NYCWFF Southern Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting
By Jennifer Shanteau, Photos by Miguel Pimentel
To attend the NYCWFF Southern Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting is to be immersed in liquor heaven! Picture over 60 different companies each sharing tastes of at least three of their creations. The sheer number of festive beverages to try was mind boggling. I did my best to sample as many indulgent concoctions as I could, but had I succeeded in sampling them all, they would’ve had to take me out on a stretcher. There was something for everyone: wine, champagne, whiskey, vodka, tequila, even sake! Thank god there was also amazing food to soak it all up!
There was even a station set up for a succession of Mexican cooking demonstrations performed by an array of chefs. We arrived just as they were finishing one presentation and passing out Swordfish Ceviche. Even Chef Anita Lo of Annisa was there adding her personal touch, Kimchi, to Lobster Tempura Tacos, which were passed out to the salivating crowd afterwards, as well as Mescal Margaritas and a Hibiscus Margarita named Margarita de Jamaica.
If Mexican isn’t your jam, there were two mouthwatering steak options which complemented my favorite red wines of the day, Pinot Noir from Wente Vineyards, Ritual Pinot Noir and a Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Insurrection.
Christos Steakhouse offered comfort food consisting of the juiciest bite of steak with a side of potatoes that was perfect for soaking up too many “sips” of libations, and had my photographer talking about its virtues for days. On the other hand, 212 Steakhouse took a lighter approach, presenting its melt in your mouth steak with Chimichurri. I have to admit, greed got the best of me, and I shamelessly snagged two of these.
Izakaya Nomad made the best meatball I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Oh my god! Just look it it!
Anyone who knows me, knows my favorite white is always a Chardonnay from Sonoma, California. I found one from Chloe that was an absolute delight! I also stumbled upon a pleasant surprise called Blindfold, a California white blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc and a few others. Now that is original! I’ve never tasted anything like it.
Since I was in a celebratory mood the second I entered this event and beheld all the jewels that confronted me, I decided it was only appropriate to sample some of the bubbly. Bottega Venetain Gold Prosecco, Whispering Angel and Alfred Gratien Champagne were my favorite, although I cannot for the life of me remember ever thinking to myself, “this bubbly is horrible”. It’s just too happy to ever evoke even a cell of negativity. Interesting note, this is the result of the successful marketing strategy, to associate champagne with celebrations, of one of the large Champagne houses way back in the day……genius.
As if I wasn’t happy enough by this point, I was about to put in my mouth what I can only believe to be manna from heaven, Day Boat Scallops in a Beet Puree from Matador Room. Now I know where I will be dining when I make my yearly winter pilgrimage to Miami Beach. It was not only hands down the most creative, delicious thing I put in my mouth, but also the prettiest.
You would think this glutton would stop tasting and go home already, but you would be wrong. I am newly into Extra Anejo Tequila and Mescal and after sampling a few, I am now a die hard fan of Number Juan Extra Anejo Tequila. Sake One sake was yummy, too, as was Serpent’s Bite Apple Cider Flavored Whiskey, which is perfect for drinking right now as it continues to feel more and more like fall. I may just procure some and sip it on the rocks.
My body was telling me it was time to leave the NYCWFF Tasting, but leaving without dessert seemed, well, just wrong. So off to sample Bernard’s Pralines of New Orleans I did go, and to top it of…Williams Humbert Sherry. Now that is my kind of dessert!
The NYCWFF Trade Tasting was an amazing, informative and enjoyable event! Thank god I didn’t have to drive home!