I shall drink first with my eyes, poring through bottles whose labels range from Chateau d’Esclans‘ Whispering Angel of France, to Bodegas Verum Reserva Familiar 2009 Tempranillo of Spain. I am at the 2014 Boston Wine Expo, in the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge inside the Seaport Hotel’s Plaza Ballroom. This is a separate venue from the Grand Tasting floor of the Expo, in that it is where the cream of the crop awaits my palate. The price points are a bit higher than what is tasted in the Grand Tasting Floor, where I stopped for a taste of Barefoot Bubbly before the 1 p.m. opening of the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge.
Once visually full of my surroundings, which included Scullers Jazz Club playing in the far corner, floral arrangements by Stapleton Floral, Alex and Ani jewelry, the enticement of Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises and S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna hydration, I was ready to taste, taste, taste. And not just fine wine like a 2009 Chateau Corton Grancey of the Cote de Beaune region in the village of Aloxe-Corton ($100/bottle), which makes a phenomenal pinot noir with grapes grown from limestone soil and aged in oak casks, but culinary specialties such as beef wellington of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and prosciutto meatballs of TAMO bar & lounge. In fact, the food rivaled the wines, and, to be honest, overwhelmed me. Where do I begin? When do I break for more food or stop at the cheese table? Sofas are at the ready for some time spent sipping at leisure. And sip I did.
A Louis Latour Marsannay proved worthy, as did an Oregon pinot noir of Winderlea Estate in Dundee Hills. I couldn’t keep up with so many elegant wines to document, so I began using my Vivino app to document the occasion. A L’Abeille de Fieuzal Graves 2011 of Bordeaux caught me by surprise, as did a 2009 Terra Alta Mather Teresina of Spain, a Celler Pinol. I knew I’d love the selection of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon’s, as I knew I’d adore the Grgich Hills Estate wines.
For the price of $185 on a Sunday afternoon, the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge was well worth the cost for time spent exploring world wines and class A culinary offerings. And with the ticket price, you get access to the Grand Tasting as well.