I’ve been into wine and learning about wine for some time. My recent involvement in the Jessup Ambassador program has helped inspire me to seek out the vast wine-related activities available in New York City. I’m trying to go to as many of these events as possible before my trip out to Napa. I want to experience a variety of tasting; really see people’s style in presenting their favorite wines. Something that will let me really convey to you how Jessup does it differently (and they do).
I’m getting a little nervous that my palette isn’t developed enough yet. Trust me, I know if I like a wine or not. I can usually tell you why. In September I really connected with the distinct qualities of wines produced in Napa. The terroir somehow identifies with exactly what I want in wine right now (and isn’t it a moving target for everyone). Everyone’s tasting experience is different. But I want to be able to tell you the exact notes I detect in wine. Until then, let me just tell you about some great wine experiences.
Two weeks ago my friend Heather and I (@isureamheather ) went to a fantastic tasting by Verity Wine Partners at Bistro Jules (located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan). They do this as a regular event at their restaurant, though we scored great discount tickets via one of the very popular online short sale/ deal websites. We tasted five different wines as well as some bites form Bistro Jules and had a really great experience. Our sommelier focused on the histories of the vineyards, which fascinated me.
If you are in NYC, stop by Bistro Jules and check out the tasting. The wines Verity brings in are always changing (and also available on the restaurant’s menu), but we tasted:
- Douglas Green Steen (Chenin Blanc) 2010 from West Cape, South Africa
- Ambar Torrentes 2009, Valle de Famatina, La Rioja, Argentina
- M. Chapoutier Billa Haut 2009, Coute du Rousillion Village, Langeudoc France
- Ambar Malbec 2007, Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
- Mont Marcal Cava NY, DOC Penedes, Spain
On Tuesday night my husband Sean and I were lucky enough to attend the Wine & Spirits 3rd Annual Top of the List Tasting at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. With our friend Aaron (@always_eating – can you tell I’m a bit of a Twitter nut?) from First Press PR in tow, we navigated our way through tables tasting some of the most popular wines being poured in restaurants around the country, not to mention tastings from some of the top NYC restaurants and artisan purveyors. The level of wine and food talent in one room was really impressive. Over 103 vineyards were represented, some pouring up to 3 labels. Not to mention various NYC restaurants. The Hudson Valley Foie Gras was beyond words. I could eat it 100% of the time and never get tired of it (seriously, every day). The Ciano veal meatball literally created a mosh pit in front of the tasting table. The cheese selection from Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro & Wine Bar was fantastic. Here are some of the wine highlights we tasted:
- Frog’s Leap Winery: 2010 Rutherford Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
- William Fevre: 2008 Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons
- Evening Land Vineyards: 2008 Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Mollydooker: 2009 McLaren Vale The Boxer Shiraz
- Orin Swift Cellars: 2009 Napa Valley The Prisoner
- Duckhorn Vineyards: 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Estancia: 2008 Paso Robles Keyes Canyon Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon
- Simi Winery: 2007 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cakebread Cellars: 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Obsidian Ridge: 2008 Red Hills Lake County Obsidian Ridge Vineyard Cabernet
Highlights for me were Obsidian Ridge (the smoky taste from the vines in the obsidian-rich land was very distinct) and Duckhorn (a favorite of mine since I went there in September – and not only because A Walk in the Clouds was partially filmed there). The final taste was at Warre’s for what they called the “holy trinity”: Stilton and walnut sitting in the middle of your tongue, while you let Porto Reserve Warrior wash over the sides of your tongue. Especially for someone who has little interest in Port, this was indescribable. A fantastic way to end our evening.
I’m looking forward to exploring more wines, their roots and histories, and bringing all of you along for the ride. Can’t wait for the ultimate tasting experience at Jessup in just a little over a month!