Home » Wine Seminar with Kevin Zraly, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival 2023

Wine Seminar with Kevin Zraly, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival 2023

Kevin Zraly - Westchester Wine & Food Fest 2023 - photo by Luxury Experience
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Celebrating its 14th year in 2023, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival was a true celebration of amazing wine and spirits, as well as delectable food, chef demos, and a wine seminar by wine expert Kevin Zraly, author of the Windows On The World Complete Wine Course. When we heard that Kevin Zraly was slated to give two wine seminars on June 10, 2023, we made time in our festival schedule to attend, as we always learn something new and interesting about wine from Kevin, and there are always special wines to sample. Cheers!

Westchester Magazine’s Wine and Food Festival held on June 10, 2023, at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, New York offered attendees two types of tickets, a Grand Tasting Village Ticket, or a Party Line Connoisseur Ticket, which provided access to the Grand Tasting Village and Chef Demos, as well as the opportunity to experience rare and high-end wine, spirits, food, and two wine seminars given by the acclaimed wine expert Kevin Zraly in the Party Line Connoisseurs Tent.

Kevin Zraly - Westchester Magazine's Wine & Food Festival 2023 - photo by Luxury ExperienceKevin Zraly
Windows On The World Complete Wine Course

As we had Party Line Connoisseur Tickets, we attended one of the Wine Seminars by Kevin Zraly. We had previously attended a wine seminar by Kevin Zraly at another wine festival, so we knew the following would hold true for this seminar: Kevin would make learning fun, he would keep things lively and entertaining, and we would taste exquisite wines; all of which we did.

Trimbach Riesling Frederic Emile, 2014 - Westchester Magazine's Wine & Food Festival 2023 - photo by Luxury ExperienceTrimbach Riesling Frédéric Emile, 2014

For the first seminar of the afternoon, there were two wines to taste, a white wine, and a red wine. The white wine was a Riesling, Trimbach Riesling Frédéric Emile, 2014, from Alsace, France, with a retail price of $100, available through Independence Wine and Spirits. Interesting to note about this winery is that they have been producing wines since 1626. Hailing from the Alsace region, this wine has an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controleé: controlled origin in France) denomination and has 13.5% alcohol. This wine was lovingly crafted by Winemaker Pierre Trimbach, who continues the tradition as the thirteenth generation to produce these exceptional wines. This wine continues to be ranked in the high 90s.

Kevin explained that one way to judge if a white wine has aged is by sight. Pour the wine into a glass and look at the color of the wine, as white wine gains color as it ages. The darker the color of the wine, the older the wine. Even though the Trimbach Riesling Frédéric Emile, 2014 was nine years old, it was still looking young, with its pale lemony, straw color.

Another one of Kevin’s tips is that when you swirl the glass to release the wine’s aromas into the air, you should cover the glass with the palm of your hand to concentrate the aromas. When you remove your palm, you will be able to smell more of the wine’s aromas than by merely swirling the glass. This tip worked surprisingly well even when the tasting glass at the festival seminar was plastic. Done at home, this tip helps bring out the essence of the wine. Once we removed our palms over the glasses, there were aromas of green apple, stony, and mineral notes, which followed through on the palate. This was a dry wine with a tart finish and was delicious.

Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino, 2020 - Westchester Magazine's Wine & Food Festival 2023 - photo by Luxury ExperienceCatena Zapata Malbec Argentino, 2020

For the red wine, Kevin had selected a Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino, 2020, from Mendoza, Argentina. This was another high-end wine made in limited quantities, with a retail price of $100. Made with 100% Malbec grapes, this wine spent 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels before bottling, then spent between 12-18 months of bottle aging before being released. Catena Zapata has been making excellent wines since 1902. Owned by Nicolás Catena, the Winemaker is Alejandro Vigil.

Kevin Zraly, Debra C. Argen - Westchester Magazine's Wine & Food Festival 2023 - photo by Luxury ExperienceKevin Zraly and Debra C. Argen

Another interesting tip from Kevin regarding judging a red wine’s age by sight is that unlike white wines, which gain color as they age, red wines lose color as they age. Technically, if you cannot see through a red wine, it is not ready to drink (although we often do, and did, for this class). This wine had medium to full body with currents, cassis, cedar, and black cherry aromas that continued through on the palate. With this wine you can feel the tannins (which are what make your mouth dry after you drink a red wine), that begs for a delicious cheese accompaniment which helps cut through the tannins.

As always, the time spent with Kevin Zraly, was time well spent indeed. Until next time, Cheers!

For more information on the next Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival or their upcoming events, please visit their website or social media: Westchester Wine & Food Festival, Facebook – Westchester Wine & Food, Instagram – WestchesteMagEvents.

Kevin Zraly

For more information on Kevin Zraly and his Zoom Wine Classes, please visit the website: www.KevinZraly.com

Read more about our experiences at the Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival 2023 in Luxury Experience’s Gastronomy section and also in Luxury Experience’s Chefs’ Recipes section.

Westchester Magazine's Wine & Foodfestival

Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival 2023
Kensico Dam Plaza
Valhalla, New York
United States
Website: https://westchestermagazine.com/wine-and-food/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WMWineandFood/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/westchestermagevents/

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