For seven years, Robert Parker has been hosting a $1000 charity tasting of one type of wine at the CIA's Greystone campus. Usually he picks wines you might expect to pay $1000 to taste: California cult Cabernets, Bordeaux first- and second-growths, top wines from the Rhone Valley.
Antonio Galloni has taken over the tasting this year. And look what type of wine he chose:
California Syrah is a butt of many jokes on the wine circuit, especially from people who make and love it. One of my favorites was told to me by Randall Grahm: "How can you tell the difference between a case of Syrah and a case of the crabs? The crabs go away." So it's shocking to see Galloni choose it for the $1000 tasting.
Just on a financial basis, the event usually has 15-20 wines, and if it's California cult cabs, that's 15-20 wines with three-digit prices. How many California Syrahs are that expensive? How many should be?
Galloni will never have the influence Parker did in his prime because the wine world is fragmented with many voices now. But by virtue of being the Advocate's new California critic, he is a subject of fascination for California wineries and has a reservoir of influence to spend. It's an interesting way to spend it.
The event is on Oct. 16. There's also a BYOB dinner that night at Press that costs $1200. If you want to attend, call the CIA at 707-967-2400.