For two decades the international movement to preserve taste called Slow Food has produced a guide to Italian wine in conjunction with Gambero Rosso– an Italian Zagat that puts out food and wine guides and produces massive wine tastings around the world. Now, to encourage a new era of sustainabile wine sipping , Slow Food has rolled out a wine classification system and bringing it to America for the first time, along with a sampling of Italian Slow Wine-designated producers that will visit New York on January 30. (Get your tickets here.)
The English edition of Slow Wine lists Italian wine producers who excel in quality and value, and also possess ethical and environmental commitment. It’s the most recent in a line of Slow Food ideas that have gotten a warm reception in America. Slow Food USA, founded nearly ten years ago by Brooklynite Patrick Martins (of Heritage Foods USA and Heritage Network Radio) is still the largest national chapter after Italy. New York is the largest city chapter after Rome. And the international headquarters has gotten behind U.S. campaigns to preserve raw milk cheese production, as well as the recent campaign to redefine the value meal.
Like the Slow Food guides to restaurants and food artisans, Slow Wine uses an intuitive and symbol-based rating system that includes a Snail (the international Slow Food symbol, which signals a cellar that has distinguished itself through its interpretation of sensorial, territorial, environmental and personal values in harmony with the Slow Food philosophy); a Bottle (allocated to cellars that show a consistent high quality throughout the range of wines presented for tastings); and a Coin (an indicator of good value for money). The classification jives with recent interest in biodynamic, organic or other eco-labeled wines, as chronicled in our profile of the New York wine distributor Jenny & Francois in the brand-new Alcohol Issue.
The Slow Wine book includes 200 producers, 70 of which will be coming to America for tastings in Manhattan, Chicago and San Francisco early in the New Year. We’re looking forward to sipping some of the 140 wines that will be at the New York event at the Metropolitan Pavillion. Admission is $40, and includes a copy of the guide. Slow Food USA members get the discounted price of $35.