Food & Wine

Wine time at Lake Tahoe

There are two fun wine events coming up at Lake Tahoe.

The Truckee Wine Walk is scheduled noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 3. We have previously attended and tickets are well worth the event-day price of $35, and even a better bargain purchased in advance for $25. The entrance fee buys a glass, five food tickets and the opportunity to taste wines from at least 25 wineries. It is a clever promotion, as the wine can only be consumed inside a merchant’s confines. The idea is that while you drink, you look and hopefully make a purchase. If you dare to take a glass containing wine outside, the friendly bucket police are stationed at every door to relieve you of the wine, which, of course, you can fill up at the next stop. Proceeds benefit projects in the Truckee area.

Apparently a lot of wine is consumed, as organizers offer free cab rides and a designated-driver program. The designated one pays $10 and receives five soft-drink tickets plus food.

The Alpen Wine Festival is scheduled 2-5 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Village at Squaw Valley. This is the 21st annual event, and I have probably attended at least 10. Close to 40 wineries will participate, providing ample opportunities to taste. A Spiegelau wine glass is included in the $40 entrance fee, and there is a silent auction where many bargains are usually available. This function benefits the Jimmie Huega Multiple Sclerosis Fund.

We also attended a Huey Lewis and the News concert on the driving range of the Old Greenwood Golf Course, one of six events the Lake Tahoe Music Festival presented between July 23 and Aug. 8. On the surface you might not think this was a wine event, but, believe me, it was. The doors opened two hours before the concert began, and the wine flowed. Lewis, a youthful-looking middle-aged rocker, does not seem to have lost a beat. By the end of evening, there was a lot of dancing, and I was giving it my best shot. I still might have a few moves left in this old body.

While at Tahoe, we were guests at Blackbird Vineyard’s wine dinner at the Lahontan Golf Club. The unique winery emulates the “Right Bank” wineries of St. Emilion and Pomerol. Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the predominant varietals in Blackbird’s wines. French slang for Merlot is “Little Blackbird,” hence the name.

Blackbird’s three principal wines are Illustration, Paramour and Contrarian, and they likened them to Pétrus, Cheval Blanc and Ausone. This might be a bit of a stretch, but they are very good. The blends are somewhat similar, but the prices are not. These French wines in good years are hundreds of dollars, often more than a thousand. The three Blackbird wines, which sell for $90 each, were served with wild boar, short ribs and a dark chocolate dessert – very good food and very good wines.

Sarah Gott and Aaron Pott combine to make these fine

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