5. VOTE!
1. Chinese buyers snapping up French vineyards
Feature-the-new-red-army China’s billionaires & Chateau Lafite.
2. March 29 New Zealand Release Tasting - New York
I love that New Zealand (NZ) wines will be 100% sustainable (and independently audited) by vintage 2012 (90+% compliance currently).
I enjoyed taking the Riesling Challenge 2010 http://www.rieslingchallenge.co.nz: 12 wines all made from the SAME Waipara Valley vineyard, then crafted by different Winemakers from around New Zealand. However, my winner and run up choice differed from the challenge winner, the sweetest Riesling (too sweet for my taste).  While I love the idea, as well as the fact one can buy a case of the 12 wines to judge at home, it had its flaws: notably that “all wines were judged blind and graded individually by all participating winemakers.”  This is too incestuous for my taste;  it should be judged by more “objective” wine drinkers!  While I admire the effort, not only Alsace France and Germany (obviously) but Clare Valley Australia are still way out front in taste.  Of course, that could change over time.
The NZ tasting and program notes were logically displayed and highly informative. The food accompaniments (e.g. New Zealand mussels, lamb etc.) was, like last year, delicious.  I had thought to suggest that readers should attend the evening public event, given that more trade tastings are being followed by public tastings in the evening. While a wonderful venue, Public Restaurant on 210 Elizabeth Street, this tasting was a disappointment. This sentiment was shared by others, perhaps due to the high expectations given last year’s outstanding event.  Previously, I tasted some 20 Sauvignon Blancs, the vast majority were “delicious”.  This year, I found only a few “pleasantly drinkable”.  I don’t know if this was a question of participating wineries or, more likely, an issue with the 2010 vintage (New Zealand is the most vintage oriented southern hemisphere wine region). Three better values:
Sadly, the 2010 Pinots were also disappointing.  Again, I don’t know if more was due to selection or vintage, but Oregon and even California beat their 2010 choices hands down.  However, there were a number of 2008 and 2009 Pinots that I found desirable. The 3 best values:
Not surprisingly, a Pinot from Central Otago, which is the other great NZ pinot district, Felton Road Pinot Noir Central Otago 2009 ($58) scored well.
By now I was somewhat downbeat and ready to leave when I talked with an importer who told me about his new line. I then tasted
This was a delightful surprise and a wonderful delicious wine indeed!  Try it!
Lastly, as is often the case, the event's most expensive wine, STONYRIDGE LAROSE CAB/MERLOT BLEND WAIHEKE 2008 ($150) was very smooth, but overpriced.
3. April 4 Wine of Portugal Tasting
·                                 Portugal offers a number of enjoyable value wines under $11.
·                                 Portugal makes truly wonderful ports.
·                                 Some day (soon?) Portugal will produce many wonderful local wines that compete internationally in quality and value. From this tasting I can only conclude either that that day is NOT here yet or they are importing too many mediocre ones.  I found nothing here that made me want to jump and up and down - nothing like Barca Velha, the most celebrated Portuguese wine.
4. READER: On to France and our own vineyard I say!!
HW: This may be part of my future master wine plan. In the meantime, one might aim a little lower and dip your toes in the water and Grow your own Gruener!
The Austria tourist association offers wine enthusiasts the chance to rent a plot of 100 grapevines in Purbach, Burgenland and take care of them for one year for 800 euros.  You will have the expert guidance of a professional producer to help.  At the end you receive 100 bottles of your own wine, complete with personal wine label Read More.
READER: The secret of enjoying a good wine:
1. Open the bottle to allow it to breathe.
2. If it does not look like it's breathing, give it mouth-to-mouth.

HW: Now I know. Thank you.

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