Next Saturday, Roanoke Vineyards will host "The Judgment of Riverhead" a tasting that is modeled, quite obviously, after "The Judgment of Paris." Top wines from California and France — wines scored 90 or higher by The Wine Advocate or Wine Spectator, from $40 to $140 — will face off against top wine from Long Island in a blind tasting.
The wines will be tasted by a panel of nine wine and restaurant industry professionals — including yours truly — using a 20-point scale, just like at the original 1976 event in Paris.
A group of 55 attendees will also taste and score the wines during the sold-out event. Those scores will be tallied separately.
In all, we'll be tasting 18, including nine chardonnays (three from each region), and nine reds, focusing on Bordeaux varietals (again, three from each region).
Tastings like these are always educational and fun. And while I'm sure some will interpret the results to mean more than they do, I consider it an honor to take part.
More than anything, I'm looking forward to tasting with, and learning from, a great group of judges that includes Michael Cinque, retailer, Amagansett Wines and Spirits, Louisa Hargrave, co-founder of Hargrave Vineyard, Michael Kaminski, sommelier and director, Luce and Hawkins, Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards, Mike Mraz, owner and beverage director of the North Fork Table and Inn, David Milligan, former president of Seagram, Chateau & Estate Wines Co., and the author of "All Color Book of Wine", Tom Schaudel, author, executive chef and owner of A Mano Oysteria and Coolfish restaurants, and Christopher Tracy, winemaker and co-owner, Channing Daughters Winery.
Check back after the event for at least a post or two — and maybe even some video — about the event.