A press conference on February 3, 2016, was held at the Highline Ballroom in New York. It began Italian Wine Week 2016, with an exciting panel discussion featuring Maurizio Forte, Stevie Kim, Kevin Zraly, and David Rosengarten. Together they offered insight on the evolution of the US wine market, and the future of Italian Wines in the US market. Following the Press Conference, Slow Wine was presented in a grand tasting, which featured 80 Italian producers from all over the peninsula.

  • VINO 2016 – ITALIAN WINE WEEK: February 3 – 9

The following are some of the presenters details. It’s worth noting, and quite possibly much of what I’ll also be hearing at the Wine Market Council on Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Yountville, California. The following is from a press release:

Moderator: Barbra Insel
Panel: Emily Wines, Steve Roya, Alessandra Rotondi
Main Evidence:

“Millennials do not value scores. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They want to hear what their peers say, not a number from some pundit who they can’t relate to.”

“We’re seeing a distinct movement toward Instagram as being the social media platform of choice for Millennials. It’s the ability to tell a story that’s driving it. Instagram is visual and immediate, and now allows for video.”

“The U.S. is experiencing rapid expansion in terms of places and ways to buy wine. In off premise from brick and mortar stores to e-­commerce (stores as well as specialty retailers including Amazon and Wine.com), to delivery-­within-­an-­hour. And on-­premise via Starbucks, and in existing accounts, via tools like Coravin allowing bars and restaurants to reinvent Wine By The Glass programs with high quality wines.”

“Millennials are interested in what’s new, and what’s unique and different. Most importantly, they’re interested in a brand’s STORY and the authenticity, history, the people behind and of course, information on QPR that’s not based on scores. Add to that the opportunity to connect with the brand, and you have a new paradigm in the way wine is being marketed, sold and consumed.”

“Terroir” is being redefined by social media. Terroir’s traditional definition speaks to the uniqueness of where a wine is produced. However, the word has taken root in a new definition by Millennials of where it is consumed and with whom.”

Abstract by Rotondi

Millennials were raised with the “online” experience, that makes everything and everyone accessible. Our mission, as “aged” wine professionals, is nurture the new generation by presenting unique tidbits of information about the wines our business offers, through channels they are experts of. Millennials often see wine as a casual, social beverage, a way to connect and stay tuned, trendy. They’re willing to do things previously unexpected with wine, such as use screw-­top bottles, serve premium wine from a box and make cocktails with wine. They don’t have an elitist feeling about it, or that wine is only supposed to be at the table with gourmet food. We are finally seeing wine go from a celebratory beverage to an everyday drink. They are adopting wine at a faster rate than any other generation. They are experimental, curious, fast, they crave experiences. Wine turns into someone to friend on Facebook, to shoot in Instagram, to hashtag in Twitter. Wine to Millennials: less score or rating; more # and <3 (like) to make tannins, varietal grapes, malolactic more accessible, enjoyable, up to date, alive and kicking… swirling!

Quote by Rotondi: Wine to Millennials: less score or rating;; more # and <3 (like) to make tannins, varietal grapes, malolactic more accessible, enjoyable, up to date, alive and kicking… swirling!


The conference also offered a narrative on Grignolino, something of interest to me, as  Century Wine Club member. I didn’t even know that this variety even existed… So, I’m also sharing this one. According to Lorenzo Natan Marcellino-Lancaster, communication consultant for Barabino & Partners USA, LLC, in Manhattan, New York:

Grignolino is the name of the grape from which wines such as the Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese derives. The Grignolino is unfortunately too often underrepresented and forgotten from the mainstream wine world. VINO2016 and the Vinitaly International Academy went in great length in order to explain this quality of grape and wine, as well as its unique qualities that are believed to set this product aside from the others in a similar organoleptic category.

Grignolino: The Incredible Lightness of Wine Being…Delicate and Refined-­Featherweight

Presenter: Ian D’Agata
Abstract by D’Agata:

Grignolino is the name of the grape, Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese is the name of the wine. There are also other Grignolino wines, such as Grignolino d’Asti but as the soils are very different in the Asti area (sandy) from the mainly clay ones of the
Monferrato Casalese (an area in the city of the province of Alessandria), the latter wines tend to be fuller-­bodied and richer, if slightly less perfumed than those from Asti. Clearly, “full-­bodied” is a very relative term with all Grignolino wines that are some of the lightest and brightest red wines made in Italy. In fact, Grignolino wines are almost always pale red in colour, even pink (they look like rosato wines, though they are in fact red wines), exude aromas of rosehip, sour red cherries, red berries
and delicate spices, and are always blessed with refreshing acidity and noteworthy tannins. Best of all, the delicate, crisp Grignolino del Monferrato wines are amazingly food-­friendly, matching heavenly with the likes of vitello tonnato, vegetable and white
meat dishes such as veal or chicken. The Vinitaly International Academy is especially proud to be holding an Executive Wine Seminar on Grignolino, absolutely delightful wines that are often forgotten and rarely the subject of guided tastings anywhere.