Friday, May 18, 2007. Wine Country http://www.thewinecountry.com held a "World Class Oregon Pinot Noir" tasting and seminar. Greg Sanders of White Rose Wines was there talking about his wines. Most of the wines were OK. A couple really stood out for me. The 2004 Domaine Serene "Evanstad Reserve" at $49.99 and the 2004 White Rose "Dragons Bluff" at $55.99. I tasted the 2003 Stoller, at $31.99 which had a very odd taste to the back finish. When I said something about it, Kelly went and got a clean glass and re poured the wine for me. The odd taste was not there in the second glass. Makes you wonder, if the first glass was not rinsed thoroughly and still had soap residue in it. The 2005 Chehalem 3 Vineyard at $23.99 had so much Brett that I found it unpalatable.
Apparently Wine Country now has a policy of pre-selecting where you will be seated at the tables for these seminars. They had name tags on your place. This was explained to me by Kelly that the "reason" was so that larger parties coming in and wanting to sit together would not be broken up by ones and twos. Since I usually make my reservation as a single and meet people there that I want to sit with, this new policy is not "sitting" well with me. I arrive early and I always take an end seat and if I am meeting someone will secure their seats next to my "end" seat. If I am alone I still take an end seat so not to break up couples, etc. I have certain areas that I like to sit at. I stay away from the cooler, because of the noise and I like to be fairly close to the speaker. I have a problem with hearing when there is a lot of background noise. Also when people get into their 3rd or 4th glass of wine their conversations become louder and it makes it difficult to hear if you are in the middle or back. I do attend the seminars to learn, not to get buzzed or because it is a happening.
My thought is, if you have several people in your party and want to sit together then someone should come early and secure your seats. Don't come in at 7:25 and expect everyone to shuffle around to accommodate you. That's just as rude as a single taking a seat right in the middle of the row.
Needless to say I was very vocal about the new arrangements. Several people agreed with me but didn't have the "%^&$%^#@" to say anything. They just mumbled to themselves.
I am signed up to attend their seminar on New Zealand Wines next week. If I still have to sit someplace that I'm not comfortable in, then it will be the last time I attend a seminar at Wine Country