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Mar 31

Cincinnati Wine Festival 2008

Kevin bringing you a round up of this part years Cincinnati International Wine Festival. Once again, it was a good time to get a chance to meet a large number of interesting people from around the world and talk about something that we all love: wine. The quick summary follows, then the full review after the jump.

Highlight of the event: Finding a large number of Chardonnay wines that are attempting a balanced flavor with just enough oak and butter without overwhelming either flavor. Meeker Winery, Pine Ridge, and the Newton Red Label were nice examples of this style.

Lowlight of the event: A separate tasting area for "Special Wine Tasting"? $35 dollars for 7 pours in a room an hour before the tasting seems both excessive and goes against the spirit that all wine should be enjoyed by anyone. It’s the basic idea of the room that hits my sensibilities as I was unable to actually peruse the tasting area prior to the Friday afternoon tasting.

As I mentioned in the quick recap, I wasn’t able to taste as many wines as I had in the past, but a few things really caught my attention.

Ohio and Kentucky Wineries had a great showing this year, with 8 attendees. Firelands, a recent interviewee in Michelle’s Ohio icewine article attended for the second year and also our friends at the local make your own wine winery, Tino Vino, attended to show off their standard stock.

TGIC Importers brought a nice selection of Malbec and Syrah wines from their portfolio and had 3 to 4 great selections. The Montes Alpha Syrah and Kaiken Ultra Malbec were two of the more memorable offerings, with the Malbec having the full fruit flavor with a strong spice component and a touch of tannins on the end. The syrah was different with a rich berry component that had very little pepper.

Moet  Hennessy USA had the Newton Chard I mentioned earlier and also the Domain Chandon Pinot Meunier which had a light cinnamon spice that helped to bring a full flavor to the wine. The spice faded on the finish.

Styring Vineyards brought 3 selections with them and all three tasted wonderfully. Available at Party Town in Kentucky, the Pinot Noir is one of the few must have purchases we made specifically due to the festival. Overall, this was one of the standouts of the festival.

Four Vines had a nice sampling of their 2006 Zinfandel selections and all had the taste and flavor you would expect from the big, fruity zins that are currently being produced.

Redhead Ranch: Michelle really enjoyed the R3 blend of Cabernet Franc, Cab Sauv, and Malbec. They also had a great Zinfandel dessert wine.

What did I miss? What did you think of the festival this year? Was the "special wines" room a plus or minus?

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Posted by Michelle at 9:22 pm in Special Events | Permalink | Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Cincinnati Wine Festival 2008”

  1. valereee says:

    I wanted very much to attend and once again had conflicts! I need to get this on my calendar earlier!

  2. Phill Joan says:

    Hi Friends! I read an article Click Here but, I couldn’t understand. I thought wines are only contains alcohol.
    I wanna know more about Dessert Wines. If anybody knows do reply me…

  3. gilgor says:

    The wines were very good this year, but there was basically no wine absorbing food, you had to pick at the many tasting samples (just like a Saturday at Krogers). There were no sandwiches and no real food stations as has been the case in the past. The premium tasting room had great selections, but for $35 you only got to try 20% of what was available. Price for extra tasted $10 per taste – outrageous.
    My wife only tasted about a dozen wines before she had to stop because of lack of food or she would have been sick. This was a shame as there were many more wines she would have appreciated. This year was a real disappointment. What good is it to have fantastic wines if you can try only a handfull of them. We have attended for better than fifteen years and the wines were some of the best we have seen, but what is the point of having great wine, if you are severely limited for the for lack of food. We will think twice about attending next year. There are too many other quality tasting events in the region to waste our money this one.

  4. Kevin Gerl says:

    Interesting comment on the food. Since we attended the early tasting, most of the food areas were not staffed. I do remember large food tables a few years ago, but that the lines and congestion around that area made it difficult to get to the wineries.
    I’m not sure how to fix the problem. Bringing your own crackers and cheese would make sure you have food, but then carrying the food and finding a place to eat could be tricky.

  5. Mark says:

    Michelle and Kevin: I couldn’t agree more with your comments on the separate, “premium” tasting room — it violates my sensibilities as well. That’s’ all wine needs: further reinforcement that it’s an elitist beverage. I know the event’s goal is to raise money for charity, but this is a bad idea that needs to be reconsidered.

  6. c says:

    I just tried an amazing new wine from Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina — called Belasco de Baquedano Malbec. It’s 100-Year Old Vine, but just introduced in the U.S., its website says (http://www.belascomalbec.com). I had the Llama, and there are three others (Swinto, AR Guentota, Rosa rose) all from the same Malbec estate. Have you tried this? What do you think? I was amazed at how low the price is, about $15 for the Llama. Are all Argentine malbecs so excellent?

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