I’d like to share with you our recent experiences and sincere love of the wines by lauded Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Sinskey. I had been wishing to visit his winery since discovering his label many years ago. In fact, we here at 67 Wines carry several his magnificent labels. More about that later…The Robert Sinskey Vineyards are truly a remarkable place. For vintner Rob Sinskey, elegance and sustainability are not mutually exclusive goals. It is clear that RSV talks the talk and walks the walk, hand-crafting a wide array of wines — all of which are beautiful, individual and classy… and also happen to be bio-dynamically farmed. Because, while they’re focused on leading the charge of responsible, environmentally friendly wine production in California, RSV is equally passionate about crafting high-quality, captivating and food-friendly wines that, as vintner Rob Sinskey says, “Sneak up on you, seduce you, and evolve in the glass and in the bottle.”
My fiancée Jodi and I had the pleasure of visiting his Napa Valley tasting room while on a recent California wine country vacation. The winery’s grounds are as lovely and inviting as any place we visited during our trip.
Ivy-covered walls and pretty flowers all around provided peaceful
beauty, as we sipped our way through a remarkable array of amazing wines.
Speaking of a fine meal, Sinskey’s wife is none other than Maria Helm Sinskey, a critically acclaimed San Francisco chef who left the bustle of city restaurants to run the teaching, gardening and delicious cooking side of RSV. It was she who hosted the magnificent dinner event featuring her wines at the new Corkbuzz Wine Studio.
Are you familiar with Manhattan’s Corkbuzz? Check it out! We think it’s just about the best thing to hit the wine bar scene around here. Located just west of Union Square, it’s a restaurant, learning center, and wine bar rolled into one stunning package.
Our dinner was a four-course, elegantly prepared feast that included dishes served with RSV’s:
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and their Cabernet blend, POV.
These we proudly offer here at 67 Wines. The wines are the real deal when it comes to the best that California produces. I urge to give them a try. Because, like Jodi and me, you will love them.
Located some 100 miles east of Manhattan, Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton, Long Island is one of our closest wineries. They distinguish themselves by using sustainable methods to make wine from a wide range of grape varietals in styles often more closely linked to Friuli than the South Fork.
In the past year I have found Channing Daughters popping up on wine lists throughout the city. Reds and Whites, of course, but also plenty of Rosatos (which they produce in at least six varietals, totaling a third of their production), the occasional rich Meditazione, Ramato (copper wine), and revolutionary keg wines—like the excellent Ribolla Gialla on tap at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. While each glass I encountered tickled me, they represented so much more than just a good glass of wine. High quality, exotic, accessible, and sustainable—each Channing Daughters wine is a bright spark in our local food culture. This winery clearly has its finger on the pulse of what many diners, chefs, and sommeliers in New York are looking for, and I could not wait to go to the source and see for myself how they make it happen.
On a clear fall day, and after an early morning Jitney ride to Bridgehampton and a 2-mile walk to Channing Daughters on Scuttlehole Road, I finally met my local wine hero, winemaker Christopher Tracy.
After spending the morning picking Blaufränkisch (a grape found mainly in Austria and Germany) it was rewarding to watch the grapes get destemmed before being pressed for Rosato. In the afternoon we picked Refosco, a red varietal from Friuli, Italy, which had a very different character: smaller, tighter bunches with higher tannin. After completing the last row of Refosco I climbed up to the Channing Daughters tasting room and enjoyed a great tasting.
My day at Channing Daughters was unforgettable and I cannot thank Christopher enough for being so forthcoming. I am very proud that we stock these wines at 67 Wine and we even occasionally pour them during tastings of New York wine.
This may sound like a half-baked pun gone bad... but it is actually a call to battle! Well, ok - things are not quite so dire. In essence, it's an invitation to you, our intrepid 67 Wine shopper (or blog reader?) to cast off your pre-existing notions and come explore the great beyond with us. No, we're not going to Mars - aside from the logistical problems involved, wine would freeze on Mars. We're heading for the Land Down Under! And what better way to go there - particularly when Qantas is beyond the scope of your budget - than by heading on a culinary/oenological expedition led by some of New York's foremost Aussie wine experts? The preceding question, I hope you have realized, is completely rhetorical!
To make this just a bit more clear: we're hosting a wine dinner on , in collaboration with our neighbors/friends at Burke & Wills. The selection of both food and wine is going to be varied, tasteful and downright delicious. Not to mention the historical implications of the evening.... Wait, historical? True, this is not an entirely new endeavor. Indeed, many have taken up the cause in recent years, handing out leaflets, pouring generous amounts of wine and re-telling the story of places like the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale...
