A Closer Look: GrapeFull Reds
We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank a fun wine tasting group (with quite a few loyal Trinitas Wine Society members) called "GrapeFull Reds". Last month, Trinitas Cellars' owner, Tim Busch, hosted the GrapeFull Reds at his home in Laguna Hills, California. This was an extra special evening as GrapeFull Reds is a group that gets together to blind taste and score wines once a month. The group met in Tim's wine cellar and included some of Trinitas's wines (red only of course!) in the mix for the October tasting; including the 2009 Mendocino Old Vine Zinfandel, 2010 Mysterium, 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Petite Sirah, 2009 Meritage and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 Petite Sirah was the favorite among the group and received an average ranking of 91 points among the 15 group members present. Here are some pictures from the event and below is a brief history of the group and how they got started!
A brief history of the GrapeFull Reds Wine Society
By Steve Severy, co-founder of GrapeFull Reds
(Yes GrapeFull is one word with two capital letters)
The GrapeFill Reds Wine Society was officially born, in Coto de Caza, CA. over 15 years ago on my next door neighbor, Bill Arman’s deck. For several years before this day, friends would arrive at my home or Bill’s with a bottle of wine closeted in a paper bag. These gathering were almost never scheduled, but somehow the word would just get out. Now what better thing to do on a weekend afternoon than get together, taste, drink and share wine. Most would arrive with a bottle of wine, tightly wrapped in a paper bag, that they were very familiar with, but were amazed that once they were blind tasting 4-9 different wines, they could not identify the wine they brought with them.
On one sunny afternoon Bill announced that we were not going to leave the deck until we came up with a name for the group. Fortunately I have a large wine cellar next door and we were not in danger of running out of wine before finding a name. As the day wore on our name the GrapeFull Reds (GFR) was born and then we fancied up the name by adding Wine Society to balance the tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Grateful Dead” music group.
For some 15 years we have been meeting on the third Thursday of each month except December when we meet earlier in the month. We blind taste three flights of three wines (9 total) that have been decanted. After each flight we score the wines and then go around the table to reveal our comments / scores. This is the true educational part of the evening. Then the three wines are revealed as to grape, winery and price. At the end of the tasting the total scores are averaged. There are two winners every time. The wine with the highest average score and the “best value” of the night, comparing price to score. Sometimes one wine takes both honors. When that happens there is usually a rush out to purchase a lot of that wine. (That is exactly what happened at our recent Trinitas tasting at Tim’s house.) And yes we only taste red wines.
Each member gets a chance to host a tasting. That member has a budget of $300 to purchase the wine for the tasting and chooses the wines. That member also has a $100 food budget for the evening. There is usually an attendance of 10-12 members. Our members purchase a lot of wine, so often a winery or wine distributor supplies some or all of our wines for the tasting.
Once we start tasting we try to keep the conversation restricted to food and wine as much as possible. We are a men only group. We have nothing against the ladies but insert a lady or two into a men’s group and all the guys start showing off a little. Again our main goal is to increase our knowledge of wines and by not having the ladies there it helps us concentrate a little better. So once or twice a year we like to take our significant others out to a fine dinner to say thank you for letting us out to taste wine once a month.
Bill Arman and Steve Severy are the co-founders of the group. Our goal is to find the good wines, buy them at the best prices we can, then share them and have fun doing it. And sort-of by accident we learn a lot about defining what a really good wine is and what makes it so. Refining our palates.
Thank you GrapeFull Red for a fun evening and for being loyal fans and customers! We look forward to tasting again with you all again soon! Cheers!