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12.27.2008

Boston Wine Expo: January 24-25, Boston, MA

BosLanding_logo.gifWine lovers in Beantown, listen up. It won't be long now before some of you may be asking yourselves what on Earth you're doing freezing your keisters off in the depths of winter. But there is at least one reason for sticking around through January besides the New England Patriots, and that, my friends is the Boston Wine Expo.

There are very few reasons that I'd venture out to Boston in the middle of winter, but let me tell you, the Boston Wine Expo is almost enough of a reason for me to jet on out there from San Francisco. Almost, but not quite. However, if I lived anywhere within 100 miles of the Boston, I would be at the Seaport World Trade center on January 24th and 25th of 2009.

The Boston Wine Expo claims to be the largest public wine tasting event in the entire country, and looking at the partial list of folks who are planning on showing up to pour their wines, it's not hard to believe. On offer will be 450 international and domestic wineries from 13 countries pouring over 1,800 different wines. Yowza.

There are so many different options for what you can do (seminars, guided tastings, food pairings, dinners, concerts, you name it) and what sort of tickets you can buy to do them (reasonable to super expensive), I'm not even going to try to summarize what's on offer. Go check out their web site and figure it out for yourself. What I would be most interested in personally are the grand tastings where you get to taste a lot of wine, and their special Grand Cru Wine Lounge where you pay more to taste a lot of even better wine.

If you enjoy wine there's very little excuse not to go have a looksee at what is certainly the best opportunity to educate your palate that you'll get all year, let alone in the dead of winter.

The 18th Annual Boston Wine Expo
Saturday January 24 and Sunday January 25, 2009
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Seaport World Trade Center
200 Seaport Blvd.
Boston, MA, 02210 (map)

Tickets range in price from $85 for a day of tasting to $195 for a full pass, and they get more expensive after January 17th. Buy them online in advance to save money and avoid standing on lines when you get there.

And remember my tips for making the most of these large public tastings: get a good night's sleep before hand; show up with a full stomach; wear dark clothes; drink lots of water; and for heaven's sake, SPIT !


Comments (8)

Dale Cruse wrote:
12.28.08 at 6:06 AM

The Boston Wine Expo is the one event we Boston wine drinkers love to hate. Yes, there's lots of wine, lots of wine people and chefs but WAY too many people! The event is crammed full of people like a NYC subway car during rush hour. Jonathon Alsop of the Boston Wine School refers to the event as the "Boston Wine Scrum." There are literally police patrolling the event because within the first hour there are people passed out on the floor.

So, sure, on the plus side it's a three-ring circus of wine. But on the minus side, it's a three-ring circus of wine.

That being said, I'm still going to attend, albeit this time with a press pass.

Tish wrote:
12.28.08 at 9:35 AM

I'm with Dale on this one. I like to call it the Boston Elbow Festival. It's held in a concrete cavern and gets ridiculously crowded. And if you happen to stay through the end you are likely to see people retching in the garbage cans. I used to go because it was an opportunity to try a lot of wines and see a lot of people I know in the trade; but the crowd factor makes it difficult to appreciate either, in my recollection....

Alder wrote:
12.28.08 at 9:56 AM

Wow guys, sounds just like the ZAP festival in San Francisco! Kidding aside, such conditions are definitely the downside of such events and are best dealt with by showing up early in my experience, though the description of people passing out in the first hour is very worrisome.

Pamela wrote:
12.28.08 at 11:28 AM

You'll have a much better experience if you take in the seminars. Last year they had a Pinot noir seminar "The Holy Grail" which was probably one of the best one hour seminars I've ever attended. The seminars are at an additional cost, but definitely worth the money.

Dylan wrote:
12.29.08 at 6:32 PM

I can't believe I never heard about this while I was in college in Boston. It wasn't even advertised on our campus, nor has it ever been mentioned by friends who went to other schools in the area. I guess from the posts there's already enough people coming. They aren't worried about reaching out to more. It's too bad these all can't be as organized as the trip Alder took to South Africa.

swoods wrote:
12.30.08 at 3:36 PM

I know that many producers and suppliers lament that at the Boston Expo there are quite a few patrons who hold onto the table hold out their glass and sputter - gimme the best ya got. However, the "Grand Cru" room is an experience for any wine lover. Seven tables of the best vintages of the best producers and well worth the price of admission. Yes it gets crowded but the crowd is loaded with folks who share your passion!

Waide wrote:
01.26.09 at 6:35 PM

My wife and I attended, and sure we saw some drunks and lot and lots of glowing red faces but that was the same at a tasting festival in Perpignan last year. Deal people, it's wine, the price tag will deter some but not all and I found it very beneficial to my palate. As for the Cote du Rhone wines...now you are talking...

Dale Cruse wrote:
01.26.09 at 6:55 PM

Ah yes, the Cotes du Rhone wines at the Boston Wine Expo.... As I recall, there were two women in all red both showing miles of cleavage. Just below where you were staring where the words "Cotes du Rhone" on their shirts. Surprising example of an Old World type wine using VERY New World marketing.

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