But this time, things are different. How exactly? For one thing, we have managed to skirt the famous (or infamous, depending on whether you're Robert Parker or Alice Feiring) province of South Australia. That means no wine from Barossa. None from Adelaide Hills or McLaren Vale, either. The lone Shiraz in our lineup (that's right, folks - out of six Aussie wines slated to be poured, only one is a Shiraz) comes from the none-too-prominent Canberra district... (and is a remarkable study in structure and elegance, but more on thatevening).
More notable, however, is the unique opportunity to taste the wines of Australia in their most natural setting: at the dinner table, paired up with - of course - cutting edge Australian cuisine. This is where, I think, we are venturing into hitherto uncharted territory. Oyster Kilpatrick and Best's Riesling? Octopus with Vasse-Felix's amazing "Heytesbury Estate" Chardonnay? I would think, given the stellar lineup, we might even cause some minor riots... but it will certainly have been worth it!
Think you want to join us??? The cover is $90 per person, and that includes everything. The seating is limited, but there are still some spots open. This promises to be a fantastic evening, and we would love to have you join us. Click on the flyer for more info, or contact the author of this post (for information requests, or to express your outrage) at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s easy to imagine that every wine or spirit producer has been doing it forever, as if
they sprouted from the earth like a flower and instantly flung their goods into the air for
all to imbibe. There are many examples of families, like the Antinoris and Jadots, where
traditions have long been handed down from one generation to the next. Each must carry
the torch and claim the operation for their moment in time.
But what about the pioneers? What made them want to pursue their craft? Eduardo
Valentini quit law to become a legend in Italian wine. Fess Parker (aka Davey Crocket and Daniel
Boone) had a hankering when he left Hollywood to open a family winery
Where did their inspiration come from?
I happened to be witness to one such transformation. My dear friends Josh Morton and
Susan Weinthaler have been graciously hosting many friends at their barn in upstate New York for
years, where the food, music and outdoor shenanigans have become the stuff of legend. Josh
would often make his own homemade “ginger juice,” a liqueur that we all swore was the
greatest cocktail infusion ever and would (jokingly at first) urge him to mass produce
it. He has since done just that. While keeping his other successful career as a network
consultant intact, he has managed to make Barrow’s Intense a reality.
— William Leonard-Lee
Dinner with El Caballero de Jerez, Antonio Flores.
Capping off a weekend long celebration of Sherry, I was able to seat down for dinner with Antonio Flores, Master Blender of Bodega González-Byass. The stage was the quintessential NYC restaurant Gramercy Tavern.
Antonio was visiting the city to participate in the many events organized by the creators of SherryFest, Peter Liem & Rosemary Gray. The day before , Antonio successfully led a seminar titled The Evolution of Flor at Astor Center followed by a dinner at Hearth. Both events provided Antonio the chance to taste, demystify and educate the public about the wonders of Sherry and further explain his historic & visionary work as master blender at González-Byass.
Antonio is the keeper of hundreds of Soleras at González-Byass, his main job is to care and tend to the needs of each criadera while every year hand crafting the signature wines of his Bodega.
A man of stature, commitment & passion for his work is what sets Antonio apart from any other wine maker I have met, sherry flows through his veins. His jubilant personality is as contagious as his wines.
!Salud Antonio! Y os veremos pronto en Jerez!!
The Joy of Sake
The first time they come to our store, customers often say, “You have a great selection—there are so many wines I don’t know where to begin!” Having worked at 67Wine for about three years now, that initial awe is not lost to me. On Thursday, I remembered what it felt like to walk into a place and be completely overwhelmed and excited about what is before you. The Joy of Sake is a yearly event that is held in honor of some of the world’s greatest sake accompanied by fifteen of New York’s finest restaurants. More than 300 bottles of sake were open, ready to be enjoyed alone or with food. The sake were broken down by grade (junmai, ginjo, junmai ginjo, daiginjo, and junmai daiginjo) and presented to eager guests in official sake competition cups.
Towards the end of the night, I came across a truly special sake. For those who are not familiar, sake is typically drunk at room temperature or slightly chilled, not scalding hot as at many Japanese restaurants. But there are some that can be gently warmed, and are truly beautiful when done correctly, and this was the sake I was most excited to try. While I was waiting for my serving to be warmed, I received a sample of it at room temperature. It was subtle with earthy notes on the nose and very elegant. But once warmed, its true potential shone through. It was now a full, fragrant sake with great character. For those who have yet to experience it, slightly raising the temperature can really open up a sake and bring forth flavors and aromas not initially sensed.
As many of you have noticed, we are under Construction! This is the first time we have renovated the first floor of the store in over 20 years! The last time it was done was in 1992 or 1993. So, we apologize for the dust, chaos, and craziness as we work out the new shelfs, new computers, and all of that. The following is a collection of photos from all the work.
It is quite fashionable, in the wine world, for us professional types to play the "jaded
sophisticate" card - like Holden Caulfield with a tattoo fetish and a legitimized drinking problem.
