Contest #1: for the first pair of tickets, simply tell me why you should get them. Has life been getting you down and do you need a ray of sunshine? Are you the greatest fan of Zinfandel in history? Are you attracted to short, bald, bearded, round, old wine bloggers? Is January 30 your birthday? In 150 words or less make me laugh, make me cry, make me blush, make me want to give you two tickets. I’ll award the tickets to the person who offers me the best reason to give them to you. To enter contest #1, enter your 150 word, or less, reason as a comment to this blog entry.

Contest #1 Entry A
You should give them to me because I know where the bodies are buried. Christ, I helped you bury a lot of them.

Okay, I liked this entry, it was short, assumptive, and made me laugh. But it didn’t really hit on enough cylinders.

Contest #1 Entry B
I want to go to ZAP 2010 to see how this heritage grape is doing in it’s latest releases. I like to write about the wines I taste and am judicious in making even and consistent notes and highlights. This is a grape event to point out, talk with grape growers and winemakers and truly understand their science and art.

I love ZAP, Zinfandel and this yearly event is something that beckons that wine is still alive in keeping in these challenging times. Wine reminds us there is something that brings us together; it is the social glue that binds.

Well this entry was more worthwhile, I’m getting a strong sense that the entrant would benefit from the experience.

Contest #1 Entry: C
Ok, I am a poor little wine blogger. I’m new, and frankly, wine cognoscenti scare me. My wife was just last year diagnosed with a horrifying genetic disorder, and while we deal with that (it’s called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) i am putting her through graduate school for a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. And oh. my. god. I love Zinfandel. LOVE IT.

Wow, hitting on a bunch of cylinders. A desire to learn, a genetically disordered wife, sacrifice working to put her through school, avowed Zinfandel love. When I wrote “life been getting you down” I was thinking of a temporary unemployment, but I got an American Idol audition, complete with an immediate family medical issue.

Contest #1 Entry D
I should get the tickets because even though I am in the biz I have never been to ZAP and my birthday is also 1/25; I have the ID to prove it

Sharing a birthday does count for a lot, but unfortunately not a strong enough plea. Sign up for Trade passes!

Contest #1 Entry E
You should give the tickets to me but I can’t make it next weekend so the next best thing is to give them to Hans Dippel, the King of the Limerick. He made me laugh and I know him from Facebook…

An interesting plea, but this entry will not win this contest, and this isn’t the contest for Limericks.

Contest #1 Entry F
I’m a virgin and I really need to get cherry popped. A big, bold Zin with a eye-brow, raising long finish was THE varietal responsible for my love affair with wine. Pair it with a bit of melt-in-your mouth, eye fluttering Belgian dark chocolate and heaven is found. It’d be a shame to miss out on swinging with other Zins.

Wow! I did write “make me blush” as a possible pathway to the tickets, and I believe you made my heart beat a few beats a minute faster with your entry.

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So for me it came down to a contest between entries C and F, and entry C just had a ton going on in just a little paragraph.

The winner of contest #1′s pair of tickets is Steve Paulo from notesfromthecellar.com

Honorable mention goes to Sarita Moreno of saritathewinegal.blogspot.com

EDITED TO ADD: Steve can not attend the event because his wife accepted a wedding invitation, Steve asked that the tickets go to the next best entry, so the NEW winner of contest #1 is Sarita. Congratulations!

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Contest #2: for the second pair of tickets, write a poem about Zinfandel, with as few as 5 lines (limerick) up to a maximum of 14 lines (sonnet). I’ll award the tickets to the person who submits my favorite original poem. The madly talented Randall Grahm, who does not need tickets anyway, is not eligible for this contest. Poetry skill points will be given for weaving “Julie Ann” and/or “Zinfandel” into your poem. To enter contest # 2, leave your poem as a comment to this blog entry.

Contest #2 Entry A
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who daily drank Zin by the bucket.
Wiping Zin off his chin,
He said with chagrin,
“If I can’t go to ZAP, well then…bummer!

plus 3 bonus poems from the same entrant:

JC is a guy who loves Zin,
To most, we don’t think it a sin.
It does make you think,
How much Zin he can drink,
But explains why he wears such a grin.

There once was a guy named JC,
Who had Zin coming out of his pee.
Although meloncholic,
Not yet an alcoholic.
His pee was the source of much glee.

There once was a guy named JC,
For years he sold Zin next to me.
We pitched and we pitched,
But not as much as we bitched.
So I married his boss, Melanie

Contest #2 Entry B
There once was a great Julie Ann
Who of Zinfandel was a huge fan
She offered tickets to ZAP
Which I tried to snap
I hope it’s a super good plan.

Well this came down to someone who doesn’t read the rules or instructions, sends 4 or 5 poems insteead of one vs. someone who read the instructions and included “Julie Ann” and “Zinfandel” in their poem for higher style points; and the winner is…The rule breaker by a mile.

A Shakespearean styled 14 line sonnet would have won this over just about any limerick, but I had to go with what I had and Hans’ rule breaking, instruction ignoring purposely non rhyming poetry entry was a winner. It reminded me of some of my favorite wines that also break rules,  surprise and delight.

Hans Dippel of cigarBQ.com has won contest #2 and the second pair of Zap Grand Zinfandel Tasting tickets.

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Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the two winners.