One Sunday night each month, Corkbuzz wine bar has a byob wine class. For a fee they provide the space, hor d’ourves, some wine and everyone brings in a bottle to share. Sounds like a fun way to share wine with some fellow wine geeks so I decided to give it a try. Spontaneous guy that I am I figured I would just show up with bottles in hand. I found out that spontaneous doesn’t necessarily mean smart. I showed up at the bar and was told that the class was cancelled. So there I was with a bag of wine and no place to go. Might as well have some wine anyway. I started out with a glass of 2008 Nittnaus Blaufrankisch from Burgenland Austria. One of those obscure varietals that I like to drink when I can. Medium to light bodied, a little closed right now. Blaufrankisch reminds of a Beaujolais with a tad more spice on the finish. I was in the mood to have some good cheese so I made my way to Otto restaurant located on 1 5th Avenue. Another one of Mario Batalis restaurants, all Italian wine list and the cheeses never disapoint. The best part of the cheese selection are the condimints that are given with each cheese plate. Honey with flecks of truffle, cherries marinated in Amarone and tangerine bits marinated with chilli peppers. A piece of blue cheese slathered with the honey/truffle is mind-blowing.
To start I had a glass of 2010 Salice Salentino Liante Castello Monaci from Puglia. Closed nose, light, boring. Next glass was the 2009 Maculan Brentino from Veneto. This one had more character than the Salice. A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, inky black in the glass, dark fruits, cedar and leather on the nose with a nice grip.