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It is a cold, hard fact that many wine lovers will never taste most of the world’s best wines—they are simply too expensive for most of us. If you find yourself in despair over this fact, a solution may be at hand for San Diegans.

San Diego has a newly formed Meetup group devoted to serious wine tasting. San Diego Wine Society meets once a month over dinner to taste high-end, international wines. By meeting as a group, everyone gets a generous taste of these very special wines while spreading the cost among all the participants.

This past Saturday, the society invited me to help guide a blind tasting of 8 premium wines. The atmosphere was convivial and relaxed yet thoroughly devoted to wine education. The wines were invariably interesting and in some cases extraordinary. The event was well-run and the food well-prepared, at a reasonable price.

If you have a serious interest in wine, I urge you to sign up for this group and attend their dinners—their Meet-up page is here. There is no membership fee.

The wines poured for February’s dinner are as follows:

2007 Vega Sicilia Alion, Tempranillo,  Ribera Del Duero, Spain.

2009 Ata Rangi, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand.

2009 Tres Picos Garnacha Borja, Spain.

2004 Conterno Fantino Barolo, Piemonte, Italy.

2009 Clos La Coutale. Malbec, Cahors, France.

2004 Michel and Stephane Ogier Lancemont, Cote Rotie, France.

2008 Clio Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain.

2009 Le Sughere di Frassinello Super Tuscan, Italy.

To my palate, the star of the show was the Ogier Lancemont Cote Rotie. My tasting notes are here.

I hope to see you at a tasting in the future.

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