It may have been called the New York Wine Expo, but the grand tasting at the Jacob Javits Center was home to the world. Wines from the nearby Finger Lakes were represented alongside sips from Greece and Tuscany, as well as small bites like Dutch cheese and Belgian chocolate.
With the breadth of wines represented, the ability to identify a wine region that didn’t have a booth at the expo would be a serious testament to one’s geographical prowess. France had a number of tables, including Côtes de Rhône, Champagne, and French Wine for the Modern World, which included Renée-Hugues Gay Wines. The wines of Portugal booth showed the crowd that Portugal had more to offer than just port wine, and the New Zealanders sampled their distinctive sauvignon blancs.
Of the more surprising finds was the South African wines booth, where Jam Jar’s sweet Shiraz caused a stir among thirsty oenophiles. People also continuously flocked to the Argentinean booth for a taste of Zorzal Wines. From the infamous La Strada del Vino (SR 222) road in Tuscany’s Terre di Arezzo region, superb Chiantis and photographs of chateaus and cooking classes under the Tuscan sun drew crowds in.
The United States was not forgotten. Finger Lakes had a large presence that showcased its award-winning Rieslings, as well as its almond and butter-laden Finger Lakes Harvest Wine Cake. Producers from all over California were on hand with samples of everything from Napa cabernet sauvignons to lesser-known finds, such as the Kenneth Volk Malvasia Bianca from Monterey.
Attracting nearly every female expo-goer was Happy Bitch Wines. In addition to sampling an easy-to-drink rosé, the two New York vintners (who use only local grapes) were also giving out thongs. And they weren’t the only female winemakers at the expo: Middle Sister brought its Sweet & Sassy moscato.
Spectators were also greeted with some unusual options, such as Tre Olive Adopt an Olive Tree, where you can buy your very own olive tree and reap the extra virgin olive oil rewards season after season. New England Stoppers offered some attractive ways to keep wine fresh, while Dutch cheese, Guylian Belgium Chocolate, and Wine Lover’s Chocolate kept everyone’s hunger at bay.
In all, the fifth annual expo was a huge success, with a significant increase in participants (approximately 4,000) over last year’s event. Drink up, New York.