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

 

 

 

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Summer Fancy Food Show 2018

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The Summer Fancy Food Show was held in New York City on June 30-July 2nd and this year an additional day was added. This is the sister event to the Winter show held in San Francisco at the beginning of the year. The event was held at the Javits Convention Center at 655 West 34th Street in Manhattan.

It’s the largest specialty food show in North America and had many countries showcasing that country’s food products in addition to many small and large companies of specialty food products. There were a wide range of food products from A to Z. I strolled around the large venue sampling what I thought would be interesting, cured hams, many from Spain (with all due respect to my paesani, Spain has some of the best cured hams in the world), olives from around the world, and an eclectic selection of cheeses from small producers, many from the United States. There seemed to be many “healthy” snacks being marketed as well.  This years partner country was Greece.

The show wasn’t a wine fest but some producers had wine and cordials to sample.  VinItaly had a tasting bar which featured a rotating selection of regional Italian wines. When I stopped by they were pouring sparkling wines from the Trentino region which are not nearly as well-known as Prosecco.

 

Some wines I sampled:

2017 Macchie S. Maria Fiano di Avellino “Signifer”. Light yellow with a subtle  nose of hazelnuts, roast meat on the fruit, crisp acidity.

2009 Cantina della Vernaccia Vernaccia di Oristano “Juichissa”. Unusual white, clear brown, nutty, almond notes on the nose and fruit, very sherry like.

2016 Salton Winery Marselan. From Brazil’s oldest winery, Marselan is a hybrid blend between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, dark purple with crushed strawberry on the nose and big fruit.

2015 Salton Winery Tannat. Dark red with spice notes on the nose, chewy green nuts on the firm but balanced fruit, stem notes on the finish.

2012 Carash Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva. Dark red, roasted meat on the nose with bitter almond notes on the finish.

2013 Sartori Amarone. Dark red with an amber rim, crushed black fruit and tar on the nose, dense and juicy with bitter almond/cherry on the finish.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2017

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The 37th annual Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience was held on October 19-21. It was three days of sit down seminars, wine pairing lunches, critics choice grand tastings ending with an awards banquet on Saturday night. The event was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel at 1535 Broadway in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan with all of the net proceeds going to the Wine Spectator’s scholarship fund.

Over 2,000 people attended the Grand Tastings each night on Thursday and Friday evenings which featured over 250, 90+ wines from some of the best wine regions in the word. I attended on Friday night.

What can I say, it was an embarrassment of riches with such an impressive choice of high-end juice that would take days to try them all. Unfortunately  I had one night so I had to focus my tasting. I decided on reds from Bordeaux and California Cabernet with the Italians at the end of the evening for a chance of pace.

California

 

2006 Hall Exzellenz “Sacrashe Vineyard” (Rutherford): Dark red to black, complex nose of crushed green herbs, red fruit, chewy dark chocolate fruit with green olives, coffee and dark chocolate on the firm but balanced finish.

2007 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Martha’s Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Medium red to black, tar and mint on the nose, silky fruit, moderate tannins with herbs on the long finish. Delicious wine.

2007 Ridge Vineyards “Monte Bello” (Santa Cruz): Dark red with an amber rim, crushed sour cherry on the nose, chewy, black licorice and dark chocolate on the fruit, good grip.

2007 Ramey Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum” (Napa Valley): Amber in color, big tarry nose, cherry, tar and mint on the chewy fruit, nice balance.

2011 Diamond Creek “Red Rock Terrace” (Napa Valley): Dark red to black, green olives on the nose, tight, bright tarry fruit, good balance, long finish.

2012 Carter Cellars “To Kalon Vineyards” (Napa Valley): Black in color, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy black fruit, juicy with firm tannins.

2012 Mt. Brave “Mt. Veeder” (Napa Valley): Black, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy mint notes on the fruit, juicy and balanced.

2012 Ernest & Julio Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Sonoma): Black, sweet cherry on the nose, concentrated red cherry fruit, nice balance.

2013 Louis Martini “Monte Rosso” (Sonoma Valley): Black with crushed black fruit on the nose, chunky, chewy, juicy, mint notes on the fruit, balanced.

2013 Duckhorn Merlot “Three Palms Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Dark red to black, roasted coffee and dried red berry on the nose, chewy ending with firm, bright fruit.

2014 Opus One (Napa Valley): Medium dark red, crushed dark berries and earth on the nose, chewy, dusty dark chocolate on the fruit with silky tannins.

2014 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Napa Valley): Dark black, crushed red fruit on the nose, chewy dark chocolate on the fruit, moderate finish.

Bordeaux

 

2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac): Black in color, closed nose of mint and red cherry, concentrated with chalk notes and roasted coffee on the fruit, hot acids on the finish.

2005 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac): Medium amber, black olives on the nose, tight with coffee notes and silky tannins on the firm, balanced finish.

