Toast Of Brooklyn

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


On September 16th I Attended the 10th annual Toast of Brooklyn, “a global wine, food and art festival”.

This year the event was held at Restoration Plaza on 1360 Fulton Street, an outdoor event space in Bedford-Stuyvesant in central Brooklyn

It was an outdoor event and featured many international wines and a surprisingly huge selection of some very good high-end spirits. Aperitifs and cordials such as Campari, Aperol, Gran Marnier and many others, excellent rums such as a 21-year and a 25-year-old rum from Appleton, local whiskeys including Bourbons from Kings County Distillery, and even a watermelon infused vodka/tequila hybrid from Vodkila to name of few.

In addition to wine and spirits, there was a fashion show by Sonia Noel designs and a cooking demonstration from Vladimir Lebrun of Chef Indeed.

The weather was gorgeous and the venue never got overcrowded as some of these consumer events do at times. It made for nice late afternoon of strolling around the plaza grazing on wines and spirits.



Jersey City Wine Fest


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


On September 9th Saturday evening I attended the Jersey City Wine Festival. The event was held at the Harborside Atrium at 153 Exchange Place in Jersey City, New Jersey. This event space is one stop on the path train over (on more correctly, under) the Hudson River from lower Manhattan into New Jersey. As you get out of the train station you are greeted with a stunning view of the lower Manhattan skyline across the river.

It was the usual consumer wine event with a wide range of mid-level wines with a vodka and gin thrown in. Some food vendors were on hand as was good live music provided by the Stereo Junkies Band. The event space was large and airy and accommodated the crowds without too much of a wait time at the wine tables. People were having a good time.

Some of what I sampled:



2015 La Crema Chardonnay

2015 Reata Chardonnay

2016 Silver Palms Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc

2016 “J” Pinot Grigio

2015 Talbott “Kali Hart” Chardonnay

2013 Georges Deboeuf Macon-Villages

2016 Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc



2015 BR Cohen Pinot Noir

2013 Reata Pinot Noir

2014 Firesteed Pinot Noir

2015 L’Umami Pinot Noir

2013 Lauca Reserva Pinot Noir

2013 Silver Palms Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Les Hauts de Lagard Bordeaux

2016 Paolo Marcarnono Barbera

2016 Bertoldi Gran Passione Rosso

2015 Argiano Rosso Toscano

2013 Aldo Conterno Langhe

2015 Bere Toscana

2014 Lindemans Gentlemans Collection Red Blend

2014 Los Vascos Carmenere

2013 Mas de Berceo Graciano



Rosé Cruise

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The La Nuit En Rosé wine event which was billed as “the world’s first rosé festival”, returned to New York City on June 25th to Saturday, June 27th. I attended the Saturday evening event where more than 150 rosé wines from 120 wineries in 9 different countries were poured on three floors of the Hornblower Infinity Yacht on the Hudson River. The event also featured food stations and a DJ with music to dance to. The weather was miserable but we spent a couple of hours at the dock and then set sail for a couple of hours cruising the Hudson River. It was an open bar and there was more than enough rosé to go around. It was a fun evening.

Some of what I sampled:


NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut (Champagne)

NV Michel Gonet (Champagne)

NV Veuve du Vernay (France)

NV Ferrari Brut (Trentino)

2008 Ferrari Vintage (Trentino)


2014 Domaine de la Mordoree (Rhone)

2014 Domaine le Vieux Moulin (Rhone)

2014 Chevelier d’Antelme (Rhone)

2014 Domaine Amido “Les Gourmandines” (Rhone)

2014 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc (Languedoc)

2013 Bernard Magrez Bleu de Mer (Languedoc)

2014 Chateau Grand Boise (Provence)

2014 ViveVité (Provence)

2014 ViveVité “Extraordinaire” (Provence) 3Liter Bottle

2014 Saint Aix (Provence)

2014 Barton & Guestier Passport (Anjou)

2014 Remy Pannier (Anjou)

2014 Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre (Loire)

2014 Chateau de Lardiley (Bordeaux)

2014 Mulderbosch Limited Edition Magnum (Stellenbosch)

2014 Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (Chile)

2014 Torres De Casta (Spain)

2014 Azyul y Garanza (Navarra)

2014 Bodegas Otazu (Navarra)

NYC Spring Wine Fest

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


On May 9th, I attended the New York Spring Wine Festival. A series of bi-annual wine events run by NY Wine Events. The event was held at the Broad Street Ballroom at 41 Broad Street opposite the New York stock exchange in Manhattan. This venue was the former Lee-Higgins bank built in 1928-29. A pretty spot with lots of mosaics but lousy lighting, the wine booths were either cloaked in shadows or blinded with spotlights. It was a consumer event with two sessions, I attended the afternoon session. A nice crowd of consumers having a good time, plenty of wines, nibbles and good jazz playing in the background. This year included the addition of a VIP suite which had a couple of tables pouring fifteen bottles of some very nice juice.

