South African Sunday

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Sunday July 19th was a brutally hot day. During the afternoon the temperature shot up to 93° (about 34° for the metric folk out there) so it was as good as time as any to spend the time in a cool spot indoors, drinking some wine.

Wines provided by Babylonstoren, a winery/hotel and one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the country located in the Drakentein Valley in the heart of wine land about 60km from Cape Town, South Africa.

The event was held at the Silverstone loft at 58 Gansevoort Street. It was the type of event space that when the people walked in, they all thought out loud ‘gee, I wish this was my apartment”, brick walls, skylight in the kitchen and a killer sound system right smack in the middle of one of the hottest neighborhoods in Manhattan and the wines were tasty as well.

2015 Chenin Blanc. Green herbs on the nose, lime notes on the fruit, good balance and easy drinking.

2013 Viognier. Medium yellow, floral and earth notes on the nose with fresh green herbs on the fruit.

2015 Mouvèdre Rosé. Pale bright pink with notes of fresh herbs and cotton candy on the fruit.

2012 Chardonnay. The bottles are individually numbered, the first one I sampled, number 7232 was off with oxidized, sherry-like flavors. Another bottle was opened and that was a different animal altogether , floral and green herbs (which was a reoccurring flavor profile) on the nose, tight with good mouth feel with saffron notes on the finish.

2013 “Babel Red”. A Bordeaux blend, dark red to black in color with a muted nose of crushed red berries, silky tannin and astringent at the end.

2012 Shiraz. Black in color, fresh rosemary on the nose, chunky and chewy, nice tannin with some metallic notes on the finish.

2012 “Nebukadnesar”. Their flagship wine, another Bordeaux blend, dark, thick red in color, with crushed red berries on the nose, dried herbs, camphor and crushed black berries on the fruit.


Dan’s Taste Of Two Forks

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This past Saturday I attended the Dan’s Taste of Two Forks food festival. Dan’s Paper is a magazine that covers all thing Hampton’s. They co-sponsor several foodie events during the Summer and this was one of them.

The Taste of Two Forks was held under the big tents at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton on the south fork of Long Island and was co-hosted by Michael Symon of ABC’s The Chew and Katie Lee of Food Network’s The Kitchen.

With food from over 40 North and South Fork restaurants, wines from the North and South Fork wineries, cocktails from Tito’s vodka, Hendrick’s gin and Casamigos tequila and a tiki bar with brewskis from Blue Moon and Corona, it was a fun evening in the Hampton’s.

I stuck with white wines, rosé and the occasional margarita, the wines I sipped on :

2014 Jamesport Vineyards Rosé

2014 Macari Vineyards Rosé (3 Liter bottle)

2014 Bedell Cellars Rosé

2014 Pelligrino Vineyards Gewürztraminer

2014 One Women Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Lenz Winery Tete a Tete White Blend

Some of the nibbles I sampled:

Buoy One Seafood: Fresh Blue Crab Claw with roasted corn and black bean salad.

Nammos: Grilled octopus with tomato and olive salad.

Shuckers Lobster & Clam Bar: Dirty Lobster.

Smoking Wolf BBQ; BBQ pulled pork sliders.

South Hampton Social Club: Tuna Tacos

Bistro 72: Duck confit with soft herb cheese.

Moby’s:  Montauk Calimari with tomato, olives and Calabrian chili.

75 Main: Jerk spiced Long Island duck tacos.

Highway Restaurant & Bar: Lobster roll with lemon and tarragon.

Noah’s On the Road: BLT

Grana Tratoria Anitica: Fregola Sarda Pasta with Sardinian botarga.

668 The Gigshack: Ritz cracker crusted crab cake.

Fresh Hampton’s: Tuscan style seafood salad.

Ram’s Head Inn: Applewood smoked Crescent Farms duck breast.

Canal Café: Local Fluke ceviche.

Bastille Day Block Party

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This past Sunday the French Institute Alliance Française, (FIAF), held their 15th annual Bastille Day block party “celebrating the best of France”. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorker’s innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the diversity and richness of French cultures.

The block party was held on East 60th Street from Fifth to Lexington Avenues from Noon to 5pm. With plenty of food stalls plus music from Martinique’s Arpège Choir a French-American electro swing group, singer songwriter Benjamin Swax, DJ Stark, the Hungry March Band and can-can dancers. In addition there were free screenings of award-winning French children’s films. Of course there were food and wine tastings. The tastings were held at the FIAF building at 22 East 60th Street in Manhattan.

Champagne & Chocolate Tasting

Always nice to start the day of tastings with excellent sparklers. The event was held in the Le Skyroom with a view of E60th Street. Six Champagne, desserts and mini pastries by Le Cirque and fine chocolates by Neuhaus, Valrhona and Chocolat Moderne


NV La Caravelle Brut Cuvèe Niña

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

NV Pommery Brut Royal

NV Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

NV Moët Imperial

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

Wine, Cheese, Cocktails and Beer Tasting

This event took place in the Tinker Auditorium. Summer cocktails made with the anise-flavored Ricard, cheeses from President specialty, whites, reds and rosés from Bordeaux as well as beer from Kronenboug.

Some of what I sampled included:

2014 Rosé de Chevalier (Pessac-Leognan)

2013 Chateau Fage (Graves de Vayres)

2012 Chateau Au Grand Paris (Bordeaux)

2009 Chateau Duc De Broglie (Cotes de Bourg)

2009 Chateau Coudreau (Lalande de Pomerol)

1995 Chateau Rouget (Pomerol)

Southold Farm + Cellars Long Island

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This Sunday afternoon I took a road trip to the North Fork wine country on Long Island. I had read an article about the North Fork wine country in Wine Enthusiast magazine country and they mentioned a winery, Southold Farm + Cellars that was “pushing the envelope”, from it’s “cutting edge labels” to the release of a carbonic wine. The winery is located on the southern edge of the North Fork at 860 Old North Road in Southold.

This was intriguing since I’m always on the lookout for something new in wine country and this winery had been off the radar until I read about in the magazine. I also remember reading an article that said the winery bottled a Chardonnay Pét-Nats, short for Pettilant Natural which is the old style of making sparkling wine where the wine is bottled before finishing primary fermentation and allowed to continue fermenting in the bottle resulting in a slight fizz. I have never drank one of those wines that was produced in Long Island.

Southold Farm + Cellars is a family owned farm and winery that has 9 acres of vines planted with unusual for Long Island, Italian varietals such as Toroldego and Lagrein. The tasting room was on the East end of the North Fork, off the beaten path which is how owner and winemaker, Regan Meador wants it to be. Unfortunately, they were out of the Pettilant wine but these four wines are what are being served in the tasting room at this time. Production is tiny with less than 200 cases produced of each of the wines.

2014 “Artful Dodger” Sauvignon Blanc. Creamy with some grassiness and a nice balance.

2013 “The Devil’s Advocate” Old Vine Chardonnay. Deep gold and slightly cloudy with a nose of honey and dried mushrooms, thick and chewy with nice balance.

2014 “Flying & Falling” Cabernet Franc. Whole cluster Carbonic Maceration with organic fruit, dark purple with a big nose of cooked berries, juicy with earth and slate minerals on the fruit. Low acid. I thought it would be nice with a slight chill on it.

2014 “Counting Stars” Sparkling Petit Verdot. Inky, dark purple and lightly sparkling with slate and wet stone on the nose, rustic, dry and refreshing, reminded me of a nice dry Lambrusco. I bought a couple of bottles to sip on during this Summer.

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)