This was our first year attending TAPAS Grand Wine Tasting (TAPAS = Tempranillo Advocates, Producers & Amigos Society) and I have to say, we found it to be quite a fun time!  So what exactly was this event?  Details below:


  • WHAT: It is billed as the most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish & Portugese varietal wines in North America.  While Tempranillo was certainly the star, there were plenty of other wines to taste such as Albariño, Verdelho, Graciano and more.


  • WHEN: Sunday, June 5, 2011.  12-2 open to the trade, 2-5 open to the public.  This is it’s 4th year here in San Francisco so odds are it will be back next year for you to attend if you missed out this year!
  • HOW MUCH: $60 at the door, $40 in advance (but to be honest I got mine for $35 on GoldStar Events and feel like that was about the right price to pay).  The price includes free tastings and free tapas that are brought out periodically.

  • WHERE: It was held in the Herbst Pavilion in Fort Mason
  • WHY you should check it out next year (and I mean that, really, you should!)…

Like I said, we really enjoyed our first TAPAS experience…mostly because it was a nice leisurely way to try LOTS of new wines from new/different wineries for a very reasonable price (at least at the $35 GoldStar price we paid….$60 would have felt too expensive to me so definitely aim to buy yours in advance next year!).  Almost the entire length of the Herbst Pavilion building on both sides had table after table of wineries pouring anywhere from 2-6 wines each.  Way more than you really should taste but it sure is fun to try a bunch out in a much easier and safer way than driving around Napa, Sonoma or any of the other wine regions.

All of the tastings are free and if you can get your hands on any of the yummy tapas that are set out periodically those are free as well (paella, ceviche, chorizo/potato skewers, cheese/fruit etc..), except for the oysters but I firmly believe you should never trust free oysters anyway!  The food was provided by Marco Paella, Bocadillos, Savoy Events, 9 Catering and others.  Unfortunately the drinking masses like free food so it was pretty hard to get your hands on any of the good stuff unless you were willing to wait in line by the empty tables until the next round comes out, which I’m not.  That aside the crowds actually weren’t too bad…I found it to be festively crowded but not annoying which is rare for a Fort Mason drinking event.  But then again, the wine crowd tends to be a bit easier to handle than the beer crowd!  Fun Spanish music and cooking demonstrations helped make it an all around well rounded and fun event!

So, what were some of our favorite new wines/wineries?

Bodega del Sur ’09 Albariño (Calaveras County)
Clayouse Wines ’08 Estate Tempranillo (Paso Robles)
Dancing Coyote Wines ’10 Verdelho (Clarksburg)
Duarte Georgetown ’09 Rouge (El Dorado) – Grenache blend
Pierce Ranch Vineyards ’07 Touriga (San Antonio Valley)
Riaza Wines ’08 Tempranillo (Amador County)
Twisted Oak Winery ’09 Graciano (Calaveras County)
Twisted Oak Winery ’08 Torcido Garnacha (Calaveras County)
Yorba Wines ’07 Tempranillo (Sierra Foothills)

One other new thing that we learned about is the wine region in Murphys, CA (Bodega del Sur below has a tasting room there)…this is exciting for us since it is out between Tahoe and Yosemite and we are heading to Yosemite in October, perfect side trip!  Stay tuned and I’ll report back…

So now you’ve read all about how fun TAPAS was, but you missed it!  So what to do?  Keep a better eye on the monthly SavoryGirl Calendar so you don’t miss a cool foodie event again in the future!  Silly! ;)