Golden Gate Wine Cellars NYC Tasting

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Golden Gate Wine Cellars is a San Francisco based wine retail store that specializes in hard to find boutique and cult wineries. This past Saturday they held their 12th anniversary East coast wine tasting in New York City.

The event was held at the New York City Fire Museum at 278 Spring Street in Manhattan. The museum houses “one of the prominent collections of fire related art, artifacts, gear and apparatus from the late 18th century to the present”

The tasting showcased small and off the radar California wineries with the owner/winemaker on hand behind the tables to pour their wines and answer questions.

Some of what I sampled:


Argot Vineyards

2014 Chardonnay “Estate” (Sonoma). Medium yellow, tropical fruit on the nose, juicy, cinnamon fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Sonoma). Dark red, brick rim, crushed black fruit and cooked plum on the nose, silky, chewy fruit, nice grip on the finish.

2013 Syrah (Sonoma). Black, closed nose, silky, dusty and chewy fruit, nice balance.


Attune Winery

2015 Chardonnay (Sonoma). Light gold, melon on the nose, toasty oak notes on the fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Sonoma). Medium red, brick rim, fresh herbs and dark crushed berries on the nose, tight and firm fruit.


Coho Winery

2013 Cab Blend “Headwaters” (Napa Valley). Dark red, closed nose of crushed rocks mint and petrol, chunky and chewy with good balance.

2013 Merlot “Michael Black” (Napa Valley). Black, crushed red fruit on the nose, chewy black licorice fruit, firm balance.

2012 Proprietary Red “C2” (Napa Valley). Dark red, smoky bacon notes on the nose, silky and tight.


Dumol Winery

2015 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). Medium gold, toasty kiwi on the nose, juicy tropical fruit, oak notes on the firm fruit, some heat.

2015 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). Medium red, crushed rock on the nose, chewy red leather, bitter cherry on the finish.

2015 Syrah (Russian River Valley). Black, purple rim, closed nose of slate, dusty slate fruit, juicy nice balance.


Y. Rousseau Winery

2013 Merlot “Pepe” Cavedale  Vineyard. Dark red, brown rim, mint and plum on the nose, tight, pruney with firm acids.

2013 Tannat “Alder Springs” (Mendocino). From a 2.9 acre plot, black with crushed blueberry on the nose, chunky, rustic with a firm finish.


Purlieu Winery

2014 Chardonnay “Shibumi Knoll” (Russian River Valley). Medium gold, peaches and tropical fruit on the nose, juicy tropical fruit with lime notes on the finish.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black, crushed red berry on the nose, juicy, crushed black fruit and rocks with a juicy finish.


Young Ridge Winery

2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Light yellow, grassy, cantaloupe on the nose with damp earth on the moderate finish.


Inherit The Sheep

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Coombsville). Black with a tight nose of strawberries, concentrated and chewy with good balance.


Bohème Carte Blanche

2013 Pinot Noir “Stuller” (Sonoma). Medium to light red, big perfume of crushed strawberry and damp earth with juicy strawberry on the moderate finish.

2013 Proprietary Red Blend (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with crushed fresh herbs on the nose, tight with good balance. 


B. Kosuge

2014 Pinot Noir “The Shop” (Carneros). Medium brick with plum notes on the nose, tight berry and smoke on the fruit with good balance.


MC4 Vineyards

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (St. Helena). 126 cases from a one acre plot. Black with barnyard, burnt bacon and turpentine on the nose, concentrated fruit with mouth watering tannins on the finish.


Post Parade Winery

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Stretch Drive” (Napa Valley). Black, red cherry and black cherry on the nose, juicy red fruit on the finish.


Lieu Dit Winery

2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez). Light yellow with honeydew on the nose, tight with citrus notes on the finish.






Westchester Magazine’s Food & Wine Fest 2017

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This past June 6-11 Westchester Magazine held its annual food & wine festival. It was six days of culinary, wine and cocktail events with the signature event, the Grand Tasting Village held on Saturday afternoon. At the Grand Tasting 50+ local restaurants served their signature dishes, everything from pizza to tacos with 200+ wines and spirits to wash them down with.

It was an outdoor event held under the tents at the Kensico Dam Plaza in the Hamlet of Valhalla, Westchester, a sleepy village about a forty minute train ride north of Manhattan.  In addition to the many booths serving food and wine was the “connoisseur’s tent” where extra special juice was poured. It also offered a quiet space from the crowds in the general admission area.

