Boston Wine Expo, other events kick-start 2014

Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center & Seaport Hotel on Feb. 15-16. If you’ve never been, you’re missing a great experience. Tickets start at $95 for Saturday and $85 for Sunday. It includes entry to the Grand Tasting room from 1-5 p.m. where you’ll have access to more than 300 wine producers and complimentary food samples. A weekend pass costs $145.
While the place gets crowded as the day wears on, and popular wine tables get packed five-rows deep, the smart and savvy oenophile can have a lot of fun zig-zagging the room. The key is to pick out two or three wineries listed in the program to “discover” and head for them early. My suggestion is the wines from Chile, Argentina and Spain. They are great and under-valued, and won’t be as busy as the Italian, French and California tables. Enjoy these surprises in leisurely comfort, then get to the big boys when the crush subsides.
If you’re truly ambitious you can sign up for an exclusive seminar in a private room. Saturday’s whirlwind one-hour showcase with anti-snob wine expert Kevin Zraly looks like a blast. It begins at 11:30 a.m. and costs $35. You’ll taste six varietals and learn to find the best values for every budget.
For tickets and information, go to

The Wine ConneXtion in North Andover will kick off the new year with a complimentary tasting of Italian wines led by Ciro Pirone on Saturday, Jan. 256 from 1-5 p.m. Pirone is the director of Italian wines for Horizone Beverage Co. He’ll be displaying quality values from Piemonte, Tuscany, Sicily and other regions that inspire the palate and please the pocketbook.

Pirone is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero di Salerno where he studied hotel and restaurant management. He came to  Boston in 1999 where he continued his wine education at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild and the London-based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET).

Finally, the N.H. Liquor Commission will be presenting Wine Week at all its state-operated stores from Jan. 27-Feb. 2. The public will be able to meet celebrity winemakers, sample their products, attend educational seminars, and enjoy savings on numerous bottlings. Some of the big names coming to town are: Michael Mondavi, Suzanne Groth of Groth Wines; Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery; Andrea Cecchi of Cecchi Wines; Gianni Abate of Morgan Winery; Humberto Berlanga of geyser Peak Winery; and Amy LaBelle and Cesar Arboleda of Labelle Wine and Winery.

Go to for a complete listing of events.


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