Boston Wine Expo

This was supposed to be a post about attending the Boston Wine Expo…but it is not.

Boston Wine Expo

Here’s what happened.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law, Kate, invited me to join her for a weekend in the city to attend the Boston Wine Expo.

We decided that we would buy passes for Sunday and – being responsible wine tasters – stay overnight at the hotel on Sunday night.

By mid week, when the weather forecasters were all adither about the impact of winter storm Neptune, we decided to book a hotel for Saturday night as well. Heaven forbid we not be able to make it into the city and we miss Sunday’s festivities!

The event hotel was sold out for Saturday night but we found accommodations a few blocks away – a very doable walk, even in a blizzard, with wine tasting as the prize for our efforts.

We braved the roads to arrive downtown as the snow started to fall in earnest. After all, we had been informed a number of times that the event would be held, regardless of the weather.

Then, just as we were heading out to dinner, the event folks sent this email:

“Based on current weather advisories and the suspension of MBTA service for Sunday, the management of the 2015 Boston Wine Expo has decided to cancel the Sunday, February 15 show including the Grand Tasting, Vintners’ Reserve and all seminars.  We are doing so based on our concern for the safety of our patrons and exhibitors.”


We were stuck. With weather reports warning that travel was extremely dangerous, even life threatening, we had no choice but to hunker down and make our own wine tasting event.

When life hands you a blizzard, turn it into a party.

We started by walking over to The Daily Catch for dinner.

I ordered lobster gnocchi and Kate had surf & turf. The wine menu wasn’t huge but with our server’s help we selected the 2011 Umberto Cesari Liano Sangiovese & Cabernet Sauvignon Blend.

2011 Umberto Cesari Liano

Retailing at around $25 per bottle (although higher in the restaurant), the Liano was a lovely, flavorful red – a nice blend of two of my favorite grapes. Not a bad way to kick off our MYOWT – Make Your Own Wine Tasting.

Sunday morning we woke up to this:

snowy downtown

Being quite the intrepid duo, we checked out of hotel #1 and trudged a few blocks, through the snow, to hotel #2 where the event was to have taken place.

Trudging to Wine Expo

We were fueled by our delusions that the Expo vendors, faced with the cancellation of the event and leftover wine, would set up informal tasting stations in the lobby to reward devoted fans like Kate and me.

Not so much… Hotel #2 was kind of a ghost town. Apparently, most of the other guests and all of the vendors had gotten out of Dodge. Wimps!

Ok, so next on our MYOWT was a stop at the hotel bar for lunch.

I enjoyed a yummy grilled cheese on sourdough bread and, in spite of a woefully limited wine list, was pleasantly surprised by the 2013 Treana White Blend from the Central Coast of California I chose to go with it.

The 2013 Treana ($23 per bottle) is a blend of Marsanne and Viognier. It brings some blood orange and pineapple notes which are tempered by hints of herbs to create a blend that is more savory than sweet.

Kate and I were getting a little stir crazy and decided that a short walk in the fresh air was just what we needed.

Single digit temperatures and hurricane force winds had other ideas. We walked a grand total of 1/2 block, located the Morton’s Steak House for dinner and returned to sit in front of the lobby fireplace of our hotel.

Dinner at Morton’s was definitely the highpoint of the weekend. The perfect way to end our adventure and make up for our disappointment.

Morton’s wine list goes on and on for pages and pages. Choice anxiety for sure!

We settled on a 2008 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

Long Meadow Ranch

My very favorite type of wine is a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The Long Meadow Ranch has definitely been added to my “Napa Faves” list.

This was a real gem. Long Meadow Ranch focuses on sustainable, organic farming and their wine reflects their attention to quality.

The 2008 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet was awarded 93 points by Wine Enthusiast. It has the big, juicy fruits, earthiness and rich tannins with a lower alcohol level (13.5%) which makes it a little more approachable for those who don’t like “knock your socks off” Cabernets.

This wine was the star of the weekend.

No sour grapes for us, Kate and I made the most of our Boston Wine Expo weekend that wasn’t.

Boston Wine Expo No Sunday

Did any of my Boston friends make it to the Wine Expo before it was cancelled? I’d love to know what we missed!

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