My wine of the week is from Millbrook Winery in the Hudson Valley. Their Tocai Friulano appealed to me when I tried it for the first time many years ago and still holds my interest. Fruity but dry with nice mineral notes and crisp acidity, I thoroughly enjoy this wine.
I love the Hudson Valley and always have. I spent many a summer as a little kid and adolescent at camp in the Valley. It was such an important part of my life that my camp friends and I still get together, all these years later.
This photo was taken a few years ago but more or less we look the same and still see each other. I was lucky enough to be in the Hudson Valley today and am always thrilled by its beauty.
Today’s wine of the week is made with an Italian grape from Friuli Venezia Giulia, Refosco, but it’s made on the South Fork of Long Island by the talented Chris Tracy, the winemaker and co-owner of the winery. I tried this lovely wine along with a few other rose’s or rosatos they make at the NY Drinks NY event in May. Apparently they have a whole rose project. My family used to have a home o Bridgehampton close to that winery. It was one of the first I ever had from Long Island and together with wines from a couple of others, definitely producers my favorite wines. They also use many Italian varieties I am partial to and that is always interesting to me. As Rose season is upon us, this one is a good bet and something different. Here is a list of places to find the wines near you.
This is a photo from a storm last year around this time. The scene outside the window today is much more white. I love the snow, albeit more so when I am in the mountains than in the city or the suburbs. That said, today’s storm is a nice forced moment to stay inside and think, something that is hard to do with such busy lives.
Over the last week, I have seen changes to New York City that brought me back to my first year in town, right after college. I used to live on 13th street and University. Back in those days, my world was about law school and being a paralegal. I had a homeless man living on my stoop who used to make little circles out of matches and leave them for us. The city was very different than as was my block.
Today 13th street is a thriving and hip place and the location of the great local for wine, Corkbuzz but back then, the arrival of a Korean run deli was a big deal. Sure we had Souen and the New York Health and Racquet club which are still there but nothing else that is on the street is the same. My sister went through a macrobiotic phase and I remember eating often in that place which seemed to me to be the opposite of joyful eating.
I was downtown on Thursday and saw that even Bowlmor, a famed bowling alley is gone. University between 12th and 13th is going to become one big development project. I also noticed that the Quad Cinema closed. All signs maybe of progress but the constantly changing landscape does take my breath away. I remember that in the back room of the apartment, the bowling alley sounded like an ocean and could help one get to sleep, except for Thursday when they would constantly announce “Ladies drink for free.” One restaurant that is still the same is Cafe Loup which brings me to another memory from that time, I only really drank French wine.
As a devoted francophile until I was around 22, the wines that I drank and thought of were all French. I was a French major, lived in Dijon in college and was obsessed with all things French and Burgundy. My uncle, also a great lover of French wines and a lawyer, had this bottle that I shared with my parents earlier this year.
Monthelie, in the Cote de Beaune has had an appellation since 1937. While mostly known for their red, pinot noir based wines, they also produced some good chardonnay. Not the most prestigious of Burgundy appellations but nonetheless, a nice expression of a very approachable Burgundy. I wish I had another bottle to share today during this blizzard. I think it would go well with the Risotto ai Funghi that I am making for lunch. Alas, we will have to drink something else.
Last night I found out that one of my favorite places to have a burger in New York, Fanelli’s in Soho, had a great wine from one of the women in wine that I have interviewed, Elisabetta from Tenuta di Blasig, on their wines by the glass list. I am not sure why this surprised me but I admit it did. I thought I would order an American Cabernet or even a Beaujolais but I didn’t think I would be having a glass of Merlot from Friuli and one that brought up so many other parts of my life. My visit to Tenuta di Blasig was very memorable and Elisabetta was one of the first women in wine that I interviewed so she holds a special place in my heart. I always enjoy seeing her wines on wine lists.
I’m the one that is short-sighted though. Why wouldn’t Fanelli’s have an interesting choice on their list and why am I surprised? Apparently they have been open since 1847 according to the great article listed above and can claim to be the second oldest establishment in New York City – no mean feat.
