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The SLAC Summer Institute Wine List:

Cosmic VarianceBy JoAnne HewettSeptember 13, 2005 11:41 PM


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By popular demand, here is the wine list from the 2005 SLAC Summer Institute (SSI). One of my duties as SSI program co-director is to choose the wine that we serve with the Institute dinners. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. It really isn't so easy. Honestly. We have a strict budget. I can't just order a case or two of Chateau Margaux! (Actually, I've never had the pleasure of tasting Chateau Margaux....sigh.) I have to average around $6.00/bottle. And, I must admit, I know little about wines that cost $6.00/bottle. And, I can't serve just any everyday plonk - I have a reputation to maintain! So, to ensure quality, I taste. As I said, it's a tough job... I start looking for bargains a few months in advance. Whenever I see something interesting, and cheap, I buy a bottle. I taste it immediately, and if it passes muster, I immediately return to buy a bunch. Good cheap wine sells out quickly and you gotta be fast. All in all, I usually taste about 2-3 cases worth. (Yes, at my own expense.) Sometimes I end up running to the sink to spit the stuff out. Sometimes I end up buying some bottles for myself. So....drumroll is the 2005 list. Average cost $6.29/bottle. White: Meridian Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County - 2004, $5.99 Grand Cru Chardonnay - 2003, $4.99 Sartarelli Verdicchio - 2003, $4.99 Aranacio Grillo - 2003, $5.99 Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc - 2004, $8.99 Red: Charamba Duoro Tinto - 2000, $5.99 Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel - 2003, $8.98 Columbia Crest Merlot, Grand Estaters - 2001, $8.99 Deakin Shiraz - 2004, $6.99 Rosemount Estate Shiraz (Diamond Label) - 2003, $7.99 Marques de Riscal Tempranillo - 1999, $7.99

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