Swallow your pride: Wine tasting pits Brooklyn’s booze against Europe’s finest

New vintage: Jason Armstrong of New York City importer Divjna Wines shows off a bottle of his new wines at the Judgement of Brooklyn, held at Borough Hall on May 2.
Photo by Alec Jacobson

Judge not lest ye be judged — but if you ain’t from here, fugheddaboudit.

Brooklyn wine and beer took on top contenders from Europe in a blind taste test by a panel of judges on May 2 at Borough Hall, and the results will be announced at “The Judgement of Brooklyn” on May 17 at Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene.

The event is a riff on the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 (also known as The Judgement of Paris) in which white and red wines from California unexpectedly beat out their tony French counterparts, and brought prestige to the long-derided West Coast wine scene.

One judge from the Borough Hall tasting said blindfold or no, the Brooklyn wines were evident.

“They tasted very local,” said Tony DiDio, who has a nose for vintages made from Long Island grapes. “They’re honest wines — unmanipulated wines — not covered up with a lot of over-extraction or use of oak.”

The Carroll Gardens oenophile said he has a soft spot for Red Hook winery’s Riesling.

Raising a glass to Brooklyn: Borough President Adams samples a Brooklyn-made wine.
Photo by Alec Jacobson

The May 17 event will allow the public to taste the wines — as well as craft beers — and also sample offerings from many borough restaurateurs.

All told, attendees can sample 32 different wines and beers and fare from 10 Brooklyn restaurants at the Judgement at Skylight One Hanson.

There will even be a sneak-peak of the upcoming Broadway production “Bottle Shock,” which dramatizes the 1976 Parisan contest and its scandalous outcome.

Even if the local offerings don’t fare quite as well in The Judgement of Brooklyn, that’s not necessarily a reflection on the borough. DiDio said wine experts sometimes get things wildly wrong, especially in a blind test.

“You always have the chance of making a fool of yourself,” he said.

“The Judgement of Brooklyn” at Skylight One Hanson (One Hanson Pl. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, judgementofbrooklyn.com). May 17 at 7 pm. $55-$90.

Professional tai-ster: Judge James Tai sips suds at the Judgement.
Photo by Alec Jacobson

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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