VIP Suite Table A

2004 Dom Perignon Brut (Champagne). Only white in the room, been there, done that last week.

2009 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St Georges (Burgundy). Brick color, nose of cooked fruit, rustic and firm with a long finish.

2006 Domaine De Courcel Pommard “Les Rugiens” (Burgundy). Brick in color with stone notes on the nose, silk and dusty dark chocolate on the balanced finish. Nice.

2007 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Spring Mountain). Dark red with crushed red berry on the nose, silky with a big hit of tannin at the end.

2012 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black in color with a closed nose of dark plums, concentrated with toasty, roasted fruit on the firm, moderate to long finish.

2004 Chateau Giscours (Margaux). Dark red with an amber robe, roasted nuts and coffee on the nose, graphite on the tight and tannic finish.

2009 Domaine De Chevalier Rouge (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red to black in color with juicy black fruit of mint and black licorice, chewy and dusty, balanced with mouth coating tannin. Delicious.

2012 Domaine Du Pegau Chateauneuf Du Pape (Rhone). Dark red with a perfume of mint and crushed black licorice that jumps out of the glass with chewy tannin on the long finish. Tasty.

Table B

2011 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Napa Valley). Black with ripe fruit on the nose, concentrated and dusty with mouth filling tannin.

2009 Ad Vivum Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with rosemary on the nose, big cherry and mint flavors and firm tannin.

2011 Isole E Olena “Cepparello” (Tuscany). Dark purple with a perfume of sweet red fruit, chewy and juicy sweet fruit, still young at this point.

2010 Chateau Gruaud Larose (St-Julien). Dark red with a big barnyard nose, chunky and dusty fruit.

2003 Chateau Clerc Milon (Paulliac). Dark red with an amber robe, nice perfume on the nose, dark licorice on the fruit, tight with big tannin.

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton “Clos du Roi” Grand Cru (Burgundy). First bottle corked, there was a discussion with the pourer that the batch might be bad, second bottle better, brick in color with barnyard on the nose and tight, mouth puckering tannin at the end.

2010 Joseph Phelps “Insignia” (Napa Valley). No notes.




Fest Of The Best

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past rainy Saturday afternoon, I attended Thrillist’s  Fest of the Best event, “celebrating NYC’s finest dining establishments from 2014”. The event was held at Villian, a warehouse space at 50 N 3rd Street in Williamsburg near the river’s edge.

It was a consumer event. There was no wine poured, only beer and cocktails made with Grey Goose vodka who was one of the sponsors. The event space was smaller than I anticipated and it soon became crowded with the young  hipsters who live in the area. Things didn’t start off on the right foot when a half hour into the event, the venue ran out of the sponsored spirit. Fortunately a shipment of Grey Goose finally arrived to the relief of the patrons and I was able to indulge in my drink of the day, a Moscow Mule which was made with Grey Goose melon vodka and ginger beer. There were several local restaurants serving their signature dishes and we were to vote on our favorites.

My favorite dishes:

Crave Fishbar: Shetland Island Salmon Crudo

Bacchanal: Confit Lamb Shoulder with Mint-Olive Caper Relish

The Monarch Room: Seared Octopus with Fennel and Citrus

Other restaurants at the event

Seoul Chicken: Next day Fried Chicken with Habanero Honey

Horchata: Guacomole De Calabaza with House Made Tortilla Chips

Two Hands: Avo Toast with Smashed Avocado, Olive Oil and Sea Salt

French Louie’s: Snails Merchand De Vins

The Randolph: Warm Grain and Kale Salad

BLT Fishshack: Oysters on the half shell



Brooklyn Crush

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Saturday afternoon November 15,  I attended the Brooklyn Crush “Wine & Artisanal Food Festival”. It was held at Industry City, a complex of reused factory buildings at the waterfront in Sunset Park Brooklyn. It was a Spartan event space. The event was open to the consumer and consisted of a day and evening session, I attended the day session. They provided some food to accompany the wines including some excellent pizza from SottoCasa pizzeria. As with many consumer wine events, there were many inexpensive, unknown labels being poured from small importers/distributors.


2013 Alamos Torrentés

2013 La Val Albarino

2013 Manuel Manzaneque Chardonnay

2013 Piedmont Wine Project “Bianco”

2013 Santa Barbara Le Vigne Verdicchio

2013 Giacamo Vico Roero Arneis

2013 Foucher-Labrun Sancerre Blanc “LeMont”



2011 Quivira Zinfandel

2011 Michel Schlumberger Merlot

2012 Ghost Pines Merlot

2012 Ghost Pines “Red Blend”

2012 Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Chateau Divon St. Georges St. Emillion

