Harvest East End


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On Saturday evening I attended the fifth annual Harvest East End food and wine event with 40 wineries and 30 East End chefs pairing local grapes with local flavors featuring locally sourced (lots of corn and tomatoes) seasonal dishes.  The event was organized by Dan’s Papers and the Long Island Wine Council to raise money for charities such as the Long Island Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Foundation and the Peconic Land Trust. It was hosted by Sommelier Josh Wesson and honored New York Times dining columnist, Florence Fabricant. Macari Vineyards was presented with the Governor’s Cup “Winery of the Year” award.

The event took place at the McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue on the North Fork. It is not only a working winery but a farm using organic and natural practices to raise grass-fed Charolais, an historic breed of cattle from France and central Europe. In fact, there was a herd of them grazing next to the Pinot Noir vines at the event. It was a beautiful evening and a good time was had by all.

All the wines served were from Long Island

Sparking Point NV “Topaz Imperial”. My starter wine, sparkling, pink salmon in color with a persistent foam, dry and crisp with hints of strawberry and apple.

2013 Anthony Nappa Wines “Anomoly”. Rosè from 100% Pinot Noir, pale pink with a pretty floral nose with tart, mouth-watering acids on the finish.

2013 Anthony Nappa Wines “Sciardonne”. 100% Chardonnay made with wild yeast, light gold in color with white flowers on the nose, floral earth on the fruit with crisp acidity. Reminded me of a nice Chablis.

2013 Channing Daughters Pinot Grigio “Ramato”. 100% Pinot Grigio, the most interesting wine of the night, an orange wine, orange-salmon in color with orange notes on the fruit with nice balance.

2013 Palmer Vineyards Pinot Blanc. Light yellow with damp earth on the nose with crisp, green apple fruit, ends with some butterines.

2010 Harmony Vineyards “Harmonious Red Blend” First time I’ve seen this winery, in Stony Brook much closer to the city border than the rest of the wineries out East, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, dark red with crushed blueberries on the nose and was ripe and juicy with crushed red berries and mint on the crisp finish.

2010 Macari Vineyards Cabernet Franc. From a magnum, the award-winning wine of the year, medium red with an amber robe with slate and tobacco on the nose and was concentrated and silky with meaty and smoky notes on the long finish with nice balance.

2010 Jamesport Vineyards Cabernet Franc “MTK”. Medium to dark red with crushed blueberries on the nose, concentrated and silky with notes of dried herbs on the finish. Some heat at the end but manageable.

2009 Water’s Crest “Campania Rosso”. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, medium red with an amber robe with dried herbs and crushed stone on the nose, tight fruit and a firm finish.

2010 Channing Daughters Blaufränkisch “Mudd West Vineyard”. Medium red with a stinky nose with ripe and stinky fruit.

2010 Osprey’s Dominion Cabernet Franc. Black in color, pencil shavings and bell pepper on the nose, concentrated and chewy with black licorice on the fruit with good balance.

2010 Roanoke Vineyards “Prime Number”.  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, black in color with ripe vegetal notes on the nose with very toasty and smoky fruit.

2010 Roanoke Vineyards Gabby’s Cabernet Franc. Black with an amber robe, cooked fruit on the nose with notes of mineral and crushed rocks on the sweet fruit.





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Atlantic City Italian

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On Saturday August 16th I ventured down to Atlantic City to attend the third annual         Cal-Ital Summer Winefest. The event was held at the Golden Nugget casino which is just off the boardwalk on the Marina. The fest was billed as “a celebration of California and Italian wine” or more specifically, Italian wines and California wines with Italian heritages. It was a consumer event with over 200 wines poured. Some light food was served and a very good jazz band serenaded the crowd and instead of the usual sales persons/volunteers manning the pouring stations, the event organizer decided to use a modeling agency to staff the event which made for good optics.

The event space was huge and it never got over crowded. Some of what I like:


2011 Sbragia Family Vineyards Chardonnay “Home Ranch” (Dry Creek Valley). Dark gold with tropical fruit on the nose and earth and tropical fruit on the ripe and juicy finish.

2012 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay (Napa Valley). Medium gold in color with pineapple on the nose with some oak on the juicy fruit with some nice acidity at the end.

2013 Pedroncelli Winery Rosé of Zinfandel (Sonoma County). Cherry red in color with notes of strawberry on the nose and fruit and was off dry.

2012 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir (Napa Valley). Light red with a cherry-barnyard nose, juicy with red cherry fruit on the balanced finish.

