wine toast

Someday, we will have wine events and tastings to go to again. (photo by Kelsey Knight / Unsplash)

Many thousands of us plan our travel around major wine events in the U.S. and abroad. Many thousands more build their itineraries around winery visits and tasting room appointments. Like nearly everything else in the world, all that has come to a screeching halt. 

Still, vines are growing, buds are on the brink of breaking, and—eventually, hopefully—grapes will be harvested. The stalwart Eric Asimov has a great piece in the New York Times detailing some of the on-the-ground impact.

The impact of the pandemic on the wine business shows just how global the current troubles really are. Here’s a quick update on three top events that put a big dent in our 2020 calendar:

Bordeaux En Primeur Week, 2019 Vintage Preview, Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux.

Originally scheduled for March 30- April 2, and not yet reslated, this was one of the first major cancellations, sending a shiver across the industry. Here, somewhere between 5,000 to 6,000 people, largely wine pros, usually get their first look at the new vintage in Bordeaux. UGDB says the event is in “suspension” which is to say not yet fully canceled. The preview week is important for futures which are how many of the most in demand wines sell. By all reports, 2019 is shaping up to be a good, if not excellent, vintage so many are hesitant to give up on the event altogether.  Decanter covered the story , and some observers, as noted in Drinks Business, are suggesting that this might be the perfect time to overhaul the entire preview and futures system.  

Food & Wine Classic, Aspen, Colorado.

This granddaddy of glamorous events, originally scheduled for June 19-21, 2020, has been canceled and will take place at its usual time next summer, June 18-20, 2021. If you love the Colorado mountains in the summer as well as fine food and wine, this annual gathering of food lovers, wine lovers, wine professionals, restaurateurs, and chefs is must-do on your schedule. Book now for the 2021 dates, especially if you want reservations at the luxe St. Regis Aspen, the trendy Hotel Jerome, or the classic Little Nell.  

International Pinot Noir Celebration, McMinnville, Oregon.

Scheduled every year in late July, this popular event—an increasingly important showcase of New World richness—has canceled for 2020 and will take place at its usual time next summer, July 23-25, 2021. IPNC is a three-day educational extravaganza for professionals and lay people alike featuring invited Pinot Noir producers from all over the world as well as wine experts conducting extensive tastings and seminars. The traditional outdoor salmon bake is a highlight of the summer in the Willamette Valley.

Here’s hoping to see you there!