Alphabet City Wine Co. Photon Torpedos and Rebula

After 3 weeks of Friday nights at Alphabet City Wine Co finishing with my #2 East Coast tasting, I need a break. These guys don’t just sell wine, they use it. They drink it, they share it, they drink it, they sell it, drink some more, share some more, then close the shop to head over to Edi and the Wolf for more of the same. Its fun, but brutal. Party aside, manager and co-owner Keith Beavers talks about wine with the same hurried enthusiasm as a 12 year old geeking out on Star Wars (Keith’s second passion). Late night while gulping Črnko – Jareninčan with Keith, I compared the wine to Princess Lea and that was that, we were doing a tasting, next week in fact. Keith was not present due to an emergency research trip to study pina coladas in Mexico. Luckily his debaucherous Muay Thai trained, photographer/romeo/assistant-manager Ben Kaufman, pictured drinking from the bottle, was on hand to hold down the fort. We poured a really challenging line up that included the Crnko, the 09 Kabaj Rebula and the Dingač Vinarija – Pelješac. Initially I saw no apparent way to line up these 3 aromatically and texturally … Continue reading Alphabet City Wine Co. Photon Torpedos and Rebula

Impromptu afternoon tasting with Bed-Vyne Wine and Common Grounds

My first official Blue Danube Wine Co tasting since having relocated to NYC mid-July was just down the street from where I am staying in Bed-Stuy. Appropriately named Bed-Vyne Wine, it is owned and operated by Michael Brooks. A big community advocate, Michael often adds a wine component to the many neighborhood events. This time he teamed up with the good people at Common Grounds, a cozy coffee shop around the corner from Bed-Vyne, an artist who paints on canvas with spray cans, and a line up of our Hungarian delights. The favorites were the delicate Szõke Királyleányka , praised for its refreshment, and the sweet/spicy Törley Fortuna. Though this was a free tasting (as retail tastings in NY are), the participants were way into this Hungarian wine stuff and bought the store out of the Törley. Super casual atmosphere, people good and curious to taste and learn, this is all that’s needed for true wine appreciation. You don’t even need stemware! Eventually, I would like to do something bigger with Bed-Vyne that incorporates the full throttle Jamaican and Trinidadian cuisine and strong musicality of the area. We may have to bring the Fortuna back for the Jamaican jerked chicken. … Continue reading Impromptu afternoon tasting with Bed-Vyne Wine and Common Grounds

Meet Ildikó and Miklós from Eszterbauer in New York City

Ildikó Eszterbauer and vineyard manager Miklós Klein are visiting the United States for the first time and will be pouring their wines in New York at Alphabet City Wine Co. in the East Village on Friday, May 18th from 6 to 9pm. Next week, Miklós and Ildikó will be at Anfora‘s Producer Night on Tuesday, May 22. Then on Wednesday, May 23, they will be hosting a Hungarian Wine Class & Dinner at Terroir Murray Hill from 7:30-9:00pm. The wines will be accompanied by seasonal salads, spring bruschetta’s and an array of fried treats. Only $30 for food, wine and good times!

Get ready for GoogaMooga!!!

The Great GoogaMooga is coming to Brooklyn this weekend. GoogaMooga is a music festival in historic Prospect Park with a spotlight on the food and the wine. A feast of elevated street food will be served, including foie gras doughnuts, dirty duck dogs, and pork-belly-shawarma tacos. Blue Danube will be there with our special guests Ildikó Eszterbauer from the Eszterbauer winery in Szekszard and her fiancé and vineyard manager Miklós Klein. We’ll be serving a selection of Eszterbauer wines as well as our Croatian best sellers, the BIBICh R6 Riserva and Dingač Pelješac. The Črnko Jareninčan, a juicy 1 Liter blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, will be our “housewine” for the event. 2011 Eszterbauer Chardonnay 2011 Eszterbauer Öröm Rosé 2009 Eszterbauer Kadarka Nagyapám 2008 Eszterbauer Tüke Bikavér 2009 BIBICh R6 Riserva 2010 Dingač Pelješac 2010 Črnko Jareninčan

