I’ll admit it – I don’t really know that much about wine. I am very much a pretty-looking label buyer, and I usually don’t taste any of the notes or hints printed on said label that I’m supposed to be tasting. It’s pretty sad how minimal my wine knowledge is, especially after having spent extensive time in both Italy and France (and I can barely uncork a wine bottle). That being said, I played massive catch-up at Slow Wine NYC, the final stop on the Slow Wine US Tour: 3rd Edition.
The English-language version of the 2014 Slow Wine Guide – which is a comprehensive guide of Italy’s vineyards and wines, with 300 cellars visited, and 2,500 wines reviewed – was celebrated this past Monday at Metropolitan Pavilion, and the event boasted 47 wine tasting stations, some with multiple types of wine, meaning…there was a lot of wine.
The event provided a way for patrons to discover new wines through the Slow Wine Guide as well as through tastings, and if they really liked their wine, there was even the opportunity to purchase bottles (which could be picked up at, or delivered by Eataly).
I learned so much, you guys – like the difference – and existence – between Barbera, Barbaresco, and Barolo; more about the Piedmont region than I ever knew, as well as various other tidbits of wine information, such as why a wine of a certain year will taste a particular way. A couple wines stand out to me, mainly: Querciabella’s Chianti Superior (a Chianti that meets more stringent requirements, such as lower yield, higher alcohol content, and dry extract); and both Damilano’s Barolo Lecinquevigne 2009 and their Barbera D’Asti 2011.
Of course, the wines were impressive, but I was also taken by their representatives – in particular the cheeky guys of the Pieropan table, where one representative informed me that the most important wine knowledge was that as long as you know whether you like it or don’t, that’s all you need to know (so I should be good!).
Not only did we get to sample some delicious wine, but there was a pretty hefty spread of Italian food to soak up all that alcohol, including porchetta, ham and cheese paninis, a ton of extremely addicting sheep’s milk cheese, and… red onion gelato? With the latter aside, we left feeling satiated and a tad bit smarter than we did coming into the event.
If you’re interested in learning more about Italian wine (and if you’re able to handle your wine regardless of your use of the bucket) – pick up the Slow Wine Guide, check out some of the wines, and make sure you don’t miss next year’s Slow Wine US event!