Let's take this time to make a toast to tempranillo. It's one of Spain's signature wine grapes, and also finds a home around Northern California's wine region. Bokisch Vineyards of Lodi scored a gold medal with its tempranillo at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, while Berryessa Gap's 2008 Rocky Ridge Tempranillo was named as one of the San Francisco Chronicle's top 100 wines of 2010.
Once turned into wine, tempranillo shows a range of styles, from lighter, pinot noir-ish red wines with strawberry flavors, to the deeply oaked wines of Spain's Rioja region. Though not considered the most age-worthy of reds, such superstars as Vega Sicilia Unico (a blend of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon from the Ribera del Duero) can easily last for decades.
Thursday brings International Tempranillo Day, part of an effort to bring recognition to this often overlooked wine. Members of the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers & Amigos Society (TAPAS) will pour complimentary tastes of tempranillo and tempranillo blends on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Caverna Fifty-Seven (836 57th St., Sacramento).
Participating wineries include Yorba Wines, Berryessa Gap Vineyards, Boeger and Ficklin Vineyards. Food will be for sale from the Fuzion Eatz food truck.
For more information: (916) 737-5757, www.caverna57.com.
Two restaurants make notable wine lists
OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation service, recently named its top 100 "notable wine lists" from across the country. Congratulations to two local restaurants which made the cut: Carpe Vino of Auburn and Sacramento's own Enotria.
Winners were culled from about 5 million OpenTable reviews, and accounted for 15,000 restaurants.
Both Carpe Vino and Enotria were recognized in these "notable wine lists" honors in 2011 as well. And speaking of Enotria, drop by tonight for a tasting of Quintessa wines including comparison tastings between the 2006 and 2009 vintages and light appetizers. $25 per person. For more information: (916) 922-6792, www.enotria.com.