I hope you and yours had a nice Valentine’s Day (and President’s Day holiday). Our kids did — they love the candy, and for being so young they are surprisingly moved and excited by cards from mom and dad. Said dad has been better but he’s still recovering from a touch of stomach flu, which hit early Saturday morning. I may have been a bit of a stick in the mud for the holiday, but I was in great form Friday night for the VinOlivo tasting at The Lodge at Sonoma.

Eddie and I poured Westwood current releases in the main tent, which coddled at least a couple hundred guests in nicely-decorated comfort, warmth and relative quiet. This was my first event since the cancer treatment, and it was a pleasure to be among so many happy and enthusiastic wine lovers. We were stationed between Anaba Winery, with proprietor John Sweazey and winemaker Jen Marion pouring, and Amapola Creek, Richard Arrowood’s current project. I had not seen Alis Arrowood (who was pouring along with her daughter) in years and it was very pleasant to catch up a little.

While we poured we chatted up many local friends and fans as well as a surprising number of guests from as far away as New York and Florida. Our 2008 4-Part Rosé (available exclusively at the girl & the fig) was very well received, which reinforced my gut feeling that the market for interesting dry Rosé is on the upswing again. We made more Rosé in 2009 than in 2008, which means this wine will be a little more widely available after we bottle and release it later this year.

Folks were also enamored of the 2005 Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir and 2006 Annadel Estate Vineyard redFOUR Rhône blend. But the wine that may have been showing the best of the evening for us was our 2005 Annadel Estate Syrah. Local wine writer, consultant and bon vivant Robert O’Maoilriain gave us a shout-out for the Syrah in his video review of VinOlivo.

Thanks to Grant, Lori and the rest of the great folks at SVVGA for putting the event together, and to The Lodge for hosting us — especially sommelier Chris Sawyer. Chris, I’m looking forward to our next tasting together.