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Preview of the 2014 Boston Wine Expo

logo_datesWe’ve been hitting the wine event trail pretty regularly, and now it’s time for the big one, the 2014 Boston Wine Expo comes to the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center on Feb 15 and 16.  That’s a Saturday and Sunday, making for a very potentially winey weekend.  This event features wine from over 185 wineries around the world.  The Grand Tastings are on both days between 1 and 5 PM.  There are a couple of more exclusive ways to do enjoy the days as well, with the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge offering higher end wines in a room away from the Grand Tasting Floor, and the VIP experience, which gives you a separate entrance, coat check and a lounge on the floor to get out of the crowds as well.  Take your pick.

Before we go go through more of what will be there, here’s an important point.  We’ve got a discount code you can use if you plan on buying tickets.  Use this link to buy tickets: http://j.mp/BWETix, and type in the discount code SOCIAL (all caps, no quotes) and you get 10% off.  Might make moving up to the VIP a little more attractive.

Some events charge for the food and some include complimentary tastings throughout, and Boston will have complimentary food during the tasting, with scores of providers providing bites to keep you balanced throughout the day.  Boston has great restaurants, so this should be good.  Make sure you eat, because you will definitely be drinking.

There will be people!

There will be people!

The wine list is long and impressive.  You’ll find most of your favorites and a bunch of wines

There will be wine!

There will be wine!

you’ve never heard of, as some of the distributors come in with a wide variety of choices from all over.  Some names that jump out at me include La Spinetta, Alamos, Banfi, Duckhorn, Hope Family, Louis Martini, Michael David, Terlato and a group of Rioja wines which could be really exciting.  If you get into the Vintner’s Lounge you add names like Brittan Vineyards, Grgich Hills and Louis Latour.  If you’ve never tried Brittan Vineyards wines you should, Robert and Ellen Brittan are doing good things at their Oregon winery.  Their Pinots are very good, but also try the Syrah.  The Brittan Vineyards 2009 Syrah was one of my favorite wines from last years festival at the Newport Mansions and I have both it and the 2010 now resting in my cellar.

Another great aspect of an event like this is you can approach it as a way to try lesser know varieties and styles from around the world.  A quick glance through the wines showed a Chinon (cab franc from the Loire Valley), several Falanghinas (whites from Campania), a Touriga Nacional (dry red from Portugal also used in Port production) and a Rkatsiteli (white originally from the birthplace of vitis vinifera near the Caucasus Mountains).  There are many, many more.  It’s a perfect chance to expand your wine horizon.

2013_boston_wine_expo_367_v2

A seminar from last year

One thing that really leaps out at me about the Boston event is the sheer number and breadth of the wine seminars.  If you’ve never taken a wine seminar, and you are really interested in a particular aspect of winemaking, a certain winery or a certain style of wine, then you’ve missed an opportunity.  They can be very informative and very enjoyable.  The seminars at Boston look like they are pretty big, so I wouldn’t expect a small, intimate affair where you can chat with the winemaker or host.  What I would expect is some excellent wine and a lot of knowledge getting thrown around.  You just might want to catch some.  They really are generally excellent and usually always great value.  Some here that stand out to me are Kevin Zraly’s One Hour Wine Expert, which will give you a lot of background in a short amount of time if you are just getting started (Kevin Zraly has been teaching people about wine for a long time), as well as Sunday seminars looking at a comparison of Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune Premier Cru and a look at modern Rioja.  Those sound really fun, unfortunately I don’t think we’ll have time.  Otherwise we would definitely be at those last two.

As with most big events you can get multi-day passes, grab a hotel room and make a weekend out of it.  Or you can simply drive in both days, or one day, or whatever fits your schedule.  We’ll be there for part of it at least, and it promises to be fun and educational.  Maybe we’ll see you there.

Again, if your interested in going,  buy your tickets at http://j.mp/BWETix, and get a 10% discount by entering the code SOCIAL.  General information can be found at the event website here.

A votre sante!

 

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