The New York Wine Experience: Bringing People Back Together

“Wine is about enjoyment,” observed Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, co-owner of Château Mouton-Rothschild, while speaking to more than 1,000 guests at the 2022 New York Wine Experience as they enjoyed a vertical tasting of wines from his family’s famed first-growth. “It’s a people business. Don’t forget about that.”

It was impossible to forget how much wine is a people business at the 41st iteration of Wine Spectator’s annual gathering of wine lovers, winemakers, sommeliers, chefs and more. This was the first truly post-pandemic Wine Experience. The 2020 event was canceled, and while the 2021 event brought people back to the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square, attendance was limited to reduce crowd size, and U.S. travel restrictions prevented many foreign vintners from attending.

With those barriers now gone, veteran attendees were elated to be back together with their vinous extended family, from fellow winemakers representing different regions to longtime loyal customers. Over three days, from Oct. 20–22, people gathered for two evening Grand Tastings of more than 250 wines, two packed days of tasting seminars highlighting regions and wine stars, two lunches hosted by vintners from Napa and Chile and a closing Champagne reception offering dishes from some of New York City’s greatest restaurants.

And there was plenty of wine to go around: In all, 331 different wines were poured from 14,268 bottles into 65,306 glasses. Because what better way to bring people together than a whole lot of wine?

[article-img-container][src=2022-10/nywe_ballroomoverheadtemp_1600.jpg] [credit= (Daphne Youree)] [alt= An overhead view of a New York Marriot Marquis ballroom packed with Wine Experience guests][end: article-img-container]

A Giant Family Reunion

“We are happy to be back after two years away,” said Albéric Bichot, president of Burgundy’s Albert Bichot winery, as he poured his grand cru Chablis for guests attending the opening night of the Grand Tastings. “This year there are more people and a great energy. You can tell these people are happy to be alive.”

And what better way to celebrate than to sample new wines and meet new people? The Grand Tastings featured winery owners and winemakers at more than 250 booths who poured some of their best wines—all rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator editors. They also chatted with guests, allowing consumers the chance to meet the people behind their favorite wines and allowing vintners to get to know some of their best existing or potential customers. Offerings ranged across numerous grape varieties and multiple regions around the world, giving people a chance to taste favorites and learn about wines they had never tried before.

The following morning, the seminars kicked off in style: Magnums of Cristal were the first bottles to be served, as senior editor Alison Napjus hosted a panel of Champagne’s top producers discussing and sharing prized cuvées from the 2008 vintage. Before the bubbly was even poured, the proper mood was set with a showing of Steve Jacobson’s “Cabernet Tonight” video, an exuberant tribute to all things wine and the winner of Wine Spectator’s 2022 Video Contest. Editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken also gave a Distinguished Service Award to former executive editor Thomas Matthews for his years of service to the magazine and wine.

As the seminars continued, vintners shared their decades of knowledge, explaining the incredible variety and nuance of what the wine world offers. Four winemakers from Oregon discussed how their particular terroirs, which are just beginning to be understood, shaped their 2019 Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. A panel of Chianti Classico’s biggest stars spoke with obvious pride of how…

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The New York Wine Experience: Bringing People Back Together  
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