3rd Annual New York Wine Expo: Feb 26-28 (1WineDude Reader Discount!)

Vinted on January 22, 2010 binned in wine industry events

On February 26-28, the ginormous Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York will be overrun by equally ginormous 3rd Annual New York Wine Expo.

While the Expo plays host to the wine trade, it also offers wine consumers a unique opportunity to sample a boatload of wines during the Feb 26 & 27 (Friday & Saturday) portion of the happenings – 600 wines from over 170 worldwide producers.  That’s a lot more wine than most wine lovers normally have exposure to, and while I certainly don’t recommend that you try them all in two days, I would recommend that you check out the Expo – and that, if you do, you SPIT – if only to take advantage of the unique opportunity of having so many wine brands available to taste under one roof.

And you can get there more cheaply just by reading this blog!  Hey, don’t say I never gave you anything!!

The Expo organizers have generously offered a discount on advanced ticket purchases for 1WineDude.com readers: if you purchase tickets by February 19, use promo code WINEDUDE at checkout to receive a $10 discount.

More details are below.  And if you’re heading to the NY Wine Expo, let me know – I’m still working on trying to get there for Friday’s portion!

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Turning Pro? (Professional Wine Writers Symposium & Premiere Napa)

Vinted on January 21, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine industry events

Last week, I had the pleasure of receiving an e-mail from Jim Gordon, all-around nice & talented guy, editor of the wine industry stalwart publication Wines & Vines, and Director of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, containing the following tidbit:

Congratulations! The winners of fellowships for the 2010 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley have been selected, and you are among them. I wanted you to know as soon as possible that, yes, you are a winner and that you should proceed accordingly with your travel plans for the Feb. 16-19, 2010 event… The writing samples you sent were judged blind by a panel of accomplished and objective wine writers, and earned you this honor as one of the most talented writers attending the sixth annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers…

Holy.  Crap.  [Editor’s note: the previous statement refers to my reaction upon reading the e-mail; the words “holy” and “crap” do NOT appear in any form / context in the text of Mr. Gordon’s note. ]

It’s funny – I don’t feel like a professional wine writer…

I can only assume that “judged blind” means that the judges were actually blindfolded when they reviewed the fellowship candidates’ writing samples, otherwise I’m at a loss to explain the extreme lack of sound judgment surprising and unexpected choice displayed by awarding me a fellowship.

Not that I’m complaining.  For one, the speakers on tap for the Symposium read like a wine writing All Star Team line up.  And you’d do a lot worse than to stay at the posh Meadowood for four days.  But the coup de grace (which, by the way, is one of the more violent foreign language expressions to be adopted into common English language usage) is that Alder Yarrow (who is also participating in the Symposium) recently raved about past Symposium events, and I respect Alder’s opinion – even though he once stole my girl (just kidding, Alder – who loves ya, baby?)…

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“Fun and Messy and Wonderful” – An Interview With Buehler Vineyards’ Helen Buehler

Vinted on January 20, 2010 binned in California wine, interviews

Earlier this month, a guest on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV caused a bit of a stir.

That is, if you consider over 550 comments and an eight-page forum thread devoted to the episode “a bit of a stir.”

The guest was Helen Buehler, who is a member of the family behind Buehler Vineyards, whose 2006 Napa Valley estate Cabernets have become members of the ‘90+ point review club’.

I missed of all the Wine Library TV hoopla involving Helen, as I’m not a regular viewer of Gary’s show – this has nothing to do with Gary, and everything to do with the fact that I’m borderline ADD and can’t watch any on-line video that’s over 3 minutes long.  In fact, I hadn’t seen the episode until Helen contacted me asking if I’d seen it, and generally wondering what my impressions were about the whole thing (my response, in a nutshell, was “I don’t think it’s a big deal.”).

Not one to miss an opportunity to selfishly capitalize on a prominent media event gain insight into the winemaking world, I thought it would make interesting reading to see what Helen had to say about the WLTV episode, get her take on what it’s like to grow up around wine, and see what changes she thinks the Millennial generation will bring to the wine market.  Helen agreed, and kindly accepted an interview invitation.

It seems ironic to me that one of the criticisms laid out against Helen from her WLTV appearance was that she lacked passion; while she may not come off on video as being passionate about wine tasting, she certainly comes off as passionate when she’s discussing winemaking.

If you’ve seen Helen’s WLTV appearance, then this interview will give you another perspective on Helen’s place in the wine world; if you haven’t yet seen it, then you can check it out at the end of this interview, formulate your own opinion on Helen’s representation of Buehler Vineyards, and (as always) share your thoughts in the Comments…

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Carrot-Top Elegance: The Inaugural Releases of Rossi-Wallace

Vinted on January 19, 2010 binned in California wine, wine review

I should just cut to the chase and tell you that the first releases from Rossi-Wallace border on beguiling, and that you should buy them now if you can, especially given their limited production.

But that’s just downright boring, right?  So, I feel obligated to kind of, you know, spruce it all up a bit.

I’ve been sitting on samples of the inaugural releases of Rossi-Wallace’s 2007 Napa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for months – well, not literally sitting on them, of course, just quietly ignoring them in my cellar… ah, you get the idea…

I suppose that’s a sad commentary of just how behind I am in tasting samples.  A sadder commentary still is that I wasn’t already familiar with Rossi-Wallace’s winemaking team, despite the fact that  Ric Forman and Cheryl Emmolo have been involved in Napa wine in some way/shape/form for 40+ years.

Clearly, their time and experience have been very, very well-spent.

Rossi-Wallace’s namesake is a clever combination of the names of Forman’s and Emmolo’s red-headed mothers – just so you don’t confuse this post’s Carrot-top-reference in the title (we’re NOT talking about the comedian who seems hell-bent on trying to become a  Thundercats’ Liono look-alike wearing a tuxedo).

I could regurgitate the information on their website and press materials about the care and techniques they brought to bear on the first releases of their new label, but you’re smart folks and you can read all of that yourselves.  The bottom line is that if you like your Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to have the in-your-face, indelible stamp of modern, bombastic California winemaking, then these are NOT the wines for you…

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