Boston Wine Expo 2017: Seminars

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On February 18-19 I attended the 26th Boston Wine Expo in Boston Massachusetts which is about a four hour drive north of New York City. I attended both days, Saturday and Sunday and this was my sixth year attending this event. It’s always one of the best wine expos in the country. The event featured over 1,800 wines from over 200 wineries, seminars, vendors and cooking demonstrations. The event benefits the Floating Hospital at Tufts Medical Center’s Summer Camp Program for Children with Disabilities.

As in past years, the event was held at the Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel at 200 Seaport Boulevard, a short tram ride from the South Street bus terminal and this year as in last the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful afternoon.


American Rhône:  The Range of the Rhône Rangers

2015 Gramercy Cellars Picpoul “Los Oidos Vineyard” (Walla Walla)

Very light yellow, pineapple and grapefruit on the nose, lime notes at first followed with floral notes and lime  on the finish.

2013 Bonny Doon Cigare Blanc White Blend (Arroyo Seco)

A blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc. Medium gold, honey and damp earth and crushed rocks on the nose, full honeyed fruit with some botrytis notes, moderate acids, long finish, some heat.

2014 Tablas Creek Rousssanne (Paso Robles)

Medium gold with notes of ginger on the nose, candy and sea air on the fruit, moderate acids.

2013 Tenet GSM Blend (Columbia Valley)

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouverdre. Dark red to black, perfume of pine and slate, chunky, juicy with oak and bitter plums on the finish.

2014 Sans Liege Groundwork Mourvedre (Santa Barbara Highlands)

100% Mourvedre. Dark red with a black rim, overripe vegetable on the nose, concentrated, dusty, black cherry and oak on the fruit, nice grip at the end.

2014 Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grenache (Ballard Canyon)

Dark black in color, feminine perfume of red leather and cherry, big cherry fruit with the tannin tightening up at the end for a good grip, good balance.


Vertical of Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis Côte-Rôtie

1995: Dark brick with a brown rim, cooked black fruit on the nose, tight and tart, brown leather on the tannic finish.

1997: Dark brick with a brown rim, old leather and roasted meat on the nose, dark plum and tight, crisp acids on the finish.

2001: I got a good amount of sediment on the pour, first bottle corked so not much to go around. Brick in color, cooked vegetable and crisp bacon on the nose with big mint notes on the finish.

2003: Dark brick with an amber rim, ripe dark plum and bbq meat on the nose, silky black fruit, firm grip, mint notes, good structure.

2005: Dark red to black, roasted meat, spice and earth on the nose, tight and smoky with crisp acids.

2007: Black with an amber robe, roasted meat and plastic on the nose, juicy fruit followed with firm tannins.

2009: Black in color, roasted meat on the nose, tight and concentrated with the fruit dropping at the end.

2012: Dark red with a purple rim, dusty roast meat on the nose, very tight with asparagus on the finish, a little unbalanced.

Horizontal of Three Guigal Côte-Rôtie

1998 Brune et Blonde: Dark amber, perfume of mint and roast meat, starts tight turns silky with meat notes on the finish.

1998 Chateau d’Ampuis: Medium amber, smoky dark black cherry on the nose, tight with mouth tightening tannins and acids.

1998 La Landonne: Black, amber rim, complex nose of earth, tar and ripe black fruit, concentrated and silky with dark earth notes on the fruit, firm acids.


Vine & Brine: Terroir Pairing With Island Creek Oysters

2015 Domaine Vincent Careme “Cuvee T” paired with an Ichabod Flats oyster.

Medium yellow, sea air and sauerkraut on the nose, crisp fizz, lemon curd on the fruit. Oyster was salty.

2015 Domaine Paul Buisse Touraine Sauvignon paired with an Island Creek oyster.

Light yellow, mowed grass on the nose, juicy, grassy, tart, good balance.

2015 Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre Blanc paired with a Wellfleet oyster.

Very light yellow, melons, grass on the nose, crisp and grassy. Very salty oyster and muddy.

2014 Domaine Vrignaud Le Champreaux Chablis paired with a Mallard oyster.

Medium yellow with greenish tints, toast and barnyard on the nose, tight lime on the fruit. Sweet and balanced oyster.

2012 Clos du Gaimont La Monaco Vouvray paired with a Malabar oyster.

Moderate to dark gold, honeyed bouquet, juicy pineapple, ginger and melon on the fruit, low acids, a fat wine. Oyster was low salt and muddy.





Gewürztraminer On Long Island


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Gewürztraminer is one of the classic noble grapes and is known for its distinctive aromatic and pungent aromas of lychee, pineapple, ginger and rose petals to name a few.

It has a limited popularity and its difficulty in production keeps it with limited acreage but it’s been grown out on Long Island since the industry began and most wineries bottle of version of it either dry, off-dry or as a dessert wine. I still have a half bottle of a 1993 late harvest Gewürztraminer in my fridge from Palmer Vineyards that I bought in 1995.

