I have a running joke with one of my best friends. It's about drinking Manhattans in Manhattan. Whenever we are in New York, we order the classic cocktail, and send a photo of it out to each other, a cheesy reminder of our friendship.
I'm headed to New York again next week for the Wine Spectator Wine Experience, but this time there aren't any Manhattans on my agenda. There are so many terrific wines to try at the Wine Experience Grand Tour, instead I'll be snapping photos of glasses of Champagne and bottles of red wine. I know my friend will understand.
When walking into a situation where there are 250 outstanding wines to taste, it's good to have a plan of attack. Then again, everywhere you turn, there's something delicious to try, so I also like to wander around and do some discovering.
Because I review New Zealand's wines, I'll stop first in their section. The Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Province 2013 will be poured by owners Simon and Jane Waghorn. They're making the trip from New Zealand to New York especially for the event and I'm looking forward to welcoming them. I'm also curious to see how the Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Chosen Rows 2010 is showing, since it's been about a year since I gave it my rave review. And I'm excited to taste the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014, which will be one of my first experiences with the 2014 vintage since I sipped some examples from barrel shortly after harvest. It should be a terrific vintage.
For those that think New Zealand only produces terrific white wines, I hope they'll consider wandering over to the Craggy Range Sophia Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay 2011, a sophisticated example of a Bordeaux-style red.
If you see me walking toward the Krug or Ornellaia, best get out of my way. I'm about to have a moment. Here in Napa, we are still in the throes of harvest, so it will be fun to check in with the Cabernet producers and see how things are going, like Araujo, Futo, Revana, Outpost, PlumpJack and Diamond Creek. I'll be asking harvest details, but taking long sips of their wines. And thank goodness I'll have two nights to do tasting, because there are so many California Pinot Noir producers to visit, like Donum, Kosta Browne, Siduri, Pali and Merry Edwards.
At the end of the night, when the lights go up, there's a good chance you'll find me with a glass of Château d'Yquem, taking a photo to send to my pal. It will be a cheesy reminder of our friendships.