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03.28.2008

Chianti Tasting: April 21, New York City

For as great a wine town as it is, fantastic public tasting opportunities don't come around all that often in New York City. Sure, if you know people, and especially if you're in the business, there's always some place to go to taste a few great wines. But there are rarely large public tasting events like those frequently held in gallo_nero.jpgSan Francisco, where consumers can spend a little bit of money to taste a huge number of wines.

As you know, I consider such events the best possible education wine lovers can get. There's nothing like being able to compare and contrast dozens, even hundreds of wines of the same type, or from the same region, to get a real sense of what you like.

So. What do you think about Chianti?

About five years ago, as I drove south from Florence on my way to Siena, stopping along the way amidst the green hills to sip a little wine, I realized I had never given Chianti enough credit. While it doesn't have the deep profundity of Brunello, its high-class cousin to the south, there are a lot of beautiful, honest, unassuming wines made in some of the world's most beautiful hill country.

On Monday, April 21, New York wine lovers have the chance to taste more than 200 different Chianti Classicos at an event by the name of Chianti Classico & The Tuscan Nose. The "nose" part of this tasting, apart from being a pun on the classic portrait of the Duke of Urbino, derives from a presentation by Italian perfumer, Lorenzo Villoresi, who will offer something that's being described as "The Essence of Chianti Classico: a sensory experience of the 27 aromas of Chianti." Yeah, I have no idea what the hell that is either.

But, did I mention there will be more than 200 Chianti Classicos to taste?

The tasting, which benefits Slow Food USA, also involves a seminar by sommelier David Lynch, which presumably will not be about perfume.

Whether you need to be disabused of the notion that Chianti is the wine that comes in those cute little baskets or you're a hard-core lover of Sangiovese aged in neutral oak, this is a tasting that's bound to be worth the forty bucks that a ticket will set you back.

Chianti Classico & The Tuscan Nose Tasting
Monday, April 21st, 6:00 to 8:00 PM (seminar at 6:30 PM)
583 Park Avenue (at 63rd Street)
New York, New York 10065

Tickets are $40 per person and should be purchased in advance online, or by calling 212-929-7700.

Remember my usual tips for public tastings: get a good night's sleep; drink lots of water; have food in your stomach when you arrive; wear dark clothes; and if you want to actually learn anything...SPIT!

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud