Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 New York Wine Expo

The third annual New York Wine Expo was held on the last weekend in February at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The huge event featured hundreds of wines to try. Among the regions featured at this year's show were: Cotes du Rhone, France; Portugal; Castilla-La Mancha, Spain; New Zealand; Greece; Hungary; and New York State.

This is a huge consumer wine show, and hundreds of wine lovers converged on the Expo to try new wines, sample delicious foods, and have some fun. In addition to the long rows of tasting tables, the event featured small scale seminars, which offered a deeper understanding of certain wine regions.

At the "Portugal and the rise of Touriga Nacional" seminar, Michael Weiss, wine book author and chairman of wine studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, gave an informative talk on Portuguese wine today. In addition to providing an introduction to Touriga Nacional, probably the best known of Portugal's red table wine grapes, he also spoke about the country's wine regions, including the Tejo, Beiras, Douro, and Alentejo.

John Bandman, instructor and certified sommelier, presented a seminar on Cotes du Rhone to a packed room of French wine enthusiasts. He discussed differences between the Southern Rhone, which grows riper grapes and whose cuisine is more Mediterranean, and Northern Rhone, which has grapes that have more subtle flavors and whose cuisine has a greater amount of hearty dishes such as stews. One of the best things about Cotes du Rhones wines is their price: many can be had in the $12-$30 range.

The wine certainly was the focus, but there was some delicious food being sampled as well. Hudson Valley Foie Gras was grilling up slivers of goose liver on site and serving them hot. This company supplies foie gras to many local restaurants, and their products are available at better grocery stores. Wild Alaska Seafood provided samples of a delicious seafood pasta as well as copious recipe books for using sustainable seafood from the state.

In all, the New York Wine Expo provided a full weekend for wine lovers to sip, sample, and enjoy.

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