Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tre Bicchieri Tour Thoughts

It's that time of year again - lucky Italian wine lovers in three cities across America will be able to attend the annual Tre Bicchieri event organized by Gambero Rosso. The publication, considered Italy's wine bible, judges tens of thousands of Italian wines each year and honors a few hundred with their top rating of Tre Bicchieri (three glasses). These wines, emerging from all over the country, represent every style of Italian wines, from the beautiful sparkling wines of Francicorta to the shimmering whites of Alto Adige and Friuli to the most famous reds from Toscana, Piemonte, Veneto, Campania and many other regions.

This really is one of the finest and most comprehensive Italian wine tastings you could ever hope to attend (I know as I've been to three of them in the US), so for the trade, this is something you cannot miss. Here are the dates:

SAN FRANCISCO: February 16th
Press/Media: 2-3 PM PST
Public: 3 - 7 PM PST
Fort Mason Center - Herbst Pavillion | SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123 – 1382

NEW YORK: February 18th, 2011
Friday February 18, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Metropolitan Pavilion
 | 125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th avenue) | NEW YORK, NY 10011

CHICAGO: February 22th, 2011
2:00 PM to 7:00 PM CST
Union Station - 210 South Canal Street | CHICAGO, IL 60606

More information can be found at this link:

To RSVP for any of these tastings, contact Christine Volkmer at: gambero@volkmerpr.com

Marco Sabellico, Gambero Rosso (Image - Porzioni Cremona)

Recently I spoke with Marco Sabellico, senior editor, Italian wines for the guide (look for him at the tastings), about several things about the tour, including what it means to the producers.

Tom Hyland:

What is the major benefit with this tour? How do the producers benefit - do some producers benefit more than others (perhaps a small producer from Lazio or Marche as compared to one from Toscana or Piemonte)? What is the primary benefit for Gambero Rosso?

Marco Sabellico
The main benefit of the tour is for the people who attend the events: They have a lot of top-quality wines and producers altogether. As for wineries small ones enjoy the benefit of being close to the well known names, the big ones get some audience from those who come only for small and unknown new names. Gambero is proud to be the brand who makes this possible, and a fantastic ambassador of high profile italian wineries in the world... so everybody is happy...

THHow does the tour differ in the United States than in Italy or other countries?

I must say that I notice a more sophisticated and expert audience... and a lot of professionals compared to the venues of other countries...

What are the reactions you've seen from Americans that attend these tastings? How do they enjoy this event?

Excellent reactions. Most of them, especially in NY and San Francisco are regulars who have been attending for more than 5 years... They keep on coming... (Editor's note: this is only the second Tre Bicchieri tasting to be held in Chicago.)

TH: Finally, what do you personally enjoy most about these events?

We all enjoy our trips to the USA... we meet a lot of dedicated wine lovers, passionate collectors, and we have a chance to visit fantastic restaurants... It's important for us to see what's new in the USA...

How nice that Gambero Rosso makes the effort each year to conduct these tastings and offer so many great Italian producers the opportunity to showcase their wines. Marco, thank you for the excellent insight and thank you to those at Gambero Rosso for making these tastings possible.

I hope to see many of you in Chicago on February 22!

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