Oysters & Pizza

The New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) was held on October 13-16. Now in its fifteenth year, it’s a four-day festival of wine and spirit tastings, parties, dinners and culinary demonstrations to raise money for God’s We Deliver charity.

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the Ultimate Pizza Party. This event was held at Forino restaurant located at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn.

The Pizza Party had several local pizza restaurants and Pizzaioli baking their signature versions of pizza. Cocktails were served on the rooftop level which had an outstanding view of lower Manhattan.

Some of the pizzerias at the event;

Forcella La Pizza di NapoliDi Fara Pizza
MotorinoRosie Pizza Bar
SweetbriarSpeedy Romeo
Table 87

On Sunday afternoon, I attended Oysterbash. This event was held at the Biergarden at The Standard hotel in the Meatpacking district of lower Manhattan.

It was a walk-around event with a copious selection of raw, baked and fried oysters from local restaurants and seafood purveyors. Of course, wine, beer and cocktails were served to accompany all those oysters.

Restaurants and purveyors:

Cape May SaltsBarnegat Oyster Collective
Laughing Gull Oyster FarmChapin Sea Farms
Duxbury Oyster FarmsThe Standard
Flex MusselsEl Fish Shack
Ama Raw BarMollusca
Fish CheeksLure Fish Bar

Oysters & Cider


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In the last week of September, I attended a couple of Autumn themed events.

On Saturday September 28th I attended the 8th annual Long Island Pour the Core hard cider festival which was held at Heckscher State Park in East Islip Long Island. That’s about a 45 minute drive East from the Queens border. This is one stop on the Pour the Core tour that included Philadelphia and Brooklyn. This was an outdoor event and it was a beautiful, sunny Autumn afternoon.

Over 100 hard ciders were poured from across the country with many from New York State. Other countries such as England, Ireland, Sweden and Spain were represented as well. There were many of the well know big brands such as Angry Orchid, Magners, and Doc’s to name a few but there were many small producers represented as well.

Many styles of cider were on hand in various degrees of dry to sweet. Many were infused with fruit flavors and it seemed that rosé ciders are very popular this year.

I prefer bone dry ciders and Bad Seed, Merchant’s Daughter and Descendant Cider Co. poured some very dry and crisp versions.

There were food trucks for the hungry and live music to keep everyone entertained on this beautiful Autumn afternoon.


The next day Sunday afternoon, I attended the Oystober Fest oyster party held at The Well at 272 Meserole Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

It was one of the many oyster related events held for the 8th annual New York oyster week from September 17-29. The events are a production of the OysterHood, a global community of oyster consumers, producers, distributers and shuckers.

The Well is a bar housed in a former brewery in a neighborhood that had many in the past and the event was held in their in the outdoor event space, the “graffiti garden”. They served a rotating selection of East and West coast oysters, freshy shucked with a choice of various  hot sauces, mignonettes and citrus juices. My favorite of the day were the St. Simon, small and plump with the right mix of sweet and salty.


Oysters that I sampled:

East Beach Blond  (Rhode Island) Miyagi  (California)
Fiddler’s Cove  (Massechusets) Kosshi  (British Columbia)
Macho Maine  (Maine) Shigoku  (Washington)
St. Simon  (New Brunswick) Capital  (Washington)
Tuxedo  (Prince Edward Island)  



Boston Wine Expo 2017: Seminars

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On February 18-19 I attended the 26th Boston Wine Expo in Boston Massachusetts which is about a four hour drive north of New York City. I attended both days, Saturday and Sunday and this was my sixth year attending this event. It’s always one of the best wine expos in the country. The event featured over 1,800 wines from over 200 wineries, seminars, vendors and cooking demonstrations. The event benefits the Floating Hospital at Tufts Medical Center’s Summer Camp Program for Children with Disabilities.

As in past years, the event was held at the Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel at 200 Seaport Boulevard, a short tram ride from the South Street bus terminal and this year as in last the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful afternoon.


American Rhône:  The Range of the Rhône Rangers

2015 Gramercy Cellars Picpoul “Los Oidos Vineyard” (Walla Walla)

Very light yellow, pineapple and grapefruit on the nose, lime notes at first followed with floral notes and lime  on the finish.

2013 Bonny Doon Cigare Blanc White Blend (Arroyo Seco)

A blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc. Medium gold, honey and damp earth and crushed rocks on the nose, full honeyed fruit with some botrytis notes, moderate acids, long finish, some heat.

2014 Tablas Creek Rousssanne (Paso Robles)

Medium gold with notes of ginger on the nose, candy and sea air on the fruit, moderate acids.