Oftentimes, you'll hear complaints from pros about how traveling to European countries to visit
producers is no fun because it’s for business, with a rigid schedule; or that a tasting of elite Grand
Cru wines was overrun with too many people.
Well, I say that these wine-specific opportunities are laced with the thing itself that we’re in The
Game for: to meet passionate people who make pleasure their life, and want to share it with other
I had a chance, a few weeks ago, to experience some of that passion. Dirk Richter of Weingut
Max Ferd. Richter was in town to promote his new 2012 wines, as well as share some older
vintages that he had brought from his cellar.
Make no mistake: they were out to sell us wine (they succeeded), but more importantly to me, it
was dinner at má pêche with over two dozen world-class Rieslings, both new and old.
Dirk Richter himself is a devilishly opinionated traditionalist. At Richter, they make Riesling.
Period. They make it very well. Their vineyard plots are legendary; their history runs long (over
300 years). Herr Richter is a force, and I got the (slightly nerve-wracking) honor of sitting next to
him. He can tell story after story, laced with humor and information – a rare combination
My senses were fired up, and running hot: a beautiful room; fragrant, exotic Rieslings; the
peripheral pleasure of good service swirling around; and the complex combinations of Chef de
Cuisine Johnny Leach’s food, with its bright colors and textural variations.
I felt that heady, slightly swooning feel of wines working in concert, all the nuances of the
terroir, all the effort of the workers and the winemaker.
All the things we’re here for, in the wine world; all the things that matter to us. Sharing is caring.
“ZEPPELIN” RIESLING, MÜLHEIMER SONNENLAY 2012
VELDENZER ELISENBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2011
Jonathan Jenkins 2013
You don’t have to read The Daily Front Row to know that food is in fashion: from the cronut to the farmers market, cleans diets, and what champagne you stock in the fridge, to signature cocktails. With 67 Wine being blocks from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I’ve been enjoying the bustle that the fashion industry has brought to the Upper West.
SadieIt has been a reminder to connect the dots where wine meets the broader culture. Wine can be evocative; different styles of wine evoke a string of visuals for me from art and design to clothing and even music. Still, I can’t help but see wine as one of the most stylish accessories: the essence of the earths character determined by its divine circumstance, geology, aspect, climate…handed to the winemaker who imparts his or her own philosophy, technique, art. When you are drinking wine, it is a celebration of that moment — like the way Diane von Furstenberg described the attitude of her fall 2013 collection: the big umbrella is life is a party, it’s not going to the party, it’s life that’s a party.
September 2, 2013
Joy of the Alpines
I am a huge fan of Italian wine. There is such a wide variety of styles within the nooks
and crannies of this great peninsula that one can never get bored — not to mention the
food that pairs along with it all. For some reason, I find myself continually drawn to the
wines of the Alto Adige. Also known as “Südtirol” (the south of Austria’s Tyrol), this
most northerly of Italy’s wine regions has more German speakers than Italian. It also
boasts a larger percentage of DOC wines than any other in the country, mostly produced
through cooperative wineries.
I recently enjoyed St Michael-Eppan’s 2011 Pinot Nero, which exemplifies my love of
the Alpine way. St Michael-Eppan is a cooperative that was founded in 1907 just north
of Caldaro. They produce a range of wines typical of the region; all are single varietal
selections of both local and classic grapes.
There’s a sense of purity and clarity that comes across in this Pinot Nero that I adore.
Blackberry and soft cherry fruit evenly caress the palate, and there seems to be a soft,
nutty undercurrent that reminds me of many Schiavas that come from the same backyard.
This wine is understated, and absolutely charming.
Today I thought I’d share a few thoughts about one of the terms that we get the most questions about: Orange wine. First, what does this term mean? ‘Orange wine’ describes white wine that is skin-contact fermented, which involves macerating the wine on the skins for roughly the same amount of time as if you were making a red wine. However, because the skins are often white (or gold, or green) the wine becomes darker in color then a usual white. This technique is essentially the opposite of making a rosé; for rosé wines, red grapes are used and the wine is removed from the skins as quickly as possible.
This tradition comes from the region now called Georgia, where they’ve been using anfora (or qvevri) for fermenting and aging both red and white wines for many, many generations. In fact, Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Very complex and interesting wines come from the unique grapes of this region, such as Chinuri from Pheasant’s Tears — a great example of orange wine.
Another region famous for orange wines is Friuli, where their Pinot Grigio is often made this way; when it is, it’s called Ramato. Many people in the United States may not be aware that the Pinot Grigio grape is actually a pinkish color — so when macerated on the skins, it becomes a dark, copper-hued wine. Try La Castellada, a wine with great color, interesting flavors, and a phenomenal textural ‘crunch.’ Brilliant!
