It’s no surprise that James Suckling, one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential wine critics, has a way with wine. He certainly knows how to pick them. Good-bye, stuffy wine clubs! Hello, accessible lux wine tours. If you’re looking to breakdown the complexity of fine wine tasting while not breaking the bank, Suckling creates a venue within reach.
This internationally celebrated wine connoisseur has been changing how people experience fine wines through a vetting process and roadshow. He expertly tastes through hundreds of wines, curating the best of the best, giving them rockstar status at 90+ points and then taking them on tour to sold-out venues in major cities across the U.S. and the world.
But who is Suckling anyway? He is the former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator magazine. He started his career there in the 80’s when their readership was under 1,000. Then he grew with this mammoth wino bible, which could make or break a brand with it’s ratings. After his resignation in 2010 (30 years later), he set-off to begin a new chapter of James Suckling as a dot-com (.com), leaving the traditional print media world for the “www” sphere… And with 2020, he marked a cool decade of growth for www.JamesSuckling.com.
One of his initiatives was to showcase his great discoveries from specific wine regions around the world by bringing the “best of” wines on tour for others to experience, such as wines from South America in his Great Wines of the Andes tour and Italian wines from all over the country in his Great Wines of Italy tour. He had been bringing these sold-out tours to major cities across the country for some time now.
This year in late January 2020, he debuted his pièce de résistance, Great Wines of the World, for the 1st time ever in the United States in the perfect, multicultural host city of Miami, FL. His stage was the historic Moore Building with it’s stunning atrium installation, Elastika, designed by the famed architect, Zaha Hadid. It was a perfect, metaphoric venue to portray how Suckling has been modernizing the traditions of wine as it’s said that the modern curves and design of the art installation was site-specifically created to compliment and yet contrast with this historic building.
The event featured the top wine regions in the world from Bordeaux to Napa to South Australia and so on and boasted two of their top vintages from 100 of the most iconic producers of the world from Château Mouton Rothschild to Opus One to Penfolds Grange and more. It was a chance to get close to owners and winemakers, showcasing their exemplary wines with tasting notes, storytelling, insights and even photo opps. There was also a dozen 100-pointers to track down and taste through before they were spent. Grand tasting tickets were $185 per person, but many of the wines ranged from $100+/bottles to over $5,000+ Jeroboams of Mouton. You definitely got your monies worth after a couple pours.
This was a two-day soiree, which began with some exclusive pre-events to include a Gala Dinner with host James Suckling, along with many epochal vineyard owners and winemakers. It was followed by a very private nightclub Happiness is Wine Show + After Party experience with award-winning, Happiness is Wealth DJ Surahn Sidhu. This perfectly paired with a grand preview of the 90-100 point wines. It concluded the next day with the sold-out grand tasting finale to include four floors of indulgence.
Off the sediment of Great Wines of the World, Suckling has already uncorked his next six-city U.S. tour with his Great Wines of Italy beginning February 26, 2020 in Dallas, TX before a big “Cin Cin” finale on March 6, 2020 in Miami, FL.