2012 Sebastiani Vineyards Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with red licorice on the nose with some cola on the moderate fruit with good balance.

2012 Parducci Pinot Noir “Small Lot Blend” (California). Light red with spice red fruit on the nose and was juicy but nicely balanced with notes of cherry cough drops on the finish.

2011 Seghesio Vineyards Barbera (Alexander Valley). Dark purple with cigar-box on the nose with chewy and chunky red fruit and nice acidity on the finish.

2012 Ferrari-Carano Vineyards “Siena” (Sonoma County). Medium red in color with a stinky nose, nice acidity with dark cherry chocolate on the finish.

2008 Trinchero Family Estates Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley). Dark red to black in color, pencil shavings on the nose with silky and smoky ripe fruit on the nice balance.

2010 Sbragia Family Vineyards Merlot “Home Ranch” (Dry Creek Valley). Medium red with earth and pencil shavings on the nose with nice acidity and chocolate notes on the long finish.

2010 Gallo Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red with toasty black cherry on the nose, tight fruit with moderate to long finish.


2012 Pieropan Soave Classico (Veneto). Light yellow with notes of tropical fruit on the nose, moderate fruit with nice acidity.

2012 Pieropan Soave Classico “La Rocca” (Veneto). A single vineyard Soave, light yellow in color with floral and sweet earth on the nose, firm acidity with lime notes on the finish.

2008 Pieropan Soave Classico “Calvarino” (Veneto). From a hillside vineyard in the Classico zone, gold in color with saffron and earth on the nose, tight with lip-smacking acidity on the finish.

2011 Jermann “Dreams” (Friuli). Chardonnay, dark gold with tropical fruit on the nose and was clean and crisp with buttery notes on the finish.

2009 Rocca della Macie “Ser Gioveto” (Tuscany). Mostly Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in, very dark red in color with smoky, toasty and plum notes on the finish.

2011 Marchese Antinori Villa Antinori Rosso (Tuscany). Mostly Sangiovese, dark red with tobacco and cigar-box on the nose and was silky and chewy with nice balance.

2009 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red with red licorice on the nose, delicate fruit with a floral finish.

2008 Castel Giacondo Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany).  Medium red with an amber robe, cigar-box and tobacco on the nose, firm with more of that tobacco on the finish.


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Chefs And Champagne 2014

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Last Saturday evening I attended the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne fundraiser event that had Bobby Flay as the guest honoree. The event featured more than 40 chefs who were on had to serve bites of their signature dishes. There was also a silent auction. The event was held out East under the big tents at the Wöllfer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack.

Wines were supplied by Wöllfer Estate, Champagne by Tattinger, beer from Belgium including Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Hoegaarden and cocktails by Tito’s vodka. Since it was a long drive back home I had to moderate the wine consumption and limited myself to glasses of Champagne and rosé

Tattinger Brut “La Francaise” NV (Champagne). My Champagne of the day.

2013 Wöllfer Estate Rosé (Long Island). Their “regular” rosé, Merlot based, light salmon pink in color with strawberry notes on the nose and fruit with moderate acids and was easy drinking.

2013 Wöllfer Estate Rosé “Grandioso” (Long Island). The base varietal Merlot was fermented in six-year old French oak barrels. Pale copper in color, earthier on the nose than the regular rose with notes of wildflowers and was tight and crisp.

Other wines from Wöllfer that were poured:

2011 Chardonnay

2012 Diosa Late Harvest Chardonnay

2011 Merlot

2011 Fatalis Fatum

2006 Grapes of Roth Merlot

Couldn’t drink a lot at the event but I could certainly eat plenty,  signature dishes that I sampled and the Chefs that created them included:

Lindsay Autry: Deviled Crab with Summer Vegetable Slaw, Melba Toast and Hot Sauce.

Steven Deveraux Greene: Watermelon Gazpacho with Peekytoe Crab, Jalepeno, Coriander and Yuzu.

Chris Jaeckle: Tuna Crudo with Kizami Wasabi, Olives and Basil.

Brian Loiacono: Lettuce-Cucumber Gazpacho with Poached Langoustines, Pink Peppercorns and Cilantro.

Chad Brauze: Apricot-Fossil Farms Quail Ballontine with Paprikash Vinaigrette.

Todd Mitgang: Seared Black Bass with Sun Gold Tomatoes, Wild Arugula, Salsa Verde and Crispy Artichoke Leaves.

David Santos: Charred Portuguese Octopus with Cured Tomatoes, Olive Petals and Almond Foam.