A few winemakers are experimenting with this type of wine here in the United States. Hank Beckmeyer at California’s La Clarine Farm makes a great, blended orange wine; another is made here in New York City by Abe Schoener at Red Hook Winery. Both are very interesting wines, and both are great examples of the new thinking that is pushing American wine to forefront of the industry.
67 Wine carries several orange wines, and once you’re properly introduced to the style, it’s very easy to enjoy them.
8.20.2013Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) and Enrique Foster Gittes, LEDA's founder, in a partnership to "Foster the Future," to help raise awareness and to promote higher education access for high school scholars from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Spirits has always been more than a wine shop. One of our principles is to find ways to work directly with not-for-profit organizations to support and promote their causes. We recently joined forces with
I recently had the pleasure to visit Princeton University to meet a group of LEDA scholars who are currently enrolled in an intensive 7-week summer program. Joined by Bill Short from Dreyfus Ashby and Beth Breger, executive director of LEDA, our day began with a tour of the campus and an overview of the seven week curriculum that is aimed to prepare these scholars for the college application process.
I could not help feeling nostalgic for my own college days at Wesleyan University as I walked around the campus. After the tour, we joined the students at the University Cafeteria for lunch. Over cafeteria food, we exchanged greetings and talked extensively about what the program means to them and their background. I was dumbfounded to realize that some of them came to the summer program from as far as a Native American reservation in New Mexico, and that for others it was their first time getting on a plane and leaving behind their homes and families. With all the challenges of adapting to a new environment and the roller coaster of emotions of being away from home, this group of LEDA Scholars seemed determined to have the best summer of their short academic lives.
Sitting with them and witnessing their enthusiasm and willingness to share their experiences was intoxicating and contagious. They all radiated a level of maturity rarely found in pre-college teenagers. For me, the experience of meeting this group of young men and women who will for sure shape the future of this country and the world was rewarding and humbling. Experiences like this helps keep me committed to leveling social and economic equality. I am very grateful to 67 wine, Enrique Foster Gittes and the LEDA Team for making “Fostering The Future” a successful campaign so far. The future is bright, lets keep paving the road ahead!
8.8.2013 Loire Valley in France where the Loire River empties into the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of small family wine growers are devoted to one grape: Melon de Bourgogne. The delightful white wine produced from this grape is Muscadet. Unlike in virtually all of France, Muscadet is the name of the wine not the grape or region.
Muscadet has a stoney minerality and can vary in style from light, tangy with a bit of white flower and citrus, to more rich and complex if it has spent some time on its lees(fermentation yeast) for a few months. Because of its proximity to the sea it possesses a slight briny character making it perfect for raw oysters and clams or a pot of steamed clams or mussels. It is the classic fish and shellfish accompaniment. Although on its own it is very refreshing.
The best region is Mucadet de Sèvre et Maine, creating wines that are crisp and lean. Muscadet continues to be undervalued thus you can find great wines most often under $18. Many are average but many are truly great.
8.6.3012 My arrival in Bordeaux was marked by decidedly un-Israeli weather. The low clouds, light mist and cool temperatures suggested late April rather than early July. Only a day after walking the streets of Tel Aviv beneath the merciless Israeli sun, dreaded by many but beloved by me, the weather felt like something of a letdown. Thankfully, my guide for the day had decided to start us off with a real highlight — a visit to the Chateau de La Riviere, in Fronsac. The estate dates back to the 16th century, and its location, both in terms of real estate and in terms of terroir, is one of the best in Fronsac. The chateau itself sits atop a wooded plateau overlooking a gently sloping, expansive hill that forms the majority of La Riviere’s vineyard. Just down the road, a somewhat smaller parcel stretches to the top of an even steeper hill. These vines produce the grapes for La Riviere’s top cuvée, Aria.
Thierry, the estate’s marketing manager, took us for a tour of the property, starting at the “Women’s Bath,” a small bathing pool fed by an underground spring. This 18th century addition to the estate retains its form more than its function, but is also a reminder that as far as water is concerned, the estate is entirely self-sufficient.
Next, we entered the cellars. The product of close to 300 years of rock extraction, the underground network now totals eight hectares (about 20 acres), half of which are in use for storage. Aside from two long barrel rooms, most of the walls house large compartments cut out of the limestone, where older wines (dating back to 1962) are kept in bottle.
We emerged on the opposite side of the cellar and made our way into the Chateau building for a quick tasting. The lineup was comprehensive, featuring the estate’s second wine, Les Sources du Chateau de La Riviere; the Grand Vin, Chateau de La Riviere; and the top cuvée known as the Aria. We then tasted three vintages of the Chateau de la Riviere — 2007, 2008 and 2009. Even though it retains some firmness now, the 2008 was clearly my favorite. The wine had just enough richness and fruit to play against the slightly grainy texture and subtle hints of spice. I’m happy that the 2008 Chateau de la Riviere will hit our shelves this month. It will be a fine showcase for both the underrated 2008 vintage, and for the quality and potential of the La Riviere estate.
