Cambodian Red. Good Timing
As we fight Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the current war, local winemaker John Kerr has released a wine that harkens back to another conflict in American history-the Vietnam War.
John Kerr has been producing wine under his own label since the 1986 vintage. I recall his chardonnay of that vintage was one of the best of that era.
John's also a Vietnam veteran, and he has just bottled 300 cases of a non-vintage syrah that he calls "Cambodian Red." As the back label reads, "Cambodian Red has many meanings for Vietnam veterans. The reddish clay soil of the country covered areas and operations... and became impregnated in your skin and equipment."
The non-vintage blend makes for a delicious and interesting wine-older and refined wine blended with young and fresh flavors.
The back label goes on the chronicle John's biography as a vet. He was drafted in 1969 and became a helicopter weapons specialist and door gunner. He accumulated over 2,300 combat flight hours in 22 months of service. He was shot down and wounded over Cambodia as well as Vietnam.
This wine bottles his memories of battle, and 17 percent of the profits from the sale of this wine will be made available directly to assist disabled and disadvantaged veterans.
Cambodian Red retails for $18. The wine is available at Dino's in Santa Maria, Wine Country in Solvang, Renegade Wines in Santa Barbara. If you have questions about this special release, call John at (805) 688-5337.
Spring Wine Events
- The 21st Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Firestone Meadow near Los Olivos. General admission tickets are $75 or $125 for both days. Designated driver tickets are available for a reduced price of $65 (or $105 for both days.This year, for the first time, the Vintners' Association will be offering a blending seminar, Sunday, April12 only for no additional charge. You have to reserve in advance.
In conjunction with the festival, many wineries will be offering winemaker dinners and special events. To make reservations for the festival and blending seminar or for events and for additional information you should call the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association at (805) 688-0881. You can also buy tickets on line at firstname.lastname@example.org. All sales are final. No refunds.
- The Paso Robles Vintners & Growers Association presents their 21st annual event the weekend of May 16-18, 2003.Friday, May 16, the annual golf tournament takes place in Paso Robles and a number of winemaker dinners have been scheduled.
Saturday, May 17, the 21st annual Paso Robles Wine Festival takes place from noon to 5 in the downtown city park, offering over 150 Paso Robles wines, food and music. General admission is $30 and includes a logo glass and eight tasting tickets. Additional tickets are available for $1 each. Designated driver tickets are $10 each and include a logo mug and three tickets for non-alcoholic beverages.
Saturday evening, more winery dinners are scheduled and Sunday, May18, special events are scheduled at many area wineries.
To make reservations or for more information call the Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association at (805) 239-8463, or visit their website at www.pasowine.com.
Vintners associations and wineries, I believe, act very responsibly and prudently at their events. It's certainly in their best interest to promote consumer responsibility. After all, it is against California law to serve under age persons and people who show signs of intoxication. This means bars and restaurants too. It's state law.
Columnist Bob Senn remembers the very first Santa Barbara and Paso Robles festivals held back in 1983. The Santa Barbara festival was held on a field at Dunn School near Los Olivos. A Santa Barbara escapee, Senn lives in the bucolic Los Alamos Valley and owns the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium.
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