2009 Haut Buis Carlien

2013 Ampeleia Unlitro

2011 Cantin Arte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Ode”

2013 Roeno Marzemino “La Rua”

2013 Guidobono Nebbiola

2011 La Serena Rosso di Montalcino

2013 Medici Solo Reggiano Lambrusco

2013 Kellerai Schiava

2011 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico

2012 Alamos Malbec

2012 Alamos “Seleccion”



Food Nework Grand Tasting And A Seminar


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Food & Wine magazine and the Food Network held their annual New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 16-19. It was four days of seminars, food demonstrations, parties, food, spirits and wine events at various venues in the city.  I was able to attend a seminar on Saturday afternoon and the Grand Tasting on Sunday afternoon. The seminar which was a sit-down tasting featuring six wines took place at the Hudson Hotel on 356 West 58th Street. The Grand Tasting  which was a  casual, walk-around event to sample food,  check out new products, view culinary demonstrations and of course to try wines and spirits provided by Southern Wines and Spirits took place at Pier 94 on West 55th Street. The Pier is a 1300,000 square foot size venue and there was a lot to see and sample. After the tasting I was able to attend the meat-centric , Meatopia event at Pier 94 as well.

Seminar: Iconic Wines of France hosted by Eric Hemer

NV Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle “La Cuvée” (Champagne). Yellow in color with a greenish tint on the nose was floral with toasted bread notes with a subtle fizz on the lemon tart fruit.

2012 Jean-Marie Berthier Coteaux du Giennois “Terre de Silex”  (Loire). Medium yellow with a green tint, very ripe nose of white flowers and toast tight with mouth puckering lemon notes on the finish.

2007 Lucien Albrecht Riesling “Clos Schild” (Alsace). Deep gold in color with honey and petroleum on the nose, medium body, silky with sweet and sour fruit on the nice balance.

2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune 1er Cru Gréves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus (Burgundy). Brick color with meaty, black plums on the nose, tight with some salinity on the finish. I thought it dropped a bit at the end.-

2011 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas “Les Vielle Vignes” (Rhone).  Dark red to black with a big perfume of mint and dried herbs, tastes lighter than it looks with tart raspberry flavors on the fruit with moderate tannin.

2010 Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild Grand Cru Classé (Pauillac). Inky black with a closed nose of meat and red licorice, silky with toasty oak on the moderate finish, a little light at the end.

At the Grand Tasting there was a “Vip” area where some nice juice was poured. Some of what I enjoyed:

2010 Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (Napa Valley). Dark purple with smoky dark plums on the nose, chewy with meat notes on the balanced finish.

2011 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black in color, black licorice notes on the nose with dried leaf and bell pepper on the finish.

2010 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon “Cask” (Napa Valley). Black in color with toasty dark plums on the nose, concentrated with some mint notes on the moderate finish.

2009 Inglenook “Rubicon” (Napa Valley). Dark brick in color with crushed sweet fruit and tobacco on the nose, silky with dark chocolate on the balanced moderate to long finish.

2012 Conundrum Red (California). A “non-traditional blend” of red grapes. Black in color, crushed blueberries on the nose, thick and syrupy with juicy blueberry and mint on the fruit.

2012 La Crema Winery Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley). Medium red with dried herbs on the nose, medium bodied with some cola notes on the fruit with good balance.

2010 San Pedro “Sideral” (Chile). A blend of five red varietals, dark red to black in color, very perfumed with sweet black fruit and minerals on the nose, concentrated and silky with crushed rock notes on the finish with silky tannin.

2009 San Pedro “Cabo De Hornos” (Chile).  Cabernet Sauvignon based blend. Dark red to black with dried herbs and cooked fruit on the nose, thick and fruity with moderate balance. Impressively heavy bottle.

2010 San Pedro “Altair” (Chile). Cabernet Sauvignon based blend. Black with crushed red fruit and roasted meat notes on the nose, dark and concentrated  with coffee and dark chocolate notes on the balanced finish. Big wine with a big bottle as well.

2006 Castello D’Albola Chianti Classico  (Tuscany). Dark red with dark plums on the nose, moderate fruit with tobacco notes, nice balance with a long finish.

2010 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany). Dark brick with cooked vegetable on the nose, silky with red fruit and mint notes, moderate tannin and cigar box on the finish.

2005 Fontanafredda Barolo “La Rosa” (Piedmont). Brick color with tar and cigar box on the nose with delicious silky fruit and nice mouth coating tannin at the end.

2008 Marchese di Barolo Barolo (Piedmont). Brick color with a closed nose of pencil shavings, dry and dusty with tongue coating tannin at the end.

2006 Bertani Amarone (Veneto). Brick in color with some mint notes on the nose with tight and concentrated fruit with subtle tanning on the finish with some stewed fruit notes.

2009 Chateau Lagrezette (Cahors). Decanted, 100% Malbec. Inky, dark purple with a nose of crushed, dark berries, tight, concentrated and silky with dried herb notes on the firm balanced finish.

2006 Matarromera Reserva (Ribera de Duero). Cloudy brick in color with dried herbs on the nose, tight and concentrated with black olives on the finish.