Miami Wine Fair

The Miami Wine Fair, which happens every year in September or October, is generally an event filled with small wineries and producers looking for distribution in Florida. For the past couple of years I have been given tickets to the trade tasting, which happens early in the day  before the consumer tasting. I love this event because it is never crowded. You can actually have a conversation with some of the winery representatives. This year, the French section of the tasting was expanded, and there were quite a few Champagne tables. My favorite was the Paul Goerg, and not just because the gentleman pouring insisted that we try the entire lineup. From the inexpensive “Tradition” to the $95-a-bottle Cuvee Lady, each one was wonderful. My favorite? The 2004 Blanc de Blanc. Now, to find it locally…

The Chilean contingency were wearing mining hats, although I am not sure many of the attendees got it, and just thought they were wearing funny yellow hard hats for no reason. (A new fashion statement? I think not.)

There was table pouring Pisco 100, and one of the high points for me, a pisco concoction made with cucumber, jalapeno and cilantro. I will certainly need to try that at home. I found a tequila I liked, and when I asked how much it cost at retail was told – with a straight face – $89. That was for a 750. Yikes.

I tasted several varieties of Napa Smith and have to say, loved them. I even brought home a couple of sample bottles for Florida Keys Guy (don’t tell anyone!)

The big complaint I have with this event is that although there is minimal food (which, although I’d like to see some additional options, I can live with), there is no water, except the pitchers on each tasting table used for rinsing glasses. This is unacceptable to me. You have hundreds of people tasting wines, beer and booze and can’t supply people with water? It is ridiculous. If you can stand being totally dehydrated, or bring your own water,  it’s definitely a fun event!

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