Tomorrow and Sunday, February 15-16, 2013 celebrates the return of one of Boston’s premier winter events, the Boston Wine Expo. This extravaganza of wine, food, and the good life will have over 200 wineries from more than 15 countries pouring over 1,800 wines. The expo itself is a two-day event that takes place at the World Trade Center, across from the Seaport Hotel, and has grown into one of the largest and most respected wine events in the country.
In addition to the Grand Tasting, the more exclusive Grand Cru Tasting (showing reds that retail for $75 and up and whites over $45 per bottle), the food pairings from some of Boston’s trendiest restaurants, the hugely popular seminars (many of which sell out early, so register ASAP if you are interested!), this year sees the return of the Vintner Dinner Series which started on February 11th and continues through February 25th. Select wineries will be pairing their best wines at various restaurants around the city in a far more intimate setting than the Expo itself. Between the seminars and the Vintner Dinner Series this event is one of the best opportunities all year to increase your wine knowledge with the help of some of the biggest names in the industry. For schedule and ticketing information visit the website: www.WineExpoBoston.com .
Since 1991 the founders of the Boston Wine Expo, the Boston Guild of Oenophilists, have hosted this marvelous event for wine enthusiasts of every level. Oenophile is a fancy term for wine lover or connoisseur. Each year the BGO makes substantial donations to various charities in the Greater Boston area, so far exceeding $1.3 million. This year will benefit the Tufts Medical Center’s Summer Camp Scholarship for children with disabilities.
New to the Expo this year attendees will be able to download the new smartphone app from DRYNC Direct which will allow you to rate your favorite wines, and for the first time, order wines to be shipped to your home with FREE shipping included (for wines ordered during the Expo)! This is a huge additional benefit to attending the Expo. Each year attendees taste many wines that later they do not remember or cannot find in the local market. With the DRYNC Direct app you will be able to scan a bottle and if you enjoyed the wine you’ll be able to order it then and there. After the Expo these wines will still be available to order at only $9.99 shipping, or free shipping for six or more bottles. Massachusetts residents who have tried to order wines from the places they have travelled know only too well the roadblocks to ordering wines not sold locally (Free the Grapes!)
In the center of the Grand Tasting this year there will be a Social Media Lounge (use Twitter hashtag #BWE2013). It escapes no one I’m sure that in today’s world our live, in-the-moment events are streamed as they happen over social media. Stop by and see which wines are getting the most buzz and which are the duds. At the Expo last year a local radio station was broadcasting live and using Twitter to offer prizes. I won two upgrades to the Grand Cru lounge and got to experience how the other half, well, one percent live.
I’m personally looking forward to tasting some new wines, some favorites, and some from winemakers I’ve gotten to know over the years. I’ll be on the lookout for Klinker Brick from Lodi, a fave from last year, vintage Ports from Cockburn and Graham’s, Happy Bitch Rosé, a friend from the Hudson Valley in New York, the entire Finger Lakes Wine Country pavilion, Anne Amie from Oregon, several Torrontés from Argentina, and anyone pouring bubbles!
If you are a first-timer, going on Saturday or Sunday (or if you are lucky enough to have a two-day ticket), plan to get there for the start of the day. As the day progresses you’ll find there are those who are there to get their money’s worth and tasting everything in sight, indiscriminately. You can tell who these people are by the level of their inebriation. You won’t be able to try everything so try to do some research on the website or within the DRYNC Direct app to make a plan. Jot down the booth numbers of the wineries you are interested in or save them in the app. When you enter the Expo you will receive your commemorative tasting glass, a full color guide with a map and room for notes (if you’re old school), and a bottle of water. Remember to drink the water. Spitting is allowed and encouraged. Many small tastes add up quickly to a lot of alcohol consumption. Taste responsibly. If you taste a wine you like ask if it available for purchase in Massachusetts. If they say no ask why not. These wineries pay a lot of money for the opportunity to pour their wine at the Expo. They are always looking for new markets. Give them feedback.