2013 Tenet GSM Blend (Columbia Valley)

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouverdre. Dark red to black, perfume of pine and slate, chunky, juicy with oak and bitter plums on the finish.

2014 Sans Liege Groundwork Mourvedre (Santa Barbara Highlands)

100% Mourvedre. Dark red with a black rim, overripe vegetable on the nose, concentrated, dusty, black cherry and oak on the fruit, nice grip at the end.

2014 Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grenache (Ballard Canyon)

Dark black in color, feminine perfume of red leather and cherry, big cherry fruit with the tannin tightening up at the end for a good grip, good balance.


Vertical of Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis Côte-Rôtie

1995: Dark brick with a brown rim, cooked black fruit on the nose, tight and tart, brown leather on the tannic finish.

1997: Dark brick with a brown rim, old leather and roasted meat on the nose, dark plum and tight, crisp acids on the finish.

2001: I got a good amount of sediment on the pour, first bottle corked so not much to go around. Brick in color, cooked vegetable and crisp bacon on the nose with big mint notes on the finish.

2003: Dark brick with an amber rim, ripe dark plum and bbq meat on the nose, silky black fruit, firm grip, mint notes, good structure.

2005: Dark red to black, roasted meat, spice and earth on the nose, tight and smoky with crisp acids.

2007: Black with an amber robe, roasted meat and plastic on the nose, juicy fruit followed with firm tannins.

2009: Black in color, roasted meat on the nose, tight and concentrated with the fruit dropping at the end.

2012: Dark red with a purple rim, dusty roast meat on the nose, very tight with asparagus on the finish, a little unbalanced.

Horizontal of Three Guigal Côte-Rôtie

1998 Brune et Blonde: Dark amber, perfume of mint and roast meat, starts tight turns silky with meat notes on the finish.

1998 Chateau d’Ampuis: Medium amber, smoky dark black cherry on the nose, tight with mouth tightening tannins and acids.

1998 La Landonne: Black, amber rim, complex nose of earth, tar and ripe black fruit, concentrated and silky with dark earth notes on the fruit, firm acids.


Vine & Brine: Terroir Pairing With Island Creek Oysters

2015 Domaine Vincent Careme “Cuvee T” paired with an Ichabod Flats oyster.

Medium yellow, sea air and sauerkraut on the nose, crisp fizz, lemon curd on the fruit. Oyster was salty.

2015 Domaine Paul Buisse Touraine Sauvignon paired with an Island Creek oyster.

Light yellow, mowed grass on the nose, juicy, grassy, tart, good balance.

2015 Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre Blanc paired with a Wellfleet oyster.

Very light yellow, melons, grass on the nose, crisp and grassy. Very salty oyster and muddy.

2014 Domaine Vrignaud Le Champreaux Chablis paired with a Mallard oyster.

Medium yellow with greenish tints, toast and barnyard on the nose, tight lime on the fruit. Sweet and balanced oyster.

2012 Clos du Gaimont La Monaco Vouvray paired with a Malabar oyster.

Moderate to dark gold, honeyed bouquet, juicy pineapple, ginger and melon on the fruit, low acids, a fat wine. Oyster was low salt and muddy.




Oystoberfest New York City

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September 16-October 1st was Oyster Week in New York City. It was actually a couple of weeks oyster centric events at various venues throughout the city that celebrated the significant role of the oyster in the history, culture and economy of New York.

The geography of New York City harbor estuary was conducive to the production of oysters. In 1860 12 million of them were sold in New York markets . They became the classic New York snack by the 1800’s, the first real street food, cheap and plentiful and sold by street carts. By 1900 over-fishing and pollution caused them to disappear from the harbor.

I attended the grand finale event, Oystoberfest on Saturday evening. It was held on the cobblestone streets of the South Street Seaport in front of the old Fulton Fish Market. It was a casual, outdoor event with stalls of oysters being shucked all night. The oysters were served raw on the half shell and I added a mignonette of red wine vinegar, chopped onions and pepper to each oyster I sample in order to be consistent. Beer and wine were served and I made due with a generic white wine.

Excellent live music was provided by the band, “The National”.

What I sampled:

East Coast

Cape May Salt (New Jersey)

Fishers Island (New York)

Empire (New York)

Big Rock (Massachusetts)

Beach Soleil (New Brunswick)

Lucky Lime (Prince Edward Island)

Grand Isle (Louisiana)


West Coast

Olympic (Washington)

Purple Haze (Washington)

Little Skookum (Washington)

Imperial (California)

Beach Angels (British Columbia)

Kusshi (British Columbia)