My recent press trip to Madeira was an amazing experience; pretty much exactly what a long-time Madeira wine geek (remember, I once compared Madeira to Iron Man) would have hoped it would be. And while my palate, brain, and soul are all still trying to wrap that jaunt up into something that puny morals like me can understand, I did manage to get it together juuuuuust enough to pen an introductory piece on the experience for Palate Press.
The premise for the feature, titled Tasting immortality, was to begin the article ‘s tasting notes with offerings that are at an age where most normal wines would be long dead (30 years). We would then travel back in time, via the older blends and vintage Madeira wines that I tasted on that trip, eventually working our way through all six of the island’s producers who currently export to the U.S.
Oh, yeah; and working our way through the 1950s, 1940s, 1920s… ending up at 1850. Without any hesitation or hyperbole, I can tell you that among those wines were some of the finest that I have ever tasted, of any style of fine wine, anywhere.
F*cking surreal (for more background on what makes Madeira special, beyond the near-constant influx of senior citizen tourists from much of Western Europe, see the previous post “The Worst Place in the World to Make Wine”). I’m pretty sure that I lost more than a few friends after posting envy-inducing images during my visit…
Last month, I was a media guest for VINO2016, the annual Italian multi-day info-tasting event held in New York City.
As it was last year, this year’s incarnation proved an enlightening experience, both in terms of the breadth of Italian wine offerings not yet widely available Stateside, and in the informative nature of the panel discussions. I can, however, tell you – with the requisite amount of false humility – that nothing in VINO2016 compared to the epic-ness of my panel last year, which included impromptu opera singing.
Vittorio Moretti, about to crack open some awesomeness (more on that in a few minutes)
But still, an informative event for both palate and brain. Also, how often does a guy like me get to shake down other attendees such as legendary wine educator Kevin Zraly for money (more on that development in the coming months)?
Anyway, let’s get to the vinous stars of the VINO2016 showcase…
The 14th (holy crap! have we really done fourteen of these already?!??) episode of my Furmint Adventures has recently been published, so I’m sharing it here to give you a five-or-so-minute distraction from working.
And a beautiful distraction it is.
Hungary’s Béres Winery has recently won awards for its construction, and their vineyard site is among one of the most gorgeous that I’ve ever encountered in the wine world (and the wine world is, if anything, not short on gorgeous locations). You’ll see what I mean in the first 50 seconds when you watch the video.
I’m really happy at how this video turned out, not just because I’m also again joined by Master Somm Peter Granoff, and not just because the wines were such excellent examples of dry Furmint (their sweet wines are killer, too), but also because the folks behind Béres seem to be genuinely lovely people (the kind that you want to see succeed).
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