Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gambero Rosso Walkaround in NY

Tre Bicchieri Tasting March 19 – From Italian Wine Guy®, this time.

After a weekend of sleet, snow and ice, New York opened up her skylight and several hundred Italians descended upon the Puck Bldg.

From the observation deck:
• Glasses – plenty available at all times, along with water, up to the end of the tasting.

• Man with the unlit Toscana – of course, and with the requisite mis-matched shoes.

• Man in a bright red jacket - and a long white pony tail.

• Man in a bright orange jacket - with an ascot.

• Man in a bright yellow jacket - looking for the Friars Club Roast down the hall.

• Tall blond women dressed “professionally” – of course, and with the requisite stilettos.

• Very “NY” business environment – with the requisite chatter and b.s.

• Overextracted and reductive wines – unfortunately, too many.

• Wines with individual character – unfortunately, too few.

• Cabernet based wines – Apparently the Italians haven’t read Decanter or even the lowly Wine Spectator; there are too many good wines from Bordeaux, and the Napa Valley vintners have the big and bold and expensive Cabernet category pretty well much wrapped up. But we’ve been talking to the Italians since 1984 about this, why would they listen now? They will when we don't order them.

• Restaurant owners – not many, but the occasional celebrity restaurateur stopping to have their ring or their cheek kissed. Amazing, there were folks walking around the room, some that individually manage over 700,000 cases through their company (that would be a $30 million customer to Italy) and the single restaurateur would be more courted. Odd. Many Italians still don’t know who their big customers are in the US.

• Retailers – even fewer, most likely chained to their computers and online business. Making money.

• The re-emergence of the $40 Chianti Classico Riserva – apparently to go along with the $40 entrée. Good luck with that.

• Best ticket in – Fosco Amoroso's Kinko-inspired "exhibitor passes" that got some of the press folks in earlier than scheduled.

• Most interesting new wine from old vines – Dettori.

• Sicilian with a story – Benanti. Showing their "there-ness" with the local grapes, Carricanti and Nerello Mascalese

• Lessona is More – the 2001 San Sebastiano Allo Zoppo from Az.Ag. Sella. Nebbiolo meets Vespolina.

• Surfer winemaker dude watch – Jim "I can still call mine Tocai" Clendenon.
• Best kineto-holographic representation of a winemaker – the Riccardo Cotarella whirling-dervish installation.

• Under-represented - 21-35 year old group.

• Over-represented - 36-76 year old group.

• Francophiles seen slumming in the Italian crowd - Martin Sinkoff and Robin Kelley O'Connor

• Blogger sightings – East Village Wine Geek, Frederic Koeppel, Alice Feiring, Dr Vino. ( I'm sure there were others, I just dont know them)

• Troubling trend watch - Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Riserva’s approaching Chianti Classico Riserva’s in the "what were they thinking" price range.

• Most quiet table – Dal Forno and their representative ( “here’s your ½ once of greatness, now move along, I’m busy talking to someone more important.”)

• Best wine stained table – Viviani.

• Best wine stained labels - Querciabella.

• Laughing all the way to the bank - Daniele Cernilli.
Today – those Italians who can stand the jet lag and the cross country trip (and the €2500 entry fee per "3 glass" wine shown) will be in San Francisco – Fort Mason for another round.


De Vino said...

Hey Al, it was a pleasure meeting you at L'Impero.
This is the 2nd year that I miss the 3 Bicchieri event, and both time didn't regret it...

David said...

IWG - Are you saying that the Chianti Reserve at 20$ a bottle would be a good mix? I have heard many recently say that they have not had a good Chianti (intending Italian wine) in 5 years. Strangely enough this corresponds directly to the 50% decline in the exchange Dollar-Euro.

Perhaps the solution to having quality wine can be found in US fiscal responsibility...

Tracie B. said...

i loved this post! the dettori site is great...i haven't been able to try a wine made from monica yet, i've only heard of it. i'll prob have better lcuk finding it in houston than ischia :)

so for that underrepresented 21-35 group...are yousayin' that there is a bit of need out there?

Fredric Koeppel said...

36 to 76 is a big group. I've been in it for a number of years.

great post.

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