2006 Chateau Margaux (Margaux): Medium amber, sweet tar on the nose, tight, tarry with mouth coating tannins, some tartness on the finish.

2006 Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red, tarry earth notes on the nose, tight silky fruit with silky tannins ending with a nice grip.

2000 Chateau Leoville Las Cases (St-Julien): Black, green olives on the nose, tight, silky tannins with green olive notes on the finish.

2004 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red to black, green olives and herbs on the nose, silky fruit, balance, long finish, a beautiful wine.

2006 Chateau Leoville Barton (St-Julien): Dark red to black, smoky, black fruit on the nose, tarry with firm tannins, lingering finish.

2008 Cos D’ Estournel (St-Estephe): Dark red to black, roasted coffee on the nose, concentrated bright red fruit, green herbs on the finish, good balance.

2009 Chateau Montrose (St-Estephe): Black in color, tarry, strawberry and roast coffee on the nose, a little chunky with a big, silky mouthfeel and firm tannins.

2009 Chateau Canon-La Gaffeliere (St-Emilion): Dark red, crushed sour cherry nose, tight, red cherry fruit, firm tannins.

2009 Chateau La Fleur Petrus (Pomerol): Medium amber, closed nose of toasty dark chocolate, chewy fruit with mint and fresh herb notes, good balance.

2010 Chateau Figeac (St-Emilion): Black in color, green olives on the nose, chewy fruit with mint notes, firm with a lingering finish.

2011 Chateau Clerc Milon (Pauillac): Dark red, tarry cooked cherries on the nose, concentrated black fruit, juicy and balance with a good grip.

2012 Chateau Pavie (St-Emilion): Black, roasted coffee on the nose, concentrated red fruit with good balance.

2014 Chateau Pichon-Longueville (Pauillac): Dark red, black olives on the nose, dusty dark chocolate on the fruit with nice balance.

Italy

 

2000 Allegrini  Amarone “Classico” (Veneto): Dark red with an amber rim, roasted nuts on the nose with ripe plums and good acidity on the fruit.

2007 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino “Madonna del Plano Riserva” (Tuscany): Amber in color, big tarry nose, chewy fruit of tar and mint, chewy finish with a nice balance.

2010 Masseto (Tuscany): Medium amber, tar and leather on the nose with chewy dark chocolate fruit and firm acids.

2013 Gaja Barberesco “Sori Tilden” (Piedmont): Medium amber, very closed nose of black cherry with dusty red cherry fruit and silky tannin. Atypical Barberesco.

2013 Tenuta San Guido “Sassicaia” (Tuscany): Medium red, roasted nuts on the nose and on the fruit with balanced tannins and acids.

 

 

Great Wines Of Italy 2017 Tour

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James Suckling is a wine and cigar critic who sponsored the Great Wines of Italy Tour. In 2016 the tour was international and stopped by the cities of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Phuket, this year the tour will take them to Miami, Beverly Hills and San Francisco. On March 8th it was New York City’s turn.

The event was held at the Frank Gehry designed IAC building at 555 West 18th Street on the far west side of Manhattan. You can’t miss the very unique and distinctive building with its wavy, white glass design.

The event had over 150 Italian wineries serving 92+ point wine wines handpicked by Mr. Suckling. Most of the wine regions of Italy were represented but I concentrated my tastings on Piedmont and Tuscany.

Some of what I sampled:

 

2012 Fattoria Del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Riserva”

2010 & 2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino

2011 La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Aletesino Brunellod di Montalcino “Montosoli”

2011 Carparzo Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva”

2011 Carparzo Brunello di Montalcino “La Casa”

2012 Fattoria La Leccaia Brunellod di Montalcino

2012 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino “Altero”

2011 Il Bosco di Grazia Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Il Bosco di Grazia Brunello di Montalcino

2014 Tommasi Valpolicella “Rafael”

2012 Tommasi Amarone

2010 Pra Amarone

2011 Masi Riserva “Costasera”

2011 Masi Brolo Campofiorin “Oro”

2011 Aldo Conterno Barolo “Cicala”

2012 Rocche dell” Annuziata Barolo

2012 Fontanafredda Barolo “Serralunga”

2012 Sordo Barolo “Parussi”

2012 Sordo Barolo “Monvigliero”

2012 Pio Cesare Barolo

2011 Cascina Bruciata Barberesco Riserva “Rio Sordo”

2014 Orenellaia

2014 Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia

2013 Viticcio Chianti Classico “Riserva”

2013 Viticcio Chianti Classico “Gran Selezione”

2013 Fattoria Le Pupille “Poggio Valenti”

2013 Fattoria Le Pupille “Saffredi”

2013 Ceralti “Alfeo”

2013 Petra “Potenti”

 

 

Vino 2017 Superbowl Party

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On Monday the 6th annual Italian wine trade show event known as Vino 2017 was held in Manhattan. The event was organized by the Italian Trade Commission which is a government agency that promotes trade between Italian companies and foreign markets. The Grand Tasting showcased “extraordinary Italian wines” from 120 producers serving 600+ wines in addition to several seminars.

