On Monday, May 23, a small but influential group of Princeton, New Jersey food and wine professionals–including wine retailers, sommeliers, events coordinators and even a prominent food-literacy advocate from Princeton University, 13 guests in all–joined Wines of Navarra at Mediterra restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Princeton, for a tasting of 12 DO Navarra whites and reds, paired alongside Mediterra’s “wherever-the-olive-grows” seasonal Mediterranean fare.
Guest reactions to the wines were overwhelemingly positive, with Castillo de Monjardín‘s Deyo Merlot and Bodega Otazu‘s Premium Cuvée the consensus favorites, though all agreed that the wines in general were a lovely fit, not only with the food being served but also with the Princeton wine market at large. As one guest astutely observed, outside marketers often erroneously assume that local residents and Ivy League college students have loads of money to spend, that they’re on the hunt for premium purchases, be it wine or other goods. This is not the case in this very traditional university town, he pointed out, and so many of those marketing efforts fail.
So what what do Princeton residents want?
“Great quality, great value,” he replied. “And [Navarra] wines are the perfect fit.”