Appetite: Forecast -- a downpour of delicious varietals and gourmet bites

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It's been a stunning week of sunny weather... We may get a little rain on Saturday, but no problem if we can spend the afternoon indoors sipping delicious wine, right? On Sat/20, the largest competition of American wines in the world takes place in Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion.

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition features literally thousands of our country’s best with gourmet bites along the way. Maybe it's Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras or A Perfect Pear's delicious jams. Or you can sample what the CCA students are cooking up.

The event started in 1983 as an annual fundraiser for the Santa Rosa Junior College Wine Studies Program & Culinary Arts Program (now that's a mouthful), and was then known as the humble Cloverdale Citrus Fair wine competition -- eventually growing to the point where it moved to SF. More than 4800 nationwide wines are judged in January by 60 industry judges. The gold medal wines are offered to you -- that's a lot of wine tasting!

You'll taste wines of many a varietal and within a wide price range, like a Norton from Missouri, Rieslings from both coasts, or a Chambourcin from the Finger Lakes. Fort Mason is yours to roam: sipping, nibbling, taking in views of Golden Gate Bridge. Rainy or not, that sounds like a sweet Saturday.

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Sat/20; 2-5pm, $60 advance/ $80 at the door
Fort Mason Center Festival Pavillion, 38 Fort Mason 11
www.winejudging.com
twitter.com/sfcwinecomp

Check out Virginia's culinary itinerary site www.theperfectspotsf.com for more food news and views.

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