Italian Holiday Tasting

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Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone and we are now on the home stretch of the holiday season with Christmas right around the corner. Italian Wine Merchants, a wine shop specializing in Italian wines located at 108 East 16th Street in Manhattan, threw a “mini grand” tasting on Saturday November 25th.

The wine shop throws many wine themed events throughout the year and their tastings are usually pretty solid with quality wines poured. This was their Black Friday edition which meant a nice discount from the regular price.  It was a walk-around tasting featuring 26 wines from an all Italian list (and one Champagne). It was a well thought out list with a nice variety of premium wines.

The wine shop is just down the block from Union Square Park, an historic intersection where New York City’s first commercial theater district was located. At this time of year a Christmas market is set up in the park and during the day one of the best farmers markets in the city selling local produce and products.

 

What I sampled:

NV Barone Pizzini Brut Franciacorta “Aminante” (Lombardy). Gold in color, honey, floral nose with green apple notes on the fruit.

NV Roger Coulon Brut Reserve de l’Hommée (Champagne). The non-Italian outlier of the tasting, light gold with green vegetable and bread dough on the nose, crisp.

 

2015 Antinori Castello della Sala Pinot Nero (Umbria). Medium red, spicy cinnamon on the nose, leather fruit with some tar on the finish.

2014 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, leather  on the nose, tight fruit with green herbs, firm finish.

2012 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, leather, violet on the nose, tight, bitter cherry fruit, firm finish.

2011 Castello dei Rampolla “Sammarco” (Tuscany). Dark red in color, nice perfume of pencil shavings, tar and red fruit, dusty crushed black fruit with a long, firm finish.

2015 Tenuta San Guido “Guidalberto” (Tuscany). Medium red, green bell pepper on the nose with tart red cherry fruit.

2014 Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red, tar and crushed red cherry on the nose, dusty, black licorice fruit, balanced with tar notes on the finish.

2015 Guado al Tasso “Il Bruciato” (Tuscany). Medium red, red cherry and green herbs on the nose, tight, tree bark notes on the fruit, big astringent at the finish.

2014 Cerbaina Rosso IGT (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, graphite on the nose, red licorice and dusty tar on the firm, moderate to long finish.

2014 Le Mortelle “Bortrosecco” (Tuscany). Medium to dark red, green herbs, sour green bell pepper of the nose, tight with herb and leather notes, toast on the firm finish.

2012 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium brick, tar on the nose, silky fruit with bitter cherry and crisp acids on the finish.

2012 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium brick, tar, graphite on the nose with silky tar and toasty notes on the medium fruit.

2013 Poderi Aldon Conterno Langhe Rosso (Piedmont). Medium red, cooked fruit notes, couldn’t get a handle on this wine, not sure if the bottle was bad or not.

2014 Prunotto Barbera d’Alba “Pian Romualdo” (Piedmont). Medium red, closed, plummy nose, tight and tart.

2010 Prunotto Barolo Bussia Riserva “Vigna Colonnello” (Piedmont). Light brick, big perfume of tar, camphor, tight and firm, tart finish.

2012 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo “Colonnello” (Piedmont). Medium brick with a sweet perfume of tar, graphite and sweet cherry, tight and dusty with big tannins at the end.

2013 Ada Nada Barberesco “Valeirano” (Piedmont). Brick in color with a pretty perfume of violets and roast meat, tight, roast nut notes on the fruit, ending with firm tannins.

2011 Bruno Giacosa Barberesco “Santo Stefano” (Piedmont). Light brick, tar, red cherry on the nose with dusty red cherry fruit ending with moderate tannin and acids.

2014 Nicolis Valpolicella Classico (Veneto). Medium brick, red flowers on the nose, moderate to light, tart fruit.

2011 Brigaldara Amarone “Casa Vecie” (Veneto). Medium amber, green fruit on the nose, bitter plum and dusty bell pepper on the fruit.

2012 Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo (Puglia). Medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, concentrated, dark and dusty fruit ending with bitter black cherry notes.

 

 

Better Together Gala

 

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Another holiday party for the season. On Sunday I attended the Better Together Gala benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It was an afternoon of wine, cocktails, fashion shows and general partying for a good cause.

The event was held at Pier A Harbor House, a recently renovated pier house literally located on the most southern tip of Manhattan island. If you walked out the door and stepped right you were on the East side of the island, step left and you were on the West side. It’s a huge, multi level bar/restaurant/event space over looking New York harbor that should get very busy when the weather warms up.

In between fashion shows I kept myself busy with Finger Lakes Riesling, Chardonnay and the occasional cocktail.

 

Wines

2015 Wagner Vineyards Riesling

2013 Fox Run Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay “Kaiser Vineyard”

 

Cocktails

Better Together Signature Drink: Vodka, fresh lime, triple sec, cranberry juice, simple syrup

Positively Pink: Old Scout, strawberry, sweet vermouth, lime

Breast In Show: Bourbon, Angostura bitters, orange bitters, simple syrup

Second Base: Tequila, fresh lemon, ginger, crème de cassis

Diane: Teeling whiskey, fresh lime, ginger

Think Pink: Vodka, ginger, lime

 

 

Holiday Spirits Bazaar

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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