Getting to enjoy wine during thematic experiences is an excellent learning experience. Wine experiences create an ever-lasting sensation. In other words, having the opportunity to experience wine along with friends and colleagues is an unforgettable aha moment. Furthermore, these unique wine tasting experiences can be retained in your memory for many years and in your palate, helping you remember specific characteristics of a particular wine more quickly. This past year, in New York, we were lucky to have the opportunity to experience wines in gatherings due to the vaccine rates and excellent organizations that created special wine moments. As a result, I attended more than a handful of wine experiences in 2021. Hence, let me share New York’s Best 5 Wine Experiences of 2021.
Loire Valley Wines
Loire Valley Wines curated a unique bar-hopping pedicab (tuk-tuk) wine tasting through different wine bars in Lower Manhattan. During the creative wine experience, we visited the wine bars Temperance Wine Bar, Dirty French, and L’Accolade.
We tried many wines from de Loire Valley during the wine bar-hopping experience. Loire Valley Wines pair with a different mood, vibes, and food. The whole event was unique. Particularly on the creativity of having the pedicabs transferring from one wine bar to another mirrored the experience of Loire Valley, where bicycle tours are encouraged. Marquita Levy, who co-hosted the event, explained insights into these beautiful wines. My favorite expressions were the Muscadet, the Cabernet Franc from Chinon and Chenin Blanc, Sancerre … I mean seriously impressed with Loire Valley Wines.
Led by Sommelier Jeff Harding, this wine experience took place in Rooftop Reds in Brooklyn. We tasted wines from a broad spectrum of Beaujolais appellations and heard from the producers about the essence of Beaujonomie – the spirit of sharing.
The event consisted of an outdoor seated dinner and video screenings of the region and producers.
There were small moments that stuck with me. For instance, trying a Rosé from Gamay was an absolute surprise and a pleasure. During the dinner, videos were playing from the producers. They explained the vinification process, which was like having them on the table. The videos were played on a large screen on an open rooftop overseeing Brooklyn. It was wonderful. Sopexa USA crafted this wine experience with extreme care on all the details; the dinner and pairings were exquisite. My favorite food and wine pairing were having a Morgon with Salmon. I knew Beaujolais tasted deliciously with Salmon but with the specific appellation of Morgon was even subtle.
Last but not least from France, I visited “Chablis” I rejoiced in an intimate experience and had the pleasure to get to know Sommelier Courtney Schiessl. As an aspiring Sommelier and Wine Writer was an absolute pleasure to hear the highlights of Chablis from her. Please read the full recap here. After that unique tasting, I can hardly go back from that best Expression of Chardonnay to Chardonnay from other regions of the world.
New York’s Best 5 Wine Experiences of 2021 will not be complete without Austrian Wine Events. I had the opportunity to join the Austrian Wine Board on two of the main events for the year. In Austria, seventy percent of the wine production is white. Austria is well known by Grüner Veltliner that has a fantastic amount of texture and can produce different styles of wines. However, growing production and reds of local and international varieties are doing pretty well here, such as St. Laurent, Blaufrankish, Zweigelt. I was amazed by their Sparkling Grüner Veltliner produced in the Method Champegnoise with fantastic bread and nutty flavors.
Spain Great Match
Spain is much more than just Tempranillo. For the past 50 years, Spain has blossomed with modernity in winemaking. Many things are happening in Spain, such as Volcanic Wines coming from the Canary Islands to a new classification of Cava. Let’s not forget Mencia and Bobal native grapes, which I had the pleasure to pour this past November on one of the best events of the year: Spain Great Match. This event was open to the public for the second part of the day. During the first part of the day, seminars and media wine tasting were hosted by MS Evan Goldstein. For the second part, doors are open to the general public by purchasing tickets. Please definitely keep an eye on next year’s event at El Mercado Little Spain. Follow Spain Food and Wine in Eventbrite and get the notifications once the event tickets become available.
I felt like I visited France, Spain and Austria this year!
Wine experiences have helped me to retain small details for wine regions that I thought I already knew. So I encourage you to assist to a New York Wine Experience if you have the opportunity. Wine experiences add so much value to your vino journey; you create memories that will last and endure, and perhaps if your goal is to improve your wine knowledge, you get it and will have a lot of fun doing it!
Read more about the Wine Life of WineDivaa in New York.