by Dwight Casimere
It was the Academy Awards of wine, the “Critics Choice” Grand Tasting of the 2009 New York Wine Experience, held at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
The international wine tasting marked the 29th annual Wine Experience and, as always, Wine Spectator’s distinguished Board of Senior Editors chose the finest wine producers from the world’s great winegrowing regions to participate in the Grand Tasting.
There should have been a Red Carpet upon which to assemble the stellar assemblage of the world’s premiere winemakers; Clovis Taittinger of his namesake Champagne Taittinger, Timothy Mondavi from his late father’s Robert Mondavi Winery, Jean-Bernard Delmas of Chateau Montrose to name but a few of the nearly 300 creators of premium vintages, rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator.
The owners and winemakers were on hand to personally pour their wines and a sumptuous grand tasting of charcuterie, hot and the Marriott Marquis staff prepared cold cuisine and desserts. The presentation would rival anything prepared by Wolfgang Puck for the Green Room behind the Kodak Theatre on Oscar Night.
“Critics Choice” Grand Tastings are sponsored by the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation, which awards grants to students pursuing careers in oenology and viticulture, wine service and related fields.
Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher of Wine Spectator, presided over the event, circulating amongst the wine pouring tables, greeting old friends and generally being the affable host of a fantastic evening.