Passport To Eataly

Eataly is the “world’s largest artisanal Italian food and beverage marketplace”. It’s like an Italian food theme park with Italian themed groceries, restaurants and bars.

They also host cooking classes, wine and beverage classes and about once a month they throw an in-store party.

The standard formula for these parties is to offer 40+ Italian wines with several Italian inspired appetizers, a jazz band and plenty of people having a good time. Usually there is a theme either with the wine or the time of year. On March 25th at the downtown location (101 Liberty Street) that theme was Passport to Italy.

At this “Fiesta” the wines were mainly from the South of Italy with selections from Calabria, Sicily, Basilicata, Puglia, Molise, Lazio, Campania and Abruzzo.

A couple of the standout appetizers were the Vesuvio Con Salsiccia E Cime di Rape; house made pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe. Another was Spado alla Siciliano; Swordfish in a sauce of tomatoes, raisons, olives and pignoli nuts.

As usual it was filled with people enjoying the wine, food and music.

Slow Wine Festival at Eataly

Eataly is on a roll with consecutive wine events at both their locations so far this year. On February 2nd they held the Slow Wine Festival New York at Eataly downtown which is located at 101 Liberty Street in lower Manhattan.

Slow Wine is part of the Slow Food concept. It’s an Italian wine organization with a commitment to sustainable agriculture and whose mission is “good, clean and fair” wines.

The trade portion of the event was held in the afternoon with a consumer tasting later that evening, I attended in the afternoon which I was told was a larger event with more wines than the late consumer tasting.

It was a huge event with over 100 wines poured. The majority were Italian with all the regions from North to South represented with wines in keeping with the Slow Wine concept.

Along with the Barolos, Chiantis, Brunellos, Amarones and other world-famous Italian varietals, I made a point to sample wines made from unusual or rarely seen varietals such as Freisa, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Grignolino and even an Italian Tempranillo.

There were a few tables of New World wine from California, Oregon and Long Island where I sampled some nice wines from Adamus Winery, Burgess Vineyards, Domum Vineyards and Left Coast Winery to name a few.

Brunello Camp Eataly

During the last week of January, Eataly Flatiron held Brunello Camp which were a series of Brunello themed events. On Thursday January 28th I attended their walk-around tasting of Brunello wines. Eataly Flatiron is located at 200 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Brunello is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy along with its famous cousin Chianti though Brunello came into being much later, courtesy of Clemente Santi in the mid 1800’s. The differences between the two is that for Brunello, it must be 100% exclusively from the Sangiovese Grosso variety which is a large berry form of Sangiovese and the aging requirements. Regular Brunello must be aged for five years before release while the Riservas for six years. In the meantime, to have some income flowing into the wineries, they produce a younger version of their Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino which are available after one year of aging.

It was a snowy evening this Thursday, a perfect time to spend indoors drinking wine. The event was open to the consumer and featured over 50 wines. Most were from the 2016’s and 2017’s vintages which were back to back blockbuster vintages. There were also a few older vintages poured. There was a table in the seperate wine shop that poured a handful of extra older wines (20+years).

Most of the wine tastings have been held at Eataly dowtown and this was the Flatiron stores first wine event in a couple of years. I don’t think that they weren’t expecting the size of the crowd that showed up as we were jammed into a space literally cheek to cheek at the tasting tables. Still, I didn’t have to wait too long for a pour and Management promised to use a larger space next time around.

Coming from a couple of great vintages there were some very nice, elegant wines with good acidity being poured. The only disappointment I had that evening was at the table in the wine shop. Brunella has a reputation as age worthy wines, but I found most of them tasting old.

Some of the producers I sampled:

2004 Tenuta Frigiali2012 Fuligni
2013 Il Palazzone2013 Lisini
2014 Il Paradiso2012 Barbi
2015 Podere Le Ripi “Amore Magia”2015 Le Ragnaie
2016 Col d’Orca2015 Vigna Nastagio
2016 Fanti2017 Argiano
2016 Campogio Vanni2016 Collemattoni
2016 Mastrojanni2016 Castel Giocondo
2016 Pietrosso2016 Antinori Pian delle Vigne
2016 Ferrero2016 Barbi
2015 La Togata2016 Poggia Cerrino
2016 San Polino2016 Molino di Sant Antimo
2016 Collemattioni2015 Fuligni

Eataly End of Summer Festa

Eataly is a chain of large space supermarkets that got its start in a former vermouth factory in Turin, Italy (which I’ve been to). They’ve expanded worldwide opening stores in North America in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston and Toronto.