Cheers to old New York and Friuli – a winning combination!
For those who are attending the Fancy Food show in NYC this coming week, you have a great opportunity to try wines from some of Italy’s best producers who together with San Patrignano have been showing their wines throughout the country during this past month. I worked at their opening event in New York last month and will be at the Fancy Food show this month as well. The producers are from all over Italy including wines from Falesco, Di Majo Norante, Gianfranco Fino, Argiolas, Serradenari, Castello di Cigognola, Masciarelli, Botolo, Castiglion del Bosco, La Vis, Scubla, Feudi di San Gregorio, Anselmi, Velenosi, Les Cretes, Cantine del Notaio, Lunae Bosoni and San Patrignano.
The wines were part of a larger exhibition that involved furniture made in the workshops of the Communita di San Partrignano by those that live in the community and designed by world famous architects, all using wood from former wine barrels. The furniture won’t be shown at the Fancy Food show for obvious reasons. San Patrignano does wonderful work helping former drug addicts to get their lives back on track. They grow food and make wine, all activities that some of the former community members continue when they leave the group. If you plan on coming to the show, stop by the booth. Or come to the show for these wines, very worthwhile…
Also, don’t forget New York City’s first ever Italian Restaurant Week to celebrate Italian gastronomy and the culinary arts in the United States through an exciting 11-day dining event, from June 26 through July 6. Twenty three of New York City’s most authentic Italian restaurants will offer diners exceptional 3-course prix fixe menus at special discounted prices: $26 for lunch and $40 for dinner. To appeal to New Yorkers’ preference for convenience, the Italian Dine-Out has partnered with OpenTable.com to afford diners a one-stop venue to peruse participating restaurants’ menus, make reservations, and find all program information in one place. Some of my favorite NYC Italian restaurants are taking part, including Aroma, I Trulli, SD26, Tarallucci e Vino and The Leopard at Des Artistes, among others. I am going to try a few that I have never been to including Gradisca and maybe Roc Restaurant.
A few weeks ago I wrote on my blog that I was on my way to my college reunion. I mentioned that I was curious what my friends and roommates would be drinking after all of these years. I discovered that their tastes were quite eclectic but Chardonnay was also a theme that ran through the weekend, as one might expect.
A number of my friends also preferred beer to wine and we discovered that our small college town now has a brewery right on main street.
I was pretty partial to the Hypocrite White and the Belgian IPA but the other ones in the sampler they smartly offer did the trick as well. Our college town was pretty small and the area can best be called bucolic. It was a beautiful weekend with lots of fun memories and such dear friends.
What I most certainly did not expect was to have such a great bottle of wine at the Colgate Inn in Hamilton, NY as the Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay from the Antinori property in California.
The wine was exquisite with great acidity, mineral notes, white fruits and flowers and the nutty, yeasty notes that come from batonnage that I really enjoy. I had never tasted one of their wines from the California property and really was very pleased with the choice and dinner with a dear friend at the venerable Colgate Inn.
My wine of the week is from Millbrook Winery in the Hudson Valley. Their Tocai Friulano appealed to me when I tried it for the first time five years ago and still holds my interest as a summer sipper. Fruity but dry with nice mineral notes and crisp acidity, I thoroughly enjoy this wine.
I noticed on their site that they are actually screening one of my all-time favorite movies under the stars – Big Night. The scene where one brother makes an omelet for the other, in silence, as a way of overcoming their argument is so realistic and so much part of my life experience both in New York and in Italy.
I love the Hudson Valley and always have. As camp season rolls around and my niece counts down to her summer at camp, I am thinking of the Hudson Valley where I spent many a summer as a little kid and adolescent. It was such an important part of my life that my camp friends and I still get together, all these years later.
For a great post on the Hudson Valley and its wineries, check out my friend Sunny Gandara’s post on the beautiful part of New York State that she calls home.