Some of the wines I sampled:



NV Tattinger Brut La Francaise”

NV Moet Chandon Brut “Imperial”

2005 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne

2014 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris “Rotenberg”

2014 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gerwurtrztraminer “Calcaire”

2008 Trimbach Riesling “Cuvee Frederic Emile”

2013 Alain Chavy Pugliny-Montrachet “Les Clavillons”

2013 Pierre Matrot Puligny-Montrachet “Combettes”

2015 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio

2015 Infiné 1939 Pinot Grigio

2015 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County

2013 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley

2015 Au Contraire Chardonnay Russian River Valley



2012 Penfolds “Grange”

2013 BV Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve “Georges de Latour”

2013 BV ‘Tapestry”

2013 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve “Knights Valley”

2013 Beringer Vineyards Napa Valley “Quantum”

2012 Stags’ Leap Winery “Ne Cede Malis”

2009 Chateau St Jean “Cinq Cepages” 1.5L

2013 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2014 Stonestreet Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2014 Columbia Crest “H3”

2007 Bertani Amarone

2014 Tenuta Guado al Tasso “Il Bruciato”

2013 Secco-Bertani Original Vintage Edition

2010 Rocca della Macie “Sasyr”

2005 Faustino I  Rioja Gran Reserva

2012 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru

Amaro Lucano




Rosé On Long Island

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With the Summer season around the corner, it’s now time to drink some rosé. Most Long Island wineries produce a rosé which is usually one of their biggest sellers as it’s snapped up by thirsty locals. There are no GSM blends out East since the varietals of Grenache and Mourvedre are not grown as far as I know, and Syrah grown very little, the wines can’t be said to be made in the style of the wines of Provence or Languedoc wines of the South of France, but they do just fine with the grapes the have.

This past Sunday I travelled to the North Fork to try a few.


Bedell’s Tap Room at Corey Creek  45470 Route 25, Southold

This is the sister property to Bedell Vineyards, the comfortable tasting room was recently remodeled and opened a couple of weeks ago. They serve all their wines on tap except for one pét-nat Gewürztraminer.

2016 Rosé

An unspecified blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Medium pink with a slight fizz, bubblegum and honeydew melon on the nose and melon notes on the fruit. Moderate to low acids make for an easy drinking wine. The pét-nat was interesting.


Croteaux Vineyards  1450 South Harbor Road, Southold

They make rosé and only rosé and say they are the only vineyard in the United States to do so. They have a gorgeous tasting barn and garden in the back for a relaxing tasting.

2016 Rosé Merlot 181 “Sauvage”

One of several rosé they produce, fermented with wild, natural yeast in 100% stainless steel. Pale pink in color with damp earth and melon on the nose, melon on the fruit and the moderate to low acids make for another easy drinking wine.


Jamesport Vineyards   1216 Route 25, Jamesport

From one of the original wineries on the North Fork founded in 1981 with the winery and tasting room in a 165 year-old barn.

2015 Rosé “East End”

Made from 100% Syrah, darker in color than the previous two wines, red candy on the nose with chewy, peppery fruit ending with moderate acids.



Speedrack NYC Finals Season 6


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Speedrack is a speed-bartending competition for women.  There are eight regional competitions held in Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Boston with the finale held here in New York City. The winner would be crowned Miss Speedrack of 2017. The competition have the bartenders making specialty cocktails very quickly, to be judged by a panel of cocktail experts not only for speed but for deliciousness of the final product. Proceeds from the event go to breast cancer research,  education and prevention.

The finale took place May 21st at the Weylin event space located at 175 Broadway in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The event space, which is across the street from the iconic steakhouse Peter Luger, is the former Williamsburg Savings Bank. Built in 1875 back in the day when banks were built to impress with its cathedral-like frescoed dome, mosaics and wooden carvings, is an impressive venue for an event.

As befitting a cocktail competition, there were many cocktail stations scattered around the room with bartenders mixing specialty drinks using high end spirits and liquors.

The final pitted bartender Elyse Blechman from Texas against bartender Mony Bunni from Chicago. Ms Bunni won.

Some of the cocktails I sampled:


Negroni: The classic, 1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Campari

Bust-Ed Punch: Jameson Black Barrel, lemon juice, pineapple juice, Monin cinnamon syrup, Lustau Manzanilla sherry.

Count of Mount Kisco: Averell Damson gin, Salers Gentian aperitif and Dolin Dry vermouth de Chambery.

“Haus” Negroni: Royal Dock navy strength gin, Cappelletti aperitivo and Cocchi vermouth di Torino.

The Hot Whisper: Singani 63, lime juice, jalepeno juice, cucumber juice and Perrier.

Moonwalk: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, grapefruit juice, rose water and Champagne.

Pisco Paloma Punch: Olmeca Altos Reposado, grapefruit juice, lime, ancho reyes, GH Mumm Champagne.

“The Independent Ginger” Punch: The perfect puree ginger sour, the perfect puree blood orange, ruby red grapefruit juice and lime flavored seltzer.