Alex Guarnaschelli: Homemade Riccota Crostini with Heirloom Tomatoes, Flying Pigs Farm Bacon and Ancho Chile Salt.

Jason Hall: Crispy Suckling Pig Pressé with Farofa and Stone Fruit Mostarda.

James Carpenter: House-Cured Gravlax with Black River Caviar and Aquaponic Greens.

Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth: Blue Crab Waldorf Salad, Sliced Green Apple Wrapped Pecans, Grapes, Celery, Lemon and Blue Crab with Buttermilk Yogurt.

Hugh Magnum: Smoked Bone-In Beef Ribs with Chimichurri and Picked Ramp Raita.

John Greeley: Cherry Smoked Fossil Farms Duck with Rocket, Sweet Corn, Pine Island Onion-Ash, Salt and Barrel-Aged Pepper Sauce.

Coby Farrow: Scallop Crudo with Preserved Lemon Custard.

Shane McBride: Smoked Leg of Fossil Farms Lamb Hogie with Pickled Sweet Corn.

Rufino Rengifo: Za’atar Grilled Lamb Chops with Tabbouleh and Greek Yogurt.



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Bastille Day Wine Tasting

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Bastille Day is July 14 but in New York it was celebrated the previous day on Sunday, July 13. Sunday was also the day of the final game of the World Cup so there were plenty of reasons to have a celebration. The French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) held their annual three block street fair and festival on East 6oth Street between Lexington Ave. and 5th Ave.,”celebrating the best of France”. Of course, it was a French celebration so that included wine tastings. They had a “Grands Vins Tour de France” tasting at FIAF’s Le Skyroom and the Wine, Cheese, Cocktails and Beer tastings at FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium, both in FIAF’s flagship building on 22 East 60th Street. They were consumer events.

The “Grand Vins Tour de France” consisted of five tables of wine which were provided by Metrowine, Millesima wine shop, Aix, Ayala, Bernard Magrez, Chateau D’Esclans, Chateau La Gordonne, Dreyfus Ashby & Co., Joseph Drouhin, La Caravalle, Le Colonial, Piper-Heidsieck, Pommery, Veuve Cliquot, Wins of Alsace and Xavier Flouret.


Champagne Table

Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV. My starter wine, always like to start a tasting with a glass of sparkling.

Rosé Table

2013 Xavier Flouret “Nationale 7″ (Provence). Pale red with wildflower with strawberry cotton candy on the nose and tight cherry fruit with nice acidity.

2013 Chateau La Gordonne (Provence). Pale red with floral and light strawberry notes on the nose with some earth on the fruit.

2013 Chateau Sainte Marguerite “G.R.” Cru Classé (Provence). Pale copper color with bubble-gum and turned-dirt notes on the nose.

White Wine Table

2011 Trimbach Pinot Blanc (Alsace). Light yellow, floral on the nose with oily fruit and low acids.

2012 Domaine Weinbach Riesling “Réserve Personnelle” (Alsace). Light yellow with greenish tints with spicy cinnamon on the nose and dry and spicy fruit, good balance.

Red Wine Table

1999 Domaine G. Moulinier “Les Terrasses Grillees” (Languedoc). Black in color with an amber robe, sour dirt on the nose and was smoky and toasty.

2009 Chateau De la Selve “Serre de Berty” (Coteaux de l’Ardeche). Biodynamic and organic, black in color with a red robe with mint and barnyard on the nose, concentrated and chewy with crushed rocks on the long finish.

2000 Domaine Camus Bruchon Savigny-les-Beaune “Aux Grands Liars” (Burgundy). Dark amber with a brown robe with sour plums on the nose and ripe black cherry on the medium fruit.

Bordeaux Table

2011 Chateau LaTour Martillac (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red to black with spicy black plum on the nose, concentrated and tight with toasty oak on the finish.

2009 Chateau La Fleur Peyrabon (Pauillac). Black in color with smoky dark berries on the nose, chewy with firm tannin and acids with slate and mint on the long finish.

2003 Chateau Fombrauge (St.-Emilion). Black with a brown robe with dried leaf, mint and slate on the fruit with a big hit of fuzzy tannin on the finish.

2006 Chateau Quinault “L’Enclos” (St.-Emilion). Dark red with a light brown robe with ripe, cooked fruit on the nose, very tight with mouth coating tannin at the end.

2009 Chateau Plince (Pomeral). Black in color with rosemary and black cherry on the nose, concentrated and chunky with nice mouth-feel on the long finish.