After lunch at a charming country restaurant (featuring a real treat, the 2002 vintage of Aria), my visit concluded with a brief helicopter flight over the property, with James Gregoire, the owner, at the controls. La Riviere’s outstanding terroir is even more clearly on display from above, as the dramatic sweep of the estate’s hill seems to dwarf the small country houses and pastures below. All in all, it was a great start to my short visit to Bordeaux. I hope to share more about this special trip very soon...
- Dmitriy Krasny
One of the great benefits to being in the wine industry, aside from connecting people with the amazing artisans we work with, is the chance to visit these producers in their home vineyards and regions! I recently took a trip to France — partly for vacation, partly for music work with my band, Franglais, and partly to visit a few wine producers. I got lucky when I scored an invite to Jean Foillard’s domaine in Morgon.
Jean Foillard is one of the original members of the famous Gang of Four — four producers based in Villié-Morgon who helped to found the natural wine movement and remake the idea of Beaujolais Cru. I was thrilled to get the invite, because I’ve never met Jean nor seen his domaine. Yet getting there was not so easy to do! After getting ‘close,’ it took over an hour more of searching and several minutes on the phone with the importer’s office to actually find the place.
I finally made it, and was lucky enough to taste this batch of wines with Jordan Salcito from Momofuku, Frank Pernelle, and Jean himself. It was a great tasting, and I learned a lot about the wines. Here are some of my tasting notes.
Morgon Corcelette 2011: Funky, pretty and floral, nice color, balanced with a hint of spice.
Morgon Côte du Py 2011: More expressive then the Corcelette on the nose, brighter, lots of red fruit, more pretty, more floral.
Fleurie 2011: Spiced, floral, less mature, a bit more high acid.
Morgon Côte du Py 2010: Bigger, blackberry fruit, not too funky, floral nose with hints of game, nice finish, very smooth.
Fleurie 2010: Floral, beautiful, red currants and berries, clean, nice acid, balanced and impressive.
Fleurie 2009: Beautiful, clean red fruit, perfectly balanced and great.
Morgon, Côte du Py 2009: Funky raspberries, big, and powerful.
Morgon 3.14 2009: Big and very impressive, fresh fruit and spice, with hints of cooked meat.
Fleurie 2008: Flowers, wild grass, nice high acid, crisp, very clean and pretty.
Morgon 3.14 2010: Oh my god, great! Brighter then the ’09, amazing fruit , cleaner with perfect acid.
(The last two were my favorites out of the tasting)
I spent way too much time tasting, hangin’ out, and talking about the Côte du Py, which we could see out the window. After the tasting, we shared an amazing lunch with Jean and his wife: great bread, sausage, an amazing cheese plate, some cherries — and of course, a bottle of Morgon and a bottle of Tavel! This visit with the incredible, generous Jean Foillard and his wife was one of the highlights of my trip to France this year.
One upside of the soft shell lobster season is that the price per pound can be spectacularly low. In fact, last week I paid just $4.99 a pound! At that price, you can afford to buy a second – aka, the “daily double.”
I live in Manhattan, so I don’t have a grill, but I’ve heard that grilling soft shell lobsters over hickory charcoal is terrific. Forget about using a gas grill; you might as well be broiling.
Even though broiling is strictly for hard shells, I never really liked them that way. I find broiled lobsters appallingly dry, pretty much requiring a good soak in butter just to make them palatable. Boiling is a little quicker, but I hate all the water that fills the shell, especially on those soft shells. Instead, I’ve always steamed mine.
After steaming a lobster, you have a few choices regarding how you’ll choose to eat it. I know someone who dips their lobster in hot sauce; to me, that’s a complete waste of good lobster. I mean, why would you pay for lobster if all you can taste is hot sauce? My wife, on the other hand, puts a little Sriracha (Thai hot sauce) into her drawn butter. To me, that makes it taste more like medium Buffalo wings sauce. I’d rather have wings with that sauce, personally, but it is pretty good, and you can still taste the lobster.
My choice of sauce partly rests on my choice of wine. I don’t really like wine with hot sauce, though Vouvray, Gewurztraminer or sweet Riesling can work well with spicier dishes. With lobster, I’m pretty much a traditionalist — and that calls for matching the richness of the lobster with an equally rich wine.
|David Bruce Chardonnay & Lobster Pot|
This wine was big; rich and spicy, with plenty of oak that didn’t overwhelm the baked apple and poached pear favors. To improve an already felicitous match, I added a few drops of real vanilla extract to my drawn butter. The hint of vanilla, along with the butter, increased the affinity between the full body and oaky flavors of the wine and the mouth-filling, butterfat texture and rich, creamy flavor of the lobster.
