"I WANT TAHT JACKET KEVIN" !!!
"Don't Touch It! Don't touch it !!!" shouts Kevin Zraly, near the beginning of his seminar. He know there are always people on every level of experience at any one of the many wine seminars he has conducted over the years, including the most experienced and at least one or maybe several people who have never ever been to a Seminar Wine Tasting like this in their lives. This maybe their first one, "Don't Touch Don't touch!!!" It's quite funny and a bit shocking the way Kevin does these as he sets the tone for his style of wine seminar, which is "No Muss No Fuss No BS," and as Mr. Zraly says no English Poetry, in an effort to say there will be none of that overdone pontification, just straight normal talk, and talk even a beginner could grasp about wine, and with Kevin his approach will make you love the object and the subject of "Wine" even more. That's what a great wine educator does. There are not many better than Kevin Zraly, "if any?"
Yes, the seminar was quite wonderful. If being at the most important Brunello Tasting of the year wasn't enough, and being the first in the World to taste the 2008 Vintage and 07 Riservas, in a beautiful setting like Gotham Hall, in The Greatest City in The World, and as the Head of The Brunello Consorzio stated this glorious day, "New York Is The Greatest and Most Important Market in The World For The Producers of Brunello di Montalcino." Yes Sir "It Is." Yes those at The New York Brunello Tasting were among-st the first in the World to taste these fine wines, and Mr.s Zraly made that point, as well as stating how wonderful the Wines were, that we were very fortunate to be drinking them, and that Brunello was along with Bordeaux, one of his 3 Favorite wines in the World to drink. Myself and Michael Colameco (Who is The fine host of "Real Food" one of TV's Best Cooking Shows on PBS) sitting next to me at the seminar, we both surmised the third of Kevin's 3 Favorite Wines of The World had to be Burgundy. This we need to find out.
"Smell it 3 times. Cover the glass with your hand. Sniff! Toast the person sitting next to you and drink. Think about it for 1 minute at 15 second intervals. Do you still taste it? What do you taste?" Well, we tasted 8 very fine offerings of this fabulous wine, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines were all wonderful, and being at Benvenuto Brunello in such a gorgeous setting as Gotham Hall and being led in a Tasting of Great Brunello by one of the World's Greatest Authorities on Wine, this was a combination that was unbeatable. Being in the Italian Wine and Restaurant Business for more than 25 and writing for another 8, I can tell your that I've been to many a incredible wine event, like: a Vertical Wine tasting and Luncheon with the Marchese Piero Antinori, Dinner at Spark's Steak-House with Jacopo Biondi Santi and his wines, as well as lunches and dinners on many great wine estates in Italy. The kind of events people would kill to be able to attend, I've been to many, and this Brunello Seminar tasting with kevin Zraly shall be filed in my head with some of those other great wine moments. It was most enjoyable, and I'm so glad I made it (almost din't go).
So Bravo Brunello! And Bravo Kevin for your passion, love of the wine, and the way you lead others, in your very Zraly Direction.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
BRUNELLO SEMINAR with KEVEN ZRALY .. January 31, 2013 .... Afternoon Seminar
WINES: BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO
1. Palazzo - 2008
2. Fanti -2008
3. Tenute Sivio Nardi - 2008
4. Donatella Cinelli Colombini - 2008
5. Uccelliera - 2008
6. Palazzo - Riserva 2004
7. Col D'Orcia 2001
8. IL Poggione Riserva 1999
An overall assessment and thoughts on the 8 Brunello's we tasted. First off, they were all very good to wonderful to remarkable. A great line-up including some excellent producers and very fine vintages of recent years. It seemed an overall consensus that pretty much everyone (Writers, Restaurant People, Wine Professionals,and Hobbyists) in the room liked each and every wine we drank, all wonderful wines, and with Kevin "Cheer-Leading" us with his love of wine and Brunello, I believe everyone enjoyed these wines even more than if they had tasted all 8 in another manner than this great tasting-seminar.
