May 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 2002 Current Issue
May 2002
Short Cuts:Grading the Grapes

image Wine and food bring comfort in stressful times, says Kevin Zraly. He should know. Zraly was the wine director at Windows on the World, the famed restaurant that sat atop New York City’s World Trade Center.

These days, Zraly (845-255-1456) keeps busy presiding over wine tastings at corporate events and meetings. He also is the author of Windows on the World Complete Wine Course (Sterling Publishing, Such activities are very therapeutic, he says. “They help me keep the spirit of Windows on the World alive.”

Together with Michael Lominico, the former chef of the skyscraper eatery, Zraly hosts private luncheons and dinners where guests taste five or six wines per meal, including at least two white and two red varieties.

“I take the intimidation and pretense out of the wine,” says Zraly. “Guests learn something while they eat. We see how the different wines change the food and vice versa. Everyone gets involved; they even vote on their favorite wines.”

Tastings get people to open up and interact, Zraly adds, because wine is the first thing they see when they sit down at the table. “Wine is about fun and entertainment,” he says. “And I try to make my events have that quality, too. Wine is a very hot subject.”

Zraly is currently revising his book to include a tribute to the restaurant. Proceeds will go to charities, including Windows of Hope, which aids families of restaurant workers who lost their lives on Sept. 11. In addition, several times a year he leads an eight-week wine school at New York’s Marriott Marquis.


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