Whiskey & Swine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This  past weekend was all about barbeque, pork and whiskey (mostly Bourbon). I attended a couple of pork-centric events in the city. Usually, wine doesn’t make much of an appearance at these types of events but they are fun. On Saturday I attended the Bourbon, Bacon and Beer Fest held at the former Tunnel nightclub on 608 West 28th Street in Manhattan. The site of a former railroad freight terminal and there was plenty of space for the various bbq, beer, cider and bourbon that was served that night. Not a drop of wine in sight but I did further my education on craft whiskies. My favorite dish of the night was collared greens with pork. Some of what I sampled:

Whiskey, Cider And A Beer

Lost Prophet Bourbon 22yr

Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon 23yr

Garrison Brothers Hye Rye

Garrison Brothers Straight Texas Bourbon

Defiant Single Malt Whisky

Elijah Craig Bourbon 12yr

George Dickel Nº 8 Sour Mash

Filibuster Triple Cask 117° Bourbon

Redemption Straight Rye Barrel Proof 7yr

Crispin Artisanal Reserve Cider

DownEast Cider Original Blend

Goose Island Beer Co., Lolita Belgian Style Wild Ale

On Sunday I attended the New Porc City event which was part of the Cochon 555 U.S. tour. The event was held at the Andaz  5th Avenue hotel on 485 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The tour is a culinary competition advocating sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs.  It was billed as “5 Chefs, 5 Pigs, 5 Winemakers”. I  thought it was going to be a swine and wine competition but that was the seminar earlier in the day. The event turned out to be more of a hipster cocktail party than a wine event. There was plenty of  wines and craft cocktails to go around. My favorite dish of the afternoon was actually the only non pork one at the event, Del Posto restaurant served a Beef tartare with shaved black truffle, very delicious.

2013 St. Francis Winery Chardonnay (Sonoma County)

2012 Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fumé (Loire)

2012 Ronch di Cialla Ribolla Gialla (Friuli)

2011 Miner Winery Viognier (Madera)

2012 St. Francis Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)

2011 Goldeneye Winery Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)

And a nice Manhattan made with Whistle Pig Rye


Pinot Days 2015


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past Sunday afternoon I attended the 4th annual Pinot Days wine event. Part of a Pinot Noir wine tour which was billed as the “largest gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world”. The tour will also make stops in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. At this event in New York, 40 wineries from California, Oregon and New Zealand poured their selections though most of the wineries were from California. The event was held at City Winery located at 155 Varick Street in Manhattan and was open to the public.

The icy conditions that Sunday afternoon made for a smaller crowd than last years event as well as fewer wineries attending this time around.

At the beginning of the tasting I decided to focus on the small producers I wasn’t familiar with. Some of the highlights:


2012 Mansfield-Dunne Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands). This producer only makes two wines topping out at about 300 cases for each wine. Brick in color with a nice perfume of earth, smoke and black cherry and was tight and tart.

2012 J. Wilkes Winery Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley). Another small lots producer, medium red with earth and black cherry on the nose with juicy fruit and acids on the finish.

2009 Clos de la Tech Pinot Noir “Domaine du Docteur Rodgers” (Santa Cruz Mts.). Some tech guys decided to start a winery, today they poured a trio of their ’09’s, this one was medium to dark red in color with dusty and floral notes on the nose and was dusty and silky with a big hit of chewy tannin at the end. Some heat.

2012 Landmark Cellars Pinot Noir “Overlook” (California). Sourced from three appellations, medium red with floral dark chocolate on the nose, juicy with cinnamon spice on the fruit with good balance.

2012 Thomas Fogerty Winery Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mts.). Medium red with dried herbs on the nose, tart bright fruit with some earth notes on the finish.

2012 Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir “Russian River Selection” (Russian River Valley). Light red in color with toasty cherry on the nose, silky dark cherry fruit with nice balance.

2012 Gary Farrell Winery Pinot Noir “Bacigalupi Vineyard” (Russian River Valley). Light red with damp earth and mushroom on the nose with vanilla and cinnamon notes on the tight finish.

2013 Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir “Rodgers Creek” (Sonoma Coast). Light red in color, closed nose of dark berries, tight, bright fruit with chocolate notes on the crisp finish.

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir “Horseshoe Bend” (Russian River Valley). Medium red with mushroom and earth on the nose with herbs and damp earth on the moderate to long finish.

2012 Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir “Soul Patch” (Russian River Valley). Medium red with a stinky nose, silky dark fruit with bitter chocolate on the long and balanced finish.