As all wines were wonderful, I must admit that there were 3 wines that we all got a bit more excited and super-charged over. These wines were; the Brunello Uccelliera 2008, the Brunello Col D'Orcia 2001, and the Brunello IL Poggione 1999 ... Without going into any, as Kevin Zraly would say "English Poetry" these 3 wines were just wonderful. The kind of wines you light up over and just saying "Wow," is enough to say that they had everything you want in a great Brunello or any great wine, great aroma, Wonderful Taste combined with "Perfect Balance," and simply greatness.
Again, a great tasting, overall Benvenuto Brunello, lots of great wines, wonderful people, and a fine Seminar-Tasting of Brunello conducted by Mr. Kevin Zraly. Again, Bravo!
It's BRUNELLO TIME in NEW YORK
Brunello Time in New York! Hey I think i just coined a new phrase for our great city New York. Yes I know it can never catch on like the poetic "Autumn in New York" ... Autumn in New York, the phrase started as a song in 1937, a song that became quite famous and sung by many musical greats like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitgerald to name just two. The phrase has been made into a movie, and tough it has been a hugely successful song, it's greatest popularity and famed comes as a "Saying" and Slogan of The Great City of New York, "Autumn in New York." Brunello Time in New York. No it will never be as famed as the Autumn of New York, but if you're as big as an Italian Wine Geek and Lover like me, this phrase Brunello Time in New York will sound quite wonderful to you.
Yes, yesterday, January 31, 2013 was Brunello Time in New York with for all us Italian Wine Guys (Girls too), one of our biggest and most cherished days of the year, The New York Italian Wine Year anyway. It is the Brunello Tasting, as we New York Wine Guys call it. The official named used by The Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino, the governing body of the famed Italian Wine Brunello, these are the people who organize this great show and tasting of the release of the latest vintage of Brunello, the tasting officially known as Benvenuto Brunello.
As I said, this tasting (event) is one of the most dear of the year to me. That is along with the
Tri Bicchieri Tasting, the biggest of the year. The Brunello Tasting is quite dear to me, as Sangiovese is my favorite of all grapes, as are the great wines made of it, especially Chianti and Brunello, my favorites, along with Morellino de Scansano, Vino Nobile, and some Super Tuscans that are based on this noble grape Sangiovese. And speaking of Sngiovese and Brunello, the wine Brunello is made of 100% Sangiovese, and of Snagiovese Grosso, also known as Brunello. And Brunello can only be made in Montalcino, and no-where else in the World, and it must be made to the exacting standards of The Consorzio del Brunello Di Montalcino, of whose President was on hand for the event.
The event "The Brunello Tasting" consist of 52 of the more than 200 producers of Brunello. The main reason for this Brunello Tasting is the "Release of The Newest Vintage of Brunello di Montalcino," in this case The 2013 Brunello Tasting is for the Release of The 2008 Brunello's and The 2007 Brunello Riservas. These are the two main wines of the tasting, but other wines are shown and offered, along with Moscadello the famed Dessert Wine of Montalcino based on Moscato. All producers will have on hand their Rosso di Montalcino made with the same grapes (100% Sangiovese Grosso "Brunello") as the Brunello. The Rosso's are not aged as long, and the grape yeild is slighly higher. The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino where on hand, and one of the nice things about drinking these Rossos is that you can get an advanced glimpse of what the 2010 Brunello's will be like when they are released in 2016.
Well, some Big Guns of Italian Wine were out at the Brunello Tasting. Big Guns from Italy along with some Big New York Italian Wine Guys like; Renzo Raspiacolli (Wine Director Barolo), Phillipo Debarladino, and Charles Scicolone, one of America's Greatest Authorities of Italian Wine "If Not Thee # 1 Top Guy." And speaking of Big Guns, as far as Italian Wine goes, The Biggest Gun of Them All, "The Marchese Piero Antinori" was on hand at this, one, along with The Count Cinzano of Col d'Orcia and other Italian Wine luminaries.
"ME And THE MARCHESE"
MARCHESE PIERO ANTINORI
NEW YORK 2013
MARCHESE FERDINANDO FRESCOBALDI
With ITALIAN FOOD & WINE WRITER
DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE