Rosé Cruise

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The La Nuit En Rosé wine event which was billed as “the world’s first rosé festival”, returned to New York City on June 25th to Saturday, June 27th. I attended the Saturday evening event where more than 150 rosé wines from 120 wineries in 9 different countries were poured on three floors of the Hornblower Infinity Yacht on the Hudson River. The event also featured food stations and a DJ with music to dance to. The weather was miserable but we spent a couple of hours at the dock and then set sail for a couple of hours cruising the Hudson River. It was an open bar and there was more than enough rosé to go around. It was a fun evening.

Some of what I sampled:


NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut (Champagne)

NV Michel Gonet (Champagne)

NV Veuve du Vernay (France)

NV Ferrari Brut (Trentino)

2008 Ferrari Vintage (Trentino)


2014 Domaine de la Mordoree (Rhone)

2014 Domaine le Vieux Moulin (Rhone)

2014 Chevelier d’Antelme (Rhone)

2014 Domaine Amido “Les Gourmandines” (Rhone)

2014 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc (Languedoc)

2013 Bernard Magrez Bleu de Mer (Languedoc)

2014 Chateau Grand Boise (Provence)

2014 ViveVité (Provence)

2014 ViveVité “Extraordinaire” (Provence) 3Liter Bottle

2014 Saint Aix (Provence)

2014 Barton & Guestier Passport (Anjou)

2014 Remy Pannier (Anjou)

2014 Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre (Loire)

2014 Chateau de Lardiley (Bordeaux)

2014 Mulderbosch Limited Edition Magnum (Stellenbosch)

2014 Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (Chile)

2014 Torres De Casta (Spain)

2014 Azyul y Garanza (Navarra)

2014 Bodegas Otazu (Navarra)

Lions, Tigers & Brews



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This past Friday and Saturday evening the Lions, Tigers & Brews craft beer festival was held at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan. Over 60 craft breweries poured their products in an open air tasting in the park.

I attended the event on Saturday. It seemed like it would be a rainy day but the rain held off for the evening. The event got a good crowd of mostly young folk enjoying the brews in a unique venue with a live band and a DJ providing the entertainment. it was a party.

Note to event organizer; with four hours of an open beer-bar, you need more port-a-potties.


I sampled some ciders and some nice IPA’s.

Souvereign Cider: Apple & Honey, Dry & Crisp

Woodchuck Cider Co.: Gumption Cider

California Cider Co.: Ace Pear Cider

Magner’s: Pear Cider

Knee Deep Brewing Co.: Simtra Triple IPA

Mermaid Brewing Co.: IPA & Pilsner

Saranac Brewery: Legacy IPA

Long Trail Brewing Co.: Limbo IPA

Braven Brewing Co.: White IPA

Kuka Beer Co.: Belgium Plum Witte

Spoetzl Brewery: Shiner Prickly Pear

Illusive Traveller: Grapefruit Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Co.: Shoal’s Pale Ale

Empire Brewing Co.: Amber Ale



Westchester Food & Wine Grand Tasting


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This past weekend Westchester Magazine held their annual Food & Wine Festival. A weekend of events that included a Burger Bash, and evening with Westchester’s taste makers, a seminar with Piero Incisa the winemaker at Sassicaia, and a Grand Tasting.

I attended the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon. Last year, the event was held indoors at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in White Plains, this year it was held outdoors at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, New York which is a leisurely 40 minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal. The Grand Tasting “Village” was well laid out and spacious with the crowd of people spread throughout the venue without any food and wine booth becoming overly crowded. Mother Nature cooperated with beautiful, if a bit windy weather. There were over 35 local restaurants serving food throughout the village. Many consumer tastings serve a lot of mediocre wines but at this event the wine shop Zachey’s, a well-known Westchester wine and spirit purveyor provided the wines. It was a well-chosen list and there was plenty of good juice to keep me and the rest of the people interested all afternoon. It was a fun day.

Some of the wines I sampled:

NV Veuve Clicquot Rose

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

NV Tattinger Brut La Francaise

NV Pol Roger Brut Reserve

2013 Landhaus Mayer Gruner Veltliner

2013 Masi Rosa dei Masi Rosé

2014 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé

2014 La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova

2013 Flowers Chardonnay

2012 Antica Chardonnay

2013 Calera Chardonnay

2012 Acacia Chardonnay

2013 Rodney Strong Chardonnay

2012 Rochioli Russan River Valley Chardonnay

2013 JP Benoit Droin Chablis Vaillons

2013 Pio Cesare Arnais

2013 Antinori Guado Al Tasso Vermintino

2013 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir

2013 The Calling Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir

2011 Frescobaldi Chianti Nepozzano

2010 Campo Giovanni Brunello di Montalcino

2010 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino

2010 Castiglion dei Bosco Brunello di Montalcino

2010 San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

2010 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Stag’s Leap Cellars Artemis

2013 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon

2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva

2012 Tenuta San Guido Guidaberto

2011 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia

2011 Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Promis

2010 Casa Lapstolle Clos Apalta Red



Best Of The West



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This past week was the 8th annual New Taste of The Upper West Side.  It was three days of food, wine, beer and cocktail events on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On Saturday evening I attended the Best of the West event held under the tent at 76th Street and Columbus Avenue. Hosted by chefs Marc Murphy and Anne Burrell and featuring music by Joe Battaglia and his 16 piece New York Big Band. Over 30 local restaurants served tasty bites of their specialties. It was a fun evening of tasty bites, spirits and people on stilts.

My favorite dish of the night was a burger from Shake Shack upper west side. Don’t have an opportunity to try these very often since I won’t wait on line for an hour to buy a burger, these babies were tasty. Other dishes I sample:

Good Enough To Eat: Turkey Parfait

Caffe Storico: Pork Belly, Treviso & Charred Scallion vinaigrette

Porter House NYC: Bourbon Braised Short Rib Mini Bun

Cesca Enoteca & Trattoria: House-Made Straciattella

The Ribbon: Chopped Liver On Rye Toast

Calle Ocho: Ceviche Mixto

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto: Prosciutto

Carmine’s: Eggplant Parmigiano

Jean-Georges: Strawberry Tiramisu

It was a warm night and as far as beverages were concerned, I drank a couple of Prosseco from Bottega, a couple of more Italian whites from Teruzzi & Puthod and cocktails made with Tito’s vodka.



Aquarium Tasting


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This past Memorial Day weekend on Sunday evening, I attended the Taste The East End Food and Wine event which paired local food vendors and restaurants with locally produced beer and wine. It was a consumer event and was held at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center at 431 East Main Street Riverhead. This is the beginning of the North Fork wine country about 80 miles east of Manhattan. It was the first time I went to a wine event in an aquarium which made for an interesting evening of wine, food and live fish swimming around. The wines served were all from Long Island.


Some of what I sampled:

2012 Lenz Gewürztraminer

2014 Raphael Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Martha Clara “Solstice” White

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Fume Blanc

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Reserve Pinot Gris

2013 OR Vineyards Chardonnay

2013 Roanoke Vineyards “Reserve” Chardonnay

2013 Suru Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Suru Winery Pinot Grigio

2014 Water’s Crest Rosé

2014 Roanoke Vineyards Rosé

2010 Suru Winery “Red Bland”

2011 Raphael “Estate” Merlot

NV Raphael Cabernet


NYC Spring Wine Fest


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On May 9th, I attended the New York Spring Wine Festival. A series of bi-annual wine events run by NY Wine Events. The event was held at the Broad Street Ballroom at 41 Broad Street opposite the New York stock exchange in Manhattan. This venue was the former Lee-Higgins bank built in 1928-29. A pretty spot with lots of mosaics but lousy lighting, the wine booths were either cloaked in shadows or blinded with spotlights. It was a consumer event with two sessions, I attended the afternoon session. A nice crowd of consumers having a good time, plenty of wines, nibbles and good jazz playing in the background. This year included the addition of a VIP suite which had a couple of tables pouring fifteen bottles of some very nice juice.

VIP Suite Table A

2004 Dom Perignon Brut (Champagne). Only white in the room, been there, done that last week.

2009 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St Georges (Burgundy). Brick color, nose of cooked fruit, rustic and firm with a long finish.

2006 Domaine De Courcel Pommard “Les Rugiens” (Burgundy). Brick in color with stone notes on the nose, silk and dusty dark chocolate on the balanced finish. Nice.

2007 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Spring Mountain). Dark red with crushed red berry on the nose, silky with a big hit of tannin at the end.

2012 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black in color with a closed nose of dark plums, concentrated with toasty, roasted fruit on the firm, moderate to long finish.

2004 Chateau Giscours (Margaux). Dark red with an amber robe, roasted nuts and coffee on the nose, graphite on the tight and tannic finish.

2009 Domaine De Chevalier Rouge (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red to black in color with juicy black fruit of mint and black licorice, chewy and dusty, balanced with mouth coating tannin. Delicious.

2012 Domaine Du Pegau Chateauneuf Du Pape (Rhone). Dark red with a perfume of mint and crushed black licorice that jumps out of the glass with chewy tannin on the long finish. Tasty.

Table B

2011 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Napa Valley). Black with ripe fruit on the nose, concentrated and dusty with mouth filling tannin.

2009 Ad Vivum Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with rosemary on the nose, big cherry and mint flavors and firm tannin.

2011 Isole E Olena “Cepparello” (Tuscany). Dark purple with a perfume of sweet red fruit, chewy and juicy sweet fruit, still young at this point.

2010 Chateau Gruaud Larose (St-Julien). Dark red with a big barnyard nose, chunky and dusty fruit.

2003 Chateau Clerc Milon (Paulliac). Dark red with an amber robe, nice perfume on the nose, dark licorice on the fruit, tight with big tannin.

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton “Clos du Roi” Grand Cru (Burgundy). First bottle corked, there was a discussion with the pourer that the batch might be bad, second bottle better, brick in color with barnyard on the nose and tight, mouth puckering tannin at the end.

2010 Joseph Phelps “Insignia” (Napa Valley). No notes.




Wine On Wheels Fundraiser



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On Saturday May 2nd I attended the Wine on Wheels fundraiser run by the Wheeling Forward organization. The event was held at City Winery on 155 Varick Street in Manhattan.

Wheeling Forward is an organization that “helps people with disabilities experience life to the fullest and enable them to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles”. They work with individuals to provide advocacy, mentorship and support services to reach their goal.

The event consisted of a Grand Tasting with over 175 wines poured by 50 local Somms, Fast-Track seminars and a Silent Auction.

Some of what I sampled:

2004 Dom Perignon Blanc de Blanc. Always start with something sparking.

NV Krug Brut Grand Cuvée

2006 Perrier-Jouet “Belle Époque” Brut

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cidre de Fouesranz “. A trio of ciders from Brittany, lots of character, very wine-like, tasty.

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cornouaille”

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cuvée Blanche”

2010 Domaine Francois Buffet Volnay “Clos des Chenas”. Medium red, black fruit, dried herbs.

2010 Domaine Marchand Grillot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Perrier”. Medium red, tart.

2013 Francesco Cirelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Black in color, slate on the nose, chunky wet stone on the firm but balanced finish.

2011 Podere Ciona “Montegrossoli” Four wines from this producer poured by the winemaker, all very nice. This one was clear medium red with smoky black cherry on the nose with concentrated bitter cherry on the finish, good  balance.

2011 Podere Ciona “Semifonte”. A Merlot based wine, dark red to black with slate and roasted meat on the nose, silky dark cherry fruit, great balance with roasted meat notes on the finish.

2010 Podere Ciona Chianti Classico “Riserva”. Medium red with a pretty nose of sweet tar and pencil shavings, silky with sweet tannin at the end.

2007 Podere Ciona “Le Diacce”. The flagship wine of the estate and Merlot based, dark red to black with ripe berries and cooked meat on the nose, deeply concentrated with ripe fruit, graphite and silky tannin.

2006 Chateau Giscours. Medium red, toasted oak on the nose and oak on the fruit, firm tannin.

2003 Clos De L’Oraroire Grand Cru Classé. Dark red with an amber robe with a big perfume of smoke, sweet fruit and ripe berries, silky and balanced on the moderate to long finish. Tasty.

2000 Chateau Les Orme de Pez. Medium to dark red with a pretty perfume of sweet red fruit, tight and tannic.

2009 Echo de Lynch-Bages. Dark red with a closed nose of brambly dark fruit, concentrated and finishes tart.

2011 Flowers “Sea View Ridge” Pinot Noir. Light red and slightly cloudy with floral, ripe flowers on the nose, smoky fruit with some crisp acidity at the end.




