We’ve all grown weary of the incessantly cold days of March; thank goodness April brings vinous relief to our lives with three highly anticipated wine tastings. If you’ve got an appetite for touring the globe through a wine glass, are partial to the left and right banks of Bordeaux, or like to tango while sipping on Malbec, check out one or all three of these once-a-year parties.
April 4 and 5: Wine Riot, Center548, 548 West 22nd Street, $60/Ticket
What started as a hunch by a millennial drinker — who believed that a relaxed evening event with a reformed approach to traditional, stuffy wine education would help young, curious drinkers get in touch with their inner wino — has morphed into an annual multi-city party showcasing nearly 250 wines from across the globe. Wine Riot claims to have reinvented wine tasting for thirsty youths (over 21, of course). The organizers have rallied up a team of experts to run interactive booths and crash courses loaded with tips like, “It’s cool to spit,” and tricks for “conquering the wine world.” An all-night DJ, photo booth, temporary tattoos, and an app that tracks your favorite wines and shows you where to buy them later may not make for the most sophisticated event but should at least guarantee a wild party.
April 9: The Grand Cercle des Vin de Bordeaux, The Manhattan Penthouse, 80 Fifth Avenue, $85/Ticket or 2 for $150
Every April, VIP critics like Robert Parker and his wealthy consumer cohorts arrive in Bordeaux to hobnob over the latest vintage and negotiate prices on wine futures. They purchase wines still in barrel in advance of bottling, gambling more or less on the quality of the wine in hopes of paying a better price than they would in the market upon release or, for wines in high demand, to secure an allocation. Let’s be honest — most of us will never attend en primeur in Bordeaux, but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in the thrill of a vintage debut.
This year, The Grand Cercle des Vin de Bordeaux brings the excitement of en primeur to NYC. The group boasts nearly 200 châteaux all with the combined mission to enlighten wine drinkers, from expert to novice, across the globe about the superb, well-made but reasonably priced wines available in Bordeaux. At an exclusive tasting on April 9, over 30 winemakers from the group will unveil many of their most prized wines, ranging from their en primeur offerings to the celebrated 2011 and 2010 vintages. Ticketholders will be able to mingle with and question winemakers about the 2013 vintage (apparently tricky due to weather, and, for some, devastating), as well as nibble on cheese and savory offerings from Canelé by Céline.
April 16 and 17: World Malbec Day presents “Cambalache — One Night in Argentina”, Brooklyn Night Bazaar, 165 Banker Street, Brooklyn, $80/Ticket
Cambalache describes something that is haphazard and exciting. If that sounds appealing, celebrate World Malbec Day and experience the chaos of this festive mash-up of Argentina and Brooklyn. Cups and mouths will be filled with over 120 fine wines from 26 different Argentine wineries, which will be accompanied by a traditional asado (BBQ) from Sur Empanada. Sate sweet-tooth cravings with dulce de leche ice cream from Cones, and check out music from world renowned “sensory professors” Charles Spence and Barry Smith. Tango lessons included; success not guaranteed.
As an added bonus, each ticketholder has a chance to win a set of two airline tickets to travel from New York-JFK to Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinas, plus three nights accommodation at the Pan Americano hotel. Winners will be announced each night at 9 p.m. at the event, so stick around if you’ve got your travel sights set on South America.