Friday, January 17, 2014

Slow Wine 2014 USA Tour Hits 3 Major Cities with New Slow Wine Guide, Even Newer Bi-monthly Newsletter


Story and photo gallery by Dwight Casimere

SLOW WINE embarks on the third edition of its USA tour with a new twist. Not only will it premiere a new and updated 2014 edition of its Slow Wine Guide, it will also introduce their new bi-monthly newsletter, which will be available for a free trial download in the month of February.

Slow Wine is the guide to Italian wineries which are approved as good, clean and fair by Slow Food. Slow Wine has had a major impact on the wine industry through its focus on environmental sensitivity and ecologically sustainable viticultural practices. The newsletter seeks to be a valuable instrument for wine lovers and professionals searching for a new perspective on wine valuation and criticism. The newsletter is also a gateway for the upcoming stars of the Italian wine scene to reach a larger base of wine lovers.

Slow Wine 2014 unfolds in three U.S. cities, each with its own unique focus. In San Francisco, the 2014 Slow Wine tour will take place Monday, January 27 at the renowned Terra Gallery at 511 Harrison Street, on Rincon Hill in that city’s chic SOMA district (South of Market Street) in the heart of San Francisco’s arts and culture area. Terra Gallery is the city’s most unique, elegant and versatile multi-level event space, located just minutes away from that city’s top hotels, restaurants and picturesque sights and attractions.  More than 50 Italian winemakers from 15 regions will be in San Francisco to personally pour their wine creations accompanied by a delectable selection of light Italian-inspired bites in Terra’s dynamic atmosphere.

The tour continues in Chicago on Wednesday, January 29 at the famed Spiaggia restaurant at 980 N. Michigan in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.  Chef Tony Mantuano, one of the Champions from Season Two of Bravo Tv’s “Top Master Chefs” and a 2005 James Beard Foundation Award winner is Chef/Partner at Spiaggia,  Chicago’s only four-star Italian restaurant. A favorite of Presidents and foreign dignitaries, Spiaggia has become the mecca for modern interpretations of the regional cuisines of Italy. Spiaggia’s private dining rooms, overlooking Chicago’s vibrant Michigan Avenue, with its elegant boutiques and designer showrooms near the historic Water Tower, provides the showcase for wines from 60 producers representing 15 regions of Italy.

Slow Wine 2014 concludes in New York’s lively Chelsea area, Monday Feb. 3 on the eve of New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  This vibrant area is home, along with neighboring Tribeca, of the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by actor Robert De Niro, and the site of some of the most glamorous designer shows held during New York’s upcoming Fashion Week (Feb. 6-13).  Wines from over 70 selected producers from 15 Italian regions will be presented at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street. A news conference prior to the event on February 3 will describe the 2014 US tour’s collaboration with Vinitaly International and the introduction of their bimonthly newsletter, which will also be available for a free trial download in the month of February.

In a pre-tour interview, Giancarlo Gariglio, Editor, Slow Wine Guide, discussed the new guide, the newsletter and their impact on wine appreciation, production and consumption.

“Our guide is still very young and therefore, I do not pretend that Slow Wine has profoundly changed the way America is drinking wine. I hope that a wine guide like ours can help consumers ask the right questions and that consumers start drinking more consciously.”

Regarding the uniqueness of the Slow Wine Guide as compared to other, more traditional publications, Gariglio posited that “the Slow Wine Guide is the only guide that, besides tasting all the wines reviewed, has decided to visit all the producers personally. We think that telling the stories of producers, who talk about their work and about the terroir and where their wines come from is the most important thing. Slow Wine also provides a lot of very useful information that other guides don’t, such as the type of fertilizers, yeasts, or whether herbicides and/or pesticides are used. Unlike other publications, we do not give numerical scores, but nonetheless provide precise suggestions on what consumers should buy.”

Another positive attribute of the Slow Wine Guide, Gariglio offered, is its emphasis on the importance of the relationship between quality and the price of the wines. “The consumer should not expect to spend too much money to drink good, clean and fair wine. Italy has the fortune to be able to offer lots of great value wines, even among those made with sustainable agriculture.”

He noted that Slow Wine has already had a profound impact on the industry, even if some of the larger producers are only paying homage to it with lip service. “It is true that sustainability is also turning into a fad and a marketing tool. I believe that consumers need to pay close attention to this. Slow Wine visits all the wineries personally and then discovers when sustainability is practiced for solely marketing purposes and when it instead originates from ethical values. When you go and see the vineyards, producers can no longer tell you lies as they can when you just ask for samples. I believe, however, that environmental sustainability is an important and fundamental value that more and more will define the quality of a wine.”

As they say in the industry, the proof is in the bottle. Visit the Slow Wine 2014 USA tour when it comes to a city near you. As they say in Italy, “la verita’ del vino e’ nel bicchiere.” The truth of the wine is in the glass.
For ticket information, visit one of the following links:

Photos by Dwight Casimere

#1-3 Dwight The Wine Doctor with participants at the Slow Wine Guide 2013 preview at The Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

 James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano at "home" in his kitchens at Spiaggia, Magnificent Mile, Chicago

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