way), K, lobolance and I drove up to Livermore for a bit of wine tasting.

And buying. We were painfully low on whites, and there were some interesting new releases coming up.

Stop #1 was Vino Cellars to pick up some wine tags.

Then we headed to the always delightful Cedar Mountain, had at the last minute changed their barrel tasting party to a release party. Turns out Earl doesn't really like his futures program, in spite of the fact that it's advance money. Was still worth it, though. It was something of a mob scene. The big events like this are in the winery itself, and they've been doing a lot of work to improve the barn. New drywall, new lights, it's pretty nice. We did get to taste new releases. The new Pinot Grigio is pretty good (and will probably do better with a few more weeks in the bottle). Their new non-vintage Cabernet Franc (they can't get enough cab franc each year to produce enough wine from a single vintage) is really strange, but very tasty. The new Viognier Port is better than the last one.

And we got to do a bit of library tasting. Earl pulled a magnum of the '92 Cabernet Sauvignon. By mistake. There were only 9 left. It's really nice right now, but it's showing a teensy bit of bronze in the color and a hint of mustiness and metal in the nose and finish. It's not long for this world. Since he wasn't going to start on the '91 until that was gone, we hauled over to Bent Creek to say "hi" and pick up a few bottles of wine while we waited for the last of the decanter of '92 to disappear. Upon return we got to try the '91, and while not as close to peak as the '92, it's very good and still has a few years life in it.

Afterwards we made our way to Thomas Coyne. It was an even bigger mob scene. They had a new Quest (very rhone-y red blend), a new Syrah, a new Malbec, a new Petite Verdot and a new Cabernet Sauvignon. They also had the last case-and-a-half of "Petite Quest" blush.

Picked up scads of white (to restock) and a few of the interesting reds (the Cedar Mountain Cab Franc, Bent Creek Zinfandel, Coyne Petit Verdot and Malbec), and a magnum of the '92 Cedar Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 magnums of the '91.

I think tomorrow's plan is to tag the wine in the cabinet and do a proper inventory.

Afterwards, we did a Fry's stop. It was productive, and only slightly irritating. We did dinner at Aqui where Lance lucked into a pair of free Sharks tickets. I decided to go with him (since Phyllis wasn't in town). I haven't been to a hockey game since 1989, and that was college games. Game was against the Detroit Red Wings. And the tickets were 20th row, center ice. Yep, 20th row, center ice, and free. Sharks lost, but it wasn't an embarrasment. Klutziness abounded on both sides, but the Red Wings kind of got over it.

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