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Napa Wine Auction

Wine
06.16.2008

Napa Valley

My associate Douglas and I are up for the big Napa Valley Wine Auction, more specifically the barrel auction portion of the event. If you haven’t been, it is a wild orgy of Napa wineries that come together at the Trinchero winery to auction off their wines for worthy causes. An endless sea of barrels fills the enormous warehouse space that holds the barrel auction, while white wines and food from local chefs are served outside.

Strappy summer dresses are mandatory for all trophy wives, golddiggers, and otherwise drop-dead-gorgeous women, and men seem to wear whatever the hell they want. One of my favorite aspects of the auction is watching all the women with collagen filled lips try to spit wine into the spit-buckets…like dentist anesthesia gone terribly wrong.

Things are overwhelming as I first arrive, but this passes as the cabernet starts to take affect. If you are a lover of Napa wines, you simply must find a way to get here, as you’ll never find a more comprehensive tasting of the region’s wines. Kongsgaard’s “The Judge” and Shafer’s “Hillside Select” are both poured and are both among Napa’s most sought after and prized wine, so there are definitely compelling wines being poured.

Blackbird Vineyards was my favorite wine of the tasting, and their Bordeaux style blend really blew my mind. Other standouts included Gemstone, Lail (the Blueprint Sauvingon Blanc was killer), and HDV.

Wine auctions are a pretty slick idea if you think about it: you show up, bid on wine, drink the wines in which you are interested, bid more, get buzzed, bid more, get tanked, bid too much, and I say more power to you, as it is all for charity.

There is a strong buzz about the live auction stirring the following day, where the big bucks are thrown down. Trips around the world, cars, and even a walk on role on Grey’s Anatomy are up for grabs, with millions expected in return.

If you can handle tasting some 200 young interpretations of Cabernet Sauvignon, this tasting is a dream. If you can’t, at least you have the sea of trophy wives in strappy dresses to keep you occupied.



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