The first New York City store was opened in 2010 in the Toy Building on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan and became an immediate success. A second store, Eataly Downtown was opened at 101 Liberty Street across from the Freedom Tower.

Periodically, at the Downtown location they host a food and wine festival and, after a year long hiatus, hosted the End of Summer Wine & Food Festa on September 17th. The Festa featured over 40 Italian wines that were paired with appetizer portions of food.

The Festa was held in the store with various stations of food and wine scattered around the store. This made for an experience that had you walking around the store to sample the various wines and food. This was much more fun experience than having everyone crammed into one room.

Some wines I sampled:

2020 Firriato Etna Bianco2018 Domenico Clericco Langhe Nebbiolo Capisme
2013 Cesani Merlot “Cellori”2020 Marziano Abbona Roero Arneis “Tistin”
2020 Tornatore Etna Bianco 2019 Allegrini Valpolicella
2017 Allegrini La Grola2018 Poggop al Tesoro Toscana Mediterra
2019 Tredeberri Barbera d’Alba2014 Il Pavone Barolo
2016 Il Pavone Langhe Nebbiolo2016 Il Pavone Barbera d’Alba Superiore
2016 Pasque Amarone della Valpoicella2015 Villa Cafaggio Cortaccio Cabernet Sauvignon
2017 Castello d’Ama San LorenzoNV Il Mosnel Franciacorta
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

Eats:

Nodini Di Mozzarella E PestoParmigiano Reggiano E Prosciutto
Focaccia ClassicaFocaccia Rossa
AranciniBresaola E Rucola
Arista Di MaialeAgnolotti Con Tartufo
Castagnole Con GelatoTiramisu Della Nonna

Fall Food & Wine Festa At Eataly

 

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On Friday October 5th I attended the Eataly Fall Food & Wine Fest which was held at the downtown store at 4 World Trade Center. That’s second Eataly to open in New York City, the first in 2010 at the former Toy Building on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan. I’ve been to the Flatiron store many times but this was my first visit to the downtown store. Both stores are food theme parks where you can spend the entire day wandering around the store aisles eating and drinking.

Eataly is an Italian marketplace and mega store founded in 2007 in a former vermouth factory in Turin, Italy (A store I’ve been to). They now have stores worldwide and in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston.

The food and wine festa featured over 40 regional Italian wines which were paired with small dishes from specific regions in Italy. I was an interesting mix of wines from several appellations and not surprisingly given the venue, the food was excellent.

I like the way the tasting was laid out. Instead of everyone crammed into a room, the wine and food stations were sprinkled throughout the store so you would have to stroll throughout the store to sample everything.

Some of my favorites:

 

Eats

Gnocchi con salsiccia e cime di rapa (Friuli) Gnocchi with sausage and broccoli rabe. (very delicious)

Halibut Barcaccia (Calabria) Halibut marinated in red wine vinegar, ginger and lime with Calabrian chilis. (loved the sweet, sour, salty combo on this)

Polenta Fritta (Trentino) Fried polenta with Parmigiano and rosemary.

Octopus Barcaccasi (Sardegna) Octopus marinated in extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar with potato, celery, chili flakes and sea salt.

Pane con Fonduta (Liguria) Housemade bread with a Parmigiano and Fontina dip.

 

Wines

Barone Pizzini: 2014 Saten Franciacorta,  NV Anima Extra Brut

Altesino: 2016 Rosso IGT,  2016 Rosso di Montalcino

Castello de Neive: 2013 Dolcetto d’Alba,  2015 Barberesco

Secodo Marco: 2013 Valpolicella Ripasso,  2011 Amarone

Boroli: 2012 Barolo Classico,  2012 Barolo Vittero

Tua Rita: 2016 Rosso dei Notri,  2014 Perlato del Bosco

Rainoldi: 2017 Rosso di Valtellina,  2017 Grumello

Colle Massari: 2014 Montecucco Riserva

Galardi: 2012 & 2013 Terra di Lavoro