The pizzas came from the bakery's wood-fired oven. The red wine was poured at LoCA for Lodi 2017, a tasting of wines from Lodi arranged by WineLA.
The wine with the mushroom pizza in the photo at the top is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from d'Art Wines, owned by Dave and Helen Dart, who started as home winemakers. It's a nice, fruity Cab for $38.
The leading red wine grape in Lodi isn't Cab but Zinfandel. A premium example of this was the 2011 Centennial Zinfandel from Langetwins Family Winery and Vineyards. This was the 105th vintage from a 114-year-old vineyard. The wine spent 24 months in American oak and has a high alcohol content, 15.6%, and a high price, $60. Only 400 cases were made.
For a dollar less you can have the 2014 Select Block Old Vine Zinfandel from m2 Wines, which specializes in small-lot wines. It's a lovely, fruity Zinfandel for $59.
The 2003 Marian's Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel from St. Amant Winery is priceless, meaning it's no longer available at any price. Fruit, viscosity and alcohol made it taste almost syrupy sweet. You can get the 2015 vintage of the wine at the winery, for $24.
Klinker Brick Winery substituted a reserve Zinfandel 2014 for the Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel listed in the tasting catalog. The reserve tasted almost sweet, the result of spending time in medium toast oak. There wasn't a price for this wine, but Old Ghost is $37.
Another pricey wine was Peltier Winery's 2010 Teroldego Reserve, a very dry red for $60. Peltier has been working with this hard-to-grow grape for 12 years.
Want a red that's good with spicy food and light summer meals? That would be the 2013 Abba Vineyard Grenache from McCay Cellars. It's $35.
Michael David Winery offered its 2014 Inkblot Cabernet Franc, which is $35. This winery goes for cutesy names such as 7 Deadly Zins, Freakshow Red Wine Blend and Petite Petit. It has a wine club for red wine lovers only. Others can join its mixed wines club. There's also a reserve club, but that has a waiting list.
Red blends poured at the tasting included the 2014 Trencadis Red Blend from Bokisch Vineyards, which combines Graciano, Petit Verdot and Mourvedre. The price is $26.
Jeremy Wine Co.'s 2013 The Choral Blend contains five wines--Sangiovese, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Teroldego. This wine chorus is named for Jeremy Trettevik's wife, Choral. Three hundred cases were made. The price is $35.
On the other hand, there were two Albariños. One was the 2015 Albariño, Terra Alta Vineyard, from Bokisch Vineyards, whose owners, Markus and Liz Bokisch, are dedicated to Spanish wines. It's $18. The other was Klinker Brick's 2016 Albariño, for $15.
D'Art Wines poured a white Barbera, which would make a great summer wine, with nice acidity and a little sweetness. Bokisch makes this from the first two tons of red Barbera grapes, eliminating skin contact so that the juice has no color. The price is $22.
For a real bargain, there was RedHaus Wines' 2011 red blend, composed of old vine Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet and pretty nice for $10. Another was Van Ruiten Family Winery's 2015 Pinot Grigio, for $9.99.
The fourteen wineries that took part poured enough wine to keep tasters busy. So did the constant supply of food from La Brea Bakery.
Good as the food was, the point of the tasting was to acquaint those who came with the wide range of Lodi wines, and how good they can be. If you're not familiar with the area, it's east of San Francisco and below Sacramento. For more information, go to lodiwine.com.