Gotta admit, it’s one thing to attend a wine and spirits tasting that’s open to the public at a local retailer or watering hole, where samples can be skimpy and the ability to interact with the brand reps might be limited. It’s a completely different experience and unique perspective when attending a private event along with “industry insiders.”
Thanks to a few great friends who will remain nameless in this entry, but who happen to have direct association with Austin’s newest and coolest downtown source for fine beverages, Urban Wine + Liquor, I was their guest at last week’s 2012 Virtuoso Selections Portfolio Tour at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin.
Considering I appeared to be one of the very few at the event from outside the wine and spirits industry, I felt totally covert, like a “James Bond of booze.” Kinda cool, actually. Getting in on the latest and greatest fine wines, champagnes and spirits in a completely private setting. Interacting with those who really know the “right stuff.” Not only that, but the ability to talk with and learn from those both serving and attending was pretty awesome. And, of course, really didn’t hurt that all of this was going down within the stunning confines of the Four Seasons.
As expected, while most everything I sampled was great quality, I came away with a wealth of excellent new finds, which I am happy to share with each of you, for your own personal discoveries and enjoyment. Here’s my list of stellar wines and bubbly, thanks to Virtuoso:
– Banville & Jones: Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Prestige
– Charles Neal: 2011 Amido Tavel, 2010 Grand Montmirail Gigondas Juliettes
– Craft + Estate: 2009 Vinaceous Cabernet Sauvignon Raconteur
– Ayres Vineyard: 2010 Ayres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
– Patricia Green Cellars: 2010 Patricia Green Balcombe Pinot Noir, 2009 Patricia Green Old Vine Estate Pinot Noir
– Premium Brands: Toffoli Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene
Needless to say, I was honored to have attended the Virtuoso Portfolio Tour and pass along my thanks to those who invited me. Was great to catch a better glimpse of what it’s really like “inside” the wine and spirits industry. I hope that you’ll find my recommendations above to your liking and, as always, I appreciate feedback – good, bad, indifferent.
Urban Wine + Liquor
200 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
98 San Jacinto Boulevard
Austin, TX 78701