Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Yes, it's a Charlie Brown tree

Between work and some personal issues, I've been slightly out of commission, but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic New Year. I'll be taking a break until after then, so enjoy your family and friends and appreciate what you have.

And if you enjoy some Vinotas Selections wines, let me know!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Where Winos Dine

Well, we can't just drink, can we? I mean, wine is meant to be enjoyed with food and friends and family, not all alone. If you start doing that, you might need some assistance...

No, good wine is designed to go with good food, both adding their virtues to the experience of life. When the pairings work, they add up to more than their individual parts and become something else, something transcending.

Of course, not all food and wine pairings get so existential, but many are thoroughly enjoyable. But where to go and enjoy your precious bottle of wine and get a great meal without breaking the bank? Sure, there are many spots in New York City that offer BYO, but either these will induce nosebleed with stratospherically high pricing, or the quality of the dishes will not be up to the quality of the bottle you bring.

So where do winos go to dine when they want to drink and eat well?

One name comes to mind, and most NYC winelovers already know what I'm about to say: Apiary. This East Village restaurant has been around over a year and it's no secret, but if you have a nice bottle you want to open with someone and get a great meal, this is the place most of us visit. The pricing is very friendly, service is good, and best of all the food is delicious. Well-executed and thought out by Scott Bryan, formerly of Veritas, the dishes are very wine-friendly as well, as one would expect. And, of course, though they're BYO-friendly, their wine list is also pretty-well put together, pleasing to both the winegeeks as well as to the casual drinker.

Oh, and no I am not paid or rewarded for this, I just thought I'd offer a Public Service Announcement. In fact, I wouldn't mention my name if I were you...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Giddy Wines


Giddy wines? What are giddy wines? They are wines that make you sit up and smile, wines that are so lovely and well-made that they remind you why you like wines, and perhaps these particular wines, in the first place. If all wines did that the novelty of finding such a thing would wear off and instead we'd be living in a world where "everyone is special so no one is special." And that would be no fun.

Instead, wines, like life, have their highs and their lows. Luckily, I didn't just find one vinous high point last night (I did give a hint, "wines" in the title is plural), I didn't just find two, I found a whopping three, count 'em, three giddy wines. As you can imagine, I hit the pillow with a grin you could see from space.

I was celebrating a late Thanksgiving with Mom and a friend, and since I detest turkey (I've said it previously and it still holds true), I decided to roast a whole duck. I did this last Thanksgiving and it was a smashing success. Last night was no different, I am happy to report.

We began the night with a bottle of NV Veuve Fourny Brut Premier Cru. If you're looking for fruity, sweet bubbly, this ain't it. It's like drinking liquid steel in a mesh of fine bubbles. It makes your mouth pucker. This is masochistic Champage. I love it.


Next, as we sat down to dinner, I poured a bottle of 1998 Domaine Dujac Clos St Denis. One whiff of this and I almost burst into tears. This is the smell that proves the existence of God. Beautiful, muddy cherries wrapped in that underbrush smell (sous-bois in French), a real musk that envelops the senses and refuses to disappear. The wine in the mouth is the same, flowing over the palate and gripping you, refusing to let go, not wanting to be forgotten, a presence, a weightless weight that just seems to dance effortlessly on the tongue. Wow. I think I just fell in love with Burgundy again.


To say it went well with the roasted duck, sauteed wild mushrooms and roasted herb and garlic potatoes would be the understatement of the year.


Finally, a bottle open the previous night with some seafood pasta, a 2004 William Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume. That night it was a slightly honeyed, lemony and minerally wine that was quite delicious but nothing special. What a difference 24 hours in the fridge made... The moment I opened this, I was almost bowled over by the thickness of the aroma. It was like a velvet glove to the nose, full of cheesy scallops and almonds and citrus notes. Wow. At this point, I may have had actual tears streaming down my face.

Yeah, these are the moments we live for. These are wines that make me giddy. Giddy wines.