Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival 2012: A Retailer’s Recap


The Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival concluded and I was fortunate to escape the store and enjoy a couple of the venues. Besides eating and drinking great food and wine, the highlight would be attending a seminar.

I was lucky to score a ticket to attend the Tale of Three Terroirs: The Vision of Marchesi Antinori. There is serendipitous connection between SWAM, Chateau St. Michelle, and Antinori, but that’s for another story. The line up was a very impressive vertical of four different wineries with four unique vintages ’01, ’05, ’07 and ’08. I just could not imagine the value of Tignello, Guada Al Tasso, Solaia, and Antica Townsend sitting in front of me explained by three Master Sommeliers, Roberto Viernes, Richard Betts and Joseph Spellman. And much to our surprise sitting behind me were California Winemakers: Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, Steve and Chrystal Clifton of Palmina, and Greg Brewer of Brewer Clifton. Being surrounded by experienced professionals who have a deep passion for wine and its history was simply phenomenal.

Master Sommelier, Richard Betts, explained his process of evaluating a wine. Beginning with Tone, he compared it to a music pitch. Is the wine a bass: full and robust, or an alto: harmonizing with balance, or a soprano: singing bright. Then he followed with Texture. Is the wine silky, course, sharp, and so on. And finally Flavor, did you taste clay, rosemary, sage, white pepper, and the infinite flavor profiles. From a retailer’s perspective, I thought his explanation was more tangible to understand and pass on to my customers.

The seminar at the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival delivered more than I expected. I also heard the Krug Champagne and Mixology Seminars were well worth the ticket price. This was just the 2nd annual event for the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival. It will only get better with the years to come.

Category : Blog Posted on September 30, 2012

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