Events — 04 March 2013
Glasses Up as The New York Wine Expo Returns to the Javits Center

Blog: 2013 New York Wine Expo

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In its sixth annual year, The New York Wine Expo returned to the Jacob Javits Convention Center this weekend for two lengthy Grand Tasting sessions, giving international wine producers the opportunity to find domestic distribution partners in our area and giving New Yorkers the chance to taste the distinction of vintages being bottled around the world. If last year’s Expo was any indication, this year’s event would certainly prove that despite a preponderance of wine tastings held within New York City on a seemingly weekly basis, all wine events are not created equal. Simply in terms of size, space, and sheer variety, the New York Wine Expo brings together refined tasters and thrill-seekers in one place for everyone to experiment, experience, and to interact around all things vino.

The Expo boasts more than 600 different types of wine from local regions like the Finger Lakes in New York to bottles culled in from the likes of Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Italy, to name a few. Friday evening’s Grand Tasting session proved to be a veritable steal at just $85, with four delicious hours of sampling and schmoozing laying ahead of us. The beautifully decked out convention space is a sight to marvel at year in and year out. Typically reserved for the far more famous New York International Auto Show and more recently, New York Comic Con, the Wine Expo yields to a more sophisticated clientele and as such, Friday evening’s session was pleasantly crowded- plenty of space to walk around, sufficient room at each tasting table, and a sea of positive energy from thirsty enthusiasts all equally enjoying their experience.

Upon arriving, guests were offered commemorative Wine Expo glasses as a keepsake from an elongated table at the front entrance, to be used for the day’s tastings. Meanwhile, as mentioned in LocalBozo.com’s exclusive Expo Preview and interview with Marketing Director Ed Hurley, the New York Wine Expo mobile app proved fruitful in tracking our likes and dislikes as we paraded from region to region sniffing and spitting into tableside buckets at will. Despite the dearth of full meals being served at the Expo, there was a bevy of small items to sample all around the spacious floor. Delectable breads, cheeses, biscotti, olive oils, and chocolates were all effectively placed nearby to nosh on while sipping on some tasty varietals, most of which paired delicately with whatever briefly swirled in our glass.

The bright lights of the Javits Center shined brightly upon a variety of different standout wineries and vineyards and as such, we began sipping at the back of the room near the domestic producers. Recognizing the familiar Fulcrum name, we opted to begin with several Pinot Noirs, which admittedly is our favorite varietal. The company’s 2010 “Gap’s Crown” from the Sonoma Coast, an earthy spice-heavy concoction and their 2012 “On Point” from Chalone, a fruitier medium bodied pour, were each first time tries for us- but were quickly earmarked for later purchase. Similarly, Rutherford Wine Company’s pours of 2011 “Predator,” a bold pepper infused Zinfandel, and their smooth 2010 “Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon,” were also noteworthy domestic tastings.

On the international front, we went wild for Italian wines from Bacchus Cellar. Their “Castello di Bibbione Chianti Classico Riserva 2008” was dark and bold with notes of rich coffee in both the nose and finish. The bright red color and taste of the intense “2009 Barbera d’Alba” was also a revelation, with a spice-laden finish on the back end. It should also be said that Italy’s sparkling Chardonnay from Ottoventi’s “Level 8.20” was outstanding. Backed by a buttery finish and yellow tinted color, the taste was refreshing and relaxed on our palates, despite the fluttering of bubbles. The familiar regions now aside, we set our sights on the likes of around the world tastings, with highlights from Bulgaria (2009 “Vesrion Cabernet Sauvignon”- oaky and complex), Greece (2012 “Alpha Estate Axia White Malagouzia”- balanced and light; 2012 “Kamara Retsina Rodotis Asirtico”- light and sweet with a flowery nose), and South Africa (2012 “Indaba Chenin Blanc”- a tasty, refreshing white with zesty pears and citrus) dancing in our noses and mouths.

Whether traveling solo, bringing an intimate friend, or gathering a small group of friends, there’s no shortage of activity at the New York Wine Expo to keep you occupied. Admittedly, the most difficult portion of the day is tracking the wines that you truly enjoyed because after three full hours of eating and drinking, so many different flavors seem to run together and the more you imbibe the more muddles your memory seems to get. But there is no reason to be disappointed once your Grand Tasting session concludes, because as most Mets and Jets fans in our area know- there’s always next year.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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