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Decanter Editor-in-Chief’s New York Fine Wine Encounter top tips

Editor-in-Chief Chris Maillard has a few ideas about what you should try at our Decanter Fine Wine Encounter NYC.

There are going to be some utterly splendid wines to taste at our New York Fine Wine Encounter – many of the world’s grandest winemakers have brought some of their very best bottles to our event, knowing their hard work and talent will be appreciated by a discerning audience. 

My team of experts have picked out a great selection of their personal favourites from the wines on offer, and for their superbly detailed analysis and opinion, you should read the pieces and the picks from Georgie Hindle, Amy Wislocki, Natalie Earl, Julie Sheppard, Tina Gellie, Sylvia Wu, James Button and Ines Salpico.

They’re all world-class specialists in their areas, and frankly, I’m lucky to have such an excellent team of knowledgeable and informed Editors. My job, meanwhile, is to look at the bigger picture, spot trends and sometimes pick up on the wine world’s undercurrents – and there are quite a few wines on show at our event in NYC which may have flown under your radar but are well worth seeking out.

In an upcoming issue of our magazine, we’re running the somewhat ambitious statement that ‘Greece is the most exciting new wine region’. We’re standing by that, so if you want to get ahead of the curve and latch on to the new regional trend before all of your wine enthusiast friends, get along to the Ktima Gerovassiliou stand (#48) and ask to try their Xinomavro 2021, from near the lovely ancient port town of Thessaloniki. It’s one of Greece’s classic grapes but is also a big part of the country’s reinvention as a maker of truly interesting wines.

Another area that is quietly humming away with invention and skill is Eastern Europe – we’ve recently awarded a Ukrainian wine a DWWA gold medal, for instance, and the story of how that happened is both hair-raising and heartwarming. It even made the international press.

If anyone doubts the credentials of these relatively unsung regions, just remember that not too far away is the proud country of Georgia, which claims to have been the first to make wine, sometime around 6,000BC. That’s a 7,700-year head start on, say, California. 

And a little further West, the Balkans has a lot of interesting wine-related things happening. For a taste of that, head to our DWWA table to try Gold winner Bikicki Uncensored 2018 from Serbia. This white wine is a crisp, mineral reminder that a combination of experience and skill is a world-beater.

Elsewhere, one mystery to me is how under-appreciated offbeat Spanish wine seems to be in the United States. While France, Italy and California are rightly admired, Spain always seems to be slightly less revered. And even if it gets a mention, it’s usually the bigger names, the Priorats and full-bodied red Riojas. This is a shame, because though those are indisputably great wines, there are some fabulous alternative styles, both traditional and funky, being made in the more obscure corners of the Iberian peninsula. 

In the land of Xarel.lo, Verdejo and Albariño (or Alvarinho if you’re in Portugal, just to be even more confusing) there’s more going on than you’d think. So try the Remírez de Ganuza Blanco Reserva Rioja 2019 on Stand #3 as a stepping stone, and prepare to discover a world of great whites that could take you a lifetime to become an expert in. But it will be a very enjoyable lifetime.

Now for one final personal pick, which might produce a few twitches among those who disdain the celebrity winemaker/lifestyle influencer pack. It’s a Rosé. It’s a French Rosé. It’s a pale Rosé. And though not strictly speaking from Provence, it’s not all that far away. Are your Hot Instagram Trend alarm bells ringing yet?

But I’m talking about Gérard Bertrand’s Clos du Temple from the Languedoc (Stand #18), and having had the pleasure of spending time with the charming force of nature that is Monsieur Bertrand at a recent wine show I feel quite confident in saying that he is most definitely not in the business of pumping out fashion-led beverage units. 

This is complex, layered and fascinating. It couldn’t be further from the thin listlessness of some mass-market rosés, so if you’re a little underwhelmed by this currently hip style, prepare to be thoroughly whelmed by what is possible when it’s done properly.

That’s just a very quick spin around some heavily edited highlights. But if you’re coming along to our Fine Wine Event, seek out me or one of the Decanter team and we’ll give you a few more tips. And if you’re still wavering about coming along, put your name down before all the tickets go.

It’ll be a blast, as they say in New York.

The Grand Tasting is at the heart of Decanter Fine Wine Encounters and will take place in the beautiful Bay Room, on the 60th floor of Manhatta featuring breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan and its surrounding waterways. Set to be a truly unforgettable experience, producers will showcase four wines each with one being a very special bottle specifically selected from the winery’s cellar. 

You will also have the opportunity to attend four exceptional masterclasses throughout the day. 

Learn from the experts at our world-class 75-minute tutored tastings:

(LIMITED AVAILABILITY) Masterclass 1 10:30am – 11:45am – Champagne Krug – The Art of Creation with Julie Cavil

(SOLD OUT) Masterclass 2 12:45pm – 2pm – Charles Curtis MW’s Favorite Burgundies  

(SOLD OUT) Masterclass 3 3pm – 4.15pm – Château Margaux with Alexis Leven-Mentzelopoulos

(LIMITED AVAILABILITY) Masterclass 4 5:15pm – 6.30pm – Brunello di Montalcino – a Study of Contrasts with Michaela Morris

Whether you are New York dwellers or short-term visitors, tickets are strictly limited so make sure you don’t miss out.

Essential information

Decanter Fine Wine Encounter NYC
Date: Saturday June 18 2022 from 10:30am to 6pm.
Location: Bay Room at Manhatta
Price: Grand Tasting tickets from $225 | Masterclass tickets from $235
Tickets go on general sale on Friday 11 March.

Visit events.decanter.com/newyork

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