-- Paul Bressler
Lambrusco a go at least once, because I swear you will never look back.
Perhaps more than anywhere else on the globe, Italy retains an elemental relationship between food and wine. Nowhere is this more perfectly reflected than in the Po River Valley of Emilia-Romagna, itself a gastronomic capital and the home of Lambrusco. This is a land of rich cuisine: lasagna, buttery tortellini, Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mortadella. With its frothy bubbles and dry, fruity, and clean finish, Lambrusco complements the foods of this region better than any other. This is not a wine to contemplate. Instead, it’s a wine that you toss into the last remaining morsels of your Bollito Misto and gulp down.
Lambrusco has an ancient history going back beyond the Etruscans. Today, there are over 60 strains in existence, but only a few make up the bulk of production today — the best of which are Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro. Although the sweet, neon-colored Lambrusco that we in the United States fell for during the early 80s had great commercials, traditional Lambrusco is usually either dry or off-dry — or what the Italians call amabile. It is the dry Lambrusco that goes best with many foods.
Which brings me back to the grill. This summer, do yourself a favor before you take a bite of that juicy cheeseburger: Pour a glass of Lambrusco di Sorbara to drink with it. Now, that’s nice!
- William-Leonard Lee
Amaro (which literally translates as ‘bitter’) is an herbal liqueur usually sipped as an after-dinner digestif. It typically has a bittersweet flavor, a syrupy mouthfeel and an alcohol content between 16 and 40 percent.
Amari might be flavored with a melange of herbs, flowers, bark, roots, and citrus peel, all of which are macerated in neutral spirits; then the unique infusion is allowed to age in casks or in bottles. Historically, the spirit has often been made in monasteries or pharmacies, then used as an herbal tonic to aid digestion and healing. Now, commercial Italian manufacturers also produce amari, and creative bartenders around the world are experimenting with it as an ingredient in their cocktails.
Amaro Montenegro is one of my favorites. The famous herbalist and distiller Stanislao Cobianchi created it in 1885 in Bologna, dedicating it to Princess Elena of Montenegro. It offers an easy introduction to amaro: Fresh notes of orange peel, coriander, and red cherry on the nose lead to a bittersweet, botanical palate tinged with hints of tangerine. The finish is boldly herbal, complemented by sweet citrus fruit flavors. Enjoy Amaro Montenegro neat after dinner, or over rocks with sparkling water and lemon rind as a refreshing aperitif
casks or in bottles. Historically, the spirit has often been made in monasteries or pharmacies, then used as an herbal tonic to aid digestion and healing. Now, commercial Italian manufacturers also produce amari, and creative bartenders around the world are experimenting with it as an ingredient in their cocktails.
- Karen Ripley
Vintage cocktails are everywhere now and with the revival of the 1950’s & 1960’s culture mixologists and patrons are enjoying and embracing the pleasures of a well made cocktail. For me, there is no better book on the subject than Assouline’s Vintage Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern. Whatever your palate desires, Mr Van Flandern, head mixologist at the Bamelmans bar at the Carlyle explores the lost art of mixing the perfect drink with simplicity and sophistication. This is a delightful, 138-page book filled with step-by-step instructions and pictures of these intriguing libations. It is a must-have for your home library.
New York City is full of talented mixologists and bar-keepers that ensure that each cocktail is hand-crafted with only the best local and rare ingredients. From bitters to rare herbs and spices there is no ingredient too small to add flavor and enhance the quality of each concoction. Movies and Television series have also played a significant role in globalizing the new found popularity of the pleasures of a vintage cocktail. Just watch an episode of Mad Men and you will immediately feel the urge to hold a Gimlet or a Dry Martini in your hand.
As my taste for certain things have changed, I find myself visiting places that are familiar. When it comes to enjoying a nice cocktail in the company of friends my two go-to places are the Grand Bar at the SohoGrand Hotel and Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. I typically enjoy visiting these bars in the mid-afternoon on days off. The atmosphere is more relax and I feel that I can enjoy a good conversation with a friend while sipping one of their vintage concoctions. From a Moscow Mule to a Dirty Martini, I highly recommend their cocktail menus and service! So the next time you find yourself with some spare time wandering the streets of Soho or the UES, try walking into one of these two bars and ask for a vintage cocktail.
Dirty Martini Recipe:
Rinse the glass out with vermouth and then stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish traditionally with a set of three Spanish cocktail Olives.
The grape Malvasia goes by many names, from Malmsey in English to Malvasier in German to Malvasijiein in Croatian. Legend holds that this grape was disseminated from the Greek island port of Monemvasia, a trading hub for the wines of the region. However, recent DNA testing has revealed that not all grapes called ‘Malvasia’ are related, though they are widespread through Europe and often yield dry, floral wines.