Hungary Comes To Bed Stuy

Brooklyn, New York’s biggest borough, is home to an ever-growing population of thirsty people. Young and old, all races, everyone is thirsty not only for good wine, but new food and wine experiences. Michael Brooks of Bed Vyne, Bed Stuy’s new boutique and community wine store, is well aware of this. Once a month he puts on an event to celebrate food, wine and art. The two event spaces adjacent to the small store are transformed into a gallery featuring a local artist (check out Juan Carlos Pinto‘s mixed media metro card portraits) along with tables of food from local restaurants and wine from the distributors that supply the store. For $5 attendees get a go-vino cup and are let loose in the maze of delicious flavors. Now that’s the way to do an in-store tasting! This past week I poured two of our Hungarian stars, Patricius Dry Furmint and Torley Fortuna. A bit nervous to be the only one pouring wines no one had heard of in a neighborhood that just recently opened their first wine store, my table turned out to be the hit of the party! The slight richness and creamy finish of the Furmint matched perfectly … Continue reading Hungary Comes To Bed Stuy

New York Chef Anthony Bourdain visits Bibich

New York chef Anthony Bourdain‘s latest No Reservations episode featuring the Croatian Coast was recently aired on the TRAVEL channel and since then, the office phone has been ringing off the hook. During his visit to Skradin, Bourdain met Alen Bibich of the Bibich Winery and his family, and really enjoyed the wines from the Bibich cellar. Meanwhile, the 2009 Bibich R6 Riserva arrives from Croatia ‘Just-In-Time’ this month!

Tokaj At Terroir Murray Hill in NYC

It’s only in the last few decades that the infamous sweet wines of Tokaji have fallen off of mainstream restaurant lists and the common-knowledge radar of average wine drinkers. Changes in the political climate of Eastern Europe are the main cause of this absence of Tokaji in the mainstream wine world. With the new generation of drinkers, the millenials, we are seeing a resurgence of appreciation for this ancient region. The enthusiasm goes beyond the famous sweet wines and explores all of the styles these aromatic wines come in. A few weeks ago Rienne Martinez of Terroir Murray Hill and I decided to share our love of Tokaji wines with New York. We developed a pairing menu that showcased the dry and sweet wines of Patricius, letting the flavors explain why these wines have been so prized throughout history. The crowd favorite was overwhelmingly the 3 puttunyos with duck confit salad. Check out the beautiful video below, produced by David DuPuy, to get a glimpse into this special event, first of many!

Kabaj Tasting at Terroir, NYC

Jean-Michel Morel, proprietor and wine maker at Kabaj. “Taste it with your eyes closed,” says Jean Michel Morel as I swirl his Amfora 2006 in my glass. We are at the Kabaj tasting for trade and press, held Thursday at the restaurant Terroir in Tribeca, NYC. Jean Michel and Kabaj’s sales manager, Tomo Ceh, were there to pour eight wines made in the hills of Goriska Brda hard against Slovenia’s border with Italy. I closed my eyes and tasted the light amber wine in my glass. The aroma was rich, of honey and sweet pollen. The wine was smooth, with ample body and a lactic topnote, like the smell of a great cheese shop, as well as a noticeable oxidation which, with the healthy acidity and slight tannin of the wine, gave its body rigor. Beneath was an elusive floral quality and light smoke. If I hadn’t known this wine was white, with my eyes closed I might have assumed it was a red with a little age on it—and that was Jean Michel’s point. The truth about Amfora. “It’s red wine—only the color is white,” he says. The 2006 is the middle vintage of three white blends he is … Continue reading Kabaj Tasting at Terroir, NYC

Batič & Kabaj visiting NYC, PHX, LA & SF

Jean-Michel and Tomo of Kabaj – Miha Batič. We are pleased to announce the visit of two Slovenian wine makers in California in May: Miha Batič represents a pioneering organic estate in Vipava Valley. Jean-Michel Morel and Tomo Čeh come from Kabaj in Goriška Brda. Kabaj is reknowned for their unique Amphora and long maceration wines. Meet them at one of the many events we are planning. You can read the full schedule on the new community site Slovenes in USA. Please welcome Jean Michel of Kabaj when he makes his 1st step into an American Wine Bar: Terroir NY Tribeca, Thursday, May 12, 1-4pm. Jean will pour a selection of his finest wines for trade & media. R.S.V.P. required. On his trip from New York to Los Angeles Kabaj will meet and work with two James Beard Award nominees: The first is Chairman Paul Grieco of Terroir NY who was nominated for Excellence in Wine Service. We are very happy that Paul graciously agreed to host Kabaj for his first ever tasting in the United States at his renowned wine bar in Tribeca. The trade mark logo of Terroir NY. It is an honor that the first wine dinner … Continue reading Batič & Kabaj visiting NYC, PHX, LA & SF