Thursday, January 28, 2010

Volunteering at the ZAP Festival in San Francisco

I’ve been a Zinfandel fan for some time. I mean what’s not to like about this California favorite? It is so versatile, ranging from jammy to elegant in the right hands. Until this year though I’d not made it to the Zinfandel Festival. I know, how could that be? I considered going last year but it seemed daunting, difficult to get a grip on. Almost 300 wineries attend, in two large halls, at the Herbst and Festival Pavilions at San Francisco’s Fort Mason, and it’s bit spendy at $59 for the Grand Tasting. Could I really taste enough to make it worth going? What would the crowds be like? How would I know what to try? This year I got a surprise offer from a friend to volunteer. It sounded fun, in a way. I’d be directing the attendees to their destinations for a few hours and afterwards I’d be free to join in and taste some Zinfandel; In fact, a lot of Zinfandel, if I wanted.

I was looking forward to the adventure so when Saturday came around we were on our way with a sense of excitement. Living out in Pleasanton taking BART is the best bet for getting to San Francisco for me. At Embarcadero we jumped on the F-Line and rode it to the end of the line. It’s a fun experience on the old time trolleys, that so many visitors like to share. After the stop it’s just a short walk past the aquatic center and over the hill to Ft. Mason. It was a sunny but cool January day but there were swimmers in the bay. Some people are hardier than I am for sure. I was planning to wet my whistle, but that was it.