Tag Archives: world of wine

Your 2013 (Wino)vation!

16 Jan

2007 Alexis CabernetTo go along with the ‘New Year’ kick I am on, cleaning up and sharpening your bar carts {here} etc., I came across a relevant article while I was reading my monthly Wine Spectator.  One of my favorite wine writers, Matt Kramer wrote an inviting one pager on expanding your horizons in 2013 through trying new things in the world of wine and entertaining and I couldn’t agree with him more. I smiled, was stimulated and felt the immediate need to share highlights from “Is This the Year That You…?” to inspire you to make a vow and make things happen!

The Motivation

“…Decide that higher cost doesn’t equal better wine?”

There are so many wine deals out in the market today that still maintain the same quality in taste as higher priced wines.  Kramer suggests that these wines are the “game-changers” in the wine industry as technology, diversity, and abundance are key descriptors when in search for that perfect ‘game-changer’ wine.  In summary:

Technology “now ensures that pretty much every wine from everywhere else is well-made.”

Diversity “means that wines now come from every imaginable country, district and climate – and often they’re really good.”

Abundance shows that “more producers keep emerging!”

It sounds so easy to find quality wines at affordable prices, just do your research!

“…Finally start a wine cellar?”

How timely, as Kramer suggests scoring a quality/affordable wine is possible!  Compile wines from your trips to Napa, Italy, Oregon, Washington and start that much sought after wine cellar!

“…Raise your wine game from “comfort” to “challenge”?”

I couldn’t agree with this more!  Through my wine blog I have had the opportunity to meet winemakers and try a plethora of wines from around the world.  I’ve gone from having a “Go-To Wine” {here} to forgoing my ‘go-to’ (even when I’m lazy) and popping open an Oregon Pinot Noir or a Tempranillo from Spain.  That’s the beauty of wine, isn’t it?  Stretch your knowledge in wine and try something new and different in 2013.  Kramer suggests to “look to grower Champagnes, unusual grape varieties and emerging wine areas such as Hungary, Ontario, Tasmania, and newly revived spots such as Spain’s Ribeira Sacra, France’s Languedoc, and Sicily.” Of course it’s easy for me to challenge my wine instincts and move outside of my comfort zone because it is my passion, however, for some, the effort to branch out is just not there. Thus, I urge you to think of the possibilities before you buy! You are able to explore a new country, state, region through one single bottle of wine and share that experience with friends.  I say, why not!

 “…Dine at home just a tiny bit more formally?”

Living in a New York City apartment, I am most definitely a culprit of keeping china and crystal we’ve received as engagement gifts in their gift boxes in the cabinet until we have a house where we can gracefully display things. I feel awful about it.  I am dying to use our Waterford red wine glasses like no other but for some reason, I too am saving them, for a special occasion, when we have a house and entertain. But what’s the point! Why not treat yourself once a week and take the time to have a meal on your finest china and your heaviest crystal to enjoy what you have  – a beautiful home-cooked meal and an exquisite glass of wine.  Kramer suggests, “There is something to be said for just a skooch of dining formality in today’s rushed, crushed, gotta-go world.  It’s good for us, and surely so for our wines.”  So true, cheers to bringing out the new crystal!

“…Stop fretting about when a wine is ready to drink”

I too, have many bottles just sitting in our wine fridge, waiting for the right ‘year’ to be pulled out and ‘decantered’.  But let’s face it; no ‘year’ will ever be the right year to pull out the right bottle at the right time.  So why wait? To Kramer’s point, “Buy interesting wines.  Store them in a cool space for up to five years. Then pop and pour.” I may just go pull out our 2007 Alexis Cabernet Sauvignon from my favorite winery Swanson Vineyards {here}!

“…Start pulling the corks on all those special-occasion bottles?”

My parents still have their champagne from when they were married in 1971 and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from when my brother was born in 1981! That says it all right there. The more we “wait around” to open those ‘special’ bottles, the more time passes by where we rarely find that special occasion to open them. Even we, still have a few bottles of excellent champagne that were gifted to us for our engagement about a year ago unopened, waiting for the right occasion.  I love this theory Kramer puts out there! Come Friday night, I’m reaching for our gold rimmed champagne glasses and popping the bubbly to celebrate…… well, LIFE!

Thank you Wine Spectator {here} and Matt Kramer {here}for a thoughtful and inspiring read on this wonderful evening.  Time to get the bone china out!

From the Ground Up with Paul Hobbs @ bahr che

1 Apr

Located at 26 Astor Place, bahr che sets a romantic scene for an intimate gathering inside their 10-table quaint yet classically chic space. With a dramatic wine wall lined with endless bottles of great wines from across the world, bahr che proves to be a true date spot and one of the only that I’ve noticed in Astor Place.  As a true hidden gem, or I’m sure not so hidden anymore, you will find yourself dining there on a romantic date, popping in for a glass of wine found on their treasured wine list or enjoying a nightcap on your way home from downtown with the friendly staff.

And… Just as you thought this wine, cheese, and charcuterie couldn’t sound any better, they also offer Winemaker Wednesdays to exhibit the authenticity of a good wine bar through introducing wines and winemakers to guests who love the exploration of wine.  On February 1st, I was invited to a special wine tasting with renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs at bahr che for their Winemaker Wednesday event.

Now onto the winemaker – Paul Hobbs…

From growing up in Buffalo, NY with ‘no wine on the dinner table’ to studying and working amongst the leading winemakers in the industry (Simi, Robert Mondavi), Paul Hobbs shared his journey of wine through his fabulous wines from California and Argentina.  The night was full of listening to his stories, trials and errors, and connecting the wine to his words (and small bites!) one sip at a time.  His parting words when we asked, “What is one thing you want to share with the world of wine lovers” his response – “Just remember, from the ground up”.  So many meanings and so much detail to think about!

Some favorites from the night…

Vina Cobos, Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 – $39.99
Extreme buttery taste with a hint of apricot. Extremely smooth.  Highly recommend for those buttery Chard lovers!

2009 Pinot Noir, ‘Lindsay Vineyard’ Paul Hobbs – $97
A beautiful garnet colored Pinot Noir with a delicious plum and luscious fruit flavor.  It almost tasted like a ripe fruit roll-up. Hints of oak.  Very exquisite Pinot Noir that is worth the splurge!

2010 Vina Cobos Felino Malbec – $25
Black plums, hint of cedar taste, extremely ripe tannins that make this wine beautifully structured and should be served at a fancy date night dinner by candlelight

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