In the history of Toronto "trade tastings" I don't think I've ever known anybody's "credentials to be checked at the door" ... it seems that anybody can get in regardless of you association to the wine industry, if at all any. Thus was the case at the Austrian tasting held Monday April 16 - in fact I bumped into a few well known sommeliers as I was leaving, after my hour-and-a-half run (literally) through a room at the brand new Trump Hotel, the room was getting hotter and more packed by the minute, it looked more like a push-and-shove-athon more than a wine tasting. These originally excited sommelier (Austria is always a hot wine topic) took one look in the door and said, "not worth it". Sure the room contained writers and restaurateurs but there were also members of the public that had no business being there, including a woman whom I overheard saying: "I only like red wine, what's with all this white?" To her I wanted to ask, what the heck are you doing at an Austrian tasting. I'm not saying that Austria doesn't make red, in fact they are doing a much better job then I have seen and tasted in the past (thank you global warming), but they are still a country known for crisp whites like Gruner Veltliner (their signature grape) and Riesling - which were the two predominant grapes on the tables. It was a quick tasting around the 18 tables (it was 24 degrees out and felt doubly hot in the room) ... but here's my take on the wines I tried, notes where warranted.
NB … Because of the cramp nature of the room I missed certain tables that were not set up in time, which brings me to my last complaint (for now) if the show is called for 2pm, be at your table at 2, if you’re not there are members of the media (me included) that’ll walk right by and not look back.
(to see the list of wines tried and my remarks click here)
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