2011 Saintsbury Winery Pinot Noir “Stanly Ranch” (Carneros). Medium red with warm, dusty chocolate on the nose, juicy with mint notes on the balanced finish.

2011 MacPhail Family Wines Pinot Noir “Pratt Vineyards” (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with dried herbs on the nose, juicy and dusty with firm tannin.

2011 MacPhail Family Wines Pinot Noir “Sundawg Ridge” (Russian River Valley). Medium to light red in color with earth notes on the nose with earthy and dusty fruit and great balance.


2012 Van Duzer Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette). Medium red with toasty, floral notes on the nose, dark cherry fruit with big acids on the finish.

New Zealand

2011 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir “Earth Smoke” (Canterbury). There was one table of Pinot from New Zealand, I asked for the most “stinky” wine and this is what I was given. Cloudy light red in color, with, yes a stinky nose and was tight and tart.


Italian Wine Merchants Tasting


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This Saturday afternoon I attended a wine tasting at Italian Wine Merchants wine shop which not surprisingly, specializes in Italian wines. The store is located on 108 East 16th street in Manhattan. They host a wine tasting every Saturday afternoon and since I know they pour good juice I decided to treat myself and attend. It was their “mini grand tasting” and the event was open to the public.  A walk-around tasting featuring seventeen wines from Italy, France and Spain. As usual, they served excellent bread, cheeses and salumi to nibble on.

Sparkling & Whites

2011 Raventós I Blanc Brut Rosé De Nit (Penedes). I always start with a glass of something sparkly and I like cava, this was pale copper in color with a floral and light earth on the nose with strawberry fruit on the crisp finish.

NV De Concilis “Selim” Spumante (Campania). Don’t see too many sparklers from Campania, a blend of Fiano and Aglianico it was pale yellow with rubber band notes on the nose with cotton candy on the finish. Not my favorite.

2011 Raffaele Palma “Puntacroce” Bianco (Campania).  From grapes grown on the Amalfi Coast DOC, gold in color with floral notes on the nose with balanced floral fruit and nice balance. Moderate to low acids.

2011 Antinori Castello Della Sala (Umbria). A Chardonnay based wine with some Grechetto thrown in, light gold with notes of mango and pineapple on the nose with tropical fruit flavors on the moderate to long finish.

2012 William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru “Valmur” (Burgundy). Light gold in color, dry with a flinty finish.

2012 Domaine Chavy-Chouet Puligney Montrachet “Les Enseignères” (Burgundy).  Gold in color with toast and mango on the nose, tight with a good mouthfeel and nice acidity on the finish.


2011 Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune (Burgundy). Purple brick in color with a very nice perfume of earth and dark fruits, tight and silky with moderate to light fruit and a long finish. One of my favorites of the afternoon.

2012 Francois Gay Aloxe-Corton (Burgundy). Purple to brick in color with herbs and red cherry on the nose, silky red fruit with firm tannin at the end with moderate to low acids.

2012 Domaine Gallois Gevrey Chambertin “Le Combe Aux Moines” (Burgundy). Purple with dried herbs and some smokiness on the nose with dusty fruit and moderate tannin and acids at the end.

2010 Nicolas Rossignol Pommard 1er Cru “Fremiers” (Burgundy). Light red with toasty, cooked fruit on the nose with bright red fruit.

2010 Quinto Chionetti Dolcetto d’Dogliani  “San Luigi” (Piedmont). Dark brick with slate and red berries on the nose, dusty and juicy with some earth and black licorice notes with good balance and finish.

2012 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso (Tuscany). A Bordeaux blend, dark purple with a closed nose of ripe toast with big silky fruit and mint on the firm finish.

2007 Cupano Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Brick in color with a perfume of red roses and sweet tar, in my notes I have “yummy fruit” with great balance and a long finish. Delicious.

2007 Renzo Seghesio Barolo Riserva “Pajana” (Piedmont). Brick with an amber robe, uncharacteristic nose of mowed grass and charcoal with graphite notes on the fruit.

2011 Raffaele Palma “Montecorvo” (Campania).  From the cliffs of Campania’s Amalfi coast, medium red with juicy red fruit on the nose, fresh herbs, licorice on the juicy fruit and firm tannin at the end.

2007 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva (Rioja). Dark red in color with fresh rosemary on the nose, dark and concentrated with dark chocolate notes on the firm finish and nicely balanced. Another favorite of the day.

2001 La Rioja Alta Grand Reserva “890” (Rioja). A cooperative of growers, medium brick with sour mint on the nose and red cherry fruit.