Holiday Pairings At Vitners

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On Sunday evening I attended a wine tasting held at NY Vitners wine shop on 21 Warren Street. They have many, varied wine tasting events weekly with some of the tastings paired with food prepared from the kitchen they have on property. The theme of Sundays tasting was “Holiday Pairings” and they served a couple of courses of food to pair with them.

It was a sit-down tasting with approximately twenty-five people in attendance.

As we came in we were served a glass of sparking wine, Balivet Bugey-Cerdon“Methode Ancestrale” NV (France). Organic and made in the old way with the primary fermentation in the bottle instead of two (as in Champagne). Made from the Gamay grape, it was medium red with a grapey nose with hints of crushed strawberries with a touch of sweetness at the end.

We were served two whites to be paired with the starter dish which was an excellent cioppino.

2012 Mayu Sauvignon Blanc (Chile). Yellow with greenish tints and had a dusty nose of white flowers and baked bread and peaches with crisp acidity and notes of lime on the finish. The dustiness blew off with time in the glass and I thought it was the best white for the cioppino which brought out more of the Sauvignon Blanc grassy nuances.

2011 Fleuron Chardonnay (Sonoma &  Lake Counties). An organic wine, medium gold with notes of over-ripe vegetables on the nose with the same over ripeness carrying over onto the fruit with a funky finish. Not my favorite.

Three red wines were paired with a braised pork belly with mashed Hawaiian yams and glazed carrots. The yams were purple which made for a very dramatic presentation on the plate and the dish was excellent. Of the three reds my favorite and the one I thought went the best with the pork was the:

2001 Calabretta Etna Rosso (Sicily). Grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, it was medium to dark red in color with an amber robe with notes of cigar-box, red roses and dark red fruits on the nose and was dusty and chunky with some barnyard and nice acids on the finish. As the wine opened up in the glass I started getting notes of dark chocolate on the nose.

2012 Bodegas Los Bermejos Maceracion (Canary Islands). In a unique bottle and made through carbonic maceration, it was dark purple with a nose of red licorice and crushed red fruit and was juicy with notes of bitter almond on the finish. Interesting.

2010 Fleuron Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma). Mostly Cabernet with some Merlot thrown in, was dark red in color with a nose of funky shellfish and mint and was velvety with a tang of sea air with firm tannins on the finish.

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