Monday December 13th, 2021 - 7:30PM 

Our next tasting will be at 7:30PM on Monday December 13th.  Following our December tradition we will be tasting a collection of sparkling wines from around the world. Some of these wines will come from California and the Champagne region of France.

The cost will be $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Members get a preferential right to sign up for this tasting through Wednesday November 10th. After that it will be opened to non-members. We do allow up to four non-members sign up during the member signup period.

Current rules say that since we are indoors and are in close proximity to each other, attendees must be fully vaccinated. Current rules also require that everyone wear masks until we start the tasting.

Advanced signup is required. If interested, please sign up by sending us email at



Wednesday November 3rd, 2021 - 7:30PM

Wines for the Holidays Tasting

Our next tasting will be at 7:30PM on Wednesday November 3rd. Eric and I plan is to make a shopping trip to Vintage Berkeley (2113 Vine Street in North Berkeley) to curate a collection of wines that we think will be fun for holiday parties which may include both red and white wines.  Our goal will be to focus on wines ready to drink now and not too budget busting.

Tuesday October 5th, 7:30 - 9:30pm

Italian Red Wine Tasting

The tasting will feature red wines from Italy. There's more to Italian reds than cheap Chianti.

Italy produces almost a third of all wine worldwide, with regions from the Tyrols in the far north

(with a heavy Austrian/German influence) down to Sicily, with a corresponding spread of climates, varietals (350 "authorized" plus unofficial ones), and styles.

For this tasting we'll try to give you an interesting spread, focusing (as usual) on the dry styles.

We are always happy to have new folks join our wine tasting group. We started these tastings because we felt that the ones we were attending were too formal and stuffy. We wanted something that would be fun and social where people could learn what they liked and didn't like. Attendees range from those that know almost nothing to those that are quite good at distinguishing wines. But the common thread is that everyone enjoys themselves and learns a bit.

The format of the event is that we taste six wines. You will get six glasses with a 40ml pour of each of the wines so that you taste them side-by-side and see how their tastes change over time. Often a wine will taste quite different between when it is first poured and 15 minutes later. We provide plain water crackers as a palate cleanser, but no other food initially so that you can try the wines on their own. About a half hour after we start, we go around and let folks comment on the wines (commentary varies from detailed comments on each wine to ranking most to least favorite to no comments at all). We then bring out cheese and bread so that you can try your (hopefully) remaining wine against food as some wines taste better with food.

We are limited to 17 attendees as that is the number of pours that we get from a standard 750ml bottle using our measured 40ml pourers. Due to the popularity of the wine tastings and how quickly they sell out, Hillside Club members now have a week to sign up before non-HSC members can sign up (a great benefit of Club membership). We do keep a waiting list as folks do often drop out. If the tasting is full when you request to sign up, you will have the option of getting on the waiting list.

Our policy is that you can cancel your reservation up to one week before the event without penalty. So, if other events come up that will preclude your attending and you let us know at least a week in advance, we will give you a choice of receiving a refund or getting a credit of your payment to a future wine tasting event. 

If you cancel less than seven days in advance, we will provide a refund or credit only if we are able to fill your space. Hopefully this policy will make it easier to sign up early and then be able to change your mind if other events come up. Also, you may substitute someone else for your space at any time up to the event.

Please sign up by sending us email at

 ~Kirk McKusick & Eric Allman

Explore Past Wine Tasting Events