2016 Wine Outlook – James Melendez

I am looking forward to a varied and colourful 2016 tasting.

San Francisco still a kingly capital of wine tours coming to the City.  The public places to taste are disappearing and are not being replaced.  The Exhibition Center at 9th and Brannon is a goner.  In this boom economy things that are disappearing and will be regretted later.  California’s wine tasting rules a la ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) are certainly antiquated–even in 1933 they were antiquated back then as well.  Today’s producers and regions need venues to house tastings–Ft. Mason, I once called San Francisco’s wine centre has no more wine tasting (the reasons are consistent: price).   Ed Lee’s San Francisco is the not San Francisco I knew at least in terms of public spaces and his vision and scope are limited.  The Presidio is certainly picturesque and historic but the worst place to do a wine tasting–too small and never designed for wine tastings.

Even with all of the challenges San Francisco is a main stop for many wine events.  I won’t attend wine events in San Mateo like Family Winemakers or Rhone Rangers both are too far and seem to be when I have travel planned.    On occasion I will happily travel to Napa, Sonoma and this year I will be in Lodi–I haven’t been in a very long time.

So tasting wine is not just about attending events –it is also purposely seeking specific producers, wines, and regions.  I challenge myself each year to taste wine from all corners on the planet-this year there will be no exception.  I know I will taste a fair number of California wines; last year I had the best Spanish, Argentinian and Chilean wine tastings.  This year I hope to be tasting more wines from Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Georgia, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, and Canada.

I look at my compass and this year I am looking at strategically covering more regions but also tracking what I am tasting versus how I have mapped this out; making sure I complete this goal. This year more than ever is about balance, variation, uniqueness and representation.

I look forward to sharing with you my journey in 2016 and hearing from you as well.  Let’s stay connected.

Happy New Year!




Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

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