I have a love/hate relationship with wine trade shows. I love the opportunity to discover new wines and revisit old favorites. But I dislike the crowds and there is a small minority of attendees who, despite their wine professional status, do become rather messy towards the end of the show.
The Family Winemakers of California Show was in Pasadena this past week. I attended with one of my brothers, who is an internet marketing savant. We are working together on launching a new wine related project later this year.
It was a refreshing experience to attend with someone who is a wine lover but not part of the trade. His lack of pretense, curiosity and pure enjoyment reminded me of why I followed my passion and entered the wine trade in 1996.
As you walked into exhibition hall with hundreds of wineries set up at tasting tables, there was a heady smell of grapey goodness in the air.
While you will inevitably find some treasures by just wandering around aimlessly, I always come with an agenda. It is an easy process of elimination for me since I focus mostly on wines made from organic and biodynamic grapes.
Here were some of my favorites this year:
Clif Family Winery
Grgich Hills Estate
Casa Barranca Winery