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Fancy Food Show


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The 60th Summer Fancy Food Show was held June 29-July 1 at the Javits Center. It’s a bi-annual event with the Winter show held in San Francisco. Unlike the Restaurant Show held at the same Javits Center in which showcased many necessary to the trade but boring items such as insurance, computer systems and extermination services, the fancy food show presented specialty food and beverage products. What I keep sampling in between shots of espresso were the cheeses, olive oils, specialty soft drinks (especially ginger beer) and anchovies. Various countries had their little corner of the event space presenting its native products. It wasn’t a wine event but the wine-producing countries (but strangely, not France) had a booth or two of someone pouring wines. Thank the wine gods for my paisani who had several.


2013 Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner (Wachau). Yellow with a greenish hue with an oily nose, crisp and floral with good acidity.

2012 Meinkang Blauburgunder (Burgenland). Pinot Noir. It was dark red with a brown robe with a red cherry nose with dusty and earthy fruit.

2012 Meinkang Blaufrankisch (Burgenland). Dark red with a nose of crushed black cherry and some mint and was tight with black cherry fruit with firm acids on the finish.


2011 Cortijo Trifillas Cabernet Sauvignon (Castilla). Barrel aged and was dark red with wildflowers on the nose and was very tight with a tart mouth-feel and some heat coming through.

2011 Cortijo Trifillas Tempanillo, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. (Castilla). Medium to dark red in color with a closed nose of pencil shavings and black cherry and was tight with slate notes on the fruit ending with firm tannin.


2012 Valdivieso Reserve Carmenere (Lontue Valley). Dark red with a closed, dusty nose and was chewy with black licorice notes on the finish.

2010 Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Chile). Medium red in color with sweet cherry and mint on the nose, tight with dusty mouthfeel ending with mouth-watering acidity, good balance.


2011 CasaSetaro Caprettone Brut. (Campania). 100% of the Caprettone grape, aged on lees with a greenish tint and was floral and crisp with some bread dough notes on the finish.

2013 CasaSetaro  Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Munazei White (Campania). Medium gold in color with a slight honeyed nose and was crisp and tart with hazelnuts on the finish.

2013 CasaSetaro Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Munazei Red (Campania). 100% Piedirosso and was dark purple, light, grapey and stemmy and was firm with tannic plums on the finish.

2013 Tenuta Col Sandago Brut Rosé (Veneto). Made 100% from the Wildbacher grape variety which is a dark-skinned grape originating from southern Austria. Pale red in color with a closed nose and light strawberry on the finish.

2007 Tenuta Col Sandago “Wildbacher” (Veneto). Made entirely from the Wildbacher grape variety, dark red to brownish tints with dried leaf on the nose and big tannins, tobacco and cigar box on the finish.

2007 Tenuta Col Sandago “Camoi” (Veneto). Made with “typical red varieties” and was dark red with a brown robe, notes of black licorice on the nose and was rustic and chewy with slate on the firm fruit, balanced with bitter cherry on the finish.

Cantina Centro Massenzatico Lambrusco Secco (Emilia-Romagna). From a co-operative, dark black to purple in color, inky and dry with refreshing tannins and acids.

2013 Cantina La Salute “Manzione Bianco” (Veneto). A cross between Riesling and Pinot Blanc, and was medium gold in color with white flowers on the nose, floral medium fruit with low acids.

2008 Cantina La Salute “Eneto” (Veneto). Made from 100% the Raboso grape variety and was medium red with an amber robe with cigar box and dark cherry on the nose, tight, smoky and bitter cherry and good acidity on the finish.

2012 Montesole Falanghina del Sanno (Campania). Light yellow in color with a greenish tint, closed nose of bubble-gum and roasted nuts with moderate fruit.



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Wine Tasting At The Cleveland


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On a Sunday afternoon I attended a small wine tasting held at the Cleveland Restaurant located at 25 Cleveland Place in Manhattan. It was a small tasting with four unconventional importers showcasing unconventional wines. These were Biodynamic/Natural/Organic unusual and interesting wines made from the mad scientists of the wine world.

Zev Rovine Selections:

2013 Frank Cornelissen “Susucaru 6″ (Sicily). From grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, a cloudy salmon color with strawberry and floral notes on the nose and was chewy with mint flavors on the finish.

2010 Sebastian Riffault Sancerre “Sauletas” (Loire). A cloudy gold in color with sour lemon on the nose, chewy for a white wine with good balance. Not the usual Sancerre but tasty.

