Vine Time: Wine & Spirits’ Top 100 Symposium

By Gustaf Vincoeur |

Photo courtesy of Alder Yarrow

On Tuesday (1.14), oenophiles will gather in New York City for an all-star tasting. Wine & SpiritsTop 100 Symposium promises an opportunity to taste some of the best wine releases from the last year plus some hear seminars and taste some great food.

Top Wines (Literally)

As the name suggests, Top 100 is a curated tasting, and an impressive one at that. The event features the top scoring wines crowned by Wine & Spirits magazine’s annual tastings of 11,500 cuvées. As such, the gathering is peppered with some renowned winemakers.

Alice Paillard (Champagne Bruno Paillard), Jean – François Ott (Domaines Ott), Jeff Mangahas (Williams Selyem), and Darel Allwine (Col Solare) are just a few of the familiar names who will be on hand to pour. 

Other coveted bottles slated for serving that evening include W&J Grahams Porto Vintage The Stone Terraces, 2004 Bollinger Champagne RD Extra Brut, and 2014 Penfolds South Australia Grange Shiraz. The opportunities for tasting are extensive.

“If you’re looking for a comparison of two great cabernets, you can taste Ridge’s Monte Bello from the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Cathy Corison’s Kronos Vineyard Cabernet from St. Helena in Napa Valley,” said Wine & Spirts Editor & Publisher Josh Greene. “It’s a pretty amazing comparison, and great to get to taste the Corison wine with Cathy, herself.”

Eclectic Oenophilia

However, one reason that the Top 100 garners so much respect is that this honor roll transcends the usual suspects. The Wine & Spirits team has a knack for finding gems in lesser known regions; this diversity is also apparent at the tasting.

Greene offered an example that perfectly encapsulated the eclectic offerings. “Next to Luis Pato, guests can meet Jonatan Garcia Lima, who is flying in from the Canary Islands where he grows listán negro in the hills of Tenerife,” he commented. “Anyone fascinated by old-vine reds grown in volcanic soils should not miss his wines at Suertes del Marqués.”

Josh Greene {Photo courtesy of Wine & Spirits]

Likewise, keeping with the growing trend, Armenia will be represented at the event. Armenian vigneron, Zorik Gharibian, will be pouring areni from Zorah.

“We held our first Armenian wine tasting this year and the Zorah wines blew us away—especially the delicate, beautifully fragrant areni, a red wine aged in amphora,” explained Greene.

Paired Purveyors

Of course, wine is best enjoyed with food. The Top 100 has that covered also. Grape friendly cuisine will be provided by local restaurants and purveyors.

“Personally, I love the chance to enjoy oysters and great Champagne, so I’ll be starting at the Grand Central Oyster Bar,” said Greene. “But, in all honesty, we are so excited to have folks from Noreetuh with their hibiscus-cured fluke, GAUDir with their chorizo croquetas, The Dutch with their lamb yaki and The River Café with their braised oxtails, just to name a few.”

Other participating restaurants include Bâtard, Camperdown Elm, Jungsik, L’Accolade, Nice Martin, and The River Café.

Red Wines And Blue Waters

The evening is also provides an opportunity to drink for a cause. Proceeds from the event will be donated to NY/NJ Baykeeper, a nonprofit devoted to protecting the harbor estuary where the Hudson, Hackensack, Passaic, and Raritan rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean. Not only are these waters vital to the ecosystem, they also are key to eating well.

“We began working with Baykeeper in New York eight years ago, on other events, and we especially appreciate the work they are doing restoring the oyster beds in the Raritan and Hudson estuaries — beds that help keep the water clean and were once one of the richest resources of NYC. We hope they will be again,” Greene added.

In addition to their work with the NY/NJ Baykeeper, Wine & Spirits also works with their sister Baykeeper organization in the San Francisco Bay.

The Top 100 Symposium will be the evening of January 14 at Union Park Events, 5-7 17th Street, NYC. You can find more info here.

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