Night Spanish


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This past Tuesday night I attended the Wines From Spain Sommelier After Hours wine event held at Soccarrat Paella Bar East on 953 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. It was a casual tasting of eight Spanish wines served with trio of Paella.

NV Pere Ventura Cupagtge d’Honor Cava (Penedès). Always start with a sparkler, this one was light and tart.

2014 Marqués de Riscal Verdejo (Rueda).  Nose of grapefruit and peaches.

2013 Bodegas Castro Martin A2O Albarino. (Rias Baixas). Big perfume of cotton candy and ripe peaches, with ripe fruit. A colleague called this very “Cali”.

2011 Portia Crianza (Ribera del Duero). Dark, concentrated dusty fruit.

2011 El Vinculo (La Mancha). Tight with toasted dark leather fruit.

2010 Casa de la Ermita Crianza (Jumilla). Beautiful perfume of dark fruit and plums with bright sour cherry fruit.

2009 Bodegas San Valero Garnacha (Aragon). Ripe nose of roasted plums with meat and roast nuts on the finish.

2004 Bodegas Muriel Gran Reserva (Rioja). Red leather on the nose with tight, red cherry fruit and firm acids on the moderate to long finish.



Italian Winemaker’s Invitational


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This past Saturday I attended the Astor Winemaker’s Invitational event held at Astor Wines & Spirits at 399 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. The event consisted of 13 artisanal wine makers pouring their products as well as winemaker seminars. It was a consumer event. There were many off the radar producers with small labels pouring some very interesting wines that afternoon.

Grand Tasting: Whites

2012 Coenobium Bianco (Lazio). A white wine blend made by Sisters of the Cistercian, fermented with some skin contact, closed nose with a light, floral finish.

2011 Coenobium “Ruscum” (Lazio). An Orange wine, more skin contact than the Bianco, copper colored, nicely balanced and very drinkable.

1997 Ronchi di Cialla “Ciallabianco” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Dark yellow with wildflowers and sweet spice on the nose with some oak and vanilla on the honeyed , but dry finish. Holding up well.

2011 Gulfi “Carjanti” (Sicily). Carjanti is the grape varietal, light gold in color with ripe flowers on the nose, very ripe fruit with a hit of lemon tartness at the end.

2013 Foradori Manzoni Bianco “Fontansanta” (Trentino Alto-Adige). A blend of Pinot Bianco and Riesling, light gold with an oily nose of canned peaches, some oak and vanilla spice on the fruit with cotton candy notes on the finish.

Grand Tasting: Reds

2012 Cantine Valpane Grignolino “Euli” (Piedmont). Little seen varietal from Piedmont that produces light bodied reds, this one has more heft than usual. Strawberry on the nose with silky fruit and cigarette smoke on the balanced finish, very drinkable.

2009 Cantine Valpane Barbera del Monferrato “Perlydia” (Piedmont). Dark red to black with black berry on the nose with dusty, chewy fruit and moderate tannin and acids on the balanced finish, drinking nicely now.

2012 Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium to light red with some cooked fruit notes on the nose with juicy tobacco fruit and tart at the end.

2009 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Brick color and slightly cloudy, silky with herbs and nuts on the well structured finish.

2010 Gigi Bianco Barbera D’Alba (Piedmont). Medium red with a big perfume of dark fruit and pencil shavings, silky dark fruit and firm acidity on the finish.

2009 Gigi Bianco Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont). Medium red, brick robe with sweet herbs on the nose, pencil shavings on the fruit, feels light but ends with a long finish.

2009 Oddero Barberesco “Gallina” (Piedmont). Light red with an amber robe with cigar box on the nose, silky and tight with lip-smacking tannin at the end.

2010 Oddero  Barolo (Piedmont). A blend of grapes from three vineyards, brick color with a muted nose with smoky black cherry on the tight fruit, roasted nuts on the firm finish.

2009 Oddero Barolo “Rocchi di Castiglioni” (Piedmont). Brick color with cigar box on the nose, sweet silky fruit, firm structure and mouth coating tannin at the end.

2007 Oddero Barolo “Brunate” (Piedmont). Medium red with an amber robe, sweet black cherry on the nose, silky sweet fruit with a firm structure.

