On August 24th I attended the 8th annual International WineFest held at the Golden Nugget hotel and casino.
The Golden Nugget casino along with Harrah’s and the Borgata are in the Marina district of Atlantic City in New Jersey. That’s about a couple of miles from the famous boardwalk where the bulk of the casinos are located.
Originally, seven years ago the festival began as the Cal-Ital wine festival. It had paired Italian along wines with California wineries of Italian heritage. Some of those included Sbragia, Mondavi, Sebastiani, Seghesio, Peroncelli and Louis Martini to name a few. Italian immigrants had brought over their wine culture and wine making skills to the early winemaking industry in California. It was an exciting concept and they poured some nice juice.
Unfortunately I believe the organizers of the event found that concept too limiting for a large wine event so they segued into an international festival theme which gave them more product to bring into the fest.
The Wine Fest was a two day event with the grand tasting on Saturday evening which I attended. Over 100 wines from the wine producing countries of the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia were poured.
While there were no trophy wines present, it was a good opportunity for a neophyte wine drinker to experience a broad range of international wines and styles. The room was never overcrowded and there was never a long wait for a pour of wine.
Along with live music, a buffet and their signature attractive wine ambassadors pouring, it made for a fun evening of drinking wine before you got back to the business of gambling.
I was in a Champagne drinking mood that evening so my go to drink for the night was Champagne.
Paul Goerg: Brut reserve, blanc de blanc , brut .
Pol Couronne’s: Brut cuvee, blanc de blanc, brut rosé.
Some others I sampled:
Robert Mondavi: Bourbon barrel aged Cabernet Sauvignon, barrel aged Chardonnay, rum barrel aged Merlot.
Rodney Strong: Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Vallery estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Merlot.
Francis Coppola: Sofia Rosé, Diamond Collection Oregon Pinot Noir.
Heavy Weight: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Knockout Red.
Smoke Tree: Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.
Dancing Crow: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel.
19 Crimes: Hard Chardonnay, Shiraz, The Warden, Red Blend.
Oyster Bay: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Barossa Valley GSM.
Perrin: Cote du Rhone Rosé, Cote du Rhone Villages Rouge, Vinsobre Les Cornuds.
Louis Jadot: Macon Villages Blanc, Rosé, Beaujolais Villages.
Cavaliere D’Oro: Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva.
Laurennz V: Friendly Gruner Veltlener, Charming Gruner.
Quinta Do Crasto: Douro White, Douro Red.
Montes: Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.