FOODIE DIARIES: Raise a glass to the iconic  wine expert, James Suckling!

FOODIE DIARIES: Raise a glass to the iconic wine expert, James Suckling!

TAGS: Food Culinary
By Daisy Cabrera

On Jan. 24, wine poured for a horde of oenophiles gathered at the Design District’s multi-leveled Moore Building to attend the exclusive “Great Wines of the World USA” event. Presented by the world-renowned wine critic James Suckling – for the first time ever in the U.S. – the tasting soirée showcased 100 of the top producers from leading wine regions spanning the globe highlighting over 200+ wines hand-picked by Suckling himself.

“This is a very special event for me as it is the first of its kind in North America following numerous successful events in Asia over the years that attracted thousands of keen wine lovers, wine trade members and hundreds of the best wineries in the world,” said James Suckling. “It’s never been a better time to drink wine in the United States with fabulous bottles being produced in all major wine countries.”

Droves of wine lovers sipped and savored the world’s finest wines, mingled in person with Suckling, were gifted an exclusive crystal James Suckling x Lalique glass, and chatted with winemakers and sommeliers to learn more above their vintages. The wine expert, who has been using the 100-point scale system for decades, considers wines rated 90 points or more to be “outstanding.” The best part? Much to the delight of attending wine aficionados, all wines on hand scored 90-100 points with a majority scoring 95+!

Wine producers were front and center pouring unlimited exquisite wines hailing from well-known and boutique vineyards in Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States.

Great wine makes for a divine time, and there was plenty to entice every cognoscenti’s preference and palate. We’re talking Albariño, Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Champagne, Chardonnay, Chianti, Malbec, Petit Sirah, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Port, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Syrah, Tannat, Vinho Verde, and plenty of masterful blends in between!

Among the highest scoring wines were these 16 perfect 100-point gems:

• Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Malbec Mendoza Fortuna Terrae 2012 (Argentina)

• Viña Cobos Malbec Perdriel Luján de Cuyo Cobos 2011 (Argentina)

• Penfolds South Australia Grange 2015 (Australia)

• Almaviva Puente Alto 2017 (Chile)

• Almaviva Puente Alto 2015 (Chile)

• Viñedo Chadwick Cabernet Sauvignon Valle de Maipo 2017 (Chile)

• Château Canon St.-Emilion 2015 (France)

• Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro Riserva 2010 (Italy)

• Eredi Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (Italy)

• Giodo Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (Italy)

• Marchesi Antinori Toscana Solaia 2016 (Italy)

• Renieri Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (Italy)

• Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2015 (Italy)

• Luce della Vite Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (Italy)

• Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva 2010 (Italy)

• Opus One Napa Valley 2013 (United States)

The “Great Wines of the World USA” event also presented three well-deserved awards: ‘Wine of the Decade’ to Almaviva Puente Alto 2017 from Maipo Valley, Chile; ‘Winery of the Decade’ to Masseto from Tuscany, Italy; and ‘Winemaker of the Decade’ to Philippe Dhalluin, Managing Director of Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. 

“It gives me enormous pleasure to recognize the Almaviva 2017 with our highest honor, Wine of the Decade,” added Suckling. “Over the last ten years we tasted more than 100,000 wines and this wine distinguished itself with its great structure and fantastic aging potential, as well as its iconic position for Chilean wines. It received 100 points, and is the second ‘perfect’ wine from this excellent Chilean winery after the great 2015 Almaviva.” 

Considered one of the leading wine critics, James Suckling has presented more than 25 wine events around the world, attended by almost 30,000 people. As CEO and Editor of – which is celebrating its 10th anniversary – his team travels far and wine to visits wineries, meet with winemakers and taste wines. 

Suckling owns and operates his own wine bar and restaurant in Central Hong Kong – James Suckling Wine Central – which serves up an extensive list of more than 400 wines by the glass (all rated 90+ points.) He curates the wine program for Holland America Line cruises, with close to 1 million passengers, and created food pairing tips as part of the onboard experience. In addition, the wine connoisseur designs his 100 points glassware for Lalique – the leading French crystal glassmaker.

Fellow wine enthusiasts, get ready as James Suckling returns to Miami on March 6! His premier “Great Wines of Italy USA” will once again take place at the Moore Building in the Design District.

“Our Great Wines of Italy event is already one of the biggest super premium wine tasting events in the country,” Suckling shared. Guests can expect to taste hundreds of top Italian wines – all rated 90-points and above – from more than 250 wineries. 

The traveling wine event series, which presents the ultimate Italian wine experience, tours Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City before arriving in our backyard.

The highest scoring Italian wines to be served include these revered 100-point bottles:

• Eredi Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2015

• Renieri Brunello di Montalcino 2015

• Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2015

• Giodo Brunello di Montalcino 2015

• San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2015

• Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva 2010

Suckling expressed, “Great Wines of Italy USA is the perfect event for anyone who loves wine, especially GREAT Italian wines. 2015 was an exceptional year in Brunello and Barolo, and we are excited about the high caliber of wines represented at these events.” 

Cheers to that, and we’ll see you at the event!

To purchase tickets, visit


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