Back Room Battle

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Back Room Wines 10.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The film Bottle Shock tells the tale of the 1976 "Judgment of Paris," where California wines beat out their French counterparts in a widely publicized blind tasting.  This week in Napa, three local merlots go head to head against three from Bordeaux at Back Room Wines' Thursday night tasting event. It won't be blind, but it will be delicious.
Dan Dawson owns Back Room, and masterminds the tasting event calendar there. The themes range all over the place, from "12 Dollars and Under" to "Wine Spectator 92+" to the much beloved annual Hot Dog & Wine pairing. Regionally-themed tasting events are common, so you can learn about wines of northeast Italy or Spain, or the cabernet sauvignons from the many sub-appellations of the Napa Valley (December 4--mark your calendars) Every week Dan puts on at least two themed tasting events, generally on Thursday and Friday nights from 5pm to 8pm.

Back Room is actually a retail wine store with a comfy tasting area in the back. In addition to the weekly themed lineups on Thursdays and Fridays, the tasting bar offers a themed flight for your enjoyment every day, as well a couple of nibbly platters of truly excellent charcuterie, cheeses, and olives. I've never had any snacks there that I didn't love. Thanks to the retail portion of the store, you can also buy any bottle that tickles your fancy and enjoy it there, on the sofa or at the bar, for the price of sharing a taste with the staff. You'll likely wind up sharing some conversation as well. You may even find yourself with some new friends.

Merlot: Napa vs. Bordeaux
Thursday October 22, 2009, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
$20/flight; all featured wines are available by the bottle at 10% discount for the night

Back Room Wines
First and Main Streets, Napa

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Slight correction and update: the point-based tasting referenced above is actually "Wine Advocate 92+" (not Wine Spectator) and it's happening this Friday, October 23.

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