67 Wine sells a full spectrum of Malvasias, with standouts such as the Los Bermejos Malvasia Seco 2010 from the Canary Islands, La Stoppa Ageno 2007 — an orange wine from Emilia-Romagna — and New York Malmsey, a Madeira from The Rare Wine Co. We also offer Quinta das Maias Malvasia Fina 2011, a wine I first encountered a year ago during a tasting with Luís Lorenço at his winery in the Dão. I knew then that I wanted to offer it at 67 Wine, and it’s finally arrived.
In Portugal, wines are often a field blend, so Luís Lorenço is unique in that his best wines are monovarietal — but also quite graceful. This wine is 100 percent Malvasia Fina, which has been cultivated in the Dão since Roman times. Lorenco’s Quinta das Maias vineyard lies at the foothills of the Serra da Estrela mountains, which block the region from the Atlantic; here, the soil is granitic. Lorenco expresses this terroir with low-intervention winemaking: first, he partially destems the grapes, then crushes them via a soft pressing in an automatic press. The must is clarified by gravity and decantation, and fermentation occurs in stainless steel vats. To the final blend, he adds roughly 10 percent barrel-fermented Malvasia Fina to impart a bit more structure and complexity.
In the glass, the Quinta Das Maias Malvasia Fina is a pale-straw color with a floral, lemon-lime bouquet. The wine in quite dry and fresh on the palate, with an impressive depth of character and intensity of flavor. Balanced minerality and acidity keep this Malvasia round and upbeat, and it has a long, graceful finish. 2011 is the first year that Quinta das Maias is fully organic certified.
When I caught up with Luis to find out what dish he might serve with this wine, and he gave me his sea bass recipe (below). With this wine finally available, I took home a bottle to enjoy and tested out the recipe. Sea Bass wasn’t available, so I went with what was fresh, wild, and local — which happened to be porgy. The recipe was easy to pull off, and indeed, an excellent pairing.
67Wine, Enrique Foster, and Leadership Enterprise For a Diverse America (LEDA) have joined together in an exclusive partnership to aid in “Fostering the Future.” LEDA is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to identifying and developing the academic and leadership potential of exceptional public high school students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. For each bottle of Bodega Enrique Foster wine sold, 67Wine will donate a dollar to help LEDA equalize educational opportunities and foster the future of a talented, young scholar.
On Tuesday, May 28th, 67Wine and LEDA hosted their first charity event featuring three wines of Enrique Foster: Lorca Fantasia Torrontes, Enrique Foster Malbec Ique, and Enrique Foster Malbec Reserva. Together, 67Wine and LEDA helped raise awareness for a worthy cause while drinking some great wines.
It's rare that I would choose this platform to profile a producer; however I feel that Jean-Paul Brun is worth the effort!
As a small, iconic producer in the Beaujolais region, Jean-Paul does several things differently from the great majority of his neighbors. Let's start with the fact that he makes a sparkling wine! Not many Beaujolais producers do that. His "FRV 100" is rosé colored, just off dry, very fizzy, and bottled at 4-5 atmospheres. It's delicious and perfect to drink on a summer afternoon. Though this wine does not require food, it's great with grilled foods and BBQ! Also, as a fun side note, there's a pun there: 100 in French is pronounced "sant." Thus, his wine is called eff-err-va-sant!
Next up is his amazing Beaujolais Blanc, which is an incredible bottling of unoaked Chardonnay. You can learn more about this wine in my Follow the Buyer email and post tomorrow!
After these two wines, we move into his red Beaujolais Domaine des Terres Dorées ‘Ancienne,’ a tasty entry-level Gamay. Again, Jean-Paul breaks away from the norm and ferments his wine differently from many Beaujolais producers in two important ways.
The first is that Domaine des Terres Dorées does not use any yeast to cause fermentation. The use of yeast is a practice very common in Beaujolais, and produces that famed banana smell in the Duboeuf wines. The other is the fact that this wine is fermented using Burgundy fermenters, which means no or very little carbonic maceration. This is a fermentation method that occurs in an anaerobic environment - resulting in fruity and less tannic wines.
The ‘Ancienne’ is a structured and intense Gamay that stands up to heavier foods, and still has that delicious easy fruit to it. There is a little problem: Jean-Paul’s 2007 vintage loss AOC status and thus the right to be called Beaujolais because the wine was considered atypical of the appellation. While it might be considered “atypical,” it certainly is a prime example of Brun’s Beaujolais!
Don't forget to check out Follow the Buyer; and enjoy some Beaujolais!
