DRINK: The Top 5 Wines at the New York Winter Wine Festival


We came, we drank, we conquered.

My personal goal of the night was to find some red wines that would convince me, as a white wine drinker, to switch. Not only did I find these wines, the ones I tried might have convinced me to make a permanent move to the other side.

Please note….I’m not a sommelier, just someone who loves/enjoys wine.


Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013

Italian wine isn’t as popular in The States as it should be (on a mainstream level at least), and it’s a shame. There are some great growers in the country, with as many varied regions as France. As someone who usually bristles at the taste of most reds, I was beyond impressed by their Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with it’s smooth taste (thanks to stainless steel tanks) and heightened fruity notes. This is a must for white wine drinkers like me who are seeking a quality red to sip.


Mulled Wine

Something a bit different. If you’re looking for something a bit unique, I would try Hetta, a Nordic-inspired mulled wine. Served warm in the winter (or mixed with lemonade in the summer), this is the perfect compliment to the frigid weather we have been having.


Le Vin Takin
Côtes du Rhône 2014

It was my mission at this event to be wowed by a red wine. I was wowed by not one, but three. Thanks to my wife, we were on the hunt for reds from Côtes du Rhône. As someone who just came back from France, my eyes were drawn in the direction of the French-accented wine representative. The Le Vin Takin is an exceptionally smooth one, and another great transitional red wine for white wine drinkers.


Brooklyn Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Let’s get this out of the way first…this brand deserves a huge side eye. Too many people are getting duped by brands with fancy labels repackaging inexpensive products as “artisanal” goods (see Widow Jane whiskey and Mast Brothers Chocolate). Nevertheless I tried Brooklyn Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon and was blown away. This was my favorite red of the night by far.


Sparkling Chardonnay

As as white wine drinker I was actually very disappointed that I did not find a white that blew me away. However, towards the end of our wine journey we did stumble upon this amazing Sparkling Chardonnay from Brotherhood Winery. West Cost wine snobs may look down on the NY, but Brotherhood bills itself as America’s oldest winery, and their Chardonnay (sourced from all NY grapes) is superb, and probably one of the best sparkling wine’s I’ve had in life.