wine of the night: 2007 Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir

One of the great things about having a dark, 100+ year old root cellar to store wine is that every once in a while a bottle of something you thought you were out of, is found. Of course, I do not have the luxury of having my own root cellar in Brooklyn, but I can share in the excitement of uncovering the once lost and forgotten wines at my parents' house in Pennsylvania.

This makes the wine of the night a 2007 Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir, recently found in the depths of said cellar (a photo of the cellar would have been nice- I'll try for one in the upcoming months!). Although not typically a huge fan of Pinot Noir, I love this Pinot! It's a crisp and tart wine with intense raspberry. A really nice wine for summer afternoons, like right now!


wine pairing: father's day shrimp and crab boil

Delicious food, loud laughter, a bit of banter and lots of wine. This is how I spent Father's day at my parents house in Pennsylvania Sunday night. There is something amazing about being around my mother's gardens, my father's cooking, and my awesome family that provides the perfect break from the city every once in awhile. 

With a family full of oenophiles, Sunday provided the perfect opportunity for a group wine pairing. My father cooked up a shrimp and crab boil. A slightly spicy, southern concoction of crab legs, sausage, mushrooms, garlic (the entire bulb was boiled and allowed us to squeeze the garlic cloves onto our food like small packets of ketchup!), corn, shrimp, mussels, and clams. With so much seafood, I instinctively decided to pair the meal with a white wine. But as hearty as it was, I wondered if a red would be nice too. I decided to pour everyone a glass of the two wines below, a California Chardonnay and California Cabernet Sauvignon, both Clos du Bois. 

2009 Clos du Bois Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($18), Clos de Bois North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($15)

Of the ten people (of drinking age) around the table, seven preferred the Chardonnay, one liked the Cabernet better with the dish, and two decided to curiously stick to Jameson. Although I too preferred the white, I enjoyed the Cabernet while eating the sausage and vegetables seasoned with the smoky spices, but of course the Chardonnay paired nicely with the main seafood ingredients. Overall, great food, great wine (especially that Chardonnay!) and great company!


wine of the night: 2000 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rosado

I'm so exited to share this wine with you tonight. I do not typically drink rosé wines, but this rosé is special. It's dry, crisp and has a great character to enjoy by itself. I paired the rosé with a cheese and cracker plate, but I actually preferred it alone. Orange and mineral tones are apparent with subtle flavors that seem to be ever changing the longer it's in my glass. 

Not only is this rosé outstanding and beautiful in color, but the Lopez winery does not release their wines until ready to be consumed (usually it's at least 10 years). As a typical New Yorker with a hot, 300 square foot apartment, I don't purchase wine to store it and drink years later. I appreciate a winery that ages the wine and doesn't put a bottle on the shelf until it should be there The wine is also produced using natural and organic methods.


wine of the night: south african chardonnay

The other day I attended a wine class called Chardonnay; Old World vs. New World held by Chelsea Wine Vault. I haven't been to a class here before, but I will be back. The instructor, Sarah, was fantastic,  bringing a tremendous amount of wine knowledge to a very intrigued class. The venue was welcoming and the six tastings were more like six full glasses of wine. I felt almost as if I were at a dinner party (sans dinner) with others who enjoyed drinking and discussing wine as much as I do.

The mix of Chardonnays served highlighted the grape's many diverse styles. One of my favorites of the group was the 2010 Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. Much like a Chenin Blanc from the same region (one of my favorite wines!), it was balanced with hints of melon and citrus, lemon flavors. I look forward to drinking this while relaxing in the summer sun.

2010 Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay; $14.99


wine pairing: sherried mushrooms with fried egg on toast

I LOVE eggs and red wine together. Eggs poached in red wine, scrambled eggs with a glass, really any combination. So tonight I decided to do a red wine pairing with a recipe I found on Food & Wine's website; Sherried Mushrooms with Fried Eggs on Toast. A very simple recipe that I mostly followed; I have white-bread-phobia so I instinctively used a organic sprouted bread instead (which I recommend because I'm pretty sure white bread kills). Food & Wine recommended "an earthy red, such as Pinot Noir," which sounded appropriate for the mushrooms, so off to the wine store I went for a couple of earthy wines.

I ended up with the two bottles above. The 2009 Stafford Hill Pinot Noir from Oregon ($25) and the 2009 La Vigne en Veron Chinon (100% Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, $12). Both wines were enjoyable but the Chinon paired much better with the dish. The Pinot Noir was too acidic and the fruity flavors overpowered the simple nature of egg and mushrooms on toast.

With that said, I did enjoy the Pinot with a bit of dark chocolate!


wine of the night: 2009 barbera

Tonight I am drinking Valli Unite's 2009 Barbera. It's a natural wine and decent. I typically enjoy a more tannic red wine and the minerality is throwing me off a bit, but it's still rather enjoyable. I try to drink natural and biodynamic wines often, so there will sure to be more posts about sustainable wines to come.

Barbera Gaitu Valli Unite 2009, $17.00


wine of the night: 2009 montepulciano d'abruzzo

Woohoo, it's Friday! And it's time for a glass!

The Brooklyn Wine Exchange has this wonderful $12 and under table at their store located on Court Street between Atlantic Ave and Pacific Street. The wine of the night is a 2009 Vigneti Del Sole Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from said table. For only $8 dollars, this is amazing! Not complex and not for for those who are looking for a big juicy red, but it's dry, pleasant and very drinkable. Wish I had homemade pizza to go with!

Eight dollars; a steal!



wine pairing: tilapia with escarole and lemon-pepper oil

The heat has finally broke in New York City but it's still warm and a great evening for preparing a light fish and drinking a cool white wine. Today I used a recipe from foodnetwork.com; Tilapia with Escarole and Lemon-Pepper Oil. The recipe was accurately placed under Dinner Rush Recipes on the front page of the website. I typically do not steam fish, although I don't know why; it's healthier than sautéing, easy and delicious! I tasted 3 wines with the dish; a 2010 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, a 2010 Chardonnay from South Africa, and a 2009 Dry Riesling from Germany.

Wine Tasting #1: 2010 Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc from Rapel Valley (right)
Although I like the wine, I cannot recommend it for this dish. The flavors clashed; I found the mineral and grapefruit notes of the wine were not pleasant with the tilapia.

Wine Tasting #2: 2010 Excelsior Chardonnay from South Africa (middle)
This Chardonnay pairs nicely with the tilapia dish. It's a bright and fresh Chardonnay, very enjoyable especially for the upcoming hotter summer days.

Wine Tasting #3: 2009 Selbach Dry Riesling from Germany (left)
Tonight's winner! This Riesling complimented all flavors of this meal. Everything tasted better with this wine; the escarole, tilapia, potatoes, and lemon. This wine took a good dinner and made it great. After the tasting, I filled my glass full of wine#3.

a day of firsts

Hi all and welcome to The Winetender! I'm kind of like a bartender who likes to provide drink recommendations- except you should only trust my wine recommendations. Most likely I will steer you in the wrong direction for all other alcohol beverages. Today is a day of firsts- the first winetender blog post and the first time I have cooked with escarole, which I plan to do again because its freakin' delish!