On the previous Sunday evening I attended the Superbowl viewing party they held for journalists and venders at the same venue. That event featured over forty Italian wines and not so typical Superbowl snacks such as risotto with porcini mushrooms, orecchiette with broccoli rabe, manicotti and assorted salamis and cheeses.

Both events were held at the Spring Studios event space at 50 Varick Street in the SoHo district of Manhattan.

There were sparking, white and red wines from all over the Italian peninsula from small producers and labels. Some of what I sampled:

 

2015 La Sclusa Ribolla Gialla: Light yellow with green tints, white flowers on the nose, good acidity.

2015 Castel Sallegg Pinot Bianco: Light green tint, fresh flowers on the nose, moderate fruit with nice acidity.

 

2014 Grillo Iole Schioppettino: Medium to light red, tarry cigar box on the nose, sour cherry notes on the firm fruit.

2013 Torleanzi Primitivo Di Manduria “Tyrannus”: Medium red, sweet cherry earth on the nose, tight leather fruit, firm finish.

2013 Agricola Brigha “Ambèli”: Medium red, cooked fruit, pencil shavings on the nose, bitter leather on the fruit.

2012 L’Astemia Pentita Barolo “Cannubi”: Brick in color, pencil shavings on the nose, silky red fruit and leather, feminine and delicate, moderate finish.

2011 Le Ginestre Barolo: Medium brick, classic nose of tar and cigar box, moderate chewy fruit, firm finish.

2009 Fattoria Lavacchio Chianti Rufina “Ludié”: Medium red, cooked vegetable and bitter cherry on the nose, tight sweet cherry fruit, dusty finish.

2012 Casale Dello Sparviero Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Vigna Paronza”: Medium red, sweet tar and pencil shavings on the nose, sweet bitter cherry and leather on the balanced finish. One of my favorites of the night.

2012 Villa Mattielli Amarone: Medium red, ripe red fruit on the nose, chewy red fruit, licorice and bitter cherry on the finish, low acids.

2014 Villa Mattielli Valpolicella “Rippaso”: Medium red, sweet cherry on the nose with cherry red leather on the balanced fruit.

2014 Marchese Antinori Guado Al Tasso “Il Bruciato”: Medium to dark red, crushed dark flowers on the nose, cherry red leather on the fruit, bitter cherry notes on the balanced finish.

2013 Torrevento Primitivo “Since 1913”: Medium to dark red, warm earthy nose, chunky and thick with juicy black fruit, moderate tannins.

 

 

Chianti In Chelsea

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This year is the 300th anniversary of what is considered the first wine region in the world. In 1716, the Grand Duke Cosimo III set the borders of the Black Rooster production zone for Chianti Classico. The “Classico” zone is one of the eight sub-zones of Chianti in Tuscany.

This past Sunday, Pierre Loti wine bar on 258 West 15th Street in Manhattan held a Chianti fundraiser/tasting for the Wheeling Forward organization. It was a sit-down tasting of nine Chianti Classico and Riserva with commentary by wine educator, Robin Kelly O’Connor.

 

2014 Castellare Chianti Classico

Medium red with a purple rim, toast and a sweet perfume of violets on the nose, tight with light fruit and low tannins and acids.

2014 Santo Stefano Chianti Classico

Dark red with a light brick rim, crushed black fruit and wood notes on the nose, dusty black cherry fruit with moderate tannins and acid.

2013 Lorano Chianti Classico

Medium red, purple rim, big perfume of red cherry and baking spices, moderate red cherry fruit, balanced tannin and acids on the finish. Very drinkable.

2012 Fattoria La Ripa Chianti Classico

Medium red, big perfume of tar and sweet cherry, moderate red cherry fruit upfront and finishes with lip smacking tannins.

2013 Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva “Montonello”

Dark red with a pretty perfume of tar and violets, big black cherry fruit with firm tannins on the finish.

2013 Castello di Radda Chianti Classico Riserva

Medium red with a brick rim with tar, leather and pencil shavings on the nose, moderate juicy fruit, sour cherry notes on the finish, moderate tannin and acid.

2013 Castello Vicchiomaggio Chianti Classico Riserva “Agostino Petri”

Medium red, toasty oak notes on the nose with red and black cherry notes on the fruit, good balance.

2012 Rocca Della Macie Chianti Classico Riserva “Famiglia Zingarelli”

Dark red with a slightly closed nose of black fruit and spice, chunky red fruit with bitter cherry notes and a nice balance of tannins and acids on the finish.

2012 Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico Riserva

Medium red with a perfume of tar, graphite, tight fruit finishing with firm tannins and tart fruit.