Newport Mansions Wine & Food Fest 2018

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival was held on September 20-23 in Newport, Rhode Island which is a three-hour drive north of New York City. It was four days of wine dinners, seminars and a grand tasting. The grand tasting was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and featured cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs as well as international wines and food from local restaurants. I attended on Sunday afternoon.

The tasting was held at the Marble House located at 596 Bellevue Avenue, one of the many gilded-age mansions in Rhode Island overlooking Narragansett Bay that were built (for an obscene amount of money) for some of the early twentieth century robber barons. More specifically, the tasting was held in the backyard of the mansion.

The event raised money for the Preservation Society of Newport county which maintains and preserves the Marble House and other mansions which are open to the public.

As far as consumer food and wine events go, this festival is one of the best, with good food, an excellent selection of very drinkable wines and a killer view from the backyard.

I was happy to spend the afternoon noshing on some of the many cheeses available, on any paté from Les Trois Petits Cochons, on any cut of beef that the guys and gals from Dole & Bailey Grill manning the grills out back were serving and an amazingly good dish of seared scallop on a bed of pureed spinach with crispy bacon that was from a restaurant I didn’t write down. Of course, there was wine to wash that all down with.

 

Some of what I sampled:

2014 Miraval Rosé

2017 Chateau D’Esclans The Palm Rosé

2017 Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé

2017 Simi Winery Rosé

 

2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

2017 Qupé Marsanne

2014 Qupé Roussanne

2017 QTR Vineyards Chenin Blanc

2013 Anselmi Capitel Foscarino Soave

2016 Anselmi San Vicenzo Soave

 

2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley

2015 The Prisoner Wine Co. Thorn Merlot

2015 Justin Vineyards Justification

2015 Justin Vineyards Isoscelles

2014 Smoking Gun Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

2014 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Howell Mt.

2011 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt.

2013 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt.

2014 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2016 Purple Hand Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2016 Purple Hand Pinot Noir Kropf Vineyard

2014 Sbragia Vineyards Gino’s Zinfandel

2009 QTR Vineyards Dark Matter Zinfandel

2013 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

***

Upcoming Wine Event: On November 10, Robert Parker Jr’s Wine Advocate Matter of Taste is hosting one of the best wine tastings of the year at the Conrad New York Hotel. At the Grand Tasting there will be an opportunity to try some of the finest wines of the world.

Promo code for $50 off the Grand Tasting: SVNYC18

 

 

Advertisements

Chefs & Champagne 2018

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On Saturday July 28th I attended the 28th annual James Beard Foundation’s Chef & Champagne gala. It’s a huge foodie fest with 35+ Chef tastings washed down with free-flowing wines from Wölffer Estate Vineyards, beer from Heineken and cocktails with Tito’s vodka. This years Champagne sponsor was Boizel which poured their Brut Reserve. At the event they held a silent auction and announced the recipient of the 2018 Christian Wölffer scholarship. The guest host this year was Padma Lakshmi.

The gala is part of JBF’s year-long “rise” celebration; “a salute to the countless ways our food community rises to meet the world’s challenges and make it more delicious, diverse and sustainable place for all”. The foundation was named after cookbook author, teacher and champion of American cuisine, James Beard. They maintain the James Beard House at 167 West 12th Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

The festivities, as usual, were held on the grounds of the Wölffer Estate Vineyards on the South Fork of Long Island just east of the town of Bridgehampton at 183 Sagg Road in Sagaponack.

It was a typically hot and steamy July evening but fortunately the rains stayed away.

Some of what I sampled:

 

Gregory Goudet  SAGE RESTAURANT GROUP: Grilled Oregon Albacore with lemongrass, galangal, chile and lime. (My favorite)

Audrey Villages  2 SPRING: Shrimp Po’Boy with lemon aioli and lettuce cup.

Barbara Sibley  LA PALAPA: Tacos de Barbacoa, guajillo braised brisket tacos.

Alex Baker  YVE’S: Mussels Provencal with cherry tomatoes, garlic croutons and parsley.

Angie Rito, Scott Tacinelli  DON ANGIE: Vitello Tonnato.

Roxanne Spruance  KINGSLEY: Grilled Angus Beef short ribs with pecan Barbacoa sauce, heirloom lettuce, buttermilk and goat cheese.