5.23.2013In honor of World Sherry Day, 67Wine is celebrating by throwing a week long party to honor our 67 different bottles of Sherry. For the week of May 20th, Oscar Garcia and Jonathan Jenkins, our very own Spanish and Sherry buyers respectively, are teaming up to showcase all that Sherry has to offer. Our two buyers will teach you the difference between Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Manzanilla, and Pedro Ximenez through a range of week long tastings. To make the event even more special, Oscar Garcia will be cooking up a storm on the second floor and feature cooking demonstrations with Sherry.
Get excited. This will be a great week.
This recipe is courtesy of Luis Lorenco, winemaker of Quinta das Maias. The measurements are approximations, as the recipe was adapted from his European measurements. The beauty of the recipe is in the experimentation. Read the recipe, but tweak it yourself to your liking and have fun with it.
· 1 whole sea bass, or similar fresh, mild fish
· 2 large potatoes, peeled, halved and cut into 3/4-inch slices
· 2 medium onions, cut into thin half-moons
· 1 large ripe tomato, cut into wedges
· 1 small green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
· 1 bay leaf
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 3 tablespoons white wine
· 2 teaspoons paprika
· 4 parsley sprigs
· 6 coriander springs
· 3 tablespoons olive oil
· Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. After cleaning the sea bass, season the fish with a little bit of salt.
3. Coat the bottom of a cooking tray with olive oil, then arrange the sliced a potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes on the tray. Tuck the bay leaf to a the vegetables.
4. In a bowl, combine the paprika, garlic, wine, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper. Drizzle half of the mixture over the vegetables, then roast them for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the tray from the oven and place the sea bass with two cuts on the a back. Spread the rest of the paprika-garlic mixture on top of the fish.
6. Place tray back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the fish with parsley and coriander, then bake for 10 minutes longer.
7. Remove from oven and serve with a mixed salad on the side — and a glass of Quinta das Maias Malvasia.
I recently sat down for lunch at Boulud Sud with Victor De La Serna, wine critic for El Mundo Vino, one of Spain’s most acclaimed wine columns. With extensive years of journalism experience, Victor comes from a school of thought where the news is always first and the journalist, second — his job is to interpret and inform from a singular and informative vision. So, how does one approach lunch with an individual of such conviction? I quickly put my nerves aside and let the conversation flow. Also, I’ve learned that food and wine are the best icebreakers around.
At first, we discussed the current popularity of Spanish wines in New York City. As a wine professional, I sometimes feel the burden of dissecting the misconceptions and antiquated ideas that some New Yorkers have regarding Spanish wines. Just a few years back, Spanish wines were relegated to the bottom shelves of many prominent city wine shops. That has completely changed — now wines from Spain compete head-to-head with bottles from more well-known wine-producing countries. The influx of Spanish restaurants from regions such as Catalunya, Pais Vasco and Andalusia have also helped carve a niche for these wines in the palates of discriminating New Yorkers. Victor and I agreed that Spain is having its cultural and culinary ‘moment’ in New York. For him, it’s rewarding to find a diverse selection of Spanish wines here, wines from small producers that showcase terroir, tradition and most importantly, honesty — from up and coming Denominación de Origen (DO) wines such as Manchuela, Ribeira Sacra and Terra Alta to the all-mighty La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Witnessing this movement with his own eyes and palate seems to excite Victor; for me, it fuels the need to continue educating the public about the intricate and honest labor that many Spanish wine producers put into their wines. A great wine is made with effort, but most importantly, it’s made with passion and love for the craft.
By the time our main courses arrived, talking to Victor was like talking to an old friend. I enjoyed listening to Victor outline the origins of Spain’s indigenous varietals, Monastrell and Garnacha, and narrate stories behind Spain’s historical and traditional wine regions, Rioja and Andalusia. He also recounted a recent vertical tasting at Bodega De Marqués de Riscal, Rioja’s oldest and most historic winery. Behind the closed quarters of Riscal, he said, is a rich tradition dating back to 1862 when the winery was founded by El Marqués de Riscal, who had just returned from exile in Bordeaux. Riscal’s first cellarmaster was a Frenchman named Jean Pineau from Château Lanessan. More than a century later, that Bordeaux influence continues to play a significant role in Riscal’s identity; Cabernet Sauvignon (a foreign varietal in Rioja) became the backbone for Riscal’s wines, giving them longevity and Bordeaux-like authenticity. After the history lesson, Victor described savoring some of the world’s oldest and rare wines, few of which are available to mere mortals.
I highly respect Victor and his team of El MundoVino for the work they do in educating and informing the public about the ever-evolving Spanish wine world. They are professionals who live and practice journalism the old-fashioned way, without pretense or a celebrity complex. At the end of our meal we asked for espressos and ended our conversation talking about my favorite subject, champagne.
I’m looking forward to Victor’s next visit to New York. Perhaps then, we’ll be discussing new facets of Spain’s food and wine culture as it continues to be interpreted by chefs, wine merchants and sommeliers all over the city. Thank you, Victor!
- Oscar Garcia
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