2011 La Paonnerie “Le Rouge de La Jacquerie” (Loire). Cabernet Franc, dark purple with a nose of crushed blueberries and was juicy and balanced with nice tannins at the end.

Fifi’s Import:

2012 Aveyron-Nicolas Carmaran “L’Olto” (Aveyron). A wine made from 100% Fer Sevadou, a grape variety grown in southwest France, it went through semi carbonic maceration and was dark purple with spicy crushed rocks on the nose with sweet fruit followed by oak and tannin.

2010 Les Vignes Herbel “Le Rouge” (Loire). Dark purple in color with sea air and strawberry on the nose, peppery fruit and fuzzy tannin.

Louis Dressner Selections:

2012 Domaine du Possible “C’est pas la Mer a boire” (Roussillon). Rhone blend, a small amount of the wines were foot trodden and it was purple in color with a salty tang and barnyard on the fruit.

2012 Domaine de Souch “Jurancon Sec”  (Jurancon). Made from more grapes I’m not familiar with, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Courbu. Vinified in stainless steel vats and was yellow with spicy peaches on the nose and great balance.

Selection Massale:

2013 Maison PUR “La Boutanche” (Rhone). In a liter bottle, a Syrah based wine that was dark purple with a nice perfume of crushed berries and was rustic and chewy.

2013 Andy Knauss “Weissharpt” (Wuttemberg). Pink and sparking, light and easy to drink.


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La Nuit En Rosé


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On June 13-14 the La Nuit en Rosé event was held in Manhattan and was billed as “New York’s first Rosé wine festival”. I attended the Saturday afternoon tasting which was open to the public.

More than 85 rosé wine from around the world were poured.  Most were from France with many examples from Provence with others from the Languedoc, Champagne, Corsica, Rhone Valley, Loire Valley and Bordeaux.  The rest of the world wasn’t left out with wines poured from Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon and even Long Island. Many of the wines were made from the classic Southern French varietals of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre as well as from well known grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Others from more obscure varietals such as Counoise, Rolle, Nielluciu, Sciaccarellu, Grolleau and Kavaklidere.

Rosé come in a variety of shades from light copper to dark pink depending on the method used to produce the wine. Those methods include the Maceration Method, the Vin Gris Method and the Saignée Method. Examples from the tasting included the color range from the very pale copper color of the 2013 Domaine Poli Niellucciu (Corsica) to the beet-red color of the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier (Bordeaux). The wines had a wide range of prices as well, from the B & G Cotes De Provence (Provence) at $6.29 a bottle to the 2012 Chateau D’ Esclans “Garrus” (Provence) at $90.00 a bottle. Some unusual wines included the 2013 Chateau Les Eollers “OG” (Languedoc) which is a copper-hued wine in a nontraditional bottle filled with real flecks of gold. The Ferrari Rosé Brut NV was a wine that the pourer opened by running to the bow of the boat and lopping the top of the bottle off with a mini saber as the crowd cheered him on, and a sparking wine name after one of the Presidents, the 2012 Gerard Bertrand “Thomas Jefferson Cuvee”(Limoux)

The event took place on the Hornblower yacht leaving from Pier 40 at Houston Street and we spent a good portion of the tasting cruising around lower Manhattan. It was a beautiful day to be on the water on a boat with plenty of good juice packed with people out to have a a good time. It was a fun day.

Of course with any party there must be sparking wine and there were a few of the rosé versions present such as:

Pommery Demoiselle de Vranken Brut NV

Pommery Brut NV

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV

Domaine Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV

Marquis de la Tour Brut NV

2006 Ferrari Perle

Berlucchi Franciacorta NV

Still wines I sampled included:

2013 Domaine du Grand Cros “Esprit de Provence” (Provence)

2013 Domaine Terra Vecchia “Clos Poggiale” (Corsica)

2013 Domaine Poli Niellucciu (Ile de Beauté)

2013 Merrenon Roséfine (Rhone)

2013 Bernard Magrez “Blu de Mer” (Languedoc)

2013 Gerard Bertrand Cotes des Roses (Languedoc)

2013 Gerard Bertrand Chateau La Sauvageonne (Languedoc)

2013 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel (Rhone)

2013 Rémy Pannier Rosé D’Anjou (Loire)

2013 Domaine Gérard Millet Sancerre (Loire)

2012 Chateau D’Esclans “Les Clans” (Provence)

2013 Chateau D’Esclans “Whispering Angel” (Provence)



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