2011 Poggio la Nocce “Gigetto” (Tuscany). A blend of Sangiovese and Teroldego, dark red with roasted coffee and black cherry on the nose, rustic, chunky and dusty, firm but balanced.

2011 Poggio la Nocce “Gigiò” (Tuscany). The flagship wine of the estate, mostly Sangiovese, dark purple with roasted meat on the nose, chewy and chunky with a nice brambly and mint finish.

1995 Ronchi di Cialla “Schiopettino” (Oriental dei Friuli). Schiopettino is the varietal, dark red with licorice and dried leaf on the nose with herbs and earth on the crisp finish.

2007 Tormaresca Aglianico “Bucco di Lupo” (Puglia). Dark red in color with dried herbs and fruit on the nose, very silky and concentrated, with chewy mint notes on the finish.


Iconic Antinori with Allegra Antinori

2011 Tignanello (Tuscany). Single vineyard wine, Dark red with dark fruit and rosemary on the nose, tight fruit with bitter herbs on the finish, getting some heat at the end, still young and needs time to balance out.

2011 Solaia (Tuscany). Purple robe with a perfume of pencil shavings and roast meat, silky with the same roasted meat on the tight and dusty fruit with dried herbs on the finish. Young.

2011 Guado Al Tasso (Bolgheri). A Bordeaux blend, black in color with fresh herbs, oregano on the nose, thick, dusty with bitter cherry on the fruit, mouth coating dusty tannin.

Paolo Bae, Il Censo, and Neal Rosenthal

2012 Il Censo Cataratto “Praruar” (Sicily). An orange wine. Burnt orange in color, muted nose, good fruit and balance.

2009 Paolo Bea Umbria Bianco “Arboreous” (Umbria). Another orange wine, dark copper with a perfume of sweet berries, chewy and earthy with a bit of citrus acid on the finish.

2006 Paolo Bea Sangrantino “Pagliaro” (Umbria). Medium to dark red with a brick robe with smoky tobacco on the nose, starts silky and ends with mouth numbing, fuzzy tannins.

2007 Paolo Bea Sangrantino “Pagliaro” (Umbria). Black in color with a light red robe with a gamey, barnyard and black fruit nose, concentrated with mint notes ending with the same ferocious tannin as the ’06.



Aviation Wine & Bloody Mary’s




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This Past weekend I attended a couple of wine and cocktail events. Saturday evening I made my way to the Cradle of Aviation museum in Garden City Long Island for the Taste of Flight wine expo. It’s promoted as the “largest wine event on Long Island”. I attended the event last year which was held in the afternoon. It’s a great space for an event, the museum is full of real military aircraft, many from World War 2. This was a consumer event and like a lot of consumer events, the wines were at mid-level range.

On Sunday I attended the Bloody Mary Festival held at Industry City which is a very minimalist event space on the waterfront in Sunset Park Brooklyn. A dozen local bars and restaurants poured their versions of the drink. It was a young crowd who where enjoying themselves though I have to say that this Bloody Mary event wasn’t as polished as the Bloody Mary event I attended at L’Apicio restaurant last February.

Some of what I sampled: At the museum

Angry Orchard “Strawman” Farmhouse Cider. From the Ciderhouse collection of this company’s cider lineup, in a Champagne bottle with a cork with wood aging and special fermentation techniques. Drank like a nice white wine.

Bernard-Massard Brut. Sparking wine from Luxembourg. A first for me and not too shabby, dry and crisp.

2013 Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé

2013 L’Escargot Rosé

Bocelli Processco

2013 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Cambria Estate Chardonnay “Katherine’s Vineyard”

2013 Cambria Estate Pinot Noir “Julia’s Vineyard”

2012 Freemark Abbey Merlot

2011 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Matanzas Creek Merlot

2006 Bertani Amarone (Outlier wine)

2010 Fontanafredda Barolo Serrralunga d’Alba

2013 Pietro Di Campo Barbera “Silenzio”

2011 Masciarelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo

2013 Borsao Garnacha

At the Bloody Mary Event:

My favorite of the day a Bloody made with White Pike Whiskey, it had a nice tang to it with a touch of heat at the end. Others I sampled from local eateries:

Travel Bar                               Catfish

Cain’s Tavern                           Char No. 4

Lucky Luna                              Mominette

Bloody Mary Liberation Party




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