Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boston Wine Expo, Day One

This past weekend, I was attended the Boston Wine Expo and had a fabulous experience! Gary Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker at the Expo and was also there to spread the word about his blog, Wine Library TV, as well as give away tons of free bags and wristbands. I helped the Wine Lib crew at the booth on Saturday and Sunday. During the trade hours, I was lucky enough to be able to run about and taste from some of the hundreds of exhibitors. This weekend was a bunch of firsts for me, as I got to try several Sauternes, Gavi di Gavi, Arneis, Mazuelo (Carignan) from Navarra, Agiorgitiko (St. George), Moschofilero, some bodacious reds from Lodi, and a Zinfindel from Chile from TerraMater. And this was just on Saturday.

That night, I got to eat and drink at the lovely Troquet restaurant in Boston. The food was wonderful and it ran the gamut from minestrone soup with wild boar to confit de canard to pork belly. And of course, when eating with fellow wine nerds, we had some good bottles. The first was the 2002 JJ Christoffel Auslese Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten. Lovely nose, nice peachy notes and great minerality on the palate. Now that is riesling my friends! The red that followed was the 2004 Coche Dury Bourgogne, the super hard to find pinot noir from Burgundy. For my palate, pinot noir usually comes off as too barnyardy and unenjoyable for me. As much as I love Old World wines, this is one varietal that prefer from the New World. The Coche Dury was an exception to that rule; even though there were some light barnyard elements to it, the wine had a smoothness and polish about it that I haven't tasted in Old World pinot before. Perhaps it's that I usually can't afford to drop tons-o-money on a bottle of wine and to compound this, the entrance price to a good pinot has become higher and higher. Call it the "Sideways" effect. The Coche Dury was fabulous and if you ever see it on a list, get it. Not only is a very hard wine to find, but there's some serious juice in the bottle.

And to end the night: the Expo After Party at the Boston Wine School. There were a lot of good Vayniacs there to celebrate. The party was well stocked with wine and small hors-d'oeuvres. The prosecco and the prosecco rosé that was poured was definitely a crowd pleaser, although I prefer wines with a bit more acidity and bite to them. I also got to try out the 2006 Truro Vineyards Triumph, a meritage blend from a local vineyard from Cape Cod. I was a bit skeptical that Bordeaux varietals could fully ripen here, but the wine was not terrible!* I was quite surprised that it had some nice flavors and wasn't completely overoaked. Kudos. That being said, I can get actual AOC Bordeaux wines that cost less even after the import taxes.

All in all, day one of the Expo was a success. Had some great wines, some not so great, and got to meet some wonderful people.

*There is some doubt as to whenever all the fruit is grown in Massachusetts, as claimed by the winery. Check out the comments section.


  1. Wish I could have been there, but I couldn't get away last weekend. Is there anything like this on tap for the West Coast?

  2. Kristen, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Expo After Party. I certainly would love to hear more of your Bordeaux hands-on experience. I just want to make a note of something that seriously brakes my heart when it comes to local Massachusetts wine. The Truro Vineyards wine you write about is NOT a Massachusetts wine. Cabernet Sauvignon CANNOT ripen well here in Massachusetts. I'm not sure if the wine was poured to you or if you just picked up the bottle and poured it yourself. But in any case, you walked away thinking that this wine was made from locally grown fruit, when the majority of the fruit in it probably came from California. I'm not against local wineries who make wines with grapes purchased from other origins, but I'm against the fact that they do not clearly disclose it. It's deceiving to say the list. I could go on about this topic, but I think this is enough of a rant :-)

  3. It was great to meet you too, Dale and Marco. And yeah, I had some doubts about Truro- I worked at Sakonnet and their merlot couldn't fully ripen. No worries about the rant! I appreciate it. :o)

    Drew, I'm not sure about wine expos out your way. I'm sure there must be one or two things in the Bay area! ;-)