Janice Booth, Jeff Mcinnis  ROOT & BONE: Wood grilled oysters with greenneck butter and charred bread.

Ayesha Nurdjaja  SHUKA: Whipped Feta with watermelon and pistachio Dukkah.

Patti Jackson  DELAWARE & HUDSON: Duck Bratwurst with spiced peaches, mustard, chowchow and turnip sauerkraut on pretzel roll.

Tom Fraker  MELISSA’S PRODUCE: Tropical crab crostini with mango jelly.

Emma Bengtsson  AQUAVIT: Grilled Isterband sausage sliders.

Stephan Bogardus  NORTH FORK TABLE & INN: Corn soup with truffles.

Hillary Sterling  VIC’S: Marinated Albacore tuna with harissa, black olives, hazelnuts and mint.

Matthew Woolf  RAINBOW ROOM & BAR 65: Olive oil poached King salmon with charred leek emulsion, jersey corn puree, black garlic and corn crackling.

Jessica Craig  L’ARTUSI: Blueberry tartlette with lemon thyme and almonds.

 

 

Brooklyn Crush Spring 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Brooklyn Crush is a biannual wine fest presented by NY Wine Events which hosts several wine-themed events throughout the year. The event showcased global wines and samplings of foods from local vendors.

The fest was held at Industry City, a large complex of reconverted warehouses located on 36th Street on the far west side in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The complex has a mix of commercial businesses where you could spend the day eating, drinking and shopping. It’s a destination venue in itself.

The event was held on May 12th and was open to the consumer for an afternoon and evening session. I attended that afternoon and this consumer event had more interesting wines than many of the similar wine fests I’ve attended so far this year.

 

Some of what I sampled:

Some nice Brazilian wines:

NV Cave Amadeu Rosé Brut

2013 Cave Geisse Nature

2016 Cave Geisse Brut

2013 Salton Winery Cabernet Franc

2015 Casa Perini Tannat

Others:

2015 Sparkling Point Brut

2015 Sparkling Point Topaz Imperial Brut Rosé

2017 90+ Cellars Lot 33 Rosé

2015 Ironside Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Ferreira Carpenter Winery Montelpulciano

2016 Piazza Brothers Wine Room Amerone

2014 Jamesport Vineyards East End Cabernet Franc

2013 Dancing Coyote Petite Syrah

2017 Rhonea Vacqueyras White

2015 Atha Ruju Cannonau di Sardegna

2015 Castelucci Miano Perricone

2014 Don Tony Perez Petit Verdot

2014 Don Tony Perez Syrah

2015 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

2015 Ruffino Il Ducale Red

2016 Roberto Ferraris Barbera d’Asti

Spirits:

Brooklyn Kura #14 Ginjo Nama Genshu (locally made saki)

Pallini Lemoncello

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

Taconic Distillery Founders Rye

Taconic Distillery Private Reserve Bourbon

Interesting Nibbles:

Ends Meat (charcuterie made in Industry City)

Buli Olive Oil (from Tuscany)

Les Trois Petits Conchon (paté)

 

 

Mohegan Sun Wine & Food Fest 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Mohegan Sun casino is located in Uncasville Connecticut which is about a two-hour drive as the crow flies northeast of New York City on interstate 95. It’s owned by the Mohegan tribe and is one of the largest gaming facilities the U.S with three casinos all with Native American decor. The casino has all the usual amenities of dining, shopping, hotel accommodations, a concert venue and even its own WNBA basketball and lacrosse teams.

It was a two-day event on January 26-27 kicking off with a bourbon and cigar event on Friday evening. I attended the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon with featured chef demonstrations, wines and spirits on the main floor with craft beers on the 2nd floor.

