2012 Boston Wine Expo

Today we made a trip out to Boston to check out the 2012 Boston Wine Expo. The BWE has brought wine distributors, writers, and consumers together for the last twenty two years in the center of the city to drink, learn, and enjoy plenty of fascinating selections and nibbles from across the globe! This year’s selection of events featured seminars with speakers like Mark Oldman and Wine Spectator director of education Gloria Maroti Frazee and live cooking demonstrations by some of Boston’s best chefs.Nobly Rotten was lucky to have the chance to check out the expo as press correspondents and see what was popping up at this year’s festival. Some of our favorite wine highlights included some old favorites, like a selection of wines from the Finger Lakes, and some were new contenders for our hearts and tastebuds.Our Ten Favorite Products at the 2012 Boston Wine Expo
1. 2010 Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling: This was a phenomenal representation of all the potential a dry Riesling has. To all Riesling naysayers, lumping it in the category of buttery Chardonnays and unctuous Moscados as “one of those white wines,” I hope you try a glass of this. It’s steely in its minerality with a razor-sharp crispness and a fine, perfumed citrine nose. A wonderful and versatile dinner wine. (MSRP: $13)
2. 2009 Ridgeback Cape Ruby: For those with a love for dogs and a love for dessert wines, the bark stops here. The South African Ridgeback Cape Ruby offers a beautiful, port-like flavor at decidedly un-port-like prices and had a wonderfully smooth flavor, chocolatey with a hint of cherry richness on the finish. Lots of bark and a very gentle bite. An exquisite, yet powerful example of a sweet Shiraz. (MSRP: $10)3. Yancey’s Fancy Champagne Cheddar: While the Spicy Buffalo Cheddar was a serious contender for our cheese portfolio, we fell in love with the sweet, buttery flavor of Yancey’s champagne-infused cheddar cheese. Mild and soft, with a creamy, fruity edge, it mirrored our favorite brunch mixer and celebratory bubbly. Definitely something we’d serve for a lazy Sunday brunch, and their cheese curds would make a killer sandwich, too. (MSRP: $5)
4. W. & J. Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port: I know, you’d think something below the legal drinking age wouldn’t stun connoisseurs, but port’s a little different from people. But like humans, it has the potential to surprise. To ease the winter chill, a glass or two of this is sure to warm the bones and satisfy the palate with its fine, nutty flavor and sweet brown sugar finish. (MSRP: $55)5. Neige Première Apple Ice Wine: Quebec’s first commercialized ice cider competes with classic dessert wines in a ravishing way. With a piercing acidity behind a sweet, mulled flavor, it carried a caramelized note pervasive throughout each sip and a hint of apple goodness tipping the hat back to its humble origins. A special and unique surprise for your next dinner party and definitely something I’d be happy to see on a tasting menu. (MSRP: $30/375 ml)6. American Provisions Wild Boar Fois Gras: Holy Mary on a hamburger, this brings indulgence to a whole new level. I’m not sure about the accuracy of this and whether this is technically foie gras, but when you’re talking about mixing it with wild boar, it almost doesn’t matter. This was creamy, spicy, and tangy all at once and meatloafy in texture, with a rich, truffled flavor down to its very core. Paired with a slice of sour cornichon, it was a beautiful bite. 7. SlantShack Jerky: These aren’t your grandma’s Slim Jims, that’s for sure. If you took thin steak strips and aged them, covering them in the tastiest toppings, that would only come close to the savory chew these provide. With a moist interior and seriously bark-like texture, these were the perfect pairing to some of the more meaty wines of the show. (MSRP: $8)
8. HoneyMaker Lavender Mead: Lavender and honey is a naturally delightful olfactory combination, so of course it makes sense to enjoy it in a drink. HoneyMaker’s mead was exceptionally smooth and would make a unique cocktail mixer. (MSRP: $18)
9. 2010 Prieuré de Montézargues Tavel Rosé: Not normally being a fan of rosé wine, I was surprised to be wooed so well with this fruity, lusty sample from the Côtes du Rhône region of France. It was very crisp, with a tight flavor and wonderful nose of berries, raisins, and jam. (MSRP: $23)
10. 2010 Wagner Vineyards Vidal Blanc Icewine: This was undoubtedly the quirkiest, most unusual wine we tasted today. While we hadn’t checked out Wagner on our last trek out to the lakes, we most certainly will on our next go around. Wagner’s ice wine was wonderfully funky and strange, with a saline note comingling with sweeter flavors and an almost umami-laden finish with notes of oceanic oysters and salt on both the nose and the palate. (MSRP: $23/375ml)Cocktail lovers weren’t left out in the cold, either. For hard cider fans, we sampled an authentic Irish cider made of seventeen types of Irish apples and tested two amazing cocktails, courtesy of Mionetto’s dazzling bartenders. No longer does the Mimosa reign supreme while the Prom Dress and No Passport Required were on the scene! The Prom Dress, with Mionetto prosecco, blood orange juice, orange bitters, and dried basil was our particular libation of choice. Mionetto’s versatile selection rarely disappoints and presents the rare opportunity to use a wine as both a mixer and a stand-alone treat on a hot (or cold!) day. The Expo was an enjoyable experience for us both. While I had a blast sampling all the Finger Lakes Rieslings I hadn’t tasted on my last trip to New York, I was a little dismayed at how small the European Riesling selection was. In the case of the Alsatians, it was nonexistent and it was perhaps worse for the German Rieslings- their only representation was Schmitt-Sohne, which might as well be nonexistent. Aside from that, it was an entertaining event and a well-organized one, similar in style to the Fancy Food Show but on a smaller scale and with plenty of goodies to drink and discover. The Boston restaurant selection was also fantastic and opened my eyes to some of the various restaurants in the area that I hadn’t yet tried. It was a great way to sample some of their selections before booking a reservation. All in all, it was a very successful event and a fun one to check out on a frigid January day. We can’t wait to check out the NYC Wine Expo in March!For more information on the Expo as well as other events happening this year, check out www.wine-expos.com!

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

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