While tasting rooms and wine bars have traditionally been the best way to experience new wines, today’s oenophiles have a variety of tasting opportunities. Massive tastings have become commonplace, and are often presented in large spaces, hosted by organizations designed to promote a variety or region. While fun and often educational, the central purpose of these events is to encourage greater consumer interest in the labels being poured.
Not all tastings, however, are based on naked commerce. A number of wine events really are born from the sheer gusto of an individual – someone in the business who wants to share their passion with a wider audience. Just like tastings hosted by larger entities, the efforts of an individual wine enthusiast to convey his message can be showcased anywhere – from a big conference room to a small parlor. But such individualized tastings create a unique platform where one can experience an array of personally selected wines, each of which provides an insight into the mind of the host. A good example can be found in New York, where Paul Grieco saw his “Summer of Riesling” tastings (at his intimate Terroir Wine Bar) transform into an international phenomenon. Fortunately for us west-coasters at JJ Buckley, the Bay Area has its own similarly ardent oenophile. (more…)
So you’re in New York, it’s 5pm and the convention just wrapped up. Or you just caught the Mets day game or matinee performance on Broadway and you have time to kill before the flight home tomorrow morning. What lies ahead is what every foodie and wine lover dreams of: one night to fully explore the food and wine culture of New York. What do you do? I addressed this ‘dilemma’ recently when I found myself with a co-worker on his first visit to New York. With a warning to “Hold on!” we embarked on a trip around lower Manhattan to prove what makes NYC such a mecca.
In a situation like this, one must employ a strategy. First, for a good cross-section of what the city can offer, avoid a big dinner and plan on multiple small bites or appetizers. This will allow you to visit more places and get a broader view of what’s out there. Also try to stay in one section of town, cutting down on travel time.