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A tasty sip of the holidays

Valencia Wine Company's fourth annual wine tasting party pours forth with holiday wine suggestions.

Posted: November 26, 2008 7:27 p.m.
Updated: November 27, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Guests gather around for a taste of one of the more than 150 wines available to sample at the fourth annual Valencia Wine Company Holiday Wine Tasting held Sunday at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

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It was a wine lovers' paradise Sunday as Guy LeLarge of Valencia Wine Company hosted several hundred friends and customers at the rescheduled fourth annual Holiday Wine Tasting held at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

Delayed a little more than a week because of the Sayre Fire that shut down the freeways to the north and south into the Santa Clarita Valley, the event was just in time for the holidays.

More than 150 wines were offered for guests to taste as decisions were made onwhich wines to buy for holiday parties and festivities and which wines to purchase as gifts. The event offered attendees, who paid $70 a ticket to attend, the chance to sample wine beyond the customary Cabernets, Chardonneys and Merlots. Ice wine, fine champagnes and sparkling wines, 20-year-old Port and wines from small family vineyards were also on hand.

Guests wandered the indoor and outdoor spaces at TPC, sipped wine by the cozy firepit and watched as duffers lined up shots on the greens of the freshly manicured golf course.

Among the wines LeLarge enthusiastically recommended was the Monopole Brut NV from Heidsieck & Co. poured by the Wine Warehouse. Selling for $60.99 a bottle ($69.99 for the rose), the sparkling wine is known for its connection to the famously doomed passenger liner, the Titanic.

Heidsieck was established in 1785 and the winery's Monopole Blue Top Champagne was the official "champagne" aboard the Titanic.

"I've heard that when they recovered some of the champagne from the Titanic it still tasted terrific," said LeLarge. "It's a great story."

The event featured quality and high-end wines and wines that compared favorably with the large selection of more well-known top-of-the-line offerings.

More than 15 stations offered guests a chance to sample wines between trips to the hors d'oeuvres table.

"This is our best event ever," LeLarge said. "The weather is beautiful, there is no smoke in the sky and the wine selections this year are wonderful. It is all good."

Adams Wines featured wines from the Bordeaux region of France and California ($80.99 to $14.99).

Classic Wines poured California Rhone varietals and French sparking wines ($24.99 to $15.99). Cosentino Winery offered a collection of Mitch Cosentino's finest wines (including a Semillion, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cigar Zin, Cab and Cab Franc and others) priced $135.99 to $17.99. Frank Lin with wines from Washington state and the Santa Lucia Highlands also spotlighted Dampierre Champagne and Bordeaux Blanc ($65.99 to $17.99).

Golden State offered wines from Italy and Spain and spotlighted Napa Valley ($45.99 to $16.99). Paul Young featured Rhone varietals and spotlighted French wines ($60.99 to $29.99).Pope Napa Valley Winery poured a selection of Pope's fine wines ($66.99 to $17.99) and Vin-West offered wine from Australia and New Zealand (and an exquisite Charles Creek Chardonnay) priced $39.99 to $22.99.

Southern Wine and Spirts brought a large assortment of California Wines ($50.99 to $18.99) from wineries that included Coppola, Ravenswood and Summerland, among others.

American Wines and Spirits had a huge selection of wine that included California varietals, international selections and Port ($66.99 to $14.99).

Total Beverage Solution poured Canadian ice wines and wines from "Down Under" - New Zealand and Australia ($60.99 to $17.99).

TGIC featured wines from Argentina, Chile and Italy and spotlighted a Montes "Napa Angel" 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($65.99 to $13.99).

The Wine Warehouse offered sparkling wines and a host of California varietals ($130.99 to $18.99).
Wine Wise/Vienna Wine Co. poured German, Austrian and sparkling wines as well as wines from the
Truman Wine Company ($40.99 to $12.99).

Valencia Wine Company also offered up an extensive selection of wines and the small family vineyards included Bridlewood, MacMurray, Whitehaven and Martini, among others ($94.99 to $24.99).

Many of the wines were available to order for up to 20 percent off the case price and 10 percent off an order of six bottles.

LeLarge said he hosts the annual wine tasting to help customers choose wines for the holidays.

"It gives people a chance to taste something different that they might want to offer family and friends during the holidays," he said.

LeLarge said that for customers who missed the wine event the wine experts at Valencia Wine Company are happy to make suggestions and offer advice to help with holiday wine selection.

"Whenever you have a special occasion you want to have a special wine," he said. "What's more special than the holidays?"

Valencia Wine Company, 24300 Town Center Drive, Valencia, (661) 254-9300.

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