A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz, of Catavino, hosted the NYC kickoff for the European Wine Blogger Conference, in Vienna, this fall. And so, without yet considering if I even wanted to attend the conference, I showed up at the Austrian Cultural Forum, a couple of weeks ago in Midtown. Behind a table that stretched across the room, stood Paul, pouring his and Carlo’s Darcy and Huber wines from Vienna. Gabriella and Ryan circulated, engaging, not floating, with many of the 20+ people in the room. Opposite Paul, Monika Caha Selections showed some intriguing wines: Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Höh 2008–floral with ginger and quince, and ripe, yet fresh, stone fruits. KWSelection poured some crowd pleasers–especially the reds produced by Hillinger, which were all were too big for my palate.
I dig Gemischter Satz, and wish it were more available around town. I’ve tasted a few from Darcy and Huber that I like, including Jutta Ambrostisch, Hajszan, and Christ. And on this day there was also Edlmoser Maurerberg Gemischter Satz 2008—a treat. Vegetal. And cut with minerality that twinkles like mica. Lime green acidity that lingers like stone.
On the Highline the other week, Farrel and I drank a bottle of Weingut Christ Rosé 2009, which wasn’t poured at the EWBC event, but it’s 100% Zweigelt, and minerally with soft fruit.
As far as the conference goes, I’m thinking about it. Gabriella and Ryan are collaborative, focused, and driven, and I’d be curious to see what they can do in Vienna. And then of course there’s the wines—field blends galore! Conversation, cheese, wineries, and the Schönbrunn Palace. Hmmm…It was a lovely crowd at the NYC event, and the talk was delicious.