Holiday Spirits Bazaar

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


It’s the time of the year for the Holiday parties. This past Saturday evening I attended the 7th annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar held at the Astor Center event space on 399 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

It was a night of holiday cocktails, punches and nogs made with gin, tequila, rum, brandy, scotch, bourbon, aquavit and cordials such as Drambuie along with many types of botanicals. Generally, a nog is made with dairy (milk or cream), sugar and eggs while a punch with fruit or fruit juices and of course, alcohol. The event was set in two themed rooms, the Whiskey Tavern and the Sparking Spirits Parlor along with reindeer, wreaths and tinsel. It was very festive.


Punches, Nogs and cocktails I sampled:


Fitzgerald’s Roaring Twenties Punch

Sleigh Bell Punch

Apple Ginger Punch

Rum Raison Punch

Merry Mulled Punch

Arak My World

DeLord Of The Rings

La Loba’s Rompope

Northern Lights

The Big Apple Cider

Rosy Cheeks

Spiced Old Fashioned

A Crafted Egg Nog




Pinot Noir On Long Island

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Of all the classic grape varieties, Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult to grow. There was never much hope that Pinot Noir would be the stand out varietal out on the East end but that hasn’t stopped winemakers from trying. Several wineries on the North Fork bottle Pinot Noir and on this sunny Sunday afternoon I tried a few.


2014 Martha Clara Vineyard Pinot Noir  6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead.

Medium to dark red in the glass, sweet cherry on the nose, crisp acids up front with red cherry and smoke notes on the light fruit.


2013 McCall Winery Pinot Noir “HIllside”  22600 Main Road, Cutchogue.

A real working farm as the earthy scent in the air attests to, the tasting room is in an old potato barn. This wine is the middle of a trio of Pinot Noir they pour, medium red, black cherry and tobacco on the nose with tight, smokey black cherry on the fruit ending with some tartness.


2012 Castello di Borghese Vineyard Pinot Noir “Estate”  17150 County Road 48, Cutchogue.

This is the site of the first vineyard (Hargrave) on Long Island in 1973. Medium red, sour cherry on the nose with sour red fruit and some earth on the fruit with some tartness at the end.


My pet peeve again.

I don’t mind when the tasting rooms charge wine bar prices for a glass of wine, after all they have a business to run, but I feel that their wines would be better showcased and the wine drinker have a better wine drinking experience if they served their wines in proper glasses instead of the thimble-sized glasses that many of the tasting rooms on the North Fork do.



Raw Wine New York City 2016


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The New York City Raw Wine Fair was held on November 6-7. It was a two-day, huge tasting and celebration of low-intervention, organic, biodynamic and natural wines showcasing the growers whose farming and cellar philosophes concur with the raw wine charter of quality. Raw Wine “celebrates wines with emotion, wines that have a humanlike, or living presence. They are also wines that are an authentic expression of a place.”

The event was held at a warehouse at 99 Scott Avenue in the up and coming, graffiti filled, industrial prairie of Bushwick in Brooklyn. I attended the Sunday afternoon session which was open to both trade and consumers, it was packed with people having a good time.


I particular enjoyed wines from these producers:

 Dirty & Rowdy Winery

Donkey & Goat Winery

Les Clos de Caveau

Chateau le Puy

Fattoria di Caspri


Other producers I sampled:

The Hobo Wine Co.

Hardesty Cellars

Coturri Winery

Swick Wines


Bloomer Creek Vineyard

Podere Casaccia-Sine Felle

Costa Graia

Andrea Scovero

Santa 10

Chateau Mirebeau

Clos Lentiscus




Wine Spectator Awards Banquet 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


During the week of October 20-22, Wine Spectator magazine held its annual NY Wine Experience. On Saturday the finale of the weeks events, the Awards Banquet was held. The banquet recognized the 2016 Grand Award winners which are restaurants with great wine lists and presented its Distinguish Service Award which this year went to Mr. Mel Dick, the president of Southern Glazers Wines & Spirits.

They also gave the award for the Wine of the Year (2015) which in this case is the 2012 Peter Michael Winery “Au Paradis”, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc from Oakville, California.

All of the events were held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan. Entertainment this year as was last year was provided by Heuy Lewis and the News with guest star Sting stopping by and singing a couple of songs with the band. The boys were rocking and played a long set until midnight this time around.


Champagne Reception

NV Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee

NV Henriot Brut Souverain

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

NV Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier

NV Tattinger Brut La Francaise


Dinner With Wines

Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Risotto, Porcini Duxelle, Shaved Black Truffle and Crispy Blue Foot Mushrooms

2014 Antinori Umbria White “Cervano della Sala”. Mostly Chardonnay, medium yellow, toast and oak on the nose, big tropical fruit with oak notes on the finish. Old world Chard with New World profile.


Horseradish Crusted Filet Mignon, Sweet Potato Puree, Roasted Corn Flan, Broccoli Rabe And  Roasted Tomato With A Bordalaise Reduction

2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary. Inky black, crushed red berry and dark chocolate on the big nose, full, crushed red fruit.


Chocolate Gianuja Torte, Black Cherry Ice Cream

1985 Graham Vintage Port. Thick and chewy with tobacco and toffee notes on the balanced finish.