This past rainy and sleety Sunday afternoon I took a drive out to the North Fork wine country to try some.


2015 One Women Vineyards: 5195 Old North Road, Southold. 

Small tasting room off of Highway 48 on the far Eastern North Fork before the town of Greenport.

About 250 cases produced, greenish tint, lemon-lime, earth notes on the nose, off-dry with cotton candy and kiwi on the fruit. Good balance, moderate acidity.


2012 Lenz Winery: 38355 Route 25, Peconic.

One of the original wineries on the North Fork known for its Merlots.

About 400 cases produced, steel fermented, dark yellow in color, closed nose of petroleum, bone dry with lychee and lime notes on the fruit, moderate acidity on the moderate to long, spicy finish.


2013 Coffee Pot Cellars: 31855 Main Road, Cutchogue.

Small production winery with a tasting room off the main road offering handcrafted beeswax products as well as their wines. When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by Beasley the Pug.1

174 cases made, about 6% Riesling added, dark gold in color, petroleum and white flowers on the nose, crisp, full spicy fruit with good acidity on the moderate to long finish.



Vino 2017 Superbowl Party

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On Monday the 6th annual Italian wine trade show event known as Vino 2017 was held in Manhattan. The event was organized by the Italian Trade Commission which is a government agency that promotes trade between Italian companies and foreign markets. The Grand Tasting showcased “extraordinary Italian wines” from 120 producers serving 600+ wines in addition to several seminars.

On the previous Sunday evening I attended the Superbowl viewing party they held for journalists and venders at the same venue. That event featured over forty Italian wines and not so typical Superbowl snacks such as risotto with porcini mushrooms, orecchiette with broccoli rabe, manicotti and assorted salamis and cheeses.

Both events were held at the Spring Studios event space at 50 Varick Street in the SoHo district of Manhattan.

There were sparking, white and red wines from all over the Italian peninsula from small producers and labels. Some of what I sampled:


2015 La Sclusa Ribolla Gialla: Light yellow with green tints, white flowers on the nose, good acidity.

2015 Castel Sallegg Pinot Bianco: Light green tint, fresh flowers on the nose, moderate fruit with nice acidity.


2014 Grillo Iole Schioppettino: Medium to light red, tarry cigar box on the nose, sour cherry notes on the firm fruit.

2013 Torleanzi Primitivo Di Manduria “Tyrannus”: Medium red, sweet cherry earth on the nose, tight leather fruit, firm finish.

2013 Agricola Brigha “Ambèli”: Medium red, cooked fruit, pencil shavings on the nose, bitter leather on the fruit.

2012 L’Astemia Pentita Barolo “Cannubi”: Brick in color, pencil shavings on the nose, silky red fruit and leather, feminine and delicate, moderate finish.

2011 Le Ginestre Barolo: Medium brick, classic nose of tar and cigar box, moderate chewy fruit, firm finish.

2009 Fattoria Lavacchio Chianti Rufina “Ludié”: Medium red, cooked vegetable and bitter cherry on the nose, tight sweet cherry fruit, dusty finish.

2012 Casale Dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Vigna Paronza”: Medium red, sweet tar and pencil shavings on the nose, sweet bitter cherry and leather on the balanced finish. One of my favorites of the night.

2012 Villa Mattielli Amarone: Medium red, ripe red fruit on the nose, chewy red fruit, licorice and bitter cherry on the finish, low acids.

2014 Villa Mattielli Valpolicella “Rippaso”: Medium red, sweet cherry on the nose with cherry red leather on the balanced fruit.

2014 Marchese Antinori Guado Al Tasso “Il Bruciato”: Medium to dark red, crushed dark flowers on the nose, cherry red leather on the fruit, bitter cherry notes on the balanced finish.

2013 Torrevento Primitivo “Since 1913”: Medium to dark red, warm earthy nose, chunky and thick with juicy black fruit, moderate tannins.



Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest 2017

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The 8th annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival kicked off its multi city tour this past Saturday, January 28th in Manhattan. Their motto is, Brew it, Taste it. Sip it. Pork it. It was a day of “down home Southern fried good time” to benefit the Spirit of Hope children foundation. There was plenty of beer, cider, whiskey and bbq for the crowd in addition to a DJ, cigars and beer games.  The event was held this year as in last at The Tunnel event space at 608 West 28th Street on the far West side of Manhattan.

After feasting on ribs, chicken and pork belly it was time to try several ryes, bourbons and ciders. Of the ciders that I tried, Angry Orchard wooden spoon was the most interesting, bone dry with wood notes on the finish.


Seminar: High End Whiskeys

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Single Barrel-Barrel Proof

Booker’s Bourbon Barrel Strength

Wild Turkey Bourbon Master’s Keep 17 Year

Bib & Tucker Bourbon

Jefferson’s Bourbon Ocean Aged

Sagamore Spirit Rye