The seventh year anniversary of this blog is fast approaching (January 12, 2019, if you are scoring at home–or even if you are alone), and it would only require a couple of fingers to count the number of contests that I have run. Almost all of the contests that I have been offered have either been not all that interesting, or have seemed far too onerous to conduct.
Just this past week, however, I was presented with an idea for a give-away that was quite compelling—the opportunity to attend one of the country’s premier wine events. The organizers of the Zinfandel Experience (ZinEx) approached me and wondered if my readers might be interested in attending this year’s extravaganza —with me.
My first thought was focused on those last two words: “with me.” I immediately questioned the sanity of the organizers by paraphrasing Groucho Marx—I am not sure that I would want to hang out with anyone that would want to hang out with me—but they assured me that there was some inherent value there.
So I rolled with it.
ZinEx, presented by ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers), is an annual celebration of Zinfandel, often called “the American Heritage Grape.” The three-day event, held in downtown San Francisco, starts with the opening night dinner on Thursday, January 17th, and culminates with the Grand Tasting on Saturday, January 19th, where scores of Zinfandel producers will be pouring their wines and interacting with consumers.
After an exchange of emails and an informative phone call with the organizers of the event, we put together a rather compelling package of events worth over $1000 to offer to two separate readers of the Drunken Cyclist (two different winners will both receive all of the following):
- 2 Tickets to the Opening Night Dinner on Thursday, January 17, value $400. Over a dozen wine producers will be on hand at One Market Pavilion in San Francisco to greet you and pair their wines with the innovative American cuisine of award-winning chef Mark Dommen. I will be there as well. I might even wear a tie.
2 Tickets to the Flights Seminar on Friday, January 18, value $200. A sit-down experience at the Palace Hotel, focused on the different styles and flavors of Zinfandel as well as some of the personalities of its producers. I am particularly excited that the moderator is Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, a champion of the variety for over 40 years. I know I will be a little star-struck.
- 2 All-Day Tickets to the Grand Tasting on Saturday, January 19, value $380. Join me at the Grand Tasting at Pier 29 where I will be visiting some of my favorite producers and get a “behind the scenes” approach to a tasting that will feature countless producers.
- To Be Determined likely on Friday night, value? Good question. I am also working on a private blind tasting for the winners conducted by yours truly. I hope to gather around a dozen top Zinfandels from different regions and representing contrasting styles for a different approach to Zinfandel appreciation.
There you have it. No, airfare and hotel are not included (I tried!), but the package is valued at over $1000 (my wife said that a blind tasting with me is “priceless” but she is a bit biased) and will be a great three days for four lucky people to experience Zinfandel in an incredible way.
Entry is fairly easy—just post a picture of a bottle of Zinfandel to social media somewhere with the hashtag #ZinStories. Be sure, and this is important, to send me an email (jeff(at)thedrunekencyclist(dot)com) or leave a comment here, letting me know where you posted. Also, please only enter if you know that you will be able to attend!
Any questions? Use the above email to give me a shout or ask away in the comments section below.