Beginning as an insert in a daily newspaper in 1986, Gambero Rosso has gradually grown to become the most important multimedia brand in the world of Italian food and wine, encompassing the publication of dozens of guides and books, the first thematic television channel in Europe (begun in 1999), and educational programs both in Italy and internationally – the former constituted of Città del Gusto sites throughout Italy, with Gambero Rosso Academy offshoots in the rest of the world. These initiatives include cooking classes for professionals and amateurs alike, courses in wine, journalism master programs, and seminars on restaurant management. While this economic growth has beget a listing on the stock market, a mainstay of outreach for Gambero Rosso has been the events they organize worldwide – since the first of these in 1990 the number of them has increased to over 40 such annually.
The annual American whistle stop tour is set for March and April of 2023, with the transcontinental journey opening in Los Angeles on March 1st, continuing on to San Francisco on March 3, then heading to Chicago on March 8 before taking place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on March 10th – with the trade and media tasting transpiring from 1:00 to 5:00 PM in the afternoon. The following month the tour resumes with stops in Miami on April 18th and Austin, Texas on April 20th. The tour is branded Tre Bicchieri, and the reference is to not only the red, white and rose wines are evaluated for the Vini d’Italia guidebook, but the wines supreme enough to be included in it are awarded classic scores ranging from 1 to 3 glasses according to the quality of the label. The expert team of tasters who traverse Italy over a year visiting and interviewing producers in all areas review 2,628 wineries and a total of 25,421 wines before determining which shall be included in Vini d’Italia – 2,096 wines reached the finals for 2023, with ultimately 455 winning the coveted Tre Bicchieri recognition (Vini d’Italia is translated into German, English, Chinese and Japanese, and is available on Apple and Amazon).
On March 10th visitors to the Metropolitan Pavilion can look forward to some special features in addition to the large selection of wines on offer. With the Special Guest of the event being the Consorzio Vini di Romagna, a masterclass conducted by Vini d’Italia editor Giuseppe Carrus at 11:00 AM will offer a virtual trip to the region of Emilia Romagna, focusing on their fine selection of Albana DOCG and Sangiovese DOC wines. Additionally, the Consorzio will provide a special tasting corner inside the event. At 4:00 PM the Top Italian Restaurants Award Ceremony will take place, honoring outstanding achievements in the realm of Italian cuisine among New York restaurants. These will be drawn from the Top Italian Restaurants guidebook, now in its fifth edition, which includes approximately 800 entities; the Gambero Rosso rating system of one to three also applies herein, with restaurants awarded forks, bistros and trattorias earning prawns, wine bars and wine tables garnering bottles, and pizzerias getting slices. More on this can be found at the URL
If you’re able to make it to the Metropolitan Pavilion, be sure to check out the Vini d’Italia Special Awarded Wines and Producers for 2023. These include:
Red of the Year: Dievole Chianti Classico Petrignano ’19;
White of the Year: Pievalta Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Classico San Paolo Riserva ’19;
Sparkler of the Year: Mosnel Franciacorta Pas Dosé Parosè ’16;
Sweet of the Year: Decugnano dei Barbi Orvieto Classico Superiore Muffa Nobile Pourriture Noble ’20;
Rosé of the Year: Pasini San Giovanni Riviera del Garda Classico Valtènesi Chiaretto Lettera C ’20;
Winery of the Year: Bertani;
Best Value for Money: Tenuta Terraviva Abruzzo Pecorino ’21;
Grower of the Year: Giovanna Maccario;
Up-and-Coming Winery: Lodali;
Cooperative Winery of the Year: Cantina Due Palme;
Award for Sustainable Viticulture: Arnaldo Caprai;
Solidarity Award: Frescobaldi/Gorgona
A recent trend in wine tasting events is that there are often no physical lists distributed which detail all the wines being poured – for the sake of environmental purposes in cutting back on the use of paper – and such will be the case on the Tre Bicchieri Tour. Anyone planning to visit any of the events, in each city where the tour will stop, can download the respective list for the event they attend in advance – and of course can print out all or part of it to use as a guide throughout the tasting, should they opt to eschew cell-phone jockeying while on the tasting tour. For details, the website is www.GamberoRossoInternational.com.