When I go to these mega consumer events I have a certain expectation. I know they have to cater to a large range of wine drinkers so I don’t expect much high-end juice to be poured and also have an expectation that on a Saturday night, the venue will be mobbed which it was.  Fortunately there was a separate “Elite Cru” tasting room with a more manageable crowd and some nice juice poured. Some of what I sampled at that tasting:

 

Keenan Winery

2013 Merlot Napa Valley

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2013 Spring Mt Reserve

2013 Cabernet Franc

Fulcrum Winery

2013 Petite Sirah Landy

2015 Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown

2015 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

Fullerton Winery

2014 Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard

2015 Pinot Noir Bennet Vineyard

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23

***

2015 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707

2012 Guilano Rosati Amarone

2013 Pelissero Nebbiolo

2013 Cheval des Andes

2015 The Withers Winery Mouvedre Rubin

2014 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve

2014 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

2013 Mt Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder

 

 

Food Network Grand Tasting & Outdoor BBQ 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The 10th annual Food Network New York Food & Wine Festival was held on October 12-15. It was four days of 100+ events including dinners, wine tastings, classes, seminars and late night parties with 100% of the net proceeds going to the Food Bank for New York and the No Kid Hungry campaign.

I began the festivities on Thursday evening by attending the Tacos & Tequila late-night party held at the boutique Hudson Hotel at 237 58th Street in Manhattan. It was hosted by taco aficionado Aaron Sanchez and featured many styles of tacos and much tequila infused cocktails.

On Sunday I attended a couple of events, I began at the Grand Tasting held at Pier 94 at 55th street and the West Side highway. The event space was a 130,000 sq. foot “culinary wonderland” of food, wine, spirits and culinary demonstrations by Food Network and Cooking Channel stars.

I have covered this event in the past and was somewhat disappointed this year. In past years there was a separate room that featured higher end wines that were not available on the main floor. That was not the case this year, they omitted that room which for me took away much of the excitement of the event. It became just another large consumer event with a lot of mid-level wines.

Afterwards I walked next door to the Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ event held at the top floor of an unused multilevel parking garage. The event was hosted by Andrew Zimmern, Chef and host to the Travel Channel show, Bizarre Foods, and by Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meats. The event had pit masters grilling all sorts of meat, and even squid which was washed down with cold beer, wine and cocktails. An excellent live band provided the music and as this years event was “family friendly”, there were plenty of kids enjoying the event as well.

 

Some of what I sampled at the Grand Tasting:

Tablas Creek Winery. Winery in Paso Robles California that specializes in Rhone varietals.

2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc: Gold in color, honey notes on the nose, kiwi, melon on the fruit, nice balance.

2014 Esprit de Tablas Noir: black in color, black olives on the nose, chewy dark chocolate on the fruit, nice grip, good balance.

2014 Patelin de Tablas: Dark amber, closed nose of crushed herbs, tight with firm acids and tannin on the bitter red cherry finish.

Kendall-Jackson Winery

2015 Pinot Gris: Medium yellow with cantaloupe on the nose, dried herb on the finish with nice acidity.

2015 Grand Reserve Chardonnay : Medium gold, toasty nose, with big oak notes on the fruit.

2013 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark black, slightly closed nose of crushed dark berries, very concentrated with dusty, silky tannins and good balance.

2014 Ferrari-Carano Siena: Dark red to black, closed nose, juicy and concentrated, tree bark on the fruit, good, firm finish.

2014 Ferrari-Carano  Cabernet Sauvignon: Black, crushed ripe plums on the nose, thick and concentrated with some mint notes, balanced.

2014 Cambia Winery Pinot Noir “Benchbreak”: Medium amber, crushed blueberry and mint on the nose, tight, smoky finish.

 

 

Westchester Magazine’s Food & Wine Fest 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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:

 

Whites

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

 

Reds

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

 

 

 

Brooklyn Crush 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On May 13th I attended the 3rd annual Spring edition of Brooklyn Crush, a “wine & arts food festival”. The event was organized by NY Wine Events which runs several wine themed events throughout the year. This one was held at Industry City, an industrial complex of event spaces near the waterfront around 36th street in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. They featured 175+ wines, cider and some beer and nibbles from local venders.

No trophy wines here but many budget friendly wines. One that stood out was the 2015 Los Pilares LaDona Sparkling Muscat. It’s a Pet-Nat wine from San Diego County, foot-stomped, with a thick layer of wild yeast on the bottom of the bottle, orange, fizzy and surprisingly dry. Some other standouts were beer from Goose Island Beer Co. which poured their specialty beers Gillian, Halia, Juliet and Sofia a couple of which were funky and sour.

Tasty nibbles from Les Trois Petits Cochons, Beecher’s Cheese and very tasty locally made charcuterie from Ends Meat.