The SOMM Journal

May 2014

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96 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 MOTHER NATURE, ON EVEN HER GROUCHIEST DAY, couldn't keep sunny California from meeting weather-challenged New York, when Wente Family Estates landed in Manhattan this winter. Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl Wente arrived with eight wines from the Wente portfolio for a special sommelier lunch and tasting. The SOMM Journal invited a select group from the city's top tables, none of whom let rain, sleet or snow (and yes, we had all three in the course of 24 hours) get in the way of the innovative food and wine pairing at Marea restaurant, Chef Michael White's temple devoted to seafood. Wine personality and master of ceremonies Michael Green introduced Karl Wente, saying he is "not just a farmer of grapes, but also a farmer of flavors." "For me, this was a revisit of a winery I knew about, but with wines I didn't necessarily know," Green said. And that was just what Wente hoped to accomplish. "The road trip is a re-hello," Wente said. "It's more like trying it again for the first time." Though the wines already have good distribution on the East Coast, Wente added, "you always have to reintroduce things to people to make sure they stay fresh." The winemaker said it was also an opportunity to show sommeliers what the Livermore Valley appellation can do. Those who were not familiar with the AVA were surprised to learn that it is a marine climate, but noted that the wines, with their softness, and even floral qualities, reflected that. "Even the green notes on wines like the Cabernet Sauvignon act not as a negative, but as a member of the team," said Carrie Strong, Wine Director at Aureole, Charlie Palmer's restaurant in Times Square. Left Coast Sunshine Comes to Midtown MANHATTAN SOMMS AND BEVERAGE DIRECTORS (RE)DISCOVER WENTE FAMILY ESTATES AT A "WEST MEETS EAST" TASTING AT MAREA RESTAURANT by Lana Bortolot and David Ransom / photos by Daniel Krieger Wine personality Michael Green, who served as emcee, addresses the group. Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl Wente (right center) with somms at the New York City Wente Family Estates tasting at Marea. ▲ ▲ Somm Journal June/July